Arriving at our new little ranch, we had a push lawn mower, a weed eater, and a machete that Randy had used in the Malaysian Jungle Survival School. As most of you know, my husband is Colonel Randy LeCompte, a West Point honor graduate, as well as an honor Army War College graduate, and currently serving in Baghdad, Iraq. He and his little machete began clearing weeds, but soon we realized we needed a little more equipment. Of course, we went to Wal-Mart on many trips for needed materials, seed, and tools, not to mention the food to fuel both of us, substantial clothing, and gloves.
Planting and growing things was for me the best of all the good things at Soldiers Heart, because I love all forms of self-expression. Gardening is something that renews me. I was soon going to need things that renewed me.
My husband deployed for Afghanistan, and the original year he was to be gone turned into eighteen months, then two years. Life got a little harder, and as time went on harder still. Every week I made trips to Wal-Mart, and Texas Wal-Mart people being who they are, soon I was sharing with them that my husband was “gone to war.” They responded the way Wal-Mart people do, with words of encouragement, and by asking me each time they saw me how I was doing. Each responce was a genuine expression of care.
From the time we moved to Sealy, I frequented that garden center at the local Wal-Mart. The people who worked there had come to know me quite well. They knew when my husband was home on leave, because he came in with me, and as my special Wal-Mart friend said… “my face was different, smiling as it used to be.” I had left my business card for the work we do with the military with the garden center, and Carla had taken note. After my session with the Lord, I had gone outside to work in the yard, where I always went when I needed solace. The fact that our fledgling efforts as a 501-C had many more of those we were serving, than support from any who were giving, so I was a little short on money to spend on anything to plant during that late summer. I took the phone from the house and laid it on the porch in case my husband called from Afghanistan, where at that time he was serving. Need I say it was the phone I had bought at Wal-mart? It rang and I answered, it was the manager of the garden center, asking if I would like some plants that were no longer fresh enough to sell. She said that she thought that with some tender loving care they could be revived, and she knew of our 501-C status, and the work we were doing. She went on to say if I could pick them up, they were mine. When I went to pick them up they completely filled the back of my truck, and my heart. I lovingly planted my flowers from God, and several times since I have received a similar call from her, each time on a day when my heart was faint, and I have been petitioning heaven for strength to do what is mine to do. To remind me once again he loves me and will see me through this, God just calls Wal-Mart.