I promise, I am really trying to be better at writing regularly…. this past couple of weeks have just been crazy and I’m playing catch up.
Why so crazy? Well, I just got back from being in TX… I was there for the Young Living 2015 Convention and it was so awesome… that’s not what I’m going to write about today, but I am going to write about something amazing I experienced while I was there.
On Sunday morning, some friends and I got up early to hurry over to the Gaylord in Grapevine and get registered for the week of convention that was coming up – but we had skipped breakfast, and pretty soon we were hungry and decided to venture out and grab food.
We were literally driving around, most of us looking at our phones for someplace to eat, Bethany and I were Periscoping, Seth was driving…. let’s just say it was crazy, unorganized and fun!
We ended up at the Back Porch Grill and Tavern…. their sign said “Special Brunch 10-2” and they had a ‘welcome Young Living Convention attendees’ sign in the window… awesome. Sounded good to me. Let’s do it.
We walk in the door….. the first thing I heard was clapping. It took me aback at first, but I didn’t think much more of it.
We grabbed a table and sat down. Just a moment later, Chase brought a menu to each of us and said hi.
A few moments later another young man and a young lady came over and took our drinks order…
I was looking at the menu and I noticed something. Their “Special Brunch”…. well, it really IS SPECIAL. On the back of the menu it told the story of their brunch… My eyes started to fill with tears and I got a lump in my throat. About that very same time, Wendy (the owner) came by to see if everything was okay and to explain that they had special workers there on Sunday. I was BLOWN AWAY by their story.
She and her husband Robert had started this program earlier this year to make a place for people in their community with special needs to have a place where they could actually learn to work in the real world… They explained that on Sunday, they have five special workers and they take care of everything for brunch. So, between 10 and 2pm, they take orders, get drinks, make food, clean the dishes, serve tables, run cards…. and you know what. They do every single bit of it with more joy oozing out of them than I have ever seen from a server before in my life.
I needed more of this. I wanted to come back, I wanted to spread the message of their program, I wanted to support them.
Chase was an absolute hit – I tell you… so much personality. He was the one that clapped for us when we walked in… He came over and did a periscope broadcast with me and I wish you could see just how it made his day when all the hearts flooded in for him.
This program, you see it’s not a charitable thing that’s just ‘nice’ to do. It actually changes their lives. It really does.
These kids, they get a chance to be vulnerable by serving the whole community & unfortunately, sometimes that means they aren’t always greeted with kindness and grace. But you know what? This is also what the big world is like and it’s such a valuable lesson for them to learn to navigate, and sometimes, just sometimes a life is changed…. my life. Gah, I feel challenged to be a better person, to give more, to have more gratitude, more selflessness, more grace, more everything…
I was amazed when Robert told that just a little while ago, their best server handed in his notice…. because the Great Wolfe Lodge had offered him a job with more hours and more money. Were they sad? Oh, yeah, heck, they were losing one of their rockstars… but more than that, I sensed such pride as he told me the story. He was proud of these kids for working so hard that a mainstream local company wanted to hire them. Heck, I was proud too.
I was hugely blessed by my visit to the Back Porch and my time with the Special Servers. I wish I lived closer so I could visit again, regularly and often. This program and this business is something I would be proud to support and would love to watch grow. I wish all of them every success and I just have a feeling that our paths will cross again, someday, somehow.
Until then, Robert, Wendy & Chase…. keep a light on at the Back Porch for me…