Posts filed under ‘Writing Challenges’

Kindness is Planting a Tree

Kindness is doing something that is thoughtful and beneficial. Taking care of our planet by planting trees falls into that category.

Several years ago, some ladies from my church and I went camping at Smudea campground in Northern California.. One of the activities was to plant seedling trees. It was a meaningful time for all of us. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to plant more trees.

I don’t think you can have too many trees in any city.

My city is having a tree planting event on Saturday, March 28. My daughter and I are going. Want to join us? The details are below

March 28 — Cordova Meadows Neighborhood & Taylor Park Planting

Saturday, March 28 8:45A – 12:00P

Join us in planting trees in the Cordova Meadows area of Rancho Cordova! The trees we plant will improve mental health, create more breathable air, and reduce negative health outcomes such as asthma and cardiac disease!

Go here for more information.

Your Turn . . . Have you ever planted seedling trees? … Been to a tree planting party? … Do you know the song about Johnny Appleseed?

Related Posts …

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

My Landing Page for This series . . . Sprinkling Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure.  Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

Thanks go to Elizabeth Symington for making my #Write31Days button and basic graphic for the kindness quotes. Elizabeth wrote a 31 days series on Summer of Service in Yosemite.

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Kindness is Calling Someone by Their Name

Scroll down for the Landing Page information  (aka Table of Contents) for this Kindness series.

“A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”   Dale Carnegie.

If a name tag is present, I will call a nurse, wait staff, or a receptionist by their name. I think calling them by their name acknowledges them and shows respect.

I like name tags. Wearing a nametag makes me feel more connected because if others are wearing one as well, we have the option of calling each other by name. There is less awkwardness. I want the person I am addressing to know I believe they are important. Using a person’s name has that power.

Using a person’s name is thoughtful, attentive, considerate, and friendly. In short, it is kind.

In the past two years, the people at my church have been wearing nametags. This has allowed me to learn the names of many people. Seeing that visual reinforcement week-after-week is helpful since I am a visual learner.

I believe others also find this a useful way to learn names. Regular attenders are not the only ones who benefit. Newcomers are also impacted. We can greet each other by name. I believe this adds to the friendliness of our church.

Calling folks by their name is, indeed, a kind thing to do.

Your Turn . . .

  • Do you call people you see on a regular basis by their name?
  • How do you feel when someone calls you by your name?

Related Posts . . . 

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

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Want to know what other acts of Kindness are on the list? Go to my Landing Page . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure of Intentional & Random Acts of Service.  

 

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Kindness is Gifting a Banana

Scroll down for the Landing Page (aka Table of Contents) information for this Kindness series.

So many of us like to show affection by gifting food to others.

  1. We bring a cake to the office, just because.
  2. We take two dozen, straight-out-of- the-oven cookies to our next door neighbor.
  3. We fill a container with tasty leftovers for a single person at our church.

This sounds nice, right? Not always.

  • If your office workmates are on a diet, your cake is a hindrance.
  • If your neighbor is vegan and your cookies have eggs and butter, this gesture is not welcome.
  • If your single friend just doesn’t like leftovers, this food gift will annoy them.

In each of these cases, the food will be wasted. You may be considered inconsiderate if they expressed their wishes of not eating certain foods and you forced your gift anyways. Feelings could be hurt because the recipient thought you were not being kind.

My sister recently hung a banana on my office doorknob. (We work in the same building.)  I’d say my sister was being kind because really I shouldn’t eat candy on account of my diabetes.

Kindness is being . . .

  • attentive,
  • considerate,
  • friendly, and
  • thoughtful.

It was attentive, considerate, friendly, and thoughtful that she didn’t give me a sugar-laden treat.

And to top it off, this banana had freckles. I enjoy freckled bananas. Jenny prefers her bananas freckle-free. So we both benefitted from her thoughtful, kind act.

It is kind to follow the food preferences of our family and friends. If they don’t eat gluten, salad, meat, or whatever, don’t try to change their palettes. We don’t have to agree with or understand their choices or their reasons. Let’s be kind by supporting one another’s food decisions.

Your Turn . . . 

  • When was the last time someone pushed food on you that you didn’t appreciate? How did that make you feel?
  • When was the last time someone gifted you food that you did appreciate? How did that make you feel?
  • Would you like to make a change in this area? If yes, what will you do.

Related Posts . . .

And to top it off, this banana had freckles. I enjoy freckled bananas. Jenny prefers her bananas freckle-free. So we both benefitted from her thoughtful, kind act.

It is kind to follow the food preferences of our family and friends. If they don’t eat gluten, salad, leftovers, or whatever, don’t try to change their minds. We don’t have to agree with or understand their choices or their reasons. Let’s be kind by supporting one another’s food decisions.

Your Turn . . . 

  • When was the last time someone pushed food on you that you didn’t appreciate? How did that make you feel?
  • When was the last time someone gifted you food that you did appreciate? How did that make you feel?
  • Would you like to make a change in this area? If yes, what will you do?

Related Posts . . .

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

_____________________________________________

Want to know what other acts of Kindness are on the list? Go to my Landing Page . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure of Intentional & Random Acts of Service.  

 

 

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Kindness is Sitting With Someone

On most Sundays, a majority of people sit in the same spot at church. They do this out of habit, so they can see or hear better, so they can socialize with their seat buddies, or so they can leave the sanctuary mid-service (for a potty break or to tend a child) without disturbing a lot of people.

Plus, doing so brings pleasant feelings. Regularly sitting in the same area gives people a sense of belonging and familiarity. These feelings enhance the worship experience.

If you are new, shy, or haven’t made friends yet, you probably don’t have a set seat. And worse yet, if you take someone’s set-seat, sometimes you are given a frown or shooed away. All this can lead to feeling like an outsider.

Let me suggest one thing. The next time you go to church, sit with someone who is alone. Or invite him/her to sit with you. Doing this sends the message that you are inviting him/her into your sphere of friends. It is a kind thing to do.

Kindness is making a point to sit with someone who is alone.

Need a refresher on what kindness looks like? Kindness is caring, considerate, friendly, hospitable, observant. A kind person wants others to feel like they, too, belong.

Your Turn . . .

  1. Do you have a special spot you like to sit when you attend church?
  2. How do you feel when someone sits there?
  3. When was the last time you purposefully sat with someone who was alone?
  4. Tell about a time someone did that for you.

Related Posts . . .

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

_____________________________________________

Want to know what other acts of Kindness are on the list? Go to my Landing Page . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure of Intentional & Random Acts of Service.  

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Friday’s Fave Five – February 21, 2020

“Gratitude is like a food group. It is essential for being alive.” ~Henry Winkler

Friday’s Fave Five reminds us to list five favorite people, activities, things, etc from the past week. My five are as follows . . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

ONE. We had a birthday party for a dear niece born on Valentine’s Day 24 years ago. Kadie is smart, funny, creative, loving, and fun to be around. We ate around the fire in the back yard. It was a wonderful way to celebrate her.

TWO. I received 10 Valentine’s Day cards from gal pals. I organized a Valentine’s Day card exchange. That way to could encourage each other with words of affirmation. And we, in turn, could get encouraged by the same.

THREE. I attended a princess themed dinner party with some single women. Scotti cooked us a Middle Eastern feast. We played a princess word search and a fill-in-the-blank game. There was also LOTS of laughter and getting to know each other better by telling/listening to stories of our lives.

FOUR. This week my daughter, Elizabeth, and I actually spent two evenings together. One night we played Boggle. This is my favorite game. I bought it from the thrift store for only $1. For the other night, we watched Independence Day. I haven’t seen that movie since it came out in 1996. It was as exciting to watch now as I remember 24 years ago.

FIVE. I spent many enjoyable hours working on cupcake fondant toppers for a superhero group birthday party. A local agency organized this for underserved kiddos.

Your Turn . . . What is on your favorites list this week? Please share in the comments or link up to Susanne’s weekly meme, Friday’s Fave Five.

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Friday’s Fave Five February 14, 2020

Looking through the lens of gratitude helps me see just how amazing the gift of another day is. “This is the day the Lord has made! We will rejoice and be glad in it,” Psalm 118:24

Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Friday’s Fave Five. How fun that the two of them coincide this year. I am taking great delight in writing today’s post on five favourite things from the past week. I am linking this post to Susanne’s meme here.

ONE. Missions Tea. Last Saturday we had our annual Missions Tea. The (46) ladies got to eat tea foods, chat, sing (thanks, Andrea), pray, and listen to a missionary (hurray for Tammy) tell us how God has impacted the lives of people in their corner of the world. This time the “corner” was Papua Indonesia. It was a fun, entertaining, learning, and encouraging time together.

TWO. Missions Magnets. Every year, we always make a magnet to commemorate the Tea. This time we made sheep out of air-dry clay. Four of us spent time on this project. Thanks go to Rosemary, Scotti, and Gillian. Our verse was John 10:16.

THREE. Card Exchange. Valentine’s weekend 2001, my husband told me he wanted a divorce. So ever since then, I haven’t had a great feeling about this day (the whole week, really). Read this post, 3 Ways I Made My Day Special on Valentine’s Day,  to see what I’ve done about that. This year I arranged a Valentine’s Day Card exchange with some gal-pals. Tonight I am looking forward to savoring 10 Valentine’s I received in the mail. And I am looking forward to them opening thier card from me.

FOUR. Time off. I worked hard (alongside my team and a few other ladies) to get the Missions Tea just right. So I took time off this week. I slept, read, created some fondant superhero cupcake toppers (for a  Cake4Kids delivery next week), and watched Zumbo’s Just Desserts. I know I will return to work on Sunday feeling refreshed.

FOUR. Ecclesiastes. My evening Bible study is finally starting back up again. It was supposed to start on Monday, but, half the women were either ill or out-of-the-country. So, our new start date is Monday, February 24th. Because some ladies asked, I am also going to do this online, as well. I’ve been enjoying studying this book of the Bible.

FIVE. Telly Time. My daughter and I don’t normally spend much time watching shows. But this week, we decided to watch Next in Fashion. 18 fashion designers competed to become the next in fashion hottest thing. We appreciated the creativity and relative non-drama narrative. The two semi-finalists were two of the sweetest, most gentle people. A lot of the designers actually exhibited those traits. It was cool seeing them give helpful feedback to each other despite the fact that they were competing against each other.

I hope y’all have a heart-warming day today. And I hope you write your own FFF post. Comments are always welcome.

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Friday’s Fave Five – December 13, 2019

This is a busy time of year for all of us. If you are like me when it is busy simple, but, important things like concentrating on gratitude get forgotten. That is why I am glad to be part of this weekly meme that Susanne hosts: Friday’s Fave Five. Be sure to post your list in the comments or go to this link to post from your blog. Sorry about the formatting; not sure how to fix it.

ONE. Red glittery poinsettia.
I put red glitter gel on some of the leaves of a poinsettia plant.
It looked so sparkly and fun.
I then gifted this to a friend recuperating from surgery.
It was a short craft, but enjoyable none-the-less.
I am grateful to be able to take my friend an extra special Christmas plant.

TWO. Rain. We had rain on Saturday night that was fierce.
But it only lasted a short time and so the weather didn’t deter seniors from attending our annual Christmas dinner.
I am grateful that we were able to gather, eat, and have fun together.

THREE. Gift idea. I’m not usually one who finds great gifts.

But I found the perfect thing for a white elephant party I’m attending tomorrow night.

If no one else wants it, hope I get it.

I am grateful that I get to bring this gift that anyone would be happy to receive.

FOUR. Lying in bed. One of my physical therapy exercises is lying in bed for increasing amounts of time. Last night I was lying in a prone position for two hours before it became too uncomfortable to continue.

I am grateful to see progress.

FIVE. Bean soup. My daughter – Elizabeth – got a package of soup beans and made up a delicious soup. Instead of using water, she used bone broth. Every time I took a bite, I had to say, “This is so delicious.”

The bean soup was a perfect meal for a cold rainy week.

I am grateful for Elizabeth’s initiative in making this delicious soup. And, hurray, she bought another soup packet last night.

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Friday’s Fave Five – December 6, 2019

It is good for me to reflect on the blessings in my life on a regular basis. Right now, I do that weekly. That will have to do until I do this on a daily basis.

Won’t you ponder with us? Go to this link. I am grateful that Suzanne has this weekly meme that keeps us chugging along on the gratitude train.

Here are five of my blessings in no particular order.

ONE. Because of food poisoning, I wasn’t able to write/post last week’s FFF or even go to Thanksgiving dinner with the family. I am grateful for the texts of love I received. And I am grateful for the leftovers that I enjoyed for several days after I felt I could safely eat.

TWO. I found a great deal on beautiful, red poinsettias. So I bought a bunch to deliver to the folks in the areas of ministry that I oversee at church: small groups, women’s ministry, and senior (55+) ministry. I delivered the lovely plants and had an opportunity to chat with most of the recipients. I felt encouraged. I hope “my” people did, too. I am grateful for the dedication, godliness, and love each of these folks display in their work and towards the people they touch. And of course, I was delighted/grateful for the poinsettias.

THREE. A friend, Jeanette, took me to a Trans Siberian Orchestra concert. Despite a little vertigo, we made it safely up and down to/from our seats. While not very nutritious, we had a tasty hot dog dinner. And, of course, the show was spectacular. The lights! The orchestra! The songs! Spending time with my friend! I am grateful for this great way to start the holiday season.

Two of our ladies couldn’t make it. But it was still a fun, nurturing time.

FOUR. At my December women’s book club we had a cookie exchange in addition to discussing this book. It was helpful to discuss how we could reach out to some who are having a hard time this season. We also prayed for one of our members who is having a hard time. I am grateful for this group that has become close-knit. We’ve been meeting for 2 years now. I made these cranberry orange shortbread cookies and they were yummy.

FIVE. We are having our PEP 55+ Christmas dinner on Saturday. Rusty, one of the chefs, also created the shopping list and did the shopping. He dropped off all the food at the kitchen yesterday. I am grateful for his attention to detail and selflessness in taking on this holiday project.

Have a week full of pondered blessings, my friends.

 

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Friday’s Fave Five – November 15, 2019

Friday’s Fave Five is a space for thanksgiving. We recount five blessings from the past week. We are grateful for the big and small things, people, places, thoughts, etc. Below is my list.

ONE. Leaves. I think leaves are one of God’s wonderful deeds. This is especially true when I am taking a walk through layers and layers of them. “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1 … I am grateful for God’s wonderful deeds.

TWO. Music. Singing or listening to praise music leads me to thanking God for who He is and what He has done. “The Lord is my strength and shield. … I trust him with all my heart. … He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. … I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” Psalm 28:7… I am grateful that music influences my moods and thinking; as well as being a way I can express myself.

THREE. Gratitude Mug & Muffin (M&M). On Saturday, 24 women gathered at my church to drink beverages out of our mugs, eat muffins (and other foods), craft, and listen to two women share how gratitude has impacted them. This was an encouraging morning and gave me much to think about. I am now more motivated to live in and express gratitude daily. Soon, I will post thoughts that the two ladies shared. … I am grateful for the example of others and how that changes me.

FOUR. Biscotti. Marsha and I baked biscotti for the M&M. We made pumpkin chai and dark chocolate orange. Both were good, but the dark chocolate orange was better than good. Here is a link to the recipe. … I am grateful for time with Marsha and trying new recipes 9especcially from Sally’s Baking Addiction).

FIVE. Harriet, the movie. Marsha and I also saw this movie. It was powerful. Such a dark time in our nation’s history. I keep thinking about this quote that Harriet said to her master’s son: “God don’t mean people to own people!” … I am grateful for people who do what it takes to eliminate evil.

What’s on your gratitude list?  Share in the comments. Or write your own post and link up at Susanne’s place.

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Friday’s Fave Five – November 8, 2019

Sometimes a week is so FULL that it flies right by without reflection. That is why I take time each week to look at what happened and then express gratitude for the big and little things. This quote reminds me why it is important to especially look at the small things like a to-do list and frozen yogurt.

ONE. Book Club. At our November meeting, we discussed The Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans. It was interesting to hear the different perspectives of the group. It was interesting to note how at the end of the project, Evans loved the Bible (more) and wanted to study/meditate more on it. There were two big takeaways for me. 1. Buy more ethical products, like fair-trade chocolate and coffee. 2. Cheer on the ladies around me; cheer on their big and small victories. Cheer them on just because of who they are. Well done, women of valor! I am grateful that we can read a diverse range of books and hear each other’s comments. I am grateful for my “sisters” and their valor.

TWO. To-do Lists. I love to-do lists. I love the actual writing of the list. And I love the actual accomplishing of the tasks on the list. This week, I was able to mark off most items from each day’s list. Using a to-list helps me to curb my “squirrel” tendencies. I am more easily able to remind myself what the TASK I am doing right now is. I am grateful that I am finally learning how to write a doable list for each day. I am grateful for the energy to get the tasks done. My shoulder injury is impacting me less and less each week.

THREE. Frozen yogurt and an early bedtime. This has been a week of long days at work since I was working on three projects. One night I came home TIRED and late. My daughter was also TIRED. So we went out to dinner – a dinner of frozen yogurt. Afterward, I went straight to bed. (This time change is kicking my behind!) I am grateful for the opportunity to eat frozen yogurt. I am grateful for eating it with my daughter. I am grateful for being able to go to bed early and sleep well!

FOUR. Packing Party. A group from church gathered to pack up shoeboxes. We collected all year long and had enough items for 53 boxes. Next year, we will make sure to have more of the following items: soap and soap containers, brushes, washcloths, and crayons. I am grateful for the folks who donated. I am grateful for the ladies who helped p[ack the boxes. While it was a lot of fun. You’d be surprised to know how hard it is on the body to pack for 2.5 hours. I am grateful that we get to impact the lives of 53 kiddos and their families.

FIVE. Driving with more ease. Hurray. The nerve pain (in my right arm) when I drive is almost gone. My shoulder is still stiff. But I am able to drive much more easily. Driving, as it turns out, is good physical therapy for my arm since I put the arm in positions that stretch it. This type of therapy is more exciting because I get an actual reward at the end (arrival at my destination). I am grateful that I finally have some transportation independence. And I am grateful that I am able to use my arm more and more each week.

Join us at this link, to share your five fave blessings. Or leave a comment on this post. Here is my list. Let’s cheer each other on in the big and small things we share.

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Fridays’ Fave Five – November 1, 2019

It is Friday, so it is time to share five of my favorite blessings from this past week. I do this to cultivate a grateful heart and to say thanks (especially to God). To join me (and others) in this weekly meme, go to Susanne’s blog.

ONE. Voice-To-Text. I am still using this technology to (mainly) express my written communications. It is a bit cumbersome, but it helps protect my hands and arm from too much overuse.

TWO. Skill. I have been tying my own shoes all by myself this past week. It is still hard to put on my socks, but that is progressing as well.

THREE. Car. My car has been returned and it looks good. No sense of it having been burned. And as a bonus, the whole process was seamless, especially when dealing with USAA.

it is too big for Emily, but it sure is cute.

FOUR. Another Skill. I am driving. There is still nerve pain in my right arm, but not enough to stop me. I mainly go between work and home (at most 12 minutes one way).

FIVE. Halloween. My granddaughters are now in VA so I couldn’t go with them as they made their candy rounds. I did get to Facetime them and see their costumes. Then I went to my sister’s home for dinner and a book discussion. I got to see the costume one of my niece’s wore. Afterward, we took a walk. It was a different way to celebrate, but it was lovely time.

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Friday’s Fave Five – October 25, 2019

Another week of events has passed; many mundane, some heart-touching, and one was potentially traumatic. But there is something to be grateful for in each one. There is always something in which to praise God.

Read on as I share five of my favorite blessings. To share your blessings list, link up at Susanne’s Friday’s Fave Five meme at Living to Tell the Story.

ONE. Wednesday was the first day I went without my shoulder brace and didn’t have nerve pain at the end of the day.

TWO. Also that night I was able to take an evening walk without my arm hurting and feeling fretful because I couldn’t find a comfortable position.

My daughter says it looks like my car has a cataract.

I am still being restrictive with my movements, but I am seeing great improvements these past few days.

THREE. On Sunday my car was in a fire. I need to replace a headlight, bumper, and grille.

My car is on the far left. No one got hurt (except a squirrel) and no structures burned. The fire was inches away from a row of garages. Only the tree and the fence were aflame.

The fire department is not investigating further: the cause is unknown.

My church is having a packing party on November 7th. It will be a fun & fulfilling time of loading up the shoeboxes with items from the various categories: hygiene, toys, school supplies, etc. We will also have a time of prayer for the recipients.

I am grateful for the community that pulled together finding fire extinguishers and using them to make sure the garages and other vehicles were not damaged. I am also grateful my daughter did not get hurt when moving my car away from the fire.

FOUR. A work colleague likes to cook and bake and then bring these items into the office for us. This week it was squash soup. YUMMM. I had forgotten my lunch that day and so getting this warm, filling, tasty treat was especially appreciated.

FIVE. Do you see the label on this cardboard shoebox? It is more than a reminder to fill up a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. It is a STICKER label! I love stickers and I love this easy way to attach a label to the boxes I fill.

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