A couple of weeks back, my friend had a yard sale, and she offered to sell some of our stuff for us. I thought it would be a good opportunity to clean my 7 year old son's room and get rid of some toys that he had long outgrown. We agreed that whatever we sold in toys would be his money. The night before the sale, we loaded up the truck with toys and a little bike that he was now too tall for. He had taken the bike for a final spin before we left home but happily put it on the truck for the sale. This little bike had had at least 2 previous owners that we knew of. It was not in the best shape and it certainly was not shiny new but it was still a bike, and the tires were still good. We put a price of $10 on it but it didn't sell. So, after the ... Read Full Story >>
One day, I was coming out of the Dollar Store and noticed a beaten up little car, crammed full of stuff...clothes, boxes, and who-knows-what. I then realized that the owners were in the front seat, one eating from a can of chili, the other from a styrofoam cup. I assumed they had split the can of chili and it was probably cold.
I started to drive away when their situation hit me. What if you had to live out of your car? What if you only had enough money to buy a dollar store can of chili and split it with your son who has special needs? What if you didn't have enough gas to get to your next destination?
I turned around and hopped out of my car with a $10 bill in my hand. I tapped on their window and the lady rolled it down very cautiously. I handed her the $10 and said this is for you. She asked why and I just said "God Bless You!" I drove off, not knowing their story but seeing a need. Maybe that was the way they chose to live, or maybe they had a million bucks in their trunk, who knows? I didn't want to leave it to chance.
Posted above my computer are the following rules and maybe they can be yours too: 1. Free your heart from hatred. 2. Free your mind from worries 3. Live simply 4. Give more 5. Expect less Over the weekend, my husband and I bought a pack of diapers and baby wipes for our young neighbors next door, who are working hard to stay on their feet since the birth of their little baby girl a month ago. It was not much and it certainly did not strain us financially, but I felt good leaving it at their door, anonymously. I struggle with this feeling that I am not able to do as much as I would like to for charitable causes since there are so many good ones that I believe in, and I am not someone who is supposedly blessed with an abundance of monetary wealth to disburse. Yet, when I worry about not being able to give enough, I prevent myself from giving anything. So, ... Read Full Story >>
My brother committed suicide four years ago and his birthday is May 14 so he is very much in my thoughts right now. He was my big brother and always looked after me. I am thankful today for all of the special times we had as running partners, and times spent driving to different races, where we had so many conversations about life in general. I miss these talks terribly at this time of the year. However, I am so happy he shared with me the story of his faith. He was always so helpful to people, and I had been with him many times when we pulled over to help someone in need, sharing a smile and helping them get back on the road so I was not surprised when he told me of the time that he was still in college, and it was the end of the month. To top it ... Read Full Story >>
Last week, while traveling, I left generous tips for the maids at each of the hotels I stayed in. I also pulled out little angel tokens that I have collected over the years and left them on top of the money. I am hopeful they found them and will keep them in a place to be reminded that their angels are always with them.
My sister came to visit me recently. On our way to the airport, I picked up a lottery ticket to give to her as a fun surprise. Imagine our surprise later when while sititng at dinner, she scratched the ticket and had won $50. We were thrilled but my son thought she should have to give some it back. It was funny because I had to explain that that is not how a gift works. I think I finally got through but he talked about that winning ticket all week during her visit.
Finally the day came for her to leave us again. She had spent a fun week volunteering time at my son's school and had seen some students in need. Imagine my surprise when before she left, she insisted I take the ticket winnings and donate it to a new program at the school, called "Kindness in Christ". Thankfully, we have never had to ask for help but we know families that have, and we gratefully do whatever we can to lend a hand. This was an excellent way to show my son that it is not always the person that gets the winning tickets that wins, in this case, everybody does!
We were in Boston for the long holiday weekend and since we knew we would be using public transportation instead of driving, we bought a couple of seven-day metro cards thinking we would save a little bit of money instead of buying one-day passes each day.
On our last day in town, we stepped up to a couple of young men that were just in the process of buying their own cards. My husband handed them both of our cards and the boys just giggled. They could not believe their good fortune as they looked at the cards and realized they had 5 more days to use the cards! My husband thought they might have been German tourists, based on their accent when they said thank you.
In any case, those giggles of glee were all the thanks we needed -- how wonderful to be able to share with strangers.
My cousin is a long way from home, and though I don't know her very well, I feel compelled to encourage her in any way I can. When I saw that she was stationed just 6 hours from me, I offered my home to her anytime she gets leave and needs a getaway.
I also got her information and mailed a package of treats to her. Just cookies, nuts, and sunflower seeds, and a letter of encouragement, telling her I was proud of her. I pray for her well-being, and look forward to getting to know her better.
It is what I would want for my own son someday when he leaves home, but mostly it is because it is what so many have done for me, when I left the West Coast for the East. I like the idea of the ripple of kindness continuing.