Not all Valentine's Days are rosy. 

As I sat at a Cracker Barrel, working on my first fiction book, I couldn't help but notice how attentive and kind my waitress had been.

I dug into my wallet and glanced at the $20 and $50 bill in the pocket. My bill total was only $9 so my first inclination was to leave a $20 tip. That was more than enough. But I got the tug. It's the little nudge that tells me to reach out, connect, and give a little more. 

I usually leave these gifts anonymously, but when my waitress checked in on me, I again, got the nudge that I should personally give her this gift. I said, "Happy Valentine's Day" and handed her the $50.

Immediately, tears streamed down her face.

"You don't know how much I need this. Thank you so much."

I stood and asked, "May I give you a hug?"

And there in the middle of the Cracker Barrel, with the fire crackling in the background, we embraced.

"My daughter is on drugs and I'm taking care of her ten-year-old son. Please pray for her."

"What's her name?"

She gave it to me.

As she continued to cry, she shared how she didn't want to get out of bed today and come to work, but she knew she needed to put food on the table for her grandson.

We chatted a bit more as she continued to wipe the tears from her eyes.

She had to get back to her other tables and all I could think about is how grateful I was to have followed the tug on my heartstrings. 

A series of events led me to be at this Cracker Barrel at just that moment and I whole heartly believe God orchestrated me being there. He knows our needs and sends angels on earth to respond.

This is the giving challenge in action. It is my prayer, that you pray for this family and the next time you get the tug on your heart to give, step out in faith. You may just be an angel God has sent to bring hope to someone in need. 


Stephanie L. Jones

Inspirational Speaker and Award-Winning Author of "The Giving Challenge: 40 Days to a More Generous Life" and “The Gratitude Challenge: 41 Days to a Happier, Healthier, & More Content Life”

P.S. I rarely share the amount of my gifts. But today I felt it was important because this gift stretched me. I'm 100% confident if I'd only given her the $20 she would not have reacted the way she did and shared her struggles. The next time you feel you need to stretch your gift, go for it. I've never regretted, or missed, the money/time I've given. 

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