My elderly neighbor, who is housebound, has always enjoyed watching birds. Since she is no longer able to get close to nature, I brought the birds closer by hanging a hummingbird feeder from a hook off her home's gutter edge, where she could see it well.
Now that the hummingbirds have migrated to warmer climates for the approaching winter, I will replace the hummingbird feeder with a sunflower-hearts seed feeder, designed for perching birdsonly. That way, there will be no mess and my neighbor can enjoy the various birds, such as chickadees, finches, etc. We are so blessed to be able to share these gifts with our feathered friends. Their wings uplift us to much joy!
The cashier was tall, slender, and dark-skinned. His name tag identified him as "Mataye." After he rang up my purchase, I asked, "Is that pronounced Muh-TAH-yeh?" "Yes!" he exclaimed with apparent delight. "You pronounced it right!" I gathered most people don't. His accent sounded African, though I couldn't be sure. "That's what it looks like," I replied. "Where are you from?" I asked, smiling. (The smile was important. My question might be interpreted as a challenge or even a threat. I wanted to be sure he understood that my intention was friendly.) "Ethiopia," he answered. "How long have you been here?" I asked, still smiling. "A year," he answered. "Your English is excellent," I said. He smiled. "Do you miss Ethiopia?" Between his accent and the noise in the store, I couldn't make out his answer. Another customer was waiting, so I just smiled again, looked him in the eye, and said, "Thanks, Mataye." It wasn't a big deal, ... Read Full Story >>
I'm young(ish) and able-bodied, so I've recently begun giving up those "plum" parking spaces I would occasionally find open at the grocery store or gym or wherever and deliberately driving past them to find a spot further away.
I used to bedelighted whenever I found a great spot, but now I imagine that someone else might need or appreciate it more. It's a small thing, but I like to think i
t might put a smile on someone's face! (And the extra walking benefits me too!)
Good day, everyone! I'm sending this picture of flowers in bloom, knowing that some of us will be looking at snow eventually. I'll use this for my computer wallpaper once the snow hits.
This morning, I finally did something I've been meaning to do, but just didn't have the time. An elderly couple who lives on one of the roads in my morning travels has this beautiful wooden wishing well which was toppled over during one of the storms.
I stopped this morning, propped it back up, and in the center of it I placed a nice yellow mum. I hope this makes them smile. Wishing all of you a great day!
Hello Friends ! I want you all to do ON THIS DAY:
Mend a quarrel . Search out a forgotten friend. Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a love letter. Share some treasure. Give a soft answer. Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in a word or deed. Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgo a grudge.
Forgive an enemy. Listen. Apologize. Try to understand. Flout envy. Examine your demands of others. Think of someone else. Appreciate. Be kind, Be gentle.
Laugh a little more. Deserve someone's confidence. Take up arms against malice. Decree complacency. Express your gratitude. Worship your GOD. Gladden the heart of a child.
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. Speak your love. Speak it again. Speak it still again. Speak it still once again.
I could not make it home for my Father's 80th birthday, because of some health challenges I'm having. Instead, I completed, using a template on Word, and highlighters, a "fun"ky art project, listing 80 things I appreciated and loved about my father.
We were never really close...and this act was healing for both of us. Miraculously, it has shifted how we see each other and our relationship.
When I had breast cancer I had to have a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation (the works). The hardest part of that entire experience was losing my hair. I have strawberry blonde wavy hair down to the middle of my back which I have always considered one of my most attractive features. What was hard about losing my hair, though, was that I lost my anonymity with it. After I lost my hair it was like having a tattoo across my forehead that said "chemo patient." I am a very active, athletic person so to have people looking at me with pity as if I was an invalid or a leper was very hard to take. Of course they never said anything, but if I got in an elevator everyone looked away because they didn't know what to say. I didn't blame them, God knows I've done the same thing myself, but ... Read Full Story >>
I was on my way from work one Mother's Day, and I noticed a man pulled by the side of the road and he was trying to load these huge logs into the back of his pick-up truck. As he attempted to load a log, I noticed every vein and muscle in his body straining to complete the task, but to no avail. I stopped my car and offered a hand. The gentleman looked at me as though I might not have enough strength to assist, but since I was the only one offering help he accepted. Together we lifted the log into the back of his truck and then two more. Admittedly, I was grunting from the weight of the logs. As we were loading the logs, I wondered if he was a craftsman who might be making tables from the huge logs (recently cut down by the city), but he ... Read Full Story >>
Every Friday morning, after Mass at the Timber Lake Manor, we have coffee and rolls. One of the ladies from the parish always brings fresh rolls, coffee cake, or some other kind of treat for us to share. I'm always amazed!
What a wonderful act of kindness and generosity to thoughtfully prepare this little meal which unites us around the table in conversation and fellowship. It's a wonderful extension of the intimate communion we share in Christ.
I was racing around making a six figure income when I suffered a bursted brain aneurysm. Over a five year period I lost everything that I had worked for - home, savings and career and having to do a bankruptcy.
I am humbled and also grateful for being able to live. During this time I went into kidney failure - and a dear childhood friend has offered me her kidney! Can you believe this gift??!
Life is so delicate and precious. Walk softly.
Compliments can be the easiest acts of kindness. I truly enjoy complimenting people I see every day. I like to think about what kind of compliment would make that person's day.
For the fashionista down the hall, it's fun to compliment her on her shoes. But maybe the person that just smiles all the time would like to hear, "You have such a nice smile!" Maybe the waitress that's working extra hard would like to be acknowledged. My 5 year old loves to hear how she is the greatest artist EVER!
I'd have to say the greatest compliment I ever gave was to a very close friend. This friend just didn't see the amazing spirit that I see in him everyday. He had ignored or doubted all these wonderful emotions and actions he was capable of.
When I complimented him on all his wonderful attributes, it was like a light bulb went off and he had received that confirmation that he was all those things. Since then, he has embraced his true spirit and it grows everyday. I'm so happy to be a part of that.
Almost every day, during our breaks, an older man who is my colleague closes himself off from the noise in the break room by focusing on a cryptogram puzzle in the newspaper instead. One day I decided to help him solve the puzzle and he told me he has tinnitus. Imagine working in a busy school when you are so sensitive to noisy surroundings! I also still have a problem with busy, loud environments, so I decided to join him in solving those puzzles. Every day we sit at the crowded table, fixing today's puzzle. We are still there, in the moment and talking to the people around us, but at times we tune out and puzzle for a bit. Occasionally other colleagues start helping us with the puzzle as well. I am very grateful that my colleague, who is really struggling with his hearing, has taught me how to zone yourself out when the ... Read Full Story >>
A few years ago I spent several months at a Franciscan center. We were barred from working in our professions and instead helped maintain the extensive grounds on the compound. The philosophy was that working in our usual professions would close our minds to new discoveries and that desiring success would limit our possibilities to explore and take chances. Simple acts such as mowing the yards, trimming trees and planting crops allowed us to work without competition. I had always told myself and others that honest work was worthy and that I did not judge people by their professions. The first times I received compliments for my work I responded with expressions like; it’s no big deal or it’s pretty simple. After a few weeks I realized that I liked to hear compliments about my work. This realization was so strongand emotional that I started to cry while I was pulling weeds. I was embarrassed ... Read Full Story >>
It was me who received kindness today. I was buying some flowers after doing my grocery shopping and the lady at the shop asked if I'd like some free flowers.
Then she handed me a bunch of yellow chrysanthemums.
I had to hold back tears, as I was feeling worn out and poorly. So I'm spoiled - I have one bouquet of flowers in my bedroom and one in my lounge room. Her kindness meant so much!
As a child, I had a lot of pent-up anger and was not good at communicating constructively. Once, as I was getting ready for school, my mother accidentally handed me my father's vest instead of mine. This was around the time that I was getting to be larger in size than my father, and so as I put the vest, I felt like I was being choked in it! I realized that it was a small oversight on my mother's part, but somehow the feeling of being choked overwhelmed me and filled me with anger. Without thinking much, I took out my anger on my mother. I was so upset that she had handed me the wrong vest, that I responded by violently ripping it apart from my chest! Later, my mother shared her own frustration with my father: "See what your son has done." Instead of scolding or abusing me, my father calmly ... Read Full Story >>
I went into a coffee shop for coffee and a bagel. I noticed the woman in front of me ordered coffee and a bagel and asked how much it cost and then said just coffee please.
I thought about it after I sat down and went over to the woman and gave her some money and asked her to get what she wanted. She got it and gave me the extra money back with a note saying she was a massage therapist and she wanted me to call her for a free message.
She said she hoped I called her because she wanted to see me again and that I had made her day. She made my day too.
It's hard to ask for help. It's uncomfortable to admit that you need something or that your life would be a lot easier if you could lean on someone else to do a little thing that you always assumed as your responsibility.
I've learned that people won't ask for help, but they sure will appreciate it if you jump in and do something helpful. Before you jump in, however, you have to really understand their circumstance and figure out what act or deed would be most helpful.
Out of habit, we often bring casseroles to the sick. Sure it is helpful, but they get too many and their kids don't like what they get so they have to make something else anyway.
So, instead I try to fill in where others aren't - doing laundry, picking up kids from school, including kids in activities etc. I hope I never forget that silence does not mean someone is ok, it just might mean that they don't want to ask for help.
I opened up a series of e-mails this morning telling me that I had been tagged in a photo on Facebook by my brother, there were numerous comments. When I opened up the photo, it was breathtaking. The caption read: "Trailer Park Tuesdays" and the photo was a snapshot of my mom and dad sitting on lawn chairs, each holding a boy on their laps, one is me circa 4 years old, the other my brother, 1 or 2. We're captured au naturale in front of our mobile home. My father, in cut-off shorts and a t-shirt, holds a cigarette in one hand as I lay sprawling, my face so dirty it looks like I'd been in a rumble. My mom and brother are much more presentable, but in the backdrop you can clearly make out an old oil barrel that had haphazardly been converted into a BBQ pit. I couldn't stop ... Read Full Story >>
In the days after 9/11, I was on the team of chaplains assigned to Ground Zero. I worked from T-Mort, the temporary morgue on- site. In addition to praying with first responders over remains, we also helped search, and held the place of spirit during the long hours of digging. One night, several bodies were discovered in a collapsed stairwell. Another chaplain and I were standing at the rim while the recovery team- firefighters, iron workers toiled to free the bodies. Someone shouted up "We need you down here!" It was a deep hole about 10 feet down: dark, narrow, smokey. We shouted OK, but I could feel myself panic. I know they didn't mean they needed ME. They needed the help or strength of God. It was my job to hold that space. They lifted us and passed us down into that shaft. My heart was racing and I felt faint, ... Read Full Story >>
A complete stranger I had met today during a Red Cross relief operation for the recent victims of Supertyphoon Haiyan was kind enough to walk with me for about 2 km from the headquarters to the train station. I was absolutely unfamiliar with the area, really bad at following directions, and very unaccustomed to (deathly afraid!) crossing streets filled with raging buses and jeepneys, especially in the Philippines! The moment I had left the headquarters, I felt like a lost sheep in a big city, but instead of having to deal with all of that, I had a god-sent friend, a Good Samaritan who willingly delayed his lunch hour just to make sure I got to my destination safely--a companion who offered not just the gift of a friendly conversation but also his unconditional friendship. And even more, I saved money instead of paying for a cab! We parted with good wishes and hopes for ... Read Full Story >>