My furever friend

Yesterday morning (September 21, 2013) I shared a story about a mother and her heart and I wanted to share the rest of the story with you now.

For the past few days I’ve been blessed with a moment to enjoy the fun of running a retail store that will benefit our non-profit, Owie BowWowie and Friends. I can honestly write that from the moment the door is unlocked my heart smiles, and not because of the merchandise that is within the store, but because of the people who will walk through its doors, each looking for something unique with their own stories to share.

And, I have to share that I learned something very profound about running a small shop around the corner! What a difference there is in the way people walk into them. When someone walks into (let’s say a large department store like Target or Walmart) they become one of hundreds of people who are shopping that day. They walk in assertive, grab their shopping cart, some grab their cell phones and talk while they shop, or maybe they will need assistance and  will walk around the store looking for that one person wearing the shirt with the name tag only to find that it’s not their department, and the person in the shirt will be back shortly with someone who can help them! But, when a person walks into a small shop around the corner they don’t walk in the same way. Their walk through the door is quieter, a little apprehension arrives… (Will this person want to talk to me? Do they expect me to buy something?) Some walk in with their heads half-way down, do a quick run through and try to head out the door with a quick, “Thank you!” And then there are others from the moment they walk through the door they become your friend for life, and they come back the next day to see you, and that is the reason I can finish this story.

On Saturday a woman came in the store and told me a story about her son who was hospitalized and how he received  an Owie BowWowie that our non-profit gives to hospitalized children.

Then yesterday I was standing at the counter chatting with a customer when the woman came back and as I turned to see who had walked through the door there she was with her son, and her son was holding his Owie BowWowie.

What an amazing moment for me to meet a child who had received an Owie from one of our special donors and I could tell by his Owie that he was worn from love. The mom proceeded to tell me that when she went home the day before she told him that she had met the woman from the organization who had given him his Owie. He didn’t believe her so he wanted to come by and see for himself if she was telling the truth. We hugged, and then he saw Lil’ Owie and wanted one. His mother immediately purchased one, knowing that her purchase would benefit another child, and next weekend they will be back to visit us again.

As they were walking out the door I called him back and said, “Yesterday your mother told me that you lost the bandage that was on your Owie?”

“Yes!” he said as he put his head down.

“She also said that you were upset that you lost your bandage!”

“Yes!” he said as he looked up.

“Come with me.” I said.

He followed me to the counter and I had brought him a bandage in the event that he came to visit. I didn’t know if she would bring him in so I could meet him, but in the event that she did I wanted to make sure that  I was ready!

I placed the new bandage on his Owie, he smiled, we hugged and then he left.

What I love most about this story is it applies to all of us, because there are moments within our lives when we misplace things, but if it’s a desire within our heart, no matter how big or how small, God always finds a wonderful way to give it back to us. Now, I wonder if He allows us to misplace things so we can meet the person who is supposed to give it back to us. Because I truly believe that life is not about the things that we give, but about the people we give things to, because it’s true… It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35 

Because once we give… we actually receive the best thing in life that one can get… A HUG!

And, also we’re nearing the holidays, and being that I am given the opportunity to be a small shop around the corner, I would like to ask everyone who reads my heart to shop this season at your shop around the corner.  Walk in, say hello, introduce yourself, and if you don’t find an item that you want to purchase that’s okay, because you will find so much more… YOU WILL FIND A FRIEND!

And, now I know why decades ago I read something that touched my heart in such a way that I said out loud, “If I ever have a store I’m going to make book markers and hand them out to each person who frequents my store which reads…

People open their business in order to sell things. They hope to become busy so that they will have to enlarge their business, then sell more things, and grow rich, and eventually not have to come into their place of business at all. Isn’t that true?

But, are there other people who open a shop with the hope of being sheltered there, among such things as they most value- friends or tea cups or books- and with the idea only of making a comfortable assertation? They will become part of the block, a part of the street, part of everybody’s memories. They will sit and drink coffee in the middle of the morning. They will get out the familiar tinsel at Christmas. They will wash the windows in spring before spreading out new stock. Shops, to these people, are what a cabin in the woods might be to somebody else- a refuge and justification. Alice Munro, from “Open Secrets” 

So, next Friday or Saturday, if you happen to be in Thousand Oaks, CA., please stop by our little shop around the corner at, 2940 E Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
From 10 – 6, because I would love to give you a book marker! 


Onward to the little shop around the corner! 



1 Comment

Filed under Appointment with God, Belief, Coffee, Friendship, Gina Gippner-Woods, Gina Woods, Owie BowWowie


  1. Jan

    Gina God gave you this wonderful gift of sharing these incredible stories of love with the world and your writing gives us a real life glance into the aisles as you walk and talk with others. Wish I were there to walk into that store but I will wait for you to continue sharing these precious stories with us.

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