In search of Gifts: Adventure in Fayetteville

Giving thoughtful gifts is something my daughter, Mahriyanna, enjoys doing for her friends. Since I am without a car temporarily, and Robert was tied up, we decided to walk around looking for garage sales with a plan to end up at the farmer’s market to purchase food.

What I most enjoy about walking and spending any kind of time with Mahriyanna is that if I introduce a conversation topic she is 99 percent of the time willing to have a discussion.  Since I like to have deep, meaningful interactions, this is very beneficial for me. 

So we walked and talked about many things, and prayed intermittently that we could find some nice gifts for her friends.  I remember at one point telling God that we didn’t see him as just a supplier of needs, but since we have a good relationship it seems like it is okay to ask for things.  This reminds me of my relationships with people.  If I have a lot of trust built through positive experiences, then it is easy for me to ask for a favor.  This is something I am focusing on with our community.  Even though we have a lot of trust built up, there is also much healing to do.  I want to do all I can to strengthen and build up the relationships by being honest, loving, and encouraging.

So Mahriyanna and I had been walking for about an hour and we had not seen one garage sale sign.  So Mahriyanna suggested that we ask someone.  I saw some people approaching us and I asked them if they had seen any garage sales. A woman in the group said, “I saw a sign on Prospect and Wilson.”  She was friendly and we thanked her for her kindness.

When we found the sign after having a nice walk to this goal, we realized we had no idea where the street Douglas was.  But someone I knew lived right on that corner.  So I knocked on the door and was able to get directions. 

When we got to the garage sale, most of the stuff had been carted away.  I found a volley ball in good shape for a dollar.  I have not owned a volleyball for about 35 years, so it seemed like a good thing to buy.  Our whole community is very enthusiastic about volleyball.

We were somewhat disappointed because there was nothing else remotely resembling a gift for Mahriyanna’s friends.  But by now we realized that this journey and Adventure we were experiencing was not so much about the goal, but about all that was happening on the way to the goal.  We got exercise, talked about important things, saw beautiful flowers and other scenery, and connected with some people.  We did our best to bring God into the experience because experiencing God while experiencing life is not an easy dance.  We did our best to hear where God was leading us, asked him for what we were wanting, and shared our gratitude for what was happening.  I forgot about seeing people through God’s eyes, but I did have a lot of love for all the people we came in contact with.

Going to the Saturday Fayetteville Farmer’s Market near the end of the market time is an opportunity to get really good bargains.  I simply would go to vendors, some of whom I knew, and asked for deals.  We got so much produce for about $35 that we chose to give some away to some old friends we saw. The vendors were grateful to get rid of stuff near the end and some just lavished beautiful produce on us.   We just could not carry it all home in our back packs and thus were glad to pass some on.

Our packs were heavy when we left the farmer’s market.  We were pretty tired, too.  We rested and had coffee at Jammin’ Java’s.  Mahriyanna had to help me lift my back pack, which has great back support, onto my shoulders.  We bravely proceeded to accomplish the last mile and a half or so which was fortunately mostly down hill.  We wanted to finish strong, so we discussed how although this experience was challenging, it was preparing us for a future back packing trip where we might carry even more weight. 

“And just think about how some people in third world countries have to walk far away every day to carry heavy water to their homes,” I said.

“And I remember watching a program about people who had to carry heavy packs that didn’t have the good support that our packs have.  They had to walk 10-15 hours a day,”  Mahriyanna chimed in.

By the time we got home, we felt exhausted but satisfied.  It didn’t take long for us to eat a light lunch and then bounce back for whatever else God had in store for us.  I feel so grateful to have this precious time to spend with my seventeen year old daughter.   

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