10 things 4 weeks after the move

IMG_61641) Peace has resided within my soul since my first night here.

Boxes linger in every room. The big furniture from our great room doesn’t exactly fit in our smaller living room, meaning furniture decisions still have to be made. Also, my clothes don’t fit in these itty-bitty closets, yet there is a peace that rests within me. What a gift.

2) The dogs and my FitBit have seen increased activity.

The smaller quarters and yard mean Lucy and Emma need more exercise, so each morning I take Emma on a walk, drop her off and then take Lucy. We walk past the ladies that run the valet parking at the hospital and they greet us each time. After dinner Kevin and I walk the dogs together on one last loop. This has been good for all of us!

3) I’m grateful we moved only 90 miles up the road.

Appointments on my calendar have kept me running back and forth between Marshall and Fort Wayne this whole time. It has been been wonderful for continued connection but also a little draining; there might not be as many boxes maintaining their position if I could stay home for an entire week.

4) It’s been a little lonely.

I’ve been reminded anew that noticing others matters. When someone moves into our neighborhoods, let’s all agree to go say “Hello, I noticed you moved in!” and “Welcome!” I’ve had one neighbor stop over to welcome me to town, it meant a lot. Other than that its been pretty quiet. Nothing and no one is familiar, so a friendly face and extension of some kind has the potential to go a long way. We did finally walk down to the brewery last week for pizza, and my favorite waitress welcomed me with a hug and asked if I was officially living in Marshall yet. When I said yes, she invited us to church.  I want to be like her!

IMG_6165 (1)5) My girls are coming “home” for the first time this weekend and I am both excited and nervous.

This has never been their home, and their stuff doesn’t have a spot – at least not yet. (I mean seriously, my stuff doesn’t even have a spot yet!) I find myself hoping and praying they will find a high level of comfort and peace here. Home is where we are and we are here, may they feel at home. I want to be strong enough to allow them room to feel whatever they feel.

6) Living in the same house with my husband once again is what I’ve been waiting for.

When we entered this arrangement two years ago to grant Erin the opportunity to graduate from high school in her home town, I told Kevin we would be better or we would be worse, but we could. not. be. the. same. You cannot live apart for two years and be the same. Over the two years, sometimes it felt worse, and a few times it meant counseling, but we came through the two years and are stronger. I am so proud of us.

7) I love living where we walk everywhere!

We have one of the very old homes in historic downtown Marshall and so we walk everywhere…the bakery, the farmer’s market, to dinner, for milk,  the flower shop, the hardware store and more. That is one of my favorite things about living here.

8) We have 1,200 square feet less space, but the unique features of this old house are making up for some of that.

I love the french doors, the screen porch, the small upstairs deck, the huge pocket door, the wood burning fireplace, the back porch/pantry room, the vestibule, that the front door has a mail slot and so our mail lands on my floor each afternoon. I love all the windows this home has. I really do love this old house.

9) I’m taking a year to figure things out.

My friend, Cathy, gave me a valuable piece of wisdom, “Take a year to figure out what you want to do.” In the quiet and loneliness it could be easy to join things and sign up to volunteer to fill time, but I am intentionally deciding to work through the tension I sometimes feel in the quiet days. I’m working on a logo for my blog, considering some options for an old project that belongs to my sister and I, and spending more intentional time in prayer, my Bible, devotions. In the silence I am discovering it is well with my soul.

10) Leaving our church family has affected me more than I expected.

Kevin and I will begin our search for a church community. We will. We have only been in town here for two Sundays, but we have not gone to any church. It almost feels like too much right now. As we discussed the invitation to church from the waitress, we just felt unable to muster the energy and emotional strength to walk into a new church. We will, we need, and will crave, a church community, but I’ve been surprised a bit by the grief I feel. I wonder if this is normal. Jesus is the reason we attend each Sunday, but the people we attend with became like family, and I do miss our big, huge extended family each Sunday.

On a final note, I have taken the 100happydays challenge. The premise isn’t that I’m happy all 100 days, it’s that within each day there is something that likely makes me happy. I’m on day 29 and it’s been a great discipline to intentionally be aware of at least one thing each day that makes me feel some level of happy, joy, or even peace. I have photographic proof that it really is the simple things in life that create that happy feeling within.

Peace,
Sheri

 

#100happydays after the move

Goodbye house...ErinThe move to Marshall is in motion. A week ago we drove Zach back to college in Minnesota, leaving his childhood home for the last time. This past weekend Courtney and Erin finished packing up clothes, books, baby dolls and Barbies, then Erin said goodbye to her room and her house. Tears and hugs, and more tears and some squeezes ensued, and then Courtney drove Erin back to college before she continued on to  her home in Illinois.

Kyler began school today ~ we are so grateful that Michigan begins after Labor Day! (Also thankful for a late Labor Day this year, we needed it.) What that means is that yesterday we loaded cars with much, finished a few small projects, cleaned and got the house “show-ready”, because Sunday the For Sale sign went in the yard and today the realtor is taking pictures of the house for the promotion pieces of this process.

It was a physically exhausting and emotionally hard weekend. We attended our church for the last time as every Sunday kind of people. The emotions caught me off guard and tears streamed as I worshipped alongside my faith family. A gentle hand reached out from a friend creating a picture of the love and support we have received for fourteen years within this church – these people helped us raise and shape our children. We’re 90 miles up the road – and we’ll be back, but it’ll be different.

Moving is hard. Leaving friends who are like sisters is not easy. Creating new community takes time and investment. Discovering and then building within a faith community requires much, and yet there is so much for which to be grateful. So today I checked out the 100happydays challenge. I loved this line: The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being. I also loved this: #100happyday challenge is for you – not for anyone else.  It is not a happiness competition or a showing off contest. If you try to please / make others jealous via your pictures – you lose without even starting. Same goes for cheating.

100happydaysI believe intentionally seeking to be aware of the small happy moments in this first 100 days in our new (well, actually 98 year old) home is valuable. Focusing on the blessings, having a mind of gratitude will all help float me to the place and person I want to be. Moving is hard, and not getting stuck is important. The #100happydays project for me begins now.

(In conjunction with this project I’m also going to attempt to try something my daughter, Courtney, did this summer. She video recorded a few seconds each day and put all those seconds together in a video. We got to preview it the other day – it was beautiful, touching and funny. It made me want to capture the happy, boring, funny, normal moments for a year. We’ll see if I can do it!)

Previous posts on the moving process are here and here.

The Baby is at College and I’m on the Couch

Zach and Erin Aug 2015We took the baby to college.
The baby.
To college.

Curiously it was not as hard as I had expected. Maybe it was because I’ve done it twice before, or because she’s attending the university from which her sister just graduated, or because when it came down to goodbye she had a hard time, which propelled me into “strong” mode. Whatever the reason, I was caught off guard by the relative ease of the day and the absence of tears on the drive home.

Then ‘the day after’ happened and I was caught off guard again. The quiet of the house, the knowledge that she wouldn’t come bursting through the door with lots to talk about, the new reality that she wouldn’t snuggle up to me at the end of the day left me feeling empty.

Though the ‘To Do’ list is longer than ever with our move just around the corner, by mid afternoon I cleared my evening calendar and by six o’clock I was the couch with a blanket and pillow and stayed there until it was time to climb into my bed.

This sending to college causes emotional confusion. I’m over the moon to receive the texts that include “having a blast”, “happy!” & “making connections!” I’m so proud of her and confident she is ready, and believe it’s going to be a fantastic year. AND at the same time it’s difficult to take in the emptiness that weighs down my heart, the change is so abrupt. So for the second night I found myself climbing onto the couch, and sinking into the quiet and comfort it offers. My internal GPS is whispering that I’m off course and it’s trying to find it’s way. I suspect I am recalibrating to this new season, and the couch has offered a place to park and wait.

I read the article I was the sun, and the kids were my planets. Beverly Beckham described exactly what I am feeling. Exactly. If you have sent a child to college then read that article. Seriously. I felt less alone and less confused. I sent it to my husband, giving him the words I could not string together.

When I was first pregnant I spent incredible amounts of time on the couch, my body had a really hard time with the pregnancies, so when I read these lines — To grow a child, a body changes. It needs more sleep. It rejects food it used to like. It expands and it adapts. To let go of a child, a body changes, too. It sighs and it cries and it feels weightless and heavy at the same time.

When I read those words I understood; my body, that holds my mind, my soul and my heart needs a little recovery time. This is just part of the process. And it’s all going to be OK.

I find that each phase my kids enter becomes my favorite – I’m confident that is the direction I am heading.

We’ll get there, fellow momma’s traveling this road…we’ll get there.

Moving ~ Everything’s in Motion

In January I wrote here about doing what matters in 2015. Even as I hung my empty new calendar on the wall, I knew it was swollen with big events that would transform the shape and feel of our family. As I look at the calendar today, somehow January became August and the days are swishing by as quickly as they can.

  • Our child did come home from the program. He did great for a few months, but it has been difficult for awhile nSheri 50 birthdayow and we are working towards what’s next.
  • I turned 50 and discovered it’s not that different from my 40’s! (Check with me on that at 60 :) Kevin threw an incredible party with many wonderful friends and family so it was hard to feel anything but good about this birthday!
  • Courtney graduated from Purdue with a Chemical Engineering degree and we are so, so proud of her! It was an amazing day and I haven’t found time to write about it, but I will.
  • She also has her first job! Whoop Whoop!! It’s an amazing position at a great company – and she has relocated only a few hours away! Our excitement for her and pride in her remains off the charts.
  • Erin, our baby graduated from high school – her graduation party at our house felt like a celebration of her, many friends, family and sixteen years of life in Fort Wayne. It was magical.
  • Kevin & Sheri July 2015 2Kevin and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We decided a big trip was not in the cards this year, but we got away and it was exactly what we needed. Living apart for two years has made us grateful for any extended time together without lists and projects.
  • We took an ahh-mazing family vacation with my sisters and some friends. It was an incredible cap on a crazy~full summer.

family vacation3But the day we returned home from vacation I felt as if my heart was breaking; I realized that what is left on the calendar is a lot of good-byes. And now the moving company has contacted me about scheduling the packers ~ the wheels of this move are truly in motion.

Chalkboard countdownI put this countdown on the chalkboard this week. I needed the visual of how many days we have til Erin leaves for Purdue, til Zach leaves for the University of Minnesota, til Kyler starts school in Marshall, til the movers are here packing up our life.

Oh, be still my beating heart.

It seems time is slipping through my hands like sand and I cannot stop it. There are so many people to have lunch or dinner, coffee or wine with. We have couple friends we are aching to spend time with but see limited dates remaining on the calendar. I have a moving/garage sale to organize and of course a few more kids to move to college. (I find myself grateful time and time again that we are only moving 90 miles up the road ~ it is this relatively short distance that brings me a level of peace. Friends…we will be back for those dinners – and our little town has a great brewery for those of you who like us and beer or pizza!)

This week is focused on the baby who is preparing to leave not only for college, but to move away from the home she grew up in. I’ve held her as she’s said some tearful goodbyes to friends over the last few days. She’s packed up her attic full of baby dolls and clutter, and she’s found her way into my big bed at night since her daddy is away. Last night we held hands in the dark as she talked about how hard it will be to go away to college – even though she is so excited and ready. Be still my heart.

The next week we’ll help Zach, our boy man-child, pack up and move to a house in Minnesota. He will likely be staying in Minnesota for the summer next year for an internship, meaning it’s another last with this boy who has such a big chunk of my heart. This momma stuff is not for the faint of heart.

There is much good to come from this move. Living with my husband is at the top, I’m grateful he has a job he loves and at which he is so valued. God is about to grow and stretch me ~ that can be uncomfortable, but it also leads to new places. Also, I’m not moving across the country, I’m moving a bit up the road…all good stuff.

I like to write with a purpose but as I wrap this up, I’m not sure of the purpose of the words on this page. Maybe it’s just to record what’s going on in our lives right now. Maybe it’s to preserve this snapshot of life.

As I think back to the original post in January I wanted to make sure I focused on what matters, whether it was packing boxes or sitting with a friend. Eight months later, in the midst of all the chaos, it’s a good reminder for me to do what matters.

Whatever season you are in, whatever you may be counting down…still your beating heart and consider what matters, then do that.

Heart1

Momma, You’re Doing a Good Job

Momma bird 2015There’s a new momma in my midst and I’m so excited to be watching her closely, encouraging her along the way. This little bird created a home for her babies right outside my bathroom window; it’s been such a treat to keep an eye on her. I open the window each morning
s l o w l y,  as to not scare her, greeting her each time I see her, saying things like ~


“Good morning, momma, you’re doing a good job.”

“Hello sweet momma, you’re awesome.”
“Hi momma, your babies are beautiful.”
“Hi again momma, it’s just me, don’t be afraid.”
“Hey there momma, how brave you are!”
“Hi momma, you’re beautiful.”
“Hey momma, I see you sitting on those eggs, caring for your babies.”

Then before bed I tell her good night and  s l ow l y  crank the window shut. She has no idea what I’m saying or even that I care for her, but I talk to her nonetheless, care regardless, and watch her as she protects, feeds and raises future flyers.

baby birds 2015Recently a big storm was brewing, I kept wondering how I could protect her; the shrub is not full of big summer leaves just yet, leaving her wide open to the elements. The idea of big rain drops pelting down hard on her made my heart  hurt a little. I understood an umbrella would blow away and anything I did would just scare her anyway. (I really tried to think of ways to protect her!) My concern for her increased, though I knew she was created to withstand storms and such.

This morning I walked away after greeting her and suddenly wondered how many ways am I the momma bird to God? I wonder how often He greets me but I do not understand. I wonder how many times He sees storms coming, desires to protect me but knows that is not necessarily His job, how often He looks at me and tells me I’m brave, awesome, beautiful and doing a good job ~ but I just don’t understand the message. I’m considering how often I miss His encouraging words as I sit on my nest, watching over and taking care of the future flyers put in my charge, within (and now outside) of our nest.

If you’re a momma sitting on your nest and you’ve ever wondered if anyone notices you – know that someone does. If you take a pelting as you shield your little ones, know that God has His eye on you ~ I find strength in that. If you think you’re not enough, God says you are. The days you believe the voice that says that you are lacking in looks, know that your Father says, Hey my girl, you are beautiful. When we feel weak our Father whispers You are strong. Being a momma is tough stuff some days, joyful others, lonely occasionally, sad sometimes, fulfilling often. I believe my God sees me and speaks words to me that are above my understanding. This sweet little momma bird has me searching His word afresh, wondering what those words might be and has me listening a little more closely.

He Can Move the Mountains

In the course of our adoption journey, when I have been at the end of myself, with nothing left to give and seemingly nothing at the bottom to even scrape, God would give me this song ~

Everyone needs compassion
a love that never fails
let mercy fall on me…

~ and something within me would stir. When at church, I’d glance at our angry boy standing in the front row, right across the aisle from our pastor, and despite my anger, frustration, sadness or emptiness, I knew those words were true.

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save

I could feel the mountain inside of our boy’s heart and mind. It was a massive, seemingly immovable barricade. The weight of that mountain and it’s jagged cliffs were hurting him, and me, and the rest of our family. It was impeding forward movement.  Each time I heard those words I was reminded God could move that mountain, that He was mighty to save.

So take me him as you find me him
All my his fears and failures
Fill my his life again…

Those are the words I would sing.

Shine your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing for the glory of the risen King…

In my darkness I could sing for the glory of the risen King.

In October of 2012 my husband flew 1,500 miles with our boy, leaving him in a program that was to allow him time and space to mature and heal. 1,500 miles away. In a foreign country. On a mountain. It was the next thing that was presented to us in our journey. It was not what I had expected. It never occurred to me when we adopted him that we would send him away. But maybe, just maybe God knew He could trust us to make this hard, right choice. I don’t know that, but I wonder.

CMA ChurchMany months later when Kevin and I flew down for our first parent visit, our boy was still angry. The last day of our visit was a Sunday and we went to church with him. The church is on the campus of the academy; a simple but beautiful little church. The pews face a wall with a large window, and out that window is a stunning view of a very large mountain. As I stood next to our boy with his own mountain, the visual was not lost on me. An obscure verse we read on a screen recently while visiting a friend’s church in Denver  ~ which spoke to me about our boy ~ was now put up on the screen in this little church facing the mountain, while I sat next to our boy. “OK, God, I see you.” I thought. Then the worship team led us in “Mighty to Save”. My heart lurched and tears streamed down my face, I put my hand compassionately over our boy’s hand with a love I hoped would not fail him; he stood there rigidly. But I was at peace because I sensed God was once more affirming that He was in this whole thing.

Even with this perceived affirmation I wasn’t confident we would ever see this mountain move. But I also knew my Savior had the power to move it. I prayed through that song that God would take him ~ with all his fears and failures and fill his life.

When we returned home my heart was heavy. That first Sunday as I stood in our church I pictured our boy in his church so many miles away. My mind wandered to that mountain out the window and the one within his heart. Then our worship team led us in “Mighty to Save” and tears streamed, I was reminded once more that my God is mighty to save.

On March 22, 2015, after two years and five months, in which our guy   s l o w l y   completed the program, he stood next to me in our home church once more, no more than a few inches separating us.

I quickly had this little conversation with God as we stood to worship:

God,
I know you brought our boy home. I know it’s true because he’s standing next to me. But right now, right here, it would be really cool if our worship team led us in “Mighty to Save”.

Wait…sorry God, it seems I’m always asking you, “Please give me a sign so I know that it’s you.”  I don’t need another sign. I have it ~ the sign is life size and standing next to me. Only YOU could have moved the mountain within this boy. I am grateful. I do not need more of a sign than that.

I started thinking of God telling Moses “…this will be the sign to you that it is I that have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain.” Genesis 3:12

I was at truly satisfied and at peace.

And then our worship team launched into “Mighty to Save”. I felt my knees go weak and there was no stopping the floodgate of tears as my husband reached for my hand. How could God be so compassionate to me? I don’t deserve it, yet he takes me as he finds me, all my fears and failures and fills my life with the lyrics and timing of this song again and again. How Great is our God?! Oh yeah, we also sang a chorus of that at the end of Mighty to Save.

Thank you, God for your compassion and love that never fails. Thank you for your faithfulness and providence over these many years and in the years to come. Thank you for the healing you have done in this boy that you grafted into our family. May we shine your light and let the whole world see, we’re singing for the glory of the risen King!

(We’re on day 8 of the reunification and it’s going well. He has matured much. He actually wants to be here now. He finally trusts us. He’s letting us in. I’m not naive, I’m aware there are likely to be challenges along the way, but with the mountain moved, the journey likely won’t be on such rugged terrain.)

Mighty to Save by Laura Story
How Great is our God by

Coming Home

It’s happening. After two and a half years, our boy is coming home.

Yes, I am excited.
Yes, I am a little anxious.
Yes, I am confident.
Yes, I am at peace.

After his being away for so long, it does suddenly feel like it’s all happening quickly as I hurry to wash sheets (we’ve been using his room as a quest room), make sure I have a jacket that will fit him in the car (the winter weather we have is quite different from the warm weather he has been living in), and plan a menu that will bring him sweet reminders of our home.

On top of all that this week, I took my youngest, Erin, on her final college visit on Monday and yesterday she has made her decision for the fall. It’s all a little emotional here for this momma this week.

Last night Erin and I went on our first weekly dinner date, just the two of us. We needed a plan to maintain our bond and dedicated time together once Kyler returns, so weekly dinner dates it is! It’s my job to balance his needs and her needs. Before he left for the program things were chaotic and there was MUCH focus on the squeaky wheel that was coming off the wagon. She needs to know that in her last few months before she leaves for college, when her emotions are also all over the board, that I’ve got her back and she has my attention. Then there is my oldest, Courtney, who is graduating in a few short months from college. She is in a phase where nothing is exactly solid, where her whole life is about to change, so yeah…I need to be there for her too. And of course, Zach, my 20 year old, going to school 10 hours away…he sometimes also needs me.

Today I am pondering and resting in the timing of the reunion of our family. Courtney and Zach, though at separate universities in different states, are on Spring Break at the same time…and they are both coming home. Courtney is traveling with me, what a great blessing this is to us. My mother-in-law is traveling home with Zach and will also be here when we arrive back home. Kevin took the week off from work and will be with us all week as we re-establish this family unit. I believe the timing is not coincidence. I believe it is a nudge from God reminding me he’s in this. And of course he would be, he is the one who grafted this broken branch into our family.

This is the life of a momma ~ my momma life, your momma life; balancing needs of others, knowing it’s all going to be OK, even when you can’t see your counter-tops. Pausing in the midst of a swirling season of motherhood and treasuring up all these many things and pondering them in your heart.

Today I’m carving out moments to do just that, because tomorrow I begin the travel to go bring our boy home.

The Big 50 Birthday Post

Sheri @ 50I woke up this morning to my 50 year-old self. Just like when I was 5, there were no big changes to report. But kind of like my 5 year old self ~ I am super excited! This morning Barb, my friend of over 18 years (who arrived in town yesterday) and I are getting ready to celebrate the Big 5-O by spending the day running around town blessing others in big and small ways!

Firefighters will receive morning bagels, nurses a basket of lunch goodies, a meal will be delivered, a dog’s adoption fee is about to get paid, notes are being sent and so much more! There are also a few friends here in my town who will also be out blessing others today!

But it’s not just happening in my town, my sisters, husband and kids are helping to spread kindness in Wichita, and Minneapolis, at Purdue University and the University of Minnesota, even in the Dominican Republic someone is going to receive an Act of Kindness today to celebrate these amazing 50 years I’ve been blessed to have. 50 Acts for 5o years!

If you received on of these Acts of Kindness and want to share about it ~ leave a comment! It seems to me that taking up space on the internet to share something good is, well…a good idea. :)

On Turning 50 ~ Part 2

50The countdown is on ~ in less than a week the BIG 5-0 is going to be upon me and I have to admit I’m getting downright giddy!

A few weeks ago I wrote here about turning 50 and my plan to undertake 50 Acts of Kindness that day. This plan is, in part, my antibody to feeling self-centered and entitled that day…because I can be like that sometimes on my birthday. When Erin, my youngest, who will be 18 in a few short months, heard this she said “That is the opposite of how I’m feeling about MY birthday! I’m SUPER excited to have a full day devoted to me!!” She informed me of her plan to stay up all 24 hours on her 18th birthday so she doesn’t miss a moment of celebrating HER! Then she made some remark about different life stages and that she liked hers better!

But enough about Erin, let’s get back to ME! (I can feel Erin’s influence) On Monday, March 2, my husband, three older kids, sisters and a few friends are all in and we are hitting (maybe touching is a better word) our communities with 50 Acts of Kindness! I began prepping many of my Acts of Kindness yesterday and it made me soooo excited to go out, with intention, and bless others!

If you want to join the 50 Acts of Kindness Extravaganza – I would LOVE it! Drop by here on Monday and share what you did on the Birthday post. (If appropriate, take a picture and email it to me at shericarlstrom@gmail.com, I’ll post those here and include them in the video I’m hoping to get made of the day!)  

I believe, without a doubt, that this is the best way for me to turn 50!

(This whole idea came from my friend Sara Norwood – who did 38 Acts of Kindness on her birthday in 2012 (you can see the video of her day here.) Inspired by her, my friend Cathy did 50 Acts of Kindness on her birthday and now me. Sara has inspired 100 Acts of Kindesss! Which is why I’m sharing this here ~ maybe we’ll create a little kindness surge!!)

Acts of Kindness ideas:

  1. M&M’s for the Mailman – “Thanks for driving Miles & Miles to bring us our mail!”
  2. Coupons on grocery shelves – taped near the products
  3. Meijer gift card to the person behind me in line at Meijer
  4. Leave a sticky note on public bathroom mirror – confidence booster / inspirational
    “You ARE beautiful”
    “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.“
    “You’re braver than you believe.”
    “Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.“
    “Your mistakes do not define you”
    “You are enough”
    “Remind yourself that it’s OK not to be perfect”
    “Follow your heart, but take your brain with you”
    “You are valuable”
    “You are worth it”
    “Life is short, smile while you have teeth!”
    “Beauty is confidence applied directly to your face”
  5. Buy coffee for someone
  6. Note of Encouragement to mom taped on changing tables in public restrooms (Target)
  7. Write a note of appreciation to someone and drop it in the mail on March 2
  8. Cookies and thank you note to police officers
  9. Cook a meal for someone – Stromboli / salad / cookies for Rachel
  10. Put gas in someone’s car
  11. Quarters taped to a vending machine
  12. College: Write a thank you note on a sticky and leave it on your tray when you place in on the conveyor belt in the dining hall
  13. bake a cake for someone
  14. Tweet or Facebook a genuine compliment to someone
  15. Bring donuts to someone – Rise & Roll
  16. While out, compliment a parent on their well-behaved child
  17. Write a genuine compliment on someone’s blog (not mine)
  18. Compliment someone in front of others
  19. Go into a restaurant and leave a gift card on someone’s table (Applebee’s)
  20. Popcorn and $1 taped to Red box
  21. Make a drop off donation at Charis House/Rescue Mission, etc…
  22. Leave a REALLY big tip today
  23. Bring a donation from the needs list from a charity
  24. Bring someone flowers
  25. Bake bread and deliver it to a fire station
  26. College: Sit with someone who is eating alone
  27. Donate a needed item to an animal shelter
  28. Pay the adoption fee for someone at the animal shelter
  29. Help someone load or unload their groceries
  30. Go to a nursing home and help paint nails / read to people / visit
  31. Hold the door for someone
  32. Smile – be friendly
  33. Thank a veteran or service man/woman for their service
  34. Leave $1 bills tucked in places at the Dollar store
  35. Deliver balloons to a hospital and ask a nurse to give to someone alone
  36. Deliver a treat to a nurse station at a hospital and thank them for taking care of everyone
  37. Leave a gift card in a book at a bookstore
  38. Give someone your awesome coupon (40% Michaels,15% 20% 30% Kohls, Family Christian, etc..)
  39. Leave art supplies for kids in a hospital waiting room
  40. Put carts away in a parking lot

 

To the Mom Whose Son Just Knocked on My Door

shoveled drivewayYou’re doing a great job raising your boy.

As we both know, it’s yet another ‘no school’ day here due to some snow that fell yesterday. My husband is out of town so I was gearing up to go shovel my driveway when your son knocked on my door. He looked me in the eye and politely asked if he could shovel my driveway for $10; a very reasonable amount, not an “entitled” amount. He seemed as if he was truly looking to serve others and earn a little money doing it. I said “Yes!”

When he was done he (and maybe his little brother?) came to the door again, I thanked him for shoveling and handed him $15. He was just so thrilled with the extra $5 and enthusiastically thanked me, looking me in the eye again. So, I just wanted to tell you how polite and helpful your boy was today. You’re doing a good job.