Tuesday, August 12, 2014

BEST Date Idea EVER!!!

So I'm pretty sure my friend just went on the best date ever.

She and her husband are in a busy and difficult season of life, as they are raising 3 young (and active) children, they've had job transitions, and most recently a close family member was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
So as her husband's birthday was approaching, she asked him what he would like to do to celebrate his big day.  His response was brilliant:
"I'd like to do a 'Random Acts of Kindness Day' date."

Now friends, this might be the coolest date idea EVER.  We've all heard of doing a "random act of kindness."  But devoting a whole date to it?  Or an entire day?  What a life-altering, perspective changing experience!  Serving others changes you.  It just does.  Taking your eyes off of your own circumstances for a day and having eyes to see the world around you and searching for ways to bless that world?  That's a game changer.

I'm going to suggest this is the best 1st Date idea ever.
It's also the best 100th Date idea ever.
It's also the best Family Date idea ever.  (To cultivate a heart of service into your children?  Priceless.)

I literally got off the phone with my friend and ran to my computer to write this down.
I cannot wait to do this with my husband.
And I can't wait to do this with my kids.

You can sit down and brainstorm ideas that work for you and your community.
But here's the list they made....

1)  Get 2 rolls of pennies and place them around the fountains at the mall, so kids can make wishes.
2) Buy school supplies to fill backpacks for kids/families in need.  (When they dropped off the supplies, they also brought the girl who organizes it all a Starbucks.)
3) Go to the hospital and leave coins at vending machines.
4) Buy fancy sea shells and anonymously drop them around the beach for children to find.
5) Buy a box of dog treats and deliver to the Dog Park.
6) Go to Subway and buy 5 footlong sandwiches and have them cut into 10, 6-inch sandwiches.  Buy a bag of apples and a case of water bottles.  Drive around downtown and hand out to the homeless.
6) Buy lunch for the person behind you in the drive-thru line.
7) Go to the laundromat.  Put quarters in plastic ziplock bags and tape them to random machines.
8) Drive around town and leave coins on Parking Meters
9) Buy ice cream from the ice cream man for kids at the beach.  (this could be done in your local neighborhood too)
10) Buy Starbucks for the person behind you.
11) Go to Costco and buy 2 meals and drop off with 2 different families.  (they did 1 family who is expecting a baby in 2 weeks, and another family who just had a baby and the mom had her first day back at work that day.)
12) Go to an embroidery/tshirt making store and have them make a personalized custom item for someone going through a difficult situation and deliver it.  (They had a personalized baseball hat made for a little boy they know who was recently diagnosed with cancer.  They put his "I'm a fighter" type nickname on it.)
13) Buy flowers and drop them off during BINGO at the local Senior Center.
14) Buy all the supplies for banana splits and dropped it off at the door of a person who has encouraged your life.

The possibilities are endless!
Be creative!
I love these ideas because they bless special people in your lives as well as total strangers!

Sometimes we just need to let someone go in front of us in line.  That act alone can shift our focus from "self" to "others."  
And yet other times we need to spend several hours proactively blessing and serving others.  It's healing and hope-infusing.

Let's do this!
And the more we do it, maybe, just maybe, these random acts of kindness will become less "random" and more "second nature."  And soon we'll just call it An Intentional Life of Kindness.
That would be beautiful.
I'm in.

Squeeze and Space

I was recently invited to write a guest blog post for the incredible writer/blogger/speaker, Leeana Tankersley.  Leeana has a beautiful gift with words and her newest book, "Breathing Room" is soon to be hot off the press!  I feel SO honored to have been asked to guest blog on her site.  I invite you to check out her blog and her new blog series, Squeeze and Space, that I was invited to write on.  :)