agape: selfless love of one person for another.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:3,4
This verse was my motto for the day, and my "random acts of kindness" could be better described as "calculated acts of agape". While some were actually random, most were not. I planned out 30 acts, but hoped that some things would just pop up. A few did, but I stuck with the list for the most part. Here's the list and I'll wrap up with how it went. :)
1. Chandler has been obsessing about this camera he wants, even though we have at least 28 cameras. Okay, so maybe not THAT many, but still.....SEVERAL. I surprised him with the camera of his dreams. :)
2. Sent my mom flowers
3. Sent my dad and step-mom some goodies
4. Woke up early and took Lucy, my crazy, people-hating dog for a walk. I know ~ this should be something I do everyday, but sadly it's not. She doesn't like anyone but me, so taking her for a walk rarely happens now that I am busy with my other little Castles. I'll work on this, though.
5. Placed seed packets with a "Happy Spring" label in my neighbors' mailboxes
6. Left a treat for our mail carrier. She left me a thank you note with our mail. :)
7. Went to Love's Kitchen to serve breakfast to the hungry. I will be better prepared next time. I showed up in flip flops and they sent me home to get closed-toe shoes. I completely knew better, but just wasn't thinking. Anyway, I got back in time to serve a couple of people and then helped prepare hamburger patties. They were expecting 200 for lunch. I didn't realize how many people in Meridian need that place.
8. Left surprises for a few of my favorite people. I was going to be vague about this one, but I'm pretty sure they all figured out who the culprit was! I also left some of these in random yards. Bet those people are REALLY wondering who it's from. :)
9. Went to my MOPS (moms of pre schoolers) meeting and brought donuts for the nursery workers
10. Gave the guy at the donut shop a large tip
11. Brought a bag full of baby food we never used and put it on the MOPS swap table
12. Gave yummy whoopie pies to the ladies in my MOPS discussion group
13. Read a book to Charlee's class and gave them all jellybeans ~ Aren't they cute? :)
14. Left a Scholastic free book coupon for one of the teachers
15. Walked into Cater's Market and gave a giftcard to an old man who was ordering his lunch
16. Gave a replacement part for a Pampered Chef chopper to the lady at the bank who I had heard needed one
17. Dropped off diapers to the Center for Pregnancy Choices
18. Brought cupcakes to our church staff
19. Brought cupcakes to the local fire station
20. Brought cupcakes to the staff of the Anderson Cancer Center
21. Passed by the big fire station in town and gave lemonades to a few firemen who were walking around the block.
22. Left two bottles of laundry detergent at a washateria. One of the ladies inside looked very shocked that I was doing this!
23. Gave a lemonade and a whoopie pie to my sweet, sweet sister-in-law who joined me for half of the day. Somehow, she seemed to get away without me taking a picture of her!
24. Took coloring books, crayons, and puzzles to pediatrics at Anderson. My cute Charlee bug helped deliver these and was scared to death that she was going to the doctor! Ha!
25. Bought three gift cards at Books-A-Million and hid them amongst a few of my favorite books. I'm going to go sometime this week to see if they are gone yet. :)
26. Taped bags of change on vending machines at Wal-Mart.
27. Gave a bottle of water and a whoopie pie to a homeless man.
28. Gave a $5 off coupon to a lady shopping in Bed Bath & Beyond.
29. Took crossword puzzle books, word-search books, and activity books to a nursing home.
30. Mailed letters of appreciation to a few special people who have impacted my life.
31. (AND ONE TO GROW ON!) Let my sweet kids skip their bath! Haven't decided if this is an act of love toward them or my husband. You see, sweet Chandler gave ME 30 acts of kindness, too. His include 10 times of doing the dishes, 10 times of giving the kids a bath, and 10 times of getting Barrett to sleep. I only have 30 days to cash in, though (so the fine print says). I'm not wasting any time on cashing in!!
It truly was a fantastic day, and I was humbled by the joy that God filled my heart with. I prayed a lot about the day. I really didn't want it to be about me at all. Because of that, I tended to run into the places and drop stuff off quickly and without explanation. That's just me, I guess. I also had a lot of places to go and things to do so I didn't want to get bogged down anywhere. Trust me ~ my 3-year-old couldn't have made it to one more place! I was so happy she was able to go along with me. I was also blessed to have Kimbry with me. She was a tremendous help, and it was so great to have her company for most of the day! Thank you, Kimbry! :) Chandler took the day off to watch the kids in the morning and take Charlee to school. He also stayed home with Barrett during his naptime. I couldn't have done it without him ~ I can guarantee that Barrett would NOT have lasted the entire day!
I told all of my family and friends that I didn't want a gift and wanted them to just do a random act of kindness for my birthday. They don't really listen very well, but I guess I already knew that! Ha! Chandler got me a yummy cake, candy, a book, and two journals along with my get-out-of-chores cards. I never told him I wanted the journals, but I've been meaning to buy one for a while now. He's just good like that. :) He also took me to Zack Garvin's in Newton for some delicious blackened catfish. Mmmmmmmmmm.
My sweet friend Shar'Lee made my day when she sent me this text:
"Well, I took this verse Psalm 28:7 The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. And put it on 5 sheets. I went to mcD's and bought 8 ice cream cones for all 8 people there. One elderly couple, one young couple, and 3 women and a boy. I had the cashier deliver it. It made me nervous but I knew that I wanted someone to be ministered by that verse today."
My prayer is that by sharing the events of my 30th birthday, you will be inspired to do something kind and selfless for someone else. It can be a bit intimidating, and it's definitely out of the norm for many of us, but God calls us to love Him with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind, all of our strength. When we do this, loving others just comes naturally. This is the greatest commandment.
He answered: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" Luke 10:27
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 1 John 4:7
Hehe ~ :~)