Be That Act of Kindness

To the lady in Walgreen’s:

Thank you! You were so kind to me the other day. You probably don’t remember me, or maybe you do. I was the mother of two, with a two month old and a 2 year old clinging to my side and crying. You changed my day, for the better. I dropped off my prescription for my little girl’s ear infection and was told it would be 30 minutes. I was not upset that I was going to have to wait, I was a little dismayed it was going to be such a seemingly long time, but I wasn’t mad. But you noticed me, you saw me with my two young children and from the kindness in your heart, you expedited our prescription to being ready in 5 minutes!  That was such an amazing act of kindness, you have no idea how much I appreciated you! I wish I had remembered to get your name and not just hurriedly said thank you, though I hope my sincere thanks was apparent.

How extraordinary to be the recipient of such kindness!  I was not expecting it, was not even go to ask, but somehow she knew. Maybe it was the little baby fussing or the little girl clinging and crying on her mommy. Maybe it was my disheveled look (though I think I looked pretty put together under the circumstances 🙂  Or maybe you noticed the bags under my eyes from near chronic sleep deprivation. ( I am happy to say my baby appears to finally be sleeping through the night now!)  Whatever her reason, it felt amazing. Amazing to be noticed, amazing to be loved, even if just for that moment.

She was Jesus to me in that moment. She stopped to notice the little people and made a difference. How many times have we read stories of Jesus, stopping to talk to those culture deemed insignificant? (the woman at the well, little children, the boy with the few fish and bread that fed five thousand, the fishermen to become apostles) What he did for those people, at first glance, did not appear to be a big deal, but for those people, it made all the difference in the world.

It seems fitting, on the eve of Thanksgiving, for us to remember to be thankful for those seemingly insignificant moments that make all the difference. So, as you are doing your last minute shopping, or your early Black Friday shopping, as you sit down with your family or friends, remember to take notice. Take notice of the salesperson still being friendly after a full shift or having to work on Thanksgiving. Take notice of the nurses and doctors and other healthcare personnel for  caring for you or your loved one. Take notice of the loving hands preparing your food, whether at home or in a restaurant (one year it was just my sister and I for Thanksgiving, and yes, we did eat our Thanksgiving meal in a restaurant, and we were thankful there were restaurants willing to prepare a meal!) Take notice of the homeless guy asking for food or money. Take notice of the elderly who cannot walk or hear or see as well as they once could. Take notice of the young mothers or fathers who are juggling car seats, sticky fingers, diaper bags and temper tantrums (If you have no children, don’t judge. When and if you decide to have children, your day will come. It will be your child screaming in the grocery store or restaurant, and if you haven’t had this experience, then please share your secret with the rest of us!)  Take notice ,not just on and around the holidays, but all year round.  Be that act of kindness. Be somebody’s Jesus. You never know what a difference even the smallest of kind acts can do.  God will do the planting; you only need to do the sowing.

“So let us not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity we should do good to everyone- especially to those in the family of faith” Galatians 6:9-10

In what ways have you shown kindness or received kindness? I would love for you to share in the comments!

P.s. For more inspiration, follow my blog, and if this post encouraged you, please share with others!

 

Advertisements

15 Simple Ways to Show Someone You Care

Recently, I asked my husband what he considered the most important things he needed to do for his day to be successful. His response, quite frankly, surprised me. Not because of what he said, but more so because of what I had in mind. I was thinking along the lines of housework, meal planning., etc…  He quickly made me realize what really mattered. His list was 1. Spend time with your spouse. 2 Spend time with your children 3. Do something nice for somebody every day.

The last one is what really honestly floored me and totally made me reevauate, well, everything.

How do you do that exactly? How do you do something nice for somebody every day. It seems like such a simple tasks, but when I actually tried to put those words into practice, it proved to be quite difficult. The majority of my days are spent with a 30 something inch little person. Even when we leave the house, my focus is on not losing sight of her, keeping her from running out in front of a car, and from destroying other people’s property. You know, just your usual day spent chasing a toddler. To say or do somthig nice for somebody else??? Are you serious??

My husband’s mindset is right, even if you don’t do it correctly all the time and even if keeping your toddler from destroying other’s property might be considered your good deed for the day (even if they didn’t know it! :)). Perhaps, my service would be walking out of my house showered and with make up applied to my face. Gasp! They, being the world,  have no idea what they would have been presented with if I had not left my house somewhat prepared.  In all seriousness though, I sat down to to actually think of ways to actually be nice to somebody that did not include my toddler not coloring on their wall or demanding a 5th sucker. 🙂 I came up with the following list:

1. Wash your loved one’s car (You could either do this by hand or if you despise that you could take it to a basic car wash; I prefer the latter)

2. Freeze their favorite summer fruit and then bring it out in the winter for them to enjoy (this was inspiration from my friend Lisa)

3. Send an old fashioned card. You know, the ones you buy in a store and put a stamp on an envelope.

4. Send a simple text message telling your loved one how much you appreciate him/her.  It will put a smile on their face.

5. Prepare their coffee or tea just the way they like it or buy their favorite beverage

6. Bring home ice cream unannounced or whatever their favorite treat may be.

7. Flowers (even those who say they don’t care about flowers appreciate the gesture occasionally). It doesn’t have to be a dozen red roses; a simple bouquet from the grocery store will suffice.

8. Keep a bag of candy or gum at your workspace for co workers.

9. Do a chore someone else in your family always does.

10. Hold the door open, for anyone! It’s always appreciated.

11. Pick up somebody else’s trash. Sometimes the best deeds are those unnoticed.

12. Take cookies or donuts to a firehouse or to your work place or husband’s work, doctor’s office etc.. (They do not have to be homemade!)

13. Put $5 dollars in a library book or pay somebody’s library fine.

14. Try the pay it forward thing at a fast food restaurant or if you can afford it, find someone’s meal in a restaurant you can pay for.

15. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in awhile out of the blue.

What are some of your ideas for a simple kindness you can do for somebody else? I would love to hear from you. I challenge you to practice an act of kindness at least once a week for the next month. Once a week is really not very much, you can do it! Follow me as I attempt to meet the challenge as well at #showsomeoneyoucare

Proverbs 16:24, “Kind words are like honey-sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”

Galatians 6:9, “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.”

I Challenge You to Serve: Weekly inspriation on service

This week is all about service. The past week started out with me having jury duty. I, of course, was not looking forward to it (except for it did fall on a day I had to work, so I wasn’t too sad about missing work). Once I arrived at the courthouse, they talked logistics and judiciary process for about an hour. Then they started calling out names for the jury panels. They called eight panels, and about 30 people did not get called. I was one of those 30, so they excused us.  By that point I was actually starting to look forward to it. It would be something different, a break in the ordinary, and a good experience. In  essence, it was serving our country. I thought of all the soldiers serving our country now and in the past, and I thought serving on jury duty could be the least I could do. Hence, I decided for this week’s theme to focus on articles and inspiration about service.  I thought of all the times that I focus on myself and my family, and how little I focus on others. This, of course, is in direct contrast to what God teaches us. Of course, I don’t intentionally not serve others, I am just very busy and wrapped up in a life filled with toddlerhood, work, marriage, and pregnancy. I also thought about how much I want my child to lead a life of Christian service and humility. I can only teach that through my actions. Now, before children, I used to volunteer at random places quite frequently: at a volunteer clinic, a literary clinic, habitat for humanity, church activities.  I have since fallen off the rocker, if you will.  The following is some inspiration to start a life of service, for me and hopefully for you. All that to say: I do believe you have to take time for yourself, and by that I just mean, some kind of activity, even if for ten minutes to help you relax and rejuvenate, so that you may serve others with a humble heart.

1. I recently read an article titled “Four Totally Unselfish Things You Should Do Today”. Unfortunately, I forgot to save the link, so I do not have the link for you to read through the whole article. (I promise I will do better next time! I am learning!) My favorite quote from the article stated, “And that’s a shame, because every job-and every person—deserves to be treated with respect. Every job is important. Every employee is important.”

This especially rings true for me in my line of expertise. I work in an environment where you have people making six figures to those barely making ends meet, living  paycheck to paycheck, and all income levels in between. Somehow, we all have to work together. From doctor and manager, to nurse, to cleaning attendant, and to the maintenance crew. If one person fails at their job, then it could cause immense harm. Somebody else, if not multiple people will have to work ten times as hard. We have triple checks and double checks and triple checks on all of the previous checks. The ultimate goal is to ensure optimal safety and quality care to those in the most vulnerable position of having surgery. These people cannot speak for themselves; we are their voice. If one part of the system fails, then potentially someone’s mother, child, husband, sister, or loved one may be harmed.  Every person has to serve and work in some capacity to make the system work.  I wish we could all realize that and recognize the efforts of all parties involved and serve those people. Let every person know that they are important.

2. I am currently in the process of completing the “Make Over Your Morning” course, from moneysavingmom.com.  On Day four of the course, it asks the following question: Ask you spouse what he considers the top two to three tasks are to consider a day successful. Ironically, it stated that you might be surprised by the answer he provides. So I asked my husband, and I was surprised. I, of course, was thinking he would say something on the lines of housekeeping tasks. His top three: Spend time with God, Spend time with Family, and to go along with our theme, do something nice for somebody else every day. What an awesome thought, to do one thing nice for somebody everyday, one thing.  It doesn’t have to take up most of your day or be planned or it can be planned. Perhaps you can make cookies for your neighbor, mow their side of the yard. Perhaps you can let someone in front of you at the grocery store line? Perhaps you can pay for someone’s coffee or meal just out of the blue? Even something as simple as a compliment or letting someone know they are important. It could be for your family, co-worker, neighbor, church member, or complete stranger.  I challenge you this week to take five minutes every day to do something kind for somebody.  I would love to hear any other ideas you have. My kindness for today day: baking cookies that my husband would like. (It was his idea, after all.)

1 Corinthinians 12: 4-6 “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in diferent ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.”

3. What better example of service is there then to look to the Bible.  One of my favorite stories of service is the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

“A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him “Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.” Luke 10: 30-35 

Jesus tells us to go and do the same (verse 37). Don’t be the person who leaves the person for dead or looks the other way.  Be the person who picks up the trash, buys a homeless man a meal, helps the elderly carry their load. I am challenging myself as well. It is so easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and forget to look around.  Look around, and be the one who practices compassion. Follow along with me as we complete our challenge together.

I will leave you with words to a favorite hymnal. Check out the following version on you tube. Beautiful! ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rznoe3zKxM)

“Make me a servant, humble and meek

Lord let me lift up , those who are weak.

May the prayer of my heart always be

Make me a servant, Make me a servant,

Make me a servant, today”