random acts of kindness
This post is about both SHARING + doing a GIVEAWAY!
Around here, we believe that part of cultivating a good life is making random acts of kindness a part of your life.
Before we get to the giveaway, we’d like to share with you a few stories. Each of us on the team is sharing a memory about being the recipient of someone else’s kindness. As you read, think about how your life has been impacted by another person choosing to do something kind for you. I could hardly read through everyone’s stories without being weepy … in a happy way. I am absolutely certain that part of our purpose in life is to serve and love one another. I believe this with all of my heart. And I know first-hand that life is so much sweeter and fuller when we make serving others a priority.
The Sunday before my brother died … I knew he was dying. I knew it would be any day. The cancer had taken over and this was the end of Jonathan’s mortal story. It all weighed heavily on my mind and in my heart and I just couldn’t go to church that day. If you know me, I never skip church. Even when I travel, I seek out a chapel and I attend worship services. On this day, I didn’t go. I stayed home where I could just cry my eyes out and be on my own as I went through hundreds of pictures of Jonathan. And then the doorbell rang. I didn’t want to answer the door. I wanted to wallow in my sorrows. But I did answer the door and there stood Karolyn and Christy — two of my dearest friends. They left church to come and just BE with me. They both understood loss (in different ways) and they were simply THERE for me. We talked. And through their simple act of service, I felt completely loved by my Heavenly Father during a difficult time.
A couple of years ago I was having a BAD day where everything had gone wrong. The straw that broke the camel’s back that day was that my washer broke mid-cycle, so it was FILLED with water. I lost my mind, started crying, and posted something on social media about what an awful day I had had. About an hour later, my doorbell rang – which was about 10 at night, so it scared me to death! I answered it and there was a poster board with six balloons attached to it. There was a cute poem about popping the balloons to read messages about why I was loved. I popped each balloon and read the messages through tears. To this day, I don’t know who did that for me. This is a more “elaborate” RAK, but it was put together quickly and it certainly had a huge impact on me. I will never forget it.
My random act of kindness is something someone actually did for my son Liam. He was 5 at the time. We were having our church primary program and Liam was assigned a short speaking part. He worked hard and practiced memorizing it and reciting it. When it came time for him to give his part he got a little too excited and forgot to say the very beginning of it. When he realized what he had done, he was heartbroken and started crying. Someone who witnessed his breakdown brought him a treat and an award that said “Most Prepared.” It did so much to soothe his disappointment and embarrassment, and it made me so happy to see someone else care for him and his feelings.
Our car broke down on a family trip last year. I couldn’t even begin to guess what was wrong as we shuddered to a halt 30 miles from the nearest town, in the dark, with 3 screaming kids in the back, and both our cell phones just minutes from dying. Before too long a car pulled in behind us. It was a man driving with his wife and 3 kids, so I knew from experience how easily it would have been to pass us by. Instead, he offered us the use of his flashlight and his cellphone, and he stayed parked on the side of the road until he knew we had help on the way.
I’m convinced that a mother’s love is often extended to not only her own children. Mothers make the world go round, and thank heavens for mothers who look beyond their own homes to show love for children who are not their own but who need love and support.
My own mother died when I was a toddler. I was raised by my dad and a loving step mother, as the youngest child in a combined family of 13 children.
When I was a senior in high school, I was the only child left at home. My dad was in the downward swing of a life-long battle with bipolar disorder and my mom was endlessly busy caring for him and working full time. Long story short, I was often left to manage myself. I kept up with my grades and sports pretty well, and managed, somehow, to not get into too much trouble. The only problem was I had zero desire to wake up and be on time to my 8 a.m. first period class. This problem escalated as the final semester of my senior year came to a close and I had nearly exceeded the absences allowed to still earn credit in this class, which was required to graduate high school.
In walked a mother figure, who took it upon herself a duty that wasn’t part of her job description but changed my life for good: She picked up the phone every morning and called my home to wake me up for school, and, in effect, ensured I would graduate from high school. She noticed my need when no one else did. This “small” act of kindness changed my future in a big way, not only as a high school graduate and now a successful professional, but also as a mother to both my own kids and other children who need to be noticed.
We redid our backyard and put in a fire pit with seating, and a few weeks after we received a big package in the mail from my brother’s family (who live in another state) with the cutest note and every kind of chocolate and candy bar you can imagine along with graham crackers and marshmallows so we could make s’mores in our new backyard! It was completely unexpected and our entire family just LOVED receiving it … and it gave us the perfect excuse to get outside as a family to enjoy our new gathering space.
Recently our family lost our main income. We were hurt, shocked, and worried to say the least. One of our dear friends gave me a card filled with kind and loving words along with a Walmart gift card. It was so completely out of the blue but exactly what I needed in that very moment. Once again I was humbly reminded that our Heavenly Father takes care of us through the people in our lives. I’m so grateful that I have friends who are willing to act when prompted.
A few months ago I was having a crazy busy day. I had about 15 minutes to run to the grocery store so I could get dinner started before running off to some meetings. I ran into Winco to pick up what I needed and the total came to about $27.00. I pulled out my debit card (Winco only accepts cash, checks, and debit cards) and the pin number wouldn’t work. I tried it 5 or 6 times to no avail. I realized I had recently gotten a new one in the mail and I forgot to memorize the new pin. I searched for every bit of cash I could find in my purse which was about $5; I was $22 short. I started pulling out what I absolutely needed that would cost less than $5. Just then, a lady who had been watching what was going on, handed me a $20 bill. She said, “I’ve been there before,” and then walked away. I was so touched that tears filled my eyes as I thanked her. The cashier said she had never witnessed such an act of kindness. It absolutely made my day.
What can you do for someone today?
Are you feeling motivated to do something that will bless someone else today? It could be someone who know or someone you don’t. It could be something that you’re “used” to doing or perhaps this is totally different for you. Whatever it is that you feel prompted to do …
Do it today or tomorrow or this weekend … but just do it. And then … share what you’ve done right here in the comments. This isn’t about bragging. This isn’t about attention. This is about inspiring each other with ideas about cultivating a good life through small acts of service. I am seriously so excited to read what you share.
For fun, we’re adding a giveaway to this! We will randomly select one of you to be the recipient of our “team act of kindness” — a box full of some of our #BHFavorites! (What you see in that picture at the top of this post is what we’re including.) Be sure you leave your first name, where you live, and what act of kindness you did. Entries must be submitted by Sunday, October 3o at Midnight PT.
Edited: The winner of this bundle of favorites is Loree in Iowa! Please email Molly@beckyhiggins.com to claim your prize!