good life with lindsay ross
Part of cultivating a good life is doing something, anything, for others in need.
I glanced out my bedroom window the other day and saw my neighbor whose husband was recently diagnosed with cancer pulling in the garbage cans for my other neighbor who just had a baby. Pulling in garbage cans. Here’s a dear friend of mine suffering in a way I wouldn’t wish on anyone, and still she sees others and continues to do things for them. Seems like such a simple thing, but it was something that serves as a continual reminder of why it was anything but simple.
There are a lot of people in my life (and in the world) who are really hurting right now. So much suffering. So many needs. Big things. Little things. Lots of little things that add up to feel like big things. Life.
Friends fighting cancer. Couples struggling with infertility. Sick kids. Addiction issues of every kind. Depression. Loneliness. Troubled teens. Divorce. Chronic illness. New babies. Hard days. Death of a family member. General life weariness.
The list goes on and on (and on). The truth is, we’re all in need at various times in our lives. Sometimes we get to be the helper. And sometimes we’re the ones who need to be helped. It’s designed that way on purpose. We belong to each other. We’re all here together for a reason. God was certainly intentional about where He placed us and who He placed us with, and I know without a doubt He relies on us to take care of each other.
One of my all time favorite books, Love Does by Bob Goff, sums this up perfectly. He said:
“I reflect on God, who didn’t choose someone else to express His creative present to the world, who didn’t tap the rock star or the popular kid to get things done. He chose you and me. We are the means, the method, the object, and the delivery vehicles….God usually chooses ordinary people like us to get things done. It becomes clear that we need to stop plotting the course and instead just land the plane on our plans to make a difference by getting to the “do” part of faith. That’s because love is never stationary. In the end, love doesn’t just keep thinking about it or keep planning for it. Simply put: love does.”
Land the plane on our plans to make a difference by getting to the DO part. That’s it right there.
The problem isn’t that we don’t want to do things. It’s that we want to do things, but if you’re like me, it’s often hard to figure out what to do. So many times, we end up doing nothing. But I wholeheartedly believe what Bob Goff said, and I truly believe we’re meant to DO things, not just think about doing them.
I’ll be the first to admit that life can get overwhelming (like rocking-in-the-corner-in-the-fetal-position overwhelming). And sometimes when our plate is so full trying to take care of our own demands, adding the thought of needing to do things for others can tip us right over the guilt edge (you all know what I’m talking about). But the truth is, serving others is one of the best ways to make our “plates” seem more manageable. It doesn’t have to be something big. It doesn’t have to be something bought. It doesn’t even need to take much time. It’s the simple act of seeing someone, showing them people care, and making them feel loved.
When it came to the DO part of helping others, what I needed was a go-to list. A list with a bunch of ideas I could draw from whenever I felt the push to do something for someone else for whatever reason. I wanted to eliminate the excuse of not knowing what to do. So with the help of a lot of smart, creative, kind, and thoughtful people, I created that list. Ways to help others who are going through anything imaginable. A resource for me and a resource for others. So now when we want someone to know we’re thinking of them or want to drop something off or want to DO something, we have dozens and dozens of ideas to pull from. No more thinking and lots more doing. (You can find the list of ways to help others here.)
It’s not really what we do that matters. It’s that we do it.
I think if we boiled down the purpose of life to its very basics, our purpose is to learn how to LOVE. How to take care of and care about each other. We belong to each other. God uses US to answer prayers and take care of all His children and He wants us to do something, anything, for others and allow others to do the same for us.
a note from becky
You know the old saying that you are the sum of the 5 people you surround yourself with every day? Lindsay is one of those people we all should be hanging out with every day. I love Lindsay. We’ve only been able to hang out in person a few times, but this soul right here? She’s the real deal and her heart is as solid as they come. A dear friend to our company for a while now and she’s our Pinterest Assistant as well … we love what Lindsay stands for and I am personally grateful for how she is cultivating a good life through her own acts of love.