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Blessed Beyond Measure (A True Story About The Kindness Of Strangers)

Y’all, my ceiling in my entryway and dining room is drywalled!!

dining room ceiling 6

No more polystyrene tiles, no more 1 x 4’s covering the ceiling, and no more cracked, thin 3/8 inch drywall on my ceiling.

But interestingly, in order to get it from this…

dining room ceiling 4

…to this…

dining room ceiling 5

…I didn’t have to lift a finger.  It’s true.  I didn’t have to carry any drywall, or cut any holes for lights, or climb a single ladder, or screw in any of the screws.  I just sat and watched while others did this amazing thing for me.  And it didn’t cost me a single penny.

This isn’t really a story about a drywalled ceiling.  This is a story about the amazing kindness of strangers.

You see, my in-laws go to a non-denominational church in Oregon.  That church is a part of an organization of churches consisting of about 1500 churches worldwide.  There just happens to be one of those churches here in Waco, so this past Sunday, my father-in-law decided to attend.  On the way to church, he began to pray.  The truth is that he and I had this huge, daunting project ahead of us, and truth be told, neither of us are really experienced at installing drywall.  We both had felt a bit discouraged at the thought of having to tackle this huge room, and so on the way to church, my father-in-law just expressed his frustration to God.

While he was at church, at some point the couple next to him started talking to him, realizing that he was new to the church, and inquired about his visit to Waco.  He told them that he was here visiting his son and daughter-in-law, and that while he was here, he was helping me get some things done around the house, like drywalling ceilings.  The man, who happened to be a contractor, responded, “How can I help?”

So early yesterday morning, this amazing, kindhearted stranger came over to my house, and he and my father-in-law installed that drywall.

And as if that’s not amazing enough, that’s not all of the story.

At around noon, I went in to take a lunch order so that I could go and get us all some lunch.  Our new friend said, “Oh, that’s not necessary.  My fiance is on the way, and she’s bringing us lunch.”  (!!)

What?!  So not only is he installing my drywall free of charge, but his fiance is also providing us with lunch?!

So about 30 minutes later, she arrived with Schlotzsky’s sandwiches, chips, and drinks in hand for all five of us, and we all sat in my music room and had the best time talking, laughing, breaking bread together (as we Christians say 😀 ), and getting to know one another.

And at the end of our time together, there were no strangers in the room.

I felt so immensely blessed, and it went far beyond just getting my ceiling drywalled.  It was an encouragement that went much deeper than that.  At times we seem to be inundated with news of darkness, evil, devastation, sadness, gloom, hardship and misery.  We can begin to lose hope, and begin to question if any goodness remains.  It’s amazing how the kindness of a stranger can be such a bright light of hope that cuts through all of that, if even just for a day, or an hour, or a few minutes.  It makes me want to try even harder, and make more of a concerted effort, to be that stranger for others.

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  1. I’ve got tears in my eyes reading this. With all the crap going on in Baltimore this is incredibly refreshing to read. God sends us angels when we least expect it! Happy for you 🙂

    1. There’s more amazing stuff happening in Baltimore right now than crap, actually. It’s unbelievable how people of all ages and races are coming together to right what has happened, so that this is not the legacy of Baltimore. Christians, non-Christians, Nation of Islam… I’d never have thought I’d praise the Nation of Islam in a million years, but they are stepping up. Cops and kids praying on the streets together.

      1. I agree with you the media is making the Baltimore thing out to be a war. And for a few it is. And for those it is either they are at their last rope or have mental or behavioral problems. On a lighter note, the world is full of people like those who helped dear Kristi. And I am so happy that she got a break and didn’t have to do the drywall. Yeah!!!

        1. As Mr. Rogers said – “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

          Faith makes you open for business!

          P.S. – I have a new job and have missed a few posts and I have to say I LOVE the transition wall with the columns. We have one just like it 🙂

      2. I’m so happy to hear something positive coming out of all that..and so happy for this talented, hard working young lady named Kristi! Made me smile

    2. Thank you for sharing you story-what a blessing.

      We can all help someone and the smallest or biggest thing that we do for another person, will impact someone’s life maybe for a minute or a lifetime.

      Hugs From North Carolina

  2. Hi Kristi. I am teary eyed just reading this! It’s like God gave you a little kiss! He loves you much! What a perfect example of loving your “neighbor” as you love yourself! Cool and encouraging story:)

  3. Kristi what a wonderful wonderful blessing, so happy for you, and you got new friends to boot. God is good all the time!

    1. Very true! I’m glad that He’s gracious enough to occasionally give us those massive in-your-face reminders to keep us focused on that fact. What a great illustration and encouragement to be *that* stranger for someone else!

      1. I was just reading through more comments and it struck me: I highly doubt that couple had any idea to how many people they would be a testimony when they took the step to help you and your father-in-law! That’s a good reminder, too! Thank you for expanding their impact by sharing it here.

  4. Wow! That brought tears to my eyes. I am so tired of seeing all of the bad stuff on the internet and TV that I have considered swearing it all off! This brings hope for sure and I love your take away on it… “make more of a concerted effort, to be that stranger for others.” So great! That really speaks to my heart! ….and your ceiling looks great too 😉

  5. The Master always arrives when hearts are open. Many have been blessed by your journey. We are never alone!!

    1. God is good all the time! Kristi! you have been blessed in such an awesome way and have given hope to many, including myself. So good to see the drywall on those ceilings.
      May this be a lesson to us all. And I am glad that God spoke directly to the guy next to you. Awesome, eh!

  6. What an awesome encouragement & a huge blessing for all involved. Love in action, truly a gift to behold.
    How exciting, so happy for your Kristi and Matt. Have a blessed day!

  7. There really are good people in the world. It is sad that the media seems to dwell on all the bad ones. I have started to see good stories on the news – maybe just maybe they are getting the hint that we would rather see the good stories. I used to read 3 newspapers a day and always had agita. I don’t read any of them any more and my stomach is great! Tells you something doesn’t it.

  8. I guess it made several of us tear up! What a blessing and answer to prayer! I am so very happy for you and now you have yet another contact for future projects. God IS good, ALL the time!

  9. What a wonderful story, goes to show if you have faith, God will provide. Now not only do you have your drywall up, you now have new friends, which is a blessing indeed!

  10. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this!! Sitting here with tears in my eyes, God is good 🙂
    Thankful for angels walking among us, this inspires me also to pay it forward, thank you.

  11. Wow! I was just reading about Barnabas and his being an encourager and then I read this and thought we still have people that encourage others by helping out. This man truly did that. May He be blessed. So happy for you!

  12. thank you for sharing that story! That’s the kind of news I wish the newspapers and news stations would focus on! So glad they helped you and you didn’t have to do it! I know you could have but you deserve a break!

  13. I love how God works…hearing and answering prayers and bringing encouragement. Kristi, I’m so glad that contractor was obedient to God’s nudge and for the huge blessing he brought you and Matt and your FIL. Tears ran down my face in JOY for this amazing gift. This is the love that we are to have for one another as believers. I’m so happy that you were loved on in such an amazing way. [hugs]

  14. Tears in my eyes too. You may not realize it but you are a blessing to all of us. We are in varying stages of living and health…but you reach out to each of us and we live, if not just through your writings (which are fun and informative), but through your kindness for your hubby and friends and family. So, it’s no wonder God is shining rays of love your way…maybe it’s just a little nod from Him saying you’re doing good stuff ;).

  15. Whew, I got the tinglies! What a sweet, sweet gentleman. Thank you for sharing, I love to hear stories like this, especially, as many others have said, amidst all the bad news swirling around lately. It’s times like these I try to remember to pay it forward when I can, and I know you’re the type to do the same. What a nice thing to hear happen for you 🙂

  16. Another teary eyed reader here. It’s one of those days where it’s great to read a feel good story. So lovely to know that there are still kind hearted people out there. And especially as you deserve some kindness!

  17. Power of prayer and the faith of your father in law and a Blessing for you. Paying it forward by praying for that contractor and his prosperity…So excited for you to be able to rest, laugh and enjoy goodness…

  18. You have everything in that lovely home of yours, places to look at and feel proud (like your kitchen) and now places to look at and feel blessed. What a special place!

    Your readers would have loved to have been a fly on the wall to see their faces when they saw your off-the-hook amazing kitchen!

  19. Oh Kristi! I have goosebumps and I’m a bit teary! The power of prayer is incredible!! I’m so glad you received help at a time you needed it most. Thanks for sharing your story!

  20. Like others who have written before me, I’m sitting at my desk at work with tears in my eyes. What an amazing story. God knew what you needed and provided for you. Thank you for sharing this message – you are amazingly blessed.

    Hugs from Vermont!

  21. Kristi, some time ago I began to pray that God reveal Himself to you in some way and this is the answer…Praise God for these wonderful kind people and their obedience to step and be a missionary to you. Hope you get to repay that kindness by visiting that church to meet them in their environment.

  22. As you are always so generous in letting us in on all your diy secrets and how tos, it’s only fair that somebody was so generous and sweet in offering help to you, too! It gives me hope for mankind yet that there are people like that out there – and not only those doing bad things which are constantly being reported!! Thanks for sharing and do enjoy that well deserved break!!

  23. What an amazing blessing! You do all this work and still take time to share with us on your journey. How wonderful that some is coming back to you. God Bless!

  24. How very wonderful!! What happened and how it happened is definitely a God thing for sure!! So happy for you!!

  25. God is good indeed~! What a wonder testimony and that you so much for sharing. Your house transformation is simply amazing….and awesome.

    1. Well, I guess I should have proof-read prior to posting! I meant to say what a wonderful testimony and Thank You so much for sharing! Continued blessings to you and Matt

  26. Oh, Kristi, this stranger has no idea how many people he has actually blessed. I, too, am wiping tears from my eyes. God is so good. And good people still exist in this world. It is so uplifting to read your story. Tell Matt’s dad that we love him, too.

  27. Was having a chaotic morning planning to do more than humanly possible (for even 2 humans!), decided to check my E-mail before darting out the door to a client job, saw one from you and thought, “Oh, I want to read Kristi’s update first!” So glad I did, still way too much to do, but leaving with a renewed lift in my step, oh and tears in my eyes–but that’s ok! Bless your new found friends and angels and you!

  28. Whenever I see the goodness of others…I know I am seeing the goodness of God. I am so in awe that we worship God who says if we do good unto others it is as if we have done unto Him. It is so hard to comprend such a selfless and unconditional love!!!! I am grateful for your blessing.

  29. AMAZING!! I’m not very religious but this story warmed my heart so very much! How wonderful it is that the person whom your father in law just happened to sit next to, was the person that would be the most needed and appreciated at this crucial time!

    I’m so happy that your home is coming together with the help and love of kind people. There won’t be a single time that you will look up, and not think or remember that beautiful day! It was truly meant to be!

  30. I love the fact that you got to sit back for a change and were able to let someone else do some of the hard graft. You’ve been working so hard and deserved a break and some good luck. Bless the fella that helped you out and your father in law must be pretty amazing too to attract that kind of energy. Great story. I felt quite teary when I read it too.

  31. Oh Kristi, how wonderful! I agree that you experienced a “Love your neighbor as yourself” gift from God! How sweet that your FIL prayed before church and trusted God to answer his needs.

    I’m so very happy for you all!

  32. Thank you for this GOOD NEWS!

    For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. ~2 Corinthians 4:6

  33. Awesome, faithful God! It brings encouragement to hear of Christians stepping in without being asked! What joy this post has brought to my day!

  34. I am blown away! What a sweet and kind couple! Prayers were answered! Brought me to tears! I loved how you said you sat down to break bread with strangers and ended up with new friends…so touching! I can’t think of a better person to receive such a blessing! Pay it forward!

  35. Thank you for sharing this story, there are so many kind and good people in this world and we all need to be one of them! A great way to show gratitude for that wonderful blessing is to in turn bless the life of someone else. Thanks for helping my day start out on a great note!

  36. God’s angels are often humans who just follow His lead. This was no accident, Kristy. This was Him reminding you that He knows and He cares. A blessing to read this story. Thank you.

  37. PTL! It is a joy to see you be blessed, it is also an encouragement and reminder to pray for “all things”. Thank you for sharing! I am praying God sends you more blessings just like this one .. he loves you so very much!

  38. In tears reading this. So truly happy to hear such an amazing story. God bless that sweet contractor, his fiancé and your fathers law for their unselfishly giving!

  39. It is Refreshing to hear what people can do and will do to help another.
    So glad this man and his fiancé stepped forward and knew it would be such a blessing to help,you.
    Thanks to him and his wife to be that you were blessed with such a great gift as their generosity in helping you.
    I know you’ll pay it forward someday….and someone else will be blessed……
    I am soooo tickled for you all.
    What a great gift……rom the heart.

  40. You don’t know how many times I have wished I leaved near you so I could stop by to lend a helping hand. This is a lovely, amazing story. And how wonderful for your father-in-law to be the vehicle that brought this blessing to your door. (I also notice this might be your most popular post!)

  41. This was so pre-destined, the journey your father in law made, the allowed discouragement of you both, then off to visit a church unknown, where you sat, (of all places you could have settled yourself), it was by a contractor, the breaking of bread, and new beloved friends…..God never stops amazing us!!!! I truly believe there is more to come from this pre-destined walk you made Kristi, and look forward to hearing about it……Bless them all Lord!!

  42. Kristi, That is so our God!!!…So happy for you and the blessing God poured down on you, and now you have some new friends in Jesus!…God knows the desire of our hearts even better then we do…What a great Father-in-law you have with a praying spirit!…Wishing you many more blessings from above…Always remember you can’t out give God, He will bless you ten times more.

  43. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one in tears at the end of this… This is how God works in my experience – He’ll bring the right people, at the right place, at the right time and as long as there are open hearts in place, there will be blessing for all parties involved… I’m glad you have a new ceiling and a new construction advisor, but most of all I am glad you have new friends – and ones you can invite in the middle of the construction mess! God bless you 🙂

  44. Thank you for ALWAYS being so honest! What a refreshing and inspiring blog you share with us! Just, thank you.

  45. God is good–all the time! The power of prayer is amazing and your blog post touched my heart today. I have wondered how you have done all you do. Now I know!

  46. With a huge job ahead your father-in-law chose to go to worship God. To put God first. God responded in a wonderful way by providing help for the huge job. And introduced you to a wonderful Christian couple. The Lord is always faithful.

  47. You will have to be superwoman to read all of these posts but for me I have to
    add this one: “I’m so glad I’m a part of the family of God…”

  48. The best part of going to church is finding God’s angels sitting next to you. You were very blessed this week. Hopefully you friendship with these people will continue long after your FIL is gone.Blessings

  49. Kristi, I’ve enjoyed every single post you’ve written and admired your work with something akin to idolitis, but this is by far the most inspiring and encouraging thing I’ve read on here. I’m so impressed with your can-do attitude and perseverance that I oftentimes come here to get myself ‘up and going’ when I look at the waves of my own to-do ocean. I can honestly say it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person and you’re willingness to share such a testimony only cements that notion.
    You’ve truly exemplified “God helps those who are willing to help themselves” in such a humble and gratuitous way that I’m moved to tears. Thank you so much for igniting a spirit of hope and gladness in my day. You’re the real deal, sweetie.

  50. What a blessing. That is what I call “being the church”. I know the couple was blessed by sharing their talents with you, Matt and your father-in-law, as well. So many times I’ve thought…I should drive to Waco and help Kristi clean up. That is all I could do…clean up, but I am so glad that someone stepped up to help. What a mighty God we serve!

  51. A blessing indeed! May I ask the name of that Non-Denominational Church? We are looking for a church home and might like to visit! That is walking Faith right there! Love it!

  52. What a generous man you met! And now you know his fiance, as well. People really are good. Glad you have some wonderful, new friends. And kudos to an excellent father-in-law.

  53. Teary eyed here too! So heartwarming to hear a positive story about God’s love. Btw, love reading your blog:)

  54. I too have tears in my eyes. Thank you Kristi, for lettig us all know about this kind stranger. You DEFINITELY deserve it!!

  55. Thank you for sharing your awesome story. I’ve always believed in being at the right place at the right time. I have a feeling the contractor and his fiancé will become fast friends with you and your husband. I bet he was in awe with all you have done in your beautiful home. He’s a contactor — your an awesome Interior Designer — DIYer — you may have a few project coming your way! Blessings……..

  56. Thank you for sharing this amazing story Kristi. What an incredible generous and kind hearted person to come and help you and your Father in Law, and also his finance for bringing you all lunch. That is so touching and it certainly restores our faith in mankind.

  57. That is so awesome! I love stories like this. Maybe you could return the favor for them one day, and offer to help them with a room makeover since you are a designer! My husband recently got a new job, and because his hours changed, he was no longer able to pick our son up after school. Being halfway through the school year, we were having a hard time getting him into an after school program, and one day I put out a Facebook status asking if anyone knew of someone we could hire to pick him up every day and keep him for about an hour until I could pick him up. A Facebook friend who I went to high school with, but had not seen in years (nor were we ever close friends) responded and told me she would do it every day, and for free! What a blessing that was to us, and she had no reason to do that for us other than from the kindness of her heart. When school is out, I am going to send he a beautiful flower arrangement one day to thank her.

  58. Thank you for sharing your inspiring experience! It’s heartening to hear the positive in this world!

  59. It is always so encouraging to hear of the body working together like that! We have a similar story.

    Early in our marriage, we were transferred out to Seattle, and bought this house in which the previous owners had, depending on which neighbor you asked, somewhere between 6 and 13 cats. We had to take out drywall to get rid of the smell and replace all the floors. But we did not have unlimited funds and had to go room by room. When I was about 8 months pregnant with our first child and we realized she was going to be crawling on those floors, my husband decided to tackle the living/dining room and our bedroom. The problem was, he already worked about 16 hours a day on average, often more, so he was working on them for about an hour each night {I should mention that he is an engineer and anything less than perfection is unacceptable, so projects generally take twice as long. They are perfect, though!}. We had several men in our church who called him up and said they were coming over. They gave us hours of their time, pouring their wisdom and expertise into my husband and he has never forgotten that. Eight years later, when he hears of people working on these projects, he always offers his services. The body of Christ at work.

  60. I must admit I was worried for both you and your father-in-law when I thought about the enormity of this task. “How will they do it? How can anyone hold those heavy sheets up there so they can be screwed on? Won’t their arms give out from the fatigue of holding all that weight up for so long???”

    God must have known this too, so He put His willing workers in your FIL’s path!

    Kristi, I often worry about you staying up so late working on your projects but understand that you’re a lot like me that way. A steamroller who doesn’t want to stop once you see how things are finally coming together. I’m sure this kind gentleman’s act was just God’s way of letting you know that He is watching over you.

    After reading this today, I think many of us will be on the alert and open to ways that WE can pay this self-less task forward too!

  61. I love this! Thank you for sharing this testimony. I so needed to hear there is still people willing to help others with a selfless act of kindness. I am a true believes in prayer. Your father-in-law must be a super guy to get such fast answer to prayer. It just reminds me that as a Christian, we need to share ours needs with one another and do what we can to support one another.

  62. GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME. My humble hands clean bathrooms for those that cannot any more. This has put me in the right place, at exactly the right time, so many times. It is so awesome knowing I am a blessing to some one.
    I’m glad you received such an amazing gift. You will walk on air for a month.( Speaking from experience) 🙂 . Keep sharing the blessings!! 🙂 🙂

  63. God is AMAZING! It’s so awesome to see how He knew what you needed and provided it just by your father-in-law asking! Prayer is so powerful!

  64. I try to remember I never know What someone carries. .my number one fan of my decorating skills left me couple months back…my momma..I always kept her home painted and furnished. .updated..she always loved it…she was my heart..the world just feels so empty and scarey now…you indeed are blessed…

  65. God is so good. I see Him work in my life and other’s lives all the time and it always amazes me. That’s Awesome!!

  66. I’m an Atheist; I grew up behind the Iron Curtain and talk of religion was illegal, let alone church attendance. I immigrated to the US in my early twenties and, twenty-five years later, am still brought to tears by the kindness of complete strangers. Americans are so giving, so caring, so compassionate. I’m bothered to no end when I hear this country’s citizens denigrated in some way, be it here or abroad. I’ve experienced kindness first-hand, sporadically, though the years and, yes, I revel in the chance to be that strangers for others. It makes me so proud and happy to call this wonderful place “home,” by choice. I consider myself so very blessed; whether or not God has a hand in it I know not. I, like others, welled up reading this. So happy for you!

  67. This is so powerful, the Lord always know what we need and when we need it. He will always put an angel in our way to address and give what we need. That’s why I love the scripture II Chronicle 7:14, where God Said My People Who are called by My Name………, Thanks OTO You be bless in the Lord