Post #57 – Random Acts of Kindness

I love random acts of kindness.  I love trying to be kind to random people and those close to me.  I also love being the recipient of random acts of kindness.  Let’s be real… who doesn’t?

I try to be kind and considerate in general.  Though I’m not always a fan of chores such as cleaning and doing the dishes or even housewifey things like packing lunches, I try to do these things and be considerate and kind to both my roommate and my husband.  However, doing these chores isn’t a random act of kindness.

The last random act of kindness I did was probably on Monday when I let my friend borrow my car for the day to drive to Dayton, OH and back.  That is something I wouldn’t do on a daily basis.  And though I would typically let anyone borrow anything of mine that I wasn’t currently using (or wasn’t weird to borrow – like toothbrushes), letting Emily borrow my car was random in that it doesn’t happen every day.  So yeah… I think that is it.

As for receiving random acts of kindness, people have been really kind to me recently, though it isn’t necessarily random.  Friends have bought me lunch; Mal lets me and my husband live with her rent free, lets us do laundry, and makes us dinner; John’s parents lent us a car and a phone; the list goes on and on… I am blessed.  Also I have received many encouraging e-mails from random people recently as a result of an article I published.  Those are random and kind.

What was the last random act of kindness you did?  Or what was the last random act of kindness that touched you?

Post #11

I have many passions and dreams in my life.  I love writing (and blogging) and hope to be a published author some day.  I love reading and hope to be an excellent reviewer of books.  I love music and want to create songs that reflect who I am and why I am that way or what I’m going through.  I love teaching and hope to touch many, many lives and encourage my students to dream big and achieve their goals.  But when I die, I don’t want to be remembered for any of these things.  That is, unless they bring glory to God.

When I die, I want to be remembered for following God with my entire life.  I want to seek Him with all of my life and sacrifice myself and my desires for His glory.  I want to proclaim His glory and His saving grace!  That is what I want to be remembered for!  God is so powerful!  He created everything.  He sustains everything! Only He can save us from our sin.  We are depraved, sinful, selfish people.  We need God.  In his infinite love and grace, He can choose to save us.  God is so awesome!  If I am remembered at all, I want to be remembered for Him!

Things to be happy about!

  1. Skyping with a best friend
  2. Lovely weather
  3. A quiet evening reading
  4. Talking in Chinese with some kids on the street
  5. A good book
  6. Blogging
  7. Emails from friends
  8. Moleskine journals
  9. Candles
  10. Being productive
  11. Dreaming
  12. The local hand-pulled noodle shop (so delicious!)
  13. Local street food

On Simple Thoughtfulness

This morning I arose an entire half an hour early.  Why you might ask?  Simply to love and encourage a friend.  He was going to Starbucks around 8 am to get coffee before he had to be at work on campus by 8:30 am.  It was his first day at a new job that he felt totally unprepared for and was therefore nervous.  The small, insignificant catch is that I work at my internship for the Mid-American Review from 8-11 am on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

So, when falling asleep last night, I had the brilliant idea to set my alarm a half hour early so that I could go to work at 7:30 then duck out for coffee from 8 to 8:30.  Mind you, I don’t particularly enjoy getting up before 7 am.  And before I leave for work, I have to make coffee, shower, and pack my lunch and snacks for the day.  So it takes me about an hour or so to get ready.  That being said, I set my alarm for 6, 6:15, and 6:30 this morning.  I got up, got ready, and actually was at work by 7:30am.

When 8 am rolled around, I wrote a quick note to my boss, in the off chance that he decided to show up before 10, and went to Starbucks.  My friend didn’t know that I was going to be there.  So when he walked in, he was pleasantly surprised to find me sitting there, waiting for him.  He asked why I was there, and I told him that I was there to give him an encouraging hug before work.  We chatted for a few minutes, then we each headed to our respective jobs.

Later that morning, I got a text saying that he really appreciated the encouragement and my thoughtfulness.  I was so glad that I had been able to be there for him and encourage him.  It was totally worth dragging myself out of bed early.  And it wasn’t even really that difficult.  Show up for a cup of coffee, which I always enjoy, and give a friend a hug.  Sometimes, it is the simple gestures that mean the most.  The everyday, common, little things that touch someone’s heart.  And the best part of it all?  It is really easy.  Just think of little ways that you would love to be encouraged and do them for the people you care about.  Simple thoughtfulness can make someone’s day.

Coconut Lattes and Cards

There are two things that I delight in.  Well, obviously, there are more than just two, but there are two things that I delight in doing that I am currently doing.  Ok. . . three really.  One being writing this post.  The other two being drinking coconut lattes and writing cards to my good friends.

I enjoy coffee.  If I am drinking plain coffee, I usually take it black.  Flavored coffee usually gets a little cream mixed in.  And I can drink lattes plain or flavored, either coconut or hazelnut.  Cappocinos are always delighted in plain.  So are Americanos.  Yes, I drink a lot of coffee.  I love to just sit and enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend.  Many good conversations have been had over a cup of joe.  And by g0od conversation, I mean conversation that brought me and my friends closer. Whether that was a silly, ridiculous conversation, a deep, vulnerable conversation, a casual conversation, or a conversation resolving conflict, the conversations have all been good.  I also enjoy a cup of coffee while reading and/or writing.  I love to sit in a coffee shop, sip coffee, and be surrounded by people while I wander through the story of whatever book I happen to be reading or while I navigate through my thoughts and put pen to paper . . .well, typically put my fingers to my keyboard and type.  (On a complete side note, I got a new baby!!!  A netbook that only weighs 2 pounds so I can carry Little, as I so aptly named my baby, without breaking my back.)  I really enjoy being alone in a crowd.  I am energized by being around people.  Or being with small groups of people.  Or one on one with a friend.  Anyway, I love coffee.

I also really enjoy writing random cards or notes to my friends.  I greatly delight in sending these thoughts and notes of encouragement to them.  Sometimes they are goofy.  Sometimes serious.  Sometimes for a specific occasion.  Sometimes just for fun.  Sometimes just to say I love you friend.  Yeah.  It brings me great pleasure to write these cards.  Chances are, if you are one of my closer friends, you will get a random card or note from me at some point. . .  back to writing now.

Success is dangerous. Really.

“Failure’s hard, but success is far more dangerous.  If you’re successful at the wrong thing, the mix of praise and money and opportunity can lock you in forever.”

This quote is from Po Bronson.  I found it on the side of one of my many Starbucks cups one day.  It struck me, but I didn’t really think about it.  I saw it over and over again.  Countless times.  I must have memorized it because while thinking about my life recently, I remembered it.  It made me stop and think.  The first part is obvious.  Failure is hard.  No one enjoys failing.  At anything.  Failure usually brings feelings of worthlessness and the sting of not being good enough.  Everyone longs to succeed.  To be needed.  For if you are successful at something, people will seek you out to accomplish or perform it.  Yet, succeeding is dangerous.  Why?  Because you could be succeeding at the wrong thing.  Just because you are good at something does not mean that you should pursue only that thing.  You could be missing the opportunity to pursue other dreams and be successful at something you may really love and enjoy and be passionate about.

Take my life, for example.  I came to college as a piano performance major.  I was good.  Really good.  I was a state finalist in competitions throughout high school.  I won awards.  I gave a solo senior recital.  I was one of the top pianists in my freshman class at BG.  I was told I had limitless potential.  However, it was the wrong thing for my life.  I am not supposed to be a concert pianist.  Yet, I found myself trapped in it.  Piano became my life.  Until I permanently injured my right wrist.  Suddenly, it was all over.  The pain of losing it still hurts.  I cry because I miss piano sometimes.  However, when I was forced to pursue something else with my life, I found freedom.  I was no longer tied to piano.  I could explore an endless variety of opportunities.  Naturally, I once again steered clear of anything that I knew I would fail at doing.  While searching, I became really involved with my campus church.  I decided to pursue vocational ministry and go on staff once I graduated.  However, this too is not the right thing for my life.  I’m good at it.  But it is not what I am supposed to do.  I’m still unsure as to where I am going with my life.  What I’ll be doing.  I am dreaming though.  I want to write.  I want to love people.  I am interested in protecting human rights.  I’ve thought a lot about editing.  Who knows what I’ll do.  I certainly don’t.  All I know is that I can be successful at a lot of things, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that any of them is right for me.  I’m just going to continue to pursue my dreams and desires.  I’ll find what I am supposed to do along the way.  Maybe I’ll do a variety of things. . . I am a wanderer after all. . .

Beautiful

When I walked into Fusion today, Bernadette greeted me with a story.  She is taking ENG 201 – Intro to Literature with Stacey Osborne.  I also had Stacey for ENG 201 last spring.  Bernadette proceeded to tell me about a conversation she had with Stacey when she went to visit Stacey during her office hours.  Somehow Bernadette mentioned that she knew me and that I had taken Stacey’s class.  Stacey remembered me; actually, I see her every Monday and  Wednesday because she teaches in one of my classrooms immediately preceding my class.  Stacey then went on to tell Bernadette how beautiful I am, even though I don’t know it.  Bernadette didn’t remember all of the conversation, but even just hearing that much of it was really encouraging.  I am beautiful.  And there are people in the world who see me for who I am and love me and want me to succeed.  That is delightful to remember.