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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Great and the Small, Part 1—The Button Lady

          After reading the story of Traci Hilton’s mom using her cooking gift for God’s glory, I was inspired. Not to cook, mind you. That would be no inspiration. It made me think of those people around me who bring new life to the drudgery of living. And those small things which can have a great impact.
            First, on my list is the “Button Lady.” She is a checker at my local Giant whose uniform used to be adorned in decorative pins and buttons. Thus, the moniker. And though she no longer wears the “buttons,” her inner beauty, thank goodness, has not changed. What makes her so great? Well, I don’t know about you, but grocery shopping is not high on my list of things I love to do. I trudge to the store, after I order my list by isles (which they keep mixing up on me—Argh!), pull out one of those carts (with the defective wheels that only goes left), fill it with food and junk that becomes increasingly unaffordable, and schlep into the line where some curmudgeon, who’s not happy to be in the middle of his or her eight-hour shift, grumbles questions about paper or plastic. Not so with the “Button Lady!” She not only greets me with a cheerful smile, she asks me about my life. Really! And you know what? She remembers what I said the next time I come in. Like she’s interested or somethin’.

            Why’s that important? I don’t know, but at a store that has more and more self-checkout lines and opportunities to avoid human contact all together, I find myself drawn to her line. You know how you usually pan the check-out options and calculate the time each patron will take to get through so you can figure which line will go fastest? I don’t do that when “Button Lady” is on the job. I go right to hers. One time the manager opened a new line and offered for me to be first in it. I refused. Really! Just want to chat with the “Button Lady” thank you very much! Why? Because somehow when I leave, I feel more important in the world than I did when I came in. And that’s a good thing! It gives me that little glimpse of how my Creator sees me.
             Thank you Button Lady … whose name I now know is really Jen.

Check out the other posts in this series:

The Great and the Small--The Man Who Inspired a Congregation ... Sorta

The Great and the Small--How One Small Girl Inspired a Ministry of Access

The Great and the Small--God


  1. As the "Buttons Lady's" youngest daughter I have to comment....

    My mom is amazing in every shape and form one could even imagine to think of.... everyday with her beauty and her kindness I learn from her that being a nice person will make you a better and a happier person. If you think you feel special after leaving her line for 5 minutes imagine how special she has made me feel my entire life!

    Thank you for recognizing how trully AMAZING my mom is, and to be honest amazing doesn't even do her justice! All four of us children have been beyond lucky to have my parents and I thank my lucky stars everyday.... we are all here for reason and my mom proves this to me each day through her inner strength that I so admire.

    Thank you again :)

    Jenna Cohen

  2. Oh, I wondered if I'd get a comment from Jenna :o). I can imagine that what Jenna says is absolutely true. You see, Jenna also worked at the same Giant. I almost mentioned her above also, so I'll mention her here. Before I knew she was connected to "The Button Lady" I was always astounded how she would go out of her way to help customers, namely me. When I discovered her parentage, it all made sense!!! You see, you can pass love to your children with the hopes they will pass it to others. Thanks so much, Jenna!

  3. Loved your story, Connie! May I repost this to my blog in a couple of weeks, where for the month of Dec. I'm focusing on gifts of all kinds?

    Jen and daughter Jenna obviously have gifts of encouragement--thanks for introducing their story to us!

    Sislyn (Jean)

  4. How wonderful! Don't those moments of kindness make up for so much negative in the world? I also love that her daughter piped up too! Another girl with a mom to be proud of! : )

    On a side note, related to inner beauty, Jennifer Anniston was voted the hottest woman of all time by Men's Health magazine. The reason that put her just a scosh above all the other lovely ladies in the public eye? She seems to them to be nice. Yup. Her other attributes don't hurt, but being nice won the day.

  5. I am the "Button Ladies" oldest son. I can honsetly tell you hearing all of these things does not surprise me at all. It is flattering and I am grateful that she is being recognized, however, If she puts half the effort she puts in to being a mother, in to being a cashier then; need I say more.....

    I can tell you, through the good and the bad, she has always been there to inspire me and keep me going no matter how many curve balls life has thrown at me. Every time I have fallen down, she has inspired me to get right back up, use the tools I have been given, be strong, and just keep on trucking and success will come. Life has it's peaks and valleys and she has taught me you need to be strong to overcome certain things. Life is what you make it. I love you Mom! Thanks for everything you have given me and others. You are truly one of a kind!

    Thank you so much for this great blog.

  6. That is so sweet! Thanks for sharing, Connie!