Who Are You Sir?!

How in the world could that happen? Sometimes a coincidence is so strange, you wonder how that could happen, or why!

We flew to New Orleans for a business function. Our friends booked the hotel room for us to share while we were in town and told us they would be arriving early, Wednesday or Thursday to have some R & R, and play a little golf. We thought nothing about the arrangements, because they’d handled the rooms in the past.How in the world could that happen, we just want to go to the Dome. I'm Sue, a mom of 9 kids and I love to think about the coincidences in life and what they mean

Our function was at the Super Dome, downtown New Orleans, and we always stay near the event for the convenience, so when we arrived, naturally, we jumped into a cab and headed to the ‘H.I.’ right across the street from the Dome. We just walked up to the front desk, asked for the key to JB’s room, (names encrypted to protect the innocent, Haha) because we were sharing with them and the desk guy, just hands us the key. When we went up to the room, we were quite surprised to find that the room was perfectly tidy and empty of personal things with no evidence of our friends. We are pretty relaxed and often just go with the flow, so we figured that they changed plans and would show up later. The event wasn’t for a few more hours. So, no big deal, right?

We were a bit tired, so we hopped into bed for a nap. The night would go late; well past midnight, so why not catch up? We were definitely, comfortably asleep, when all of a sudden this incredibly loud, angry pounding sounded on the door, and the voice of a very angry man, yelling through the door.

‘Who are you, Sir and what are you doing in there?’ Are you kidding me? He was actually hollering. Oh my goodness, we just about jumped out of our skin. Why would anyone yell like that through the door? Why wouldn’t he just knock on the door and speak to us?

David jumped up, asked who it was, (good grief, it was the hotel manager – can we say anger issues?) and he told him that he would come down to the front desk and talk to him in 5 minutes. When he came back and told me about the conversation and besides being startled, we just started laughing because it felt like we were in some kind of twilight zone.

David calmly explained to the man that we were sharing a room with JB and his wife, and that the desk clerk gave us the key. Mr. Angry Manager yells in his face that JB checked out that morning and why were we to trying to get into his room? Talk about accusing before getting the facts. We were stunned and didn’t know exactly what to say. Our friends said meet us at the H.I., and we assumed the one by the Dome. Suddenly David thought, is it possible that they could have checked into another H.I. in town? So the manager called another one and found a JB checked in there. Ha, ha, ha,. Talk about a change of attitude on that guy’s part. What on earth did he think we were trying to pull and why wouldn’t he at least ask us first before yelling his head off?

But if you think about it, what are the odds of someone with the same name being at that hotel at the same time as we show up and they still have his name on the list? What are the odds they’d give us a key to check in without confirming with JB that he expected roommates?

Who flies across the country and checks into the wrong hotel with the right name and the desk clerk lets you in and the room is registered to the same name as you’re asking for? How in the world could that happen? I sure don’t know. Too many coincidences to be possible. Isn’t that funny? Well, maybe I only entertain my self, but I have a collection of coincidence stories and most of them have great meaning and valuable lessons, but this story…..just amusing.

I know God loves us, He allows cool things to happen sometimes to bless us, but this experience was just interesting. It certainly gave us something to talk about all weekend. It would be impossible to Coincidencerecreate this series of events, so we just left with our heads shaking and feeling surprised and amused. What we do matters; you matter! I believe we make a difference. Don’t kid yourself; others notice you, even when you don’t know it. But this time, I don’t know if we blessed someone that weekend, or offended someone that weekend, but it was interesting.

Have you ever had anything like this happen? Do you have a coincidence story? I’d love to hear it.

 

Caught in Frankenmuth

We visited Frankenmuth, Michigan, and brought our kids to see the largest Christmas store in the world. We had been shopping in Bronner’s Christmas store for a while, and everyone was getting hungry. 

Big Christmas StoreThey had a cafeteria style restaurant right in the middle, so we thought that would be a great place to get some lunch. We definitely needed to keep our strength up to continue shopping in this giant store. You know how bouncy and wiggly children can be. They were all in line with us, picking out food, juggling trays and wiggling. We had 7 or 8 of them with us and I was concentrating on keeping track of all of them and trying to choose enough food to keep everyone happy, and still manage to stay within a reasonable budget. I’m praying, please God don’t let them do anything crazy so I don’t look like a bad Mom.

I’m aware that people are around me but not necessarily who they are because I’m usually busy worrying about trying to keep the kids behaving well in public. It was very crowded that day and we were trying not to hold up the line too much. We got to the checkout and as my husband went to pay with a card, the lady said they only take cash.  How old fashioned, right?  As he started to ask if there was an ATM in the building, and could we just sit down close by with our 8-10 trays of food while he ran quickly to get the money, the man behind me piped up and said he’d pay for all of our food, because he knew we were good for it!

So many thoughts flashed through my mind, at a zillion miles and hour. The thoughts were something along the lines of, ‘Oh no, who was this person? Why on earth would he say that he knew we were good for the money? How long had he been directly behind me while I struggled with so many children? Did the children misbehave? Was I too lenient or harsh with them? How do I look?’

Can you believe those thoughts? I should have been thinking, ‘Oh my, who is the kind person behind us?’ ‘Wow, I am so grateful that someone is being thoughtful to us.’ ‘I’m so happy to be out with my beautiful little dears and I hope this nice man can see how awesome they all are.’ You can probably think of 10 more mature thoughts that I should have had, but I was flustered and startled and self absorbed. What are the odds of us meeting people we barely know at that moment in time who seem to recognize us? I love to think about the odds of coincidences happening, because it’s fun. Imagine the chances of all worlds coming together and setting up this scenario.

My goal is to add value to your life. I want to be blessing to everyone around me. But I can’t do that if I’m only worried about how I look rather than thinking of you first. If I only get to meet you as a stranger for a moment in time, I can at least give you a nice word or a sweet smile. I want to put a ribbon on top of your day and make your day feel like a gift.

I know that we impact others as we navigate through life and since they caught us by surprise that day in Frankenmuth, I hope that we were a blessing to them, as they certainly were to us. We had the chance to meet them and interact with them but the odds are just as good that they might have seen us and we might never have known it. I love flowers, they're like a ribbon on topIf only I can be a blessing to others, even when I don’t know it. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

Have you ever had a coincidental meeting with someone and you wished it had gone better? Have you ever had a coincidental meeting with someone, and you’re so pleased the way you were able to bless each other?

 

 

Balloons and the President

You know I love a good story; especially when all worlds collide into an amazing coincidence. A coincidence is a just a series of simultaneous events, but when you start thinking about all the details and you ponder the odds of the events happening, all at the same time, and that’s when it becomes amazing.

Our whole family flew to Panama, to do a parade on Christmas Day. Grandpa invented the cold air inflatable; no seriously, he invented the cold air inflatables so his business flies people all over the world to do parades and events.

Ballons and the President
Balloons and the President

Airport customs can be a real drag and Panama was no different. As we stood in line, Abby said to me, ‘There’s a lady behind me that keeps bumping into me.’ Weird, but she probably felt as impatient as we did but it was annoying. I decided, to face her head on, instead of ignoring her, and see if we could figure it out. Instead of being rude, though, I turned to her in the friendliest way I could muster and said, ‘Hi, Are you travelling to Panama for a vacation or coming home?’ She went from looking annoyed, to smiling and said that she was actually from Panama and now lived in Boston. She was home to visit her mother. I said that was so great because I had some questions about visiting Panama and she was the perfect person to ask. We ended up having a nice conversation and everyone went away happy.

Panama Parade, Life Lesson
Flying the Giant Clifford in Panama

Two days later it was parade day and my job was to bring the babies to see the parade in the afternoon. The rest off my whole fam had been slaving in 100 degree weather setting up the balloons ;). The kids and I were supposed to sit in the VIP area, but someone forgot our passes. With Isaac, my right hand 11 year old man, and 4 babies, I set off for VIP. For some lovely reason, the lady in charge of security believed me when I said my 5 children and I were supposed to sit up in the pavilion. While I was setting up the double stroller, the babies, the diaper bag, our cool sunglasses and our seats, I kept noticing, out of the corner of my eye, a woman watching me very carefully. Finally I looked up at her, and to my surprise, it was the lady from the customs line at the airport.

I smiled and asked her what she was doing there, (in VIP mind you!) and she told me that her sister was in charge of security there. Yikes! Can you imagine if I’d treated her really rudely at the airport and told her to back off? She could have had her sister kick our butts right out of VIP.

Life Lesson – Remember the Golden Rule. Treat people the way you’d like to be treated. The real rule, of course is – Matthew 7: Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them… (NKJV) 

Isn’t it the worst when you learn lessons the hard way; from your own personal mistakes. This time I narrowly escaped learning this lesson the hard way, because I didn’t act rudely. Instead, the whole experience was positive from start to finish.

Remember I said it was a weekend of Balloons and the President. I didn’t stop to wonder why there was such heavy security in the VIP area of a parade. It turns out that the VIP I love flowerspavilion was set up specifically for the President of Panama to view the parade and we were sitting right up there with him and didn’t know it!!! Haha, missed the awesome photo op, missed the bragging rights. Oh well, another day.

 

 

Crystal Cathedral Coincidence

I‘m loving hearing about stories where people run into others in strange and unplanned places. The coincidences seem impossible and I’m wondering why these coincidences happen and what does it all mean. I believe we’re all connected through the tapestry of life and we can take these chances to build up each other and use these times as opportunities to give back even if it’s just to uplift someone with a gift of a compliment. I know I enjoy hearing coincidence stories, participating in them and pondering the repercussions. If its only to have some fun in life, well, good enough for me. Don’t we all like to have a little surprise fun once in a while?

I know we’re here for a reason and I’m telling you that you are important and you make a difference. I believe that coincidences happen to remind us that we’re not invisible, and we impact each others lives.

Uplift someone with a gift of a compliment
Crystal Cathedral Coincidence

We attended a business event in Long Beach, Ca. The best part was, the keynote speakers were our very good friends and business associates, Dr. George and Marion. The event was Saturday and they asked if we’d like to show them around town the next day. We know many cool places to see and visit in So Cal / Metro LA. and we had a great list of interesting ideas to show them. They had traveled from Canada and wanted to see some cool things, so we made our plan and we were off and running, loose in the megalopolis of LA.

One of the places on their wish list was to be able to see the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove. It was about 1/2 hour away from where we were staying for the event in Long Beach. There’s a book store / gift shop on the grounds of the Cathedral and the 4 of us were shopping around.  David, my husband, happened to hear some random shoppers, on the other side of the book shelves, talking about a business associate of ours, who the 4 of us knew quite well. The guy they were talking about happens to be a close business associate of our friends that we were showing around the Cathedral’s store. Our friends were his mentor and they had helped to change his life. Of course, never one to miss a chance to talk to anyone, anytime, David zipped around the shelves and asked the people if they recalled hearing this guy talk on his audios about a man named Dr. George and how Dr. George was actually his mentor. Of course they said that they’d heard him speak of Dr. George. That was a big part of his talks. Then David says to them, ‘How would you like to actually meet ‘the’ Dr. George and his wife, right now?!

Can you imagine shopping around on a Sunday afternoon, having a quiet conversation about a guy who’s a motivational speaker, and a stranger pops his head around the corner to you and says, ‘Hey, would you like to meet that guy’s mentor, the one who taught him everything, the one who got him started on his pathway to success?’ I know they were a bit shocked, but I think extremely pleased to meet someone so famous, so kind and motivating, and someone who’s always willing to take time with you to encourage you in your endeavors in life.

This is the kind of coincidence I’m talking about that I really love. This is an opportunity to give back, to be uplifting to someone, to actually give the gift of encouragement and to give a compliment which is like the ribbon on top of the gift. Dr. George and Marion never fail to give that gift when they meet you. When you meet them, they build you up, encourage you and leave you with a compliment that will make your day.

I want to learn from them and from that experience. I would like to be someone who is prepared to give back, at a moments notice, even to strangers, even when I’m on vacation and even when I’m unprepared. As much fun as a the Crystal Cathedral coincidence was, I love flowersit was more than a moment in time. It was fun, it became meaningful and it changed our lives just a little bit for the good. It was an opportunity in which we were able to bring 2 strangers together, where Dr. George was able to do what he does best, encourage and build up people and we all went away richer that day.

 

 

 

A Horse in My House – Impossible!

Back in the day, some airlines had seating groups, where 2 seats faced backward and 2 faced forward. What do you do when you’re sitting there facing strangers for 4 hours? This is a very common arrangement on a train, so I don’t know why I think it would feel a little awkward on a plane. I guess I’m just not used to it. I’m imagining in my mind how I would act. Would I look them in the eye? Would I keep to myself and look the other way? I think that most people would engage in polite conversation whenever you made eye contact with your temporary travel companions. I wouldn’t think anything too earth shattering would come from a few simple exchanges with a stranger. I certainly wouldn’t think that some kind of coincidence about to be revealed.

David, my husband, was travelling from LA to Detroit, through Phoenix. He was assigned a seat facing backwards. He is very outgoing and would talk to anyone and everyone, especially if they were face to face for four hours. He opened a conversation with a lady across from him and asked if she was travelling home from a trip to Phoenix, or if Phoenix was her home. She said that she lived in Phoenix, but had grown up in Metro Detroit. He asked what area and she named a town near us. Instantly, that makes the conversation much more fun when you realize that you have something in common.

What an impossible coincidence
Your Horse in My House

She told him that she used to ride her horse around our lake so he described our house and what it probably looked like when she was a girl. Our house is very old and used to be a general store. The yard had a picnic area, and people would launch their boats from our lake property. The old store had been left abandoned for many years before we bought it and turned it into our house. The lady looked at him in shock and said she knew exactly where our house was and what it used to look like. When she was a little girl, she used to ride her horse to the store to buy candy, and the store owner let her ride her horse right into the store; in one door and right out the other. She rode her horse in and out of our actual house! Isn’t that crazy?

How does a conversation like this even take place? He was on the same flight. He was sitting near a stranger that could have been sitting in any seat on that same plane, but happened to be across from him. They were both willing to engage in some kind of conversation, and the conversation turned into something where all worlds collided. It ended up revealing an amazing coincidence. There are too many circumstances that all had to come together to allow the details of this event to come to light.

What was the meaning of this convo? Was it just to exchange some pleasantries or to impact others for some reason; I love flowersfor good or bad? We are here for a reason and we impact each others lives, sometimes intentionally, and sometimes not intentionally. I don’t have an answer! I just enjoy speculating about this whole situation and wondering why or how it all came about. I wonder if the lady is somewhere in Phoenix telling this same story to her friends. What a Coincidence ! How Fun.

Coincidence ? Maybe, maybe not ?

I’ve heard some seriously fascinating stories of coincidence. People tell about crazy things that happen in their lives, where the unexpected takes them by surprise. Stories that range from –  ‘Guess who I ran into today at the mall?’ all the way to – ‘You are never, ever going to believe what happened!!’  Are these stories just random coincidences that don’t mean anything? Or is there a master plan in place and we just don’t see behind the scenes to understand what’s really going on?

What does Coincidence mean
What is the meaning of Coincidence

Coincidence  – [koh-in-si-duh ns]   “Dictionary” .com

1. a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance: eg. ‘Our meeting in Venice was pure coincidence.’

2. the condition or fact of coinciding.     Synonyms – accident, luck, fate.

I like the #1 dictionary definition the best, but I’m not sure I like the sentence that is used for the example. The sentence means ‘we met in Venice by accident, luck or fate’. That example means that two or more striking occurrences or events, appear to happen by mere chance. I think there’s more to it. I’m having some fun thinking about this topic, because I don’t have all the answers. I just got to thinking one day that I know so many stories of things that have happened to myself or my friends that seem like a fun coincidence.

That’s what started me wondering, maybe there’s more to it. Maybe there’s more than meets the eye. Our lives are created by God and He guides our steps. Therefore, nothing happens by chance. When we ‘run into someone’, it’s an opportunity. But an opportunity for what..? I believe that God uses us, that we’re very important, and that where we go, what we do and who we are is important. We’re here to make a difference. Don’t you ever think that you’re invisible and not impacting others around you.

So here are my questions:

1. Why did that chance meeting happen?

2. What’s going on behind the scenes that seems to make some of our life events more important than we might think?

3. Do our coincidences, that seem insignificant, happen just for our amusement; just so we can tell a good story at a party?

4. How did all worlds collide in a way that makes an event happen that we didn’t even plan?

5. How were we able to actually piece the puzzle together so that we understand that there’s no way that the situation would have been possible to duplicate intentionally?

Well…..I’ve got some stories to share with you over the next few weeks, that will blow your mind. Then, I’d like you to tell me a coincidence story that happened in your life. After I love flowersyou’ve read a few of my stories, that are all true, I want you to tell me…coincidence?, random chance meeting?, accident, luck or fate?,…maybe? or maybe not !