Friday, March 15, 2013

49 Acts of Random Kindness for my Birthday Project

I've first learned about Acts of Random Kindness or what I like to call A.R.K. from the movie Evan Almighty. The concept is actually quite simple. You simply perform an Act of Kindness that doesn't require any form of payment. I'd like to think it's what God would like to see more of us doing.

I created a blog, A.R.K. for God, that I established attempting to encourage people to share their acts of random kindness with everyone else. It was created to help provide ideas on just how simple it can be to step outside of our own world and increase our population in our own little world one person at a time. You can visit that blog and if you want to submit ideas simply email me. You can get there by clicking on the link below:

I had seen people sharing videos of what they were doing and something got started called the Birthday Project. Simply put it's doing however many Acts of Random Kindness as the number of years you are celebrating in one single day if you can. It seemed like a simple thing and the best part I noticed is that far too often we don't remember the presents we get but we do remember things that truly touch our hearts in profound ways. This year I wanted to give back instead of simply getting and I wanted the results to last way past the celebration of my birthday. My family was super excited to share in this and what better way to inspire them to do the same hopefully.

On March 3, 2013, I gave back in 49 unique and sometimes very simple ways. I wanted to share some of those highlights with you and hope that it might inspire you. I know it has completely changed my life, and I now I look for ways to pay it forward and do something nice for someone else when I can. Trust me, the response you get from people who are on the receiving end is worth it.

1. My daughter's boyfriend locked his keys in his car and I called AAA for him and showed up with him to wait for help.
2. My daughter's cell phone was dead and she needed a replacement but didn't get paid for another two weeks. Bought her a new phone.
3. My kitties wanted water from the sink, so I turned them on and waited for them to finish.
4. Took my youngest daughter on a spur of the moment shopping trip to make her feel special.
5. Took all my kids to lunch.
6. Left my husband a message on our glass shower door that he could see when he took his shower, telling him how blessed I was to have him in my life.
7. Filled all my bird feeders and fed all the neighborhood birds.
8. Left my hair dresser a very BIG tip!
9. Gave 33 lbs of Iams Dog Food to my neighbor who just got a new puppy.
10. Paid off my daughters medical bills that were simply stressing her out.
11. Loaned money to a friend to buy his dream drum set.

12. Donated 2 bags of clothes to the Salvation Army.
15. Drove 2 hours to pick up drum set for a friend who couldn't fit them in his car and his car literally wasn't that safe to drive that far.
16. Went all out and bought my 3 kitties premium canned cat food. They LOVED it!
17. A friend was moving out of state and needed to sell items to help her move and we bought some stuff from her.
18. Mailed my step mom a birthday card. First time in over 17 years.

19 -30. Mailed out 12 encouraging, inspiring cards to let some special people in my life know just how much I appreciate them. Most I've never personally met.(Also all those cards that were sent out, also sponsored the Compassion International Project with the money used to buy the cards, helps orphans in third world countries!)
31. Sent my niece a $10 Amazon gift card to purchase some books for her Kindle.
32-40. Sent 8 cups of coffee to our service men and women serving our country overseas through the Cup of Joe for a Joe program. (I got responses back from almost all of them, thanking me!)

41. Deposited money in expired parking meters to give people an extra 15 minutes to get to their cars before they received a ticket.


42. Left pennies by a fountain for someone to stop and make a wish.

43. Offered to take someone's picture for them as a couple.

44. Donated money to MDA or Muscular Dystrophy Association.
45. Paid for a strangers coffee and cookie at the Coffee Bean behind us.

46. Bought $20 worth of tokens at Shakey's and donated all the winning game tickets to one little boy.
47. Turned on a heating blanket for my kitty when she got cold.
48. Let a cars go in front of us at a busy intersections.
49. Gave our waiter a HUGE tip. Wish we could have stayed long enough to see his face, but it was super crowded.

These are what my family and I enjoyed doing for my birthday project on completing 49 Acts of Random Kindness. Hope you get the urge to try and do the same. Next year, I am already thinking bigger.

Philippians 2: 1-4 (NIV) "Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others."

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Celebrating Milestones in a Great Way

Doug Eaton wanted to celebrate his birthday on June 11 in a big way, so he turned to his friends for ideas. "I asked a bunch of my friends on Facebook what should I do on my 65th and I got a whole long list of stuff," he shared, "And one of my friends said, 'Why don't you do 65 random acts of kindness?'" So that's exactly what he did, spending 65 minutes standing on the corner of NW 39th Street and May Avenue in Oklahoma City. From a distance, Eaton looked a bit like any other panhandler holding a sign at a street corner. But instead of a plea for money, his sign read: "I have a home...and a car...and a job. Do you need a few bucks for some coffee?" for more on this story, click here!

I think this is a fantastic way to find ways to give back. I mean just how many presents do we need? It never truly satisfies the way this would and I can't wait to do this for my 50th! I know it will be one I remember for the rest of my life unlike any, I ever had the opportunity to celebrate. How about you, perhaps you will do this for your birthday, anniversary or some other special occasion? The results will be the gifts that keep on giving!

For even more great news check out this link, The Birthday Project and gain some insight on ways to share on your birthday or add your own!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hugs Are Always Needed

Here's an inspirational story that showed up in my email this morning from Daily Good and I had to share it with you! ~ Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Yesterday I went to the nursing home to visit my step mom’s grandma.

She just got out of the hospital recently where she underwent some serious operations. I wanted to surprise her after work so I stopped by for a quick visit.
When I got there she was happy to see me. We hugged, kissed and exchanged greetings. Then I heard a woman crying. It was my great grandma’s roommate. The curtain was drawn so I could not see her. She started calling out a name that wasn't mine but she was definitely talking to me, begging me to go to her side of the room.
I ignored her at first and continued visiting with my great grandma. Then she started begging and saying, “Please, come see me!" So I went to see her.
When I drew the curtain back she looked so old and frail but flashed me the biggest smile! She opened her arms wide for me to hug her so I bent low and gave her a hug. She held me so tight and would not let go. I had to force myself to pull away from her and I hated doing it. I sat on her bed and talked with her for a few minutes. She kept calling me by the other name but I did not correct her. She told me stories like I had been there when they happened.
Eventually I went back to visit with my great grandma. Then the other woman started crying again, saying, “Please, come back." She eventually dozed and when she woke up again she said some of the most beautiful and heartwarming prayers I have ever heard. My great grandma told me how they prayed together at night.
I stopped by the nurse’s station and the nurse told me that the lady suffers from Alzheimer's, otherwise known as dementia. I mentioned the name she had called me. The nurse told me it was the lady’s daughter’s name. Then I understood why she wanted me to go visit with her.
It was a heart-breaking experience but it gave me a new perspective on life.
We will all get old someday. Some of us will have broken minds like my great grandma’s roommate and some of us will have broken bodies like my great grandma. But what was beautiful was the fact that both ladies, one 86 and the other 90, did not have broken spirits.
As I was leaving I promised I would go back and visit the lady, even after my great grandma moves back to her home state.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Paying It Forward

Here's another kindness we may want to consider as we are out and visiting our sick family or friends during Christmas. Wishing you and your family a Very Merry Christmas! ~ Love and Hugs, Kat

My mom was recently hospitalized at a local inner city hospital that requires visitors to pay for parking. I cannot fault the organization for accepting revenue for parking when it is difficult to find adequate spaces to park at many hospitals.

As I was leaving I was reflecting on how very fortunate I am that she is improving daily and that I have a job and can afford to pay for parking.

Having a family member or someone you care about to be in a hospital is difficult enough, many folks are grieving or afraid so to extend a small favor like a parking fee, maybe would help just a bit.

So as I left, I gave the parking lot attendant double the parking fee each time I visited and asked her to use the extra money to pay for the next person in line's parking. I have no idea if the person behind me felt any better about the "free parking" but I did!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Anonymous Donors are Making Christmas

At Kmart stores across the country, Santa seems to be getting some help: Anonymous donors are paying off strangers' layaway accounts, buying the Christmas gifts other families couldn't afford, especially toys and children's clothes set aside by impoverished parents. Click the link below to read the full story! Just another way to spread the joy of Christmas!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Experience Christmas Presence

I have had the fortunate insight to see Christmas for what it should be, giving. Giving to those who are around us and hurting. This Christmas isn't about elaborate dinners or more presents for those that have more than enough, it's about extending ourselves to those in need. Families that are hanging on by a thread, but don't ask for anything, people out of work that we can help with a meal or two or a grocery gift card, a lonely person this Christmas that doesn't have a family Christmas to attend. Let's open ourselves up, step outside of our comfort zones and show the world what Christmas really means, let's be the hands, feet and smiles full of love for those that need to see it the most.

This is what Jesus meant when He came into the world to save us all from sin, it was a gift undeserved but desperately needed. Even though we didn't ask for it, God extended this to us gracefully filled with love. So this Christmas, please, extend yourselves to those in need around you. Guaranteed, there is someone out there with worse than you have it. Trust me!

God will return the favor too!

Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them, saying:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,

for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

And again a reminder from Jesus in Matthew 25: 34-40

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

I say it's time to practice what we know and start getting out there and helping. Isn't that what the real spirit of Christmas is all about?

Monday, December 12, 2011

A great reminder for life!

Charles Plumb, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, who was a jet pilot during the Vietnam War. After seventy-five combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb safely ejected and parachuted into enemy territory. He was captured and spent six years in a Communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now lectures on the lessons he learned from that experience.

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, "You're Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!"

Somewhat surprised, Plumb asked, "How in the world did you know that?

The man replied, "I packed your parachute."

Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, "I guess it worked."

"It sure did. If the chute you packed hadn't worked, I wouldn't be here today!" Plumb responded.

Plumb couldn't sleep that night, thinking about that man. He says, "I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a navy uniform: a white hat, a bib in the back, and bell-bottom trousers. I wonder how many times I might have seen him and not even said good morning, how are you, or anything else, because, you see, I was a fighter pilot, and he was just a sailor."

Today when Plumb speaks professionally, he asks audiences, "Who's packing your parachute?"