I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.


my “hairbrush” story

So … I mentioned yesterday that I would share my own “hairbrush” story … and what I’ve decided is, I’ll share mine, if you share yours! :)

I’ll go first.

Last Thursday night the girls were whining a bit about going to their extracurricular classes, so we skipped them.  Visions of jammies, pizza and movie night suddenly filled my head so I was on board without much convincing.

We got home a little later than usual because they had a special art camp they attended right after school.  By the time we got home, unpacked book bags {that’s southern for backpack!}, got a snack, and started homework … I remembered.

We’d volunteered to bring bag lunches to church … and they needed to be delivered by 6:30.  A glance at the clock told me it was already 5:00.  It also told me our peaceful night was just thrown out the window.  Sigh.

And now I realized why I had the nagging feeling to get to the food store all day.  I knew I needed to go, I just couldn’t remember why!

So here it was 5:00 pm and I needed to run to the food store before I could make and pack the lunches.

I scramble to said store … reach for my purse … and d’oh.

Run back home and grab my purse.  5:20 pm.

I get back to the store, deposit $$ into the Salvation Army bucket and then frantically run through the aisles gathering what I need.

I check out and head back out the door.  Past the woman ringing the Salvation Army bells.  I get in the car and God tells me to buy her a hot chocolate.

But I’m already in the car.  And I’m late.  I’ve got to get these lunches to church … for other people we’re trying to help.

I keep glancing at the woman.

I’m already on my way to help those in need.  I don’t need to buy her a hot chocolate.

And have I ever mentioned … I get kinda hot & sweaty and nervous when I approach someone with a good deed.  Like when someone’s out asking for money, I usually help, but I get all nervous and sweaty.  What’s with that?


I drive around the parking lot.  Literally.  Arguing with God.

Alright, alright!  You win.

I park on the opposite side of the store and go in the other entrance.  Like I was worried she’d think I was crazy for going back into the store.  {p.s. there’s a Starbucks in our food store}

I order a hot chocolate and a piece of pound cake too.

Goods in hand, I walk to her entrance and tell her I have a surprise for her … or something lame like that.

And that’s it.

I don’t have a miraculous ending to the story.  She was obviously very happy to receive the unexpected surprise.

And I walked away smiling too.

The point of sharing my story is to encourage you to listen to that still small voice.  We have no idea what a seemingly small act does in someone’s life.

More important than that … the more you listen … obey … that small voice {God, the Holy Spirit}, the stronger that voice gets.  When that voice tells you to pick up a piece of trash at the edge of the sidewalk … do it.  Before long, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, you’ll be buying hot chocolate, witnessing to people, and ultimately … brushing their hair.

Scary thoughts to me.  Scary.

But I know God is equipping me.  He’s equipping you.  He knows what we can handle.  What we’re capable of … what pace we need … baby steps are workin’ just fine for me, thank you very much!

I have more stories to share this week … I pray you’ll join me!  And be sure to stop by later today when I announce the winner of this giveaway!

Alright … fair’s fair!  I’d love if you shared a moment when you heard God speaking and you were obedient to the call.

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Posted in faith, inspiration, intentional, jesus

11 Responses to “my “hairbrush” story”

  1. Sheri says:

    My “hairbrush” story:

    I used to sell scrapbooking supplies. One day I had a friend coming by to pick up an order from my porch. While I was pulling the order together, I clearly heard God say, “Give Susie a blue album.” Well. I pretended to ignore that little voice (which I have heard only a handful of times in my life, like this). It just became more persistent. So I started arguing with God. “Her husband’s a doctor. If she wanted a blue album she could afford it. She’s going to think I am nuts. Or that I’m weird to think she needs a free album. Why would I do this? I don’t think I really heard you say that. I must be making this up in my head.”

    It had nothing to do with the expense of giving away a free album. I was far more concerned that she’d think I was strange in doing it. Then it occurred to me that I was making this all about me, when God intended it to be all about Susie. And He was clearly directing me to do this. So I added the blue album and left her a note that said, “I’m not sure why, but God told me to give you this blue album. I hope you enjoy it!” :-)

    Susie called me from her car phone after she picked it up. She was all choked up and said, “I just want you to know that God used this to confirm to me that He’s taking care of me, even in the little things. I’ve been offering my therapy services to needy families at a big discount, because I feel like that’s what God wants me to do, even though we could use the extra money. This album was His confirmation to me that I’m doing the right thing. And a BLUE album is perfect. That color was the next one on my ‘to buy’ list, when I saved up a bit more money.”

    It gave me goose bumps. And then I wanted God to do something like that again with me. It was awesome to be a part of that!

  2. A few weeks ago I was at the grocery store with Wesley (3). As we were putting the groceries in the car a man slows down behind us and asks me if I have any money to help him buy gas. This is a REALLY common occurrence and I usually say no but there was something different about this man.

    He told me ANY amount of change would be better than nothing, and when I pulled out all my coins (I didn’t have any dollar bills on me) he was really GRATEFUL for the .47 cents I gave him – saying it was better than nothing and every penny counted.

    He drove his car over to the gas pumps and I saw him ask a couple other people for money.

    I heard God tell me to go pay for gas for that man. My argument back was “but WE need that money right now Lord!!”
    But that still, small voice was there and I was really terrified of spending that money on the gas for the stranger when *I* had needs… I have a bit of personal money saved so I knew I’d have to use that so as not to blow our household budget.

    I went over to the pump, went up to the window and gave the lady working their my debit card and told her which pump I wanted to put money on. She said “oh honey, he just put $3 on it.” and sitting right in front of her was a PILE of change.

    I told her I wanted to put more on and so she called the guy over the PA system and told him to stop pumping for a moment, then she added the amount.
    I was hoping to slip away quietly, but the man came up to thank me.

    When I got back in the car Wesley asked me what had happened. I started to cry as I told him that God uses people in all situations to help others and that there is such joy in giving abundantly. We prayed for the man and continued on our errands…

    Laying aside my own selfish desires and listening to God’s voice to help that man was harder than it should have been… but what I love about it is that each time I listen to God’s voice to do the hard thing it helps cement this firm foundation where I am fully rooted in Him – fully trusting of His direction. Even if I’ll never know the story behind that man, God does.

  3. Kelli says:

    Great share! It’s so true..and those little deeds can change the whole course of our day..and theirs! I am laughing about running in the other entrance..been there done that!

  4. Leslie says:

    Great story, Tracie! (I had to laugh, though, because I also break out into the sweats when in that kind of situation!!) Here’s mine:

    A few years ago, on Christmas Eve afternoon, I ran to Hobby Lobby to pick up one last item for a gift. Stressed, late and on the verge of grumpy. As I was leaving, I saw an older woman in the parking lot approaching several people. As I got to my car, she approached me, asking for a ride back home. She had walked all the way up Hwy. 20 to buy baby formula for her granddaughter, and still had to walk all the way back home in the cold and approaching dark because she didn’t have enough money left for the bus. The location she gave me was in a rather not-nice part of town.

    I could hear my husband’s voice in my head advising me not to do it. But God’s voice was louder. It was Christmas Eve, it was cold, and it was the right thing to do. But I was terrified that I could be doing something that was potentially not safe. However, the woman looked kind and harmless . . . God kept nudging me. . . so I told her to get in the van. :-)

    And — now that I think of it — maybe I’m HER “hairbrush” story. Because for the 5 minute ride, she told me all about her family and the financial hardship they were facing — but she also told me about her strong, unwavering faith.

    When I got to her home, she thanked me once again for my kindness . . . but I realized that she’d done just as much for me, if not more. I was (finally) filled with the spirit of Christmas. As she got out of the car, I reached into my purse to grab the few dollars I had left after all of that Christmas shopping, and thrust it at her. We both burst into tears.

    I still couldn’t quite confess to my husband what I’d just done (I think it took me a few years!), but my heart did become a little softer that day. :-)

  5. Liz says:

    These are amazing stories! Thank you all for sharing them!

  6. Ovid Ricketson says:

    Polly DuBose is the High School sweetheart of college coach Mike DuBose. Mike played under legendary coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant at the University of Alabama. His dream was to return to the Capstone as Head Coach. Finally, his dream was fulfilled when he was appointed to that highly desired position in early 2000 [?]. This coaching position is considered one of the top jobs in college football. It was Mike’s first Head Coaching job. This in and of itself was amazing and truly a God thing. More on that later.

    At the time of the Duboses’ arrival in Tuscaloosa, AL, I owned a small marketing and design consulting firm. I had a few select clients. One of these was Collegiate Sports Partners, LLC. One of their clients was the Athletic Department at the University of Alabama. On a Thursday, Coach DuBose was supposed to move into a ‘palatial’, corner office in the Athletic Department building.

    I was sent down two days before [Tuesday] to check on all the arrangements to assure a smooth transition without any problems or delay. Tuesday night the Holy Spirit was heavy on my heart and sleeping was difficult and fit-full, All day Wednesday was the same way and I was very tired and troubled. That night sleep evaded me. By nature, I have a stack of books on my bedside table. The book on top was simply scripture written out, without commentary; ‘GOD’S PROMISES FOR YOU’. There were some 10 to 15 verses listed on each page separated by subject. The Lord had instructed me to get a pen and on each page to write as He told me. I would put varying numbers of stars by some verses, varying numbers of underlining for emphasis, and various comments written in the margins. About 6:30 a.m., most of the blank spaces, had been written in.

    The Holy Spirit said, ‘This is the last thing. write down Isaiah 41: 10 – 13’. In thinking back, as I wrote it down, I could not remember having ever read it. NOW, GO GIVE THE BOOK AND VERSE TO POLLY, commanded the Holy Spirit in a firm, yet gentle manner. No last name was given. Even though I had never met the DeBoses, I KNEW that the Holy Spirit would somehow take care of that. Still, I had knots in my stomach and was very concerned about doing something that might make my client look bad or stupid.

    I had no idea of what would be ahead. I was supposed to be there at 10:00 a.m. to be sure the furniture was correctly positioned and the paintings and prints were hung on the walls correctly. I arrived around 9:30 a.m. to a large hall full of people dressed in their finest. It was quite the social event of the year.

    LORD, I SURE HOPE THIS IS FROM YOU. Breaking out in a soaking sweat, I moved into the overcrowded office. I immediately saw a familiar face and asked him to introduce me to Mrs. DuBose. He turned around and touched the beautiful, petite lady on her shoulder to his left. She turned around. She noted later in her version of the encounter. ‘I turned around and there was this big, tall fellow; sweating like a PIG’. And I was!!!!

    I said, ‘Mrs. DuBose, when you have time, I need to share a message with you that the Lord has put on my heart’. To my surprise and dismay, she said immediately, ‘what about now’? Oh Lord, I thought, I’m not ready. Before I could hesitate further, she took my hand and started pushing toward the door. The sea of people divided before her, just like the Red Sea before Moses. In the hall, she began to look for an empty office. She was still dragging me behind her and I felt like she was taking me to the Principal’s office. Soon she found a very large empty office, with just two simple, armless chairs, I pulled the closest chair to back up to the wall just inside the door. Mrs. DuBose pulled the other chair directly in front of me. When she sat down, our knees were barely two inches apart. She put her hands on her knees, and looked me squarely in the eye. ‘NOW, WHAT IS THE MESSAGE’?, she challenged in her sweet, southern, no nonsense charming way.

    ‘It’s a Bible verse, and one that I was not familiar with’, I said. ‘OKAY, WHAT IS THE VERSE?’, she said, somewhat impatiently. ‘ISAIAH 41: 10-13’, I stammered. SHE DID NOT MOVE OR BLINK. I thought to myself, Lord I am in deep trouble. She is trying to figure out how to alert the security guards without upsetting me. She did not move or say anything for an eternity [probably only a couple of minutes]. THE ATMOSPHERE IN THAT OFFICE CONTINUED TO GLOW WITH ELECTRICITY. I LOOKED DOWN AT POLLY’S FOREARMS. GOOSEBUMPS BEGAN TO POP UP ALL OVER. She finally blinked and then spoke. ‘You don’t know what that means to me’, she said. No M’am, I don’t, I replied. Then she said, ‘About six weeks earlier, my Mother came to me with that same verse and said she thought it was from GOD’. Now there are two confirmations! I quietly gave her the book and said there was a coming storm, but God would be with her [and what a storm it turned out to be]. As she took it, she began to tell me a story only shared with her Mother, and husband Mike.

    She began, ‘About two years earlier. as she was driving along, God told her to pull over and park under a large tree’. God said, ‘Polly, I’m going to put Mike in the position of Head Coach at the University of Alabama’. Polly said she began to vigorously argue with Him. You can’t, there is no opening, the present head coach is doing a great job, Mike has never been a head coach before, etc. GOD interrupted her, ‘POLLY, I AM GOING TO PUT MIKE IN THAT POSITION, AND I WILL BE WITH YOU’. When she got home, she typed out two copies of a verse that God had given her. One she put in her purse and the other in Mike’s wallet. THAT VERSE WAS ISAIAH 41: 10-13!!!

  7. Dawn says:

    I loved that little video by Beth Moore, Ive never heard of her and she is very funny too. I guess I have a story too. It was a few years ago. I was driving home from work the same way I always went. Sitting at the light I noticed there was an elderly woman standing on the sidewalk kind of looking up and down the street. I watched her for a few minutes and thought she seemed a little confused and upset. It was getting dark. I looked around to see if anyone else was noticing. Then I told myself she was fine and I keep driving, I needed to get home, my husband was waiting and I was already late. But the woman was on my mind for the next few blocks and I finally gave up resisting and turned my car around and found her. I was very nervous and unsure what to say but I went up to her and asked her if she needed help. As soon as I spoke with her I realized she was really in trouble, didn’t know where she was or where she came from, etc. I called the police and waited for them to get there and they found out that she was missing from a nearby home in the area. She had some memory loss issues and she was trying to get back to her home from many years ago. I didn’t think about it being God speaking to me at the time but looking back, that niggling feeling that made me turn around must have been God urging me to go back and take care of one of his who needed help.

  8. Nancy says:

    One day God said, “Tracie Stier-Johnson…Tracie Stier-Johnson…Tracie Stier-Johnson…” There’s much more to the story (ignoring it, googling it, contacting her, meeting her…) but bottom line is, God blessed me with Tracie Stier-Johnson. So thankful I did not ignore the voice.

  9. Heather McKinstry says:

    About 15 years ago when we moved to Oak Creek, I would frequently pass a man walking along the side of the road. He walked with a pretty severe limp. I felt compelled to start praying for him. We lived there for about 2 years before we moved to a different suburb but every time I saw someone with a limp I would pray for them, and the man. Then I would see him at a near by shopping mall. Then one day I saw him at our church, I told our pastor’s wife and she said, “oh, yea. He comes here off and on.” That kind of made me mad, because I felt like why am I praying for someone who already knows him…Isn’t that stupid? Anyways…I too am an avid Beth Moore fan, and I have heard this story before, and when I heard it I thought of the man that I pray for, and that we all need prayer…even if, and sometimes I think more, if we know Jesus! So I continue to pray for him.

    And just this week God blessed me 2x in one day by bringing 2 others to church that I have been praying for regularly…and they are both struggling. It just reminded me that my prayers make a difference in the lives of others. And that he is faithful to complete the work that he has started.

  10. Amy T says:

    One day I was on my lunch break and heading back to work when I looked out of my car and saw a woman who had tipped over in her electric wheelchair, laying there in the street – at a busy intersection. I was 4 cars back, so i assumed that someone, anyone, would stop the line of cars, get out and help this poor woman. I watched as people looked at her, and kept right on driving. My eyes welled with tears at the sight of this. I stopped my car and got out. The woman was very heavy set and I knew I wouldn’t be able to get her up by myself. I motioned for people to stop and help, and FINALLY, a man stopped and between the two of us we were able to get her up and back into her chair. She was so embarrassed, and I just felt so sad for her, but knowing that I helped her made me feel so warm inside. I can’t say I “heard the voice” telling me, but I can say that for me, God’s will is instilled in me, and it’s something that just makes me want to give to others in any way i can.

  11. […] have a couple of things to share with you today.  Both relate to Tuesday’s post … another “hairbrush” story … and I’d also like to share the reason […]

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