I originally wrote this blog this in early December 2014, just 12 days before my world came came to a screeching halt – the day my dad unexpectedly died. Early that month, I truly felt in my heart it was the year to give back. I felt God stirring in my heart to help others. Little did I know, He was actually preparing my heart to be ready to receive this kindness from friends and strangers in the upcoming days as I struggled to get through the hardest days of my life to this date.
Two years later, I’ve done a lot of grieving, a lot of healing, and a lot of growing. I finally come to love this time of year again and I want to begin again what was starting in my heart two years ago. I hope you’ll join me and my family as we spread some kindness this month. You never know what may really be going on in that person’s life at that moment and how much they needed you that day.
From December 2014…
It’s only early December and I gotta say… I’m a bit “over” the craziness of this season. The stores are full of impatient, grouchy people. People are crazy over finding the perfect deal. Drivers seem extra quick to do something scary because of frustrations. I guess this is why I stick to online shopping for the most part. It makes my life more peaceful and makes it easier to save where I need to.
It’s be laid on my heart this year that there’s more to this season than rushing around to get the best deal and stressing about all that’s on your “to do” list. It’s about loving others, blessing others, giving to others and re-prioritizing your priorities. Find your reason for this season and put your heart into it!
During this month, I am challenging myself to step out of my comfort zone to help and bless others in need. I am so blessed to have the most incredible husband, a home, a family, a job and everything that I take for granted each day. I want to share that blessing with others by showing them little acts of kindness, whenever possible! WILL YOU JOIN ME IN THIS CHALLENGE?
Random Acts of Kindness
I LOVE to donate food and toiletries that I find on great deals to our local food banks. I do this often, all year long, and it is a way that I can give often beyond what I could normally afford. I thank coupons for this! However I’m ashamed to say, I can count on only one hand the number of times I’ve actually gone out of my way to help a stranger in need that was placed in my daily path (someone on the corner with a sign, someone asking for food outside a grocery store, etc). But the times I have done it, it had such a HUGE impact on me (and my kids!). I realized this week… why am I not doing this more often?!
To the family of 5 outside of Vons…. Mother of the Family, the look in your eyes broke my heart. I took a moment to think about how it would feel if I were you. I couldn’t imagine what it must feel like to have my entire family outside of a grocery store asking for food because we hadn’t been able to eat yet that day. I hope the sandwiches and pretzels filled those little bellies, at least for that day. It certainly filled the hearts of my kids and me to see you and the kids’ eyes light up when we gave you a bag of food for lunch!
To the couple outside of CVS this week … when I see a man and a wife together, I know that you’re likely not sitting outside of a store because pan-handling is your day job. In fact, you both weren’t even asking for money – you were just sitting on the cold concrete playing card games. I’m sure you feel ashamed which is why you didn’t even look up when we walked past. This sudden feeling of empathy came over me… you must have quite a history. You’ve must have been through so much together and despite all your financial struggles and now homelessness, you’re still together. I applaud you for that! It wasn’t much, but I hope you enjoyed the two Snickers bars my daughter and I bought for you in CVS! At first you didn’t know I was talking to you when I said “Excuse me, I have something to share with you.” But the huge grin and thanks you gave me as you took the Snickers bars made my day. Hopefully it made your day too!
To my daughter… it’s been a tough week! You’re working so hard to prepare for this weekend’s ballet. You’ve spent months at rehearsals and hours in classes. We miss you so much when you aren’t home for family dinners, but I wanted you to feel like you still are with us by making you your favorite homemade lasagna. I made enough for it to last all week for you! Even though you have to eat it from a Thermos, I hope it feels like home! I’m proud of you and can’t wait to watch you performance this weekend!
25-Days of Random Acts of Kindness Challenge
Starting today, will you join me in spreading a little kindness this Christmas season? It’s not easy for me to do, but I feel in my heart like I need to! December 1 through Christmas Day, let’s each do at least ONE random act of kindness for someone else. It can be a family member, a friend, a co-worker, your boss, a teacher or a stranger. It can be as little as writing a quick note or leaving a free coupon on an item at the store. It can be as big as surprising a stranger with a gift card or giving a toy to a child in need. There are thousands of things you can do and most will just present themselves throughout your day. To help with ideas, print out this Random Acts of Kindness Calendar and stick it on your refrigerator (simply click on the image below to download the PDF). Complete one act each day and be sure to come back and share your experiences with us in the comments below!
I put together a Pinterest Board with some ideas for Random Acts of Kindness. Feel free to get some ideas from there and if you’d like to pin some other ideas to that board, just send me an email and I’ll add you to the board so you can pin to it.
Lastly, as you do your Random Acts of Kindness each day, I would LOVE for you to share it with us! Just leave a comment below or share it in the comments of this post on Facebook. I don’t want this to be a bragging session, but a place where we can share blessings! I promise you… it will make all the hustle and bustle of the season just melt away!
BE THE REASON SOMEONE SMILES TODAY!
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