Sunday, December 23, 2012


Anne Frank Said, “No one has ever become poor by giving”

The other day we were in the In-N-Out drive through grabbing some lunch in the middle of a long day of Christmas shopping. We ordered our food, and when we went to pay, they told us that the car in front of us had paid for our meal.

Apparently their kids were doing 25 random acts of kindness, and buying our food was random act #2. We were stoked.  I love saying Thank you, and it felt so strange to me to hear this and look around for someone to thank, and find no one, because they were already gone. I sat there pleasantly stunned.

The Rookie however, was so enchanted by the situation, that he paid for the food of the people behind us. As we drove away, we  talked about how cool it would be, if it kept going on in that drive through, until it reached someone who really really needed it.

On Saturday I went to Costco, alone with LG. Yes, I went there on saturday with all the crazy crowds, with a toddler, and with a huge baby bump. I know it was a crazy move, but The Rookie was working, and I had to get the last minute things to get ready for Christmas. So I went.

It was a nightmare. 

There were so many people in the aisles, that you couldn't even turn your cart without a turn signal. It was like driving in Italy, except there were no stop lights, or lines in the road, and everyone kept stopping right in front of me to get samples.

But something awesome occurred while I was there, well a few somethings. People were so kind to me. Unusually kind. I don't know if it was the Spirit of Christmas that is in the air, or that with my belly, and my toddler, all alone, I look like a walking charity case, but whatever the reason, people were awesome to me.

When I first walked up to the door, I struggled to get my cart while holding LG's hand, and a man asked me if I needed him to lift my toddler into the cart. 

Yes! Yes I would love to have you lift my 32 pound toddler into this cart for me. Thank you so much!

Later a sweet middle aged woman looked at me pushing my cart and told me I was brave. Funny, I didn't feel brave, I felt dumb. But when she said it, it made me feel brave, and strong. Strong enough to handle the monumental tantrum LG threw just minutes after she said it.

When I was finally through the madness, and had some frozen yogurt for the road, I returned to the car to load my treasures. I looked at the gigantic bag of potatoes in my cart,  and wished there was some way that I wouldn't have to lift them out of the cart and into my trunk. So I looked behind me hoping to see an employee, or a kind stranger, and I found a friend. 

A good family friend was walking by at that exact moment. So I said hello, and asked for some help. He not only lifted the potatoes for me, but loaded the rest of my groceries as well. 

I know these things might not seem like a big deal. But to me, they made a potentially awful trip to Costco totally bearable.  

Photo Credit
Hoarding Pies
Last year I my made my first Thanksgiving Dinner.  And I made all these deserts, and displayed them on the table like the fancy desert tables I kept seeing on Pinterest.  The prettiest dessert I made, were these mini pumpkin pies. I must have done something wrong when making them though, because most of them got stuck in the pan. So there were only 5 that were good enough to display on my dessert table, and I was really sad about it.  

Just before dinner The Rookie came in and asked me if he could take some of the mini pumpkin pies to our neighbors down stairs.  But I said no.  Well actually I asked if he could just wait until after dinner because they were my prettiest dessert, and I wanted the table to look pretty for my family.  

In that moment I knew that I was losing an opportunity to give, and bless the lives of others.  But I didn't listen. 

By the time dinner was over, it was late, too late to take the pies to our neighbors, and not one of them had even been eaten by my family. The next day I was too embarrassed to take the pies to them, because by then they were just leftovers.  What a wasted opportunity to bless my neighbors. 

I learned an important lesson that day about allowing myself to give, even when it may sting. Sometimes it is tough to give when it stings.  But the joy that comes from giving freely far outweighs the devastation of untouched leftover pies.

September 11th, 2001
I will never forget September 11th 2001. I was a college student, and the day was a whirlwind of fear, and disbelief. It was tough to imagine that something so devastating could happen in my country, a place where I had always felt so safe. I was in a state of shock. But the events didn't sink in until that night.

I was sitting on the floor of my apartment watching the news coverage, and they showed a scene in front of a Red Cross in New York. There were masses of people there. Some were emphatically holding up pieces of cardboard waving them in the air, to help each other know where to go.

On the makeshift signs, scribbled in marker, were blood types. The people were getting in lines according to their blood type, to give blood for the victims of the attacks. There were hundreds of them. All trying to do something to help. Trying to give what they could give, and they could give their blood.

I sat on the floor that night and cried like a baby at this scene of hundreds of people trying to do something, anything to help.

Photo Credit

Free Coffee
This past week as we have learned of the devastation in Newtown, Connecticut. My heart has hurt for the parents of those little ones. I have held my sweet baby tighter. I have thought about the families of the teachers and administrators who were lost. I feel their pain, as I too once lost my sister tragically, when she was a young adult.

I have longed to go there, to do something to help. To give comfort, or something. Anything.  Then I read of a single act of kindness that came from far away to bring a bit of comfort to those who mourn. 

"On Monday morning, a woman reportedly called the Newtown General Store and said she wants to buy coffee for everyone in town. The clerk cried as the woman asked to be billed for every cup of coffee billed throughout the day." -Mike Bertha,

Hearing this story has inspired me, to look beyond myself, to strive to give, whatever, or whenever I can.

Let us all be like the woman who bought coffee for everyone, like the people who lined up, and then waited for hours to give their blood to the wounded, like the man who lifted my heavy toddler into my cart, like the family who bought my family lunch and then disappeared before we could thank them. 

Let us give, even when it may sting, and be willing to bless the lives of others, this Christmas, and throughout the year.

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