FRAGILE handle with care

61f71b81c03c3205c2d8352182c1d956 One thing I have learned is that God places me (or the other way around 😉 in situations where I am needed. Whether it was a single mom who had just moved here from Turkey and they didn’t have anything for Christmas, a couple of homeless kids who needed a shower and a meal, various people who just needed a ear to listen, a homeless musician who needed encouragement to connect with his daughter, a young girl just out of foster care who I still talk to every day…there are people all around us who need something.

There are so MANY people who need to be handled with great care. 

After my daughter and I came across a young man (Quinn) walking along the road carrying garbage & our brief encounter, I have had this nagging intuition to find him. I have felt very strongly that he may need us in some way, that we were put in his path for a reason. After weeks of thinking how crazy that looks (an adult trying to find this young man) I decided I would try. Because, I know for some reason we crossed paths.

I felt we (as a family) could use this inspiration of one kid doing such a small act and build on that, so we decided we would find this young man and tell him what an inspiration he was to us that we are going to start an organization that finds other kids in our community who are making small changes that will make a big difference and gift them some kind of award and one hundred dollars.

We thought we would begin with Quinn. We knew he lived in a certain area near our home, but not sure where. I stopped by a random house and simply asked if they knew a Quinn that lived somewhere nearby. The woman did know the young man and asked why we were looking for him. I expressed that he had inspired us with a kind action he had done for the community and we wanted to give him a gift to thank him. She asked what he had done & I explained the story of finding him on a main road with armfuls of garbage. She smiled & said, “Yeah that is pretty great! My kids definitely would not do that.” She then told us, “that will be a great thing for Quinn. He and his family have been through  a lot.” My heart immediately knew we were in the right place and that following this continued guidance was where we needed to be. She sent us his address.

I ran to the dollar store to find a gift box and a frame for a favorite quote we would gift him. While I was at the store I came across this huge hanging rack of shipping labels that said in huge letters, “FRAGILE. Handle with Care.” I looked at that and it made me think how people are like that. Everyone has a story, a journey, heartbreaks, challenges, emotional needs, etc. and how we need to be sensitive to others and handle them with genuine care.

We genuinely just wanted to make this young man feel appreciated and notice him. We still don’t know what he or his family has gone through, but we wanted to handle the moment with great care and love. We wanted it to be a highlight moment in his life where complete strangers noticed him and his light in this world. We wanted him to know he was not alone or that his actions went unnoticed.

It was a wonderful exchange and he was so surprised and moved that his actions would inspire anyone. We all felt lifted by the genuine care and sincerity of the moment.

Everyone is going through something—“Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Always be kind.” Everyone is going through something on some level, so remember the labels we put on others and try this one…”FRAGILE handle with care”

So, when you see a stranger carrying garbage or an elderly woman struggling to carry groceries, pull over, have a genuine moment and handle them with love and care. Everyone will take away something good from the needed connection.

Peace and Love to you today,  -H

 

Angels among us

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Christmas day this year we surprised our daughter with a Cirque show in Vegas.

We were a little worried because our Dodge Durango had been giving us some transmission issues a few days before Christmas. We were recently gifted a truck after my husbands Dad died a few months ago, so thankfully we had a truck to drive down to Vegas.

We drove six hours on Christmas Day to see the Cirque show, Le Reve and it was an incredible show. The night was magical and our day ended with such delight and a great memory together.

The next morning we got up to drive to a nearby city to get breakfast. The morning was colder than normal for Las Vegas and the roads were wet with fresh rain. As we were driving the truck hit a slick patch and began to spin out of control. Our daughter was in the front cab with us and became hysterical. Everything slowed down & every moment was in such slow motion. We fully rotated two times before hitting the seventy-degree, man-made mountain that the truck was thrown up on. We began to roll. My husband looked out his window and saw dirt that then turned to grey sky. I was watching my window seeing only asphalt and waiting for the large truck mirror to explode on impact. As my daughter was screaming and crying, I calmly told everyone, “We are going to roll.” We all braced for impact and then all the sudden miraculously, the truck tipped back up into an upright position. We were facing oncoming traffic, but luckily it was like the truck had been perfectly positioned on the shoulder where we were not stopping or blocking any traffic.

We sat stunned and motionless. We watched as many cars drove by. We were so grateful that we did not have the amount of traffic that was passing us when we were spinning out of control. There could have been multiple people involved. Another blessing.

We also knew that there had to be angels with us through that crash because how would a car be tipping, in the midst of rolling and then come back up. We all knew we had been protected and blessed. My husband joked, “my Dad obviously did not want to see his truck destroyed.” We laughed and joked, but we also knew it was very true. We know there were angels there that day.

Two of the tires on the driver’s side were blown out and we were in such a hidden location that the cops couldn’t find us. Thankfully no one was hurt or it would have been an even scarier situation.

It was a terrifying experience, but it was also a memory we will always have together that will always remind us how close heaven truly is. We know we were protected. We know there were angels there that day.

-Peace and Love to you today. Know you are held in the safe embrace of heaven.

Connect

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We need connection as human beings. I have struggled with this and continue to try and find my way through seeking connections on various levels. I don’t suffer from depression or have any greater emotional need. I have lonely moments from a lack of feeling connected, who doesn’t, but I definitely see and feel a strong need in the world for connection.

“We were born with the craving for connection. Each of us every day look for evidence that we are not alone.”  -Lisa Prosen

People slip by us in grocery stores, rarely do we thank our delivery man or woman, smiles seem to evaporate with the busy race that seems to speed up our lives and the constant attention our phones demand takes away any sense of eye contact or connection.  We seem to be feeling more and more alone in this world.

One Republic has a great song called, “Connection” that illustrates this common feeling of needing connection by simply stating, “Can I get a connection.”

According to an article by Psychology Today, “In our advanced digital age, one of the prevalent concerns regarding the increasing emergence of loneliness is how we have become less caring of others. At one time, our very survival depended on trusting and supportive relationships. Fundamentally, it doesn’t matter how technologically sophisticated we become; emotional connectivity remains a core part of being human. We need each other—maybe not in the ways that characterized us evolutionarily, but for a need that remains essential for psychological survival.”

So, as many of my posts have talked about, I have been seeking and trying to connect more with those around me—strangers, restaurant workers, neighbors, etc. People need connection. They need a simple smile, a hello, someone interested, someone who notices them…simple things.

My daughter and I were driving down a road near our home and came upon a young man who had his arms full of stuff. Upon closer look, he was carrying garbage. I looked at my daughter and could not believe it!! I said to her, “how often do you see a kid your age picking up garbage? I am going to turn around and give him some praise and thank him.”

My daughter was mortified and said, “No, don’t!”

I smiled and turned the car abruptly and headed in the young man’s direction. We pulled the car over right in front of him. [I actually think I scared him & he wondered if we were going to run him over.]

I jumped out of the car & told him what an incredible thing he was doing. One person making a difference in any way he could. He smiled and was so humble. My daughter by this point figured she should say something and got out of the car. We all exchanged some small talk about different areas/projects we have tried to do cleanups to help make a difference. We were all passionate about making small differences. It was a fun conversation and we ended up taking all the garbage in our car so he could finish his run home.

It was a great moment of connection. We were so happy we stopped and made a new friend—someone else who needed the connection. We all left that moment better. Sure we could have just kept driving, but we would have missed such a blessed moment together. It was a gift to all of us.

So, next time you see someone who may need a compliment, a boost, praise, a hand to hold, a smile, a ride, a friend…just connect. It will change your day and theirs too.

 

“God Winks”

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I fell in love with this term when I heard it a little over a year ago. What a gift for our lives. If you think about little coincidences within your life, you cannot miss the sweet “God winks” that sparkle throughout your life. Just think about it.

I recently had a sweet God wink moment, in fact, it was a couple weeks ago. Every year my daughter and I find gently used stuffed animals and dolls & we clean them up, my daughter has knitted scarves for them, we write a loving card, add some candy & turn unloved toys into magical gift bags for kids in need. It is a wonderful tradition that we have done for years. Usually, we drop our gift bags at our local Walmart for their BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) tree. They have always happily taken them, so my heart ached when I called to see if they were doing the BACA tree this year and they told me it was replaced by Toys for Tots that only take brand new items.

My daughter and I were going to put the gift bags of 30 + Beanie Boo’s together but had nowhere to take them.  That same day I went to the dollar store to buy the cards to put with the toys. As I was checking out a woman and a young boy were placing items on the checkout counter. I glanced back at them and said, “It looks like you guys have found some fun stuff.” The woman smiled and motioned to the stack of coloring books she was purchasing & explained that she has a high-functioning autistic son who drives a bus for young special needs kids. I had an AH-HA moment!! I smiled so big & explained to her that I was in need of a place to give these gently used toys & thought it would be a perfect situation for her son (and other drivers he may know) to gift these kids our gift bags. She was soo excited and knew the kids would LOVE it! IT WAS NO COINCIDENCE. IT WAS A GOD WINK. We exchanged numbers.

The following week my new friend, Denise and her son came by to pick up the boxes of Beanie Boo’s. Her son was so excited to see the kids’ reactions. We were all genuinely happy for this beautiful gift of the holiday season. I then looked at Denise and told her we had probably seven other larger stuffed animals if she had anywhere to give them. She explained that she had another daughter with special needs who had been awarded, “Miss Inspiration.” She beamed & said, “I will have my daughter put on her crown & we will hand them out to kids at the hospital or something like that.”

Our hearts were happy!! We all hugged and exchanged loving appreciation. Strangers who came together in a God wink. It was beautiful.

A few days later I got a sweet image from Denise. It was a cute picture of her daughter in her crown doing good at the Deaf and Blind School. It was wonderful!!

People come into our lives & we can easily miss a sweet conversation, a service situation, a new friend…slow down and look for those doors that open. There are God winks in all you do. Notice the little things, smile at someone in line, open the door for someone, look for someone who is alone, share your gifts and talents, be kind in all you do.

God is looking for a way to smile down and wink at you in all you do.

May you have a blessed holiday season. Be Love. Bring Peace. Give Hope. Do good.

Peace and Love to you.  -H

PS if the term God Winks makes you curious, I first heard this term from Squire Rushnell. He has a huge series of books that have lots of neat stories about “God Winks.” I LOVE a good coincidence and true stories just make my heart smile. These would be a good any time read. Enjoy!!

WORLD KINDNESS DAY

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Tomorrow, November 13th is WORLD KINDNESS DAY!! My challenge to YOU…do one thing that will spread KINDNESS. 

Here are some ideas. There are so many more online, but hopefully these will get you thinking and doing. Have fun. Make a difference with your smile. Make the day a little brighter for those around you. Just begin with a heart that wants to spread kindness.

SMILE . Write a thank you note to someone you are thankful for . Leave random love notes . Celebrate someone you admire by taking them out to breakfast or dinner & share with them things you appreciate about them . Take some of your left over change & make people smile as you drop it in tip jars . Write fun messages in chalk on local paths or park areas . Leave change at a laundromat . Leave a Happy Day note on random cars . Buy flowers for a friend or teacher . Organize a local activity to pick up trash & fishing line (doesn’t break down for hundreds of years) in your local park . Make cards for Meals on Wheels . Do a sock drive for your local United Way (most needed item at shelters) . Leave a kind note in library books you have checked out . Genuinely listen to people when they talk to you . Turn off lights you are not using . Say kind compliments to others . Share something positive . Hand out some $1 bills to kids at a dollar store . Buy a huge bag of bird food & feed the feathered, little ones . Offer to walk an elderly person’s dog . Deliver positive notes to an elderly home . Put your phone down and invest in the people around you . A little way to say Thank you–give little baked goods or candy bars to those who give you great service at a drive-thru, nail salon, grocery store, delivery driver, mailman, etc . Write encouraging notes for strangers to find . Share something yummy with your coworkers . Give an unexpected hug to someone . Say hello . Walk a path, smile & say hello to every person you see . Start a family gratitude text chain (daily text of five things you are each grateful for) or family gratitude journal . Take a vase of flowers in to an elderly person who doesn’t get visitors . Plant a tree . Make a meal for someone . Give movie passes or tix for an event to someone who would enjoy them . Share a favorite book with someone . Make pinecone bird feeders . Thank local heroes (police, fire) by dropping off a fun bbq kit or baked goods . Ignore your phone when you are with someone for an entire day–try it! . Reach out to someone you have not connected with in awhile . For one day make sure you say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ . Write a letter to a teacher or mentor (someone who has inspired you) & thank them for the influence they have had in your life . Clean up a hiking trail near your home . Connect with someone who seems alone . Send a great joke to someone . Ask someone a highlight from their day . Be happy . Use a reusable grocery bag . Take some time for yourself . High five a stranger . Be present with people . Give longer hugs . Always remember the ‘golden rule’ . Check your personal attitude–is it positive or negative . Get grateful . Do your best to spread some kindness & love . More ideas…

JUST BEGIN. Begin small. I am trying a little harder to send love, make small changes and to begin a positive ripple in some way. I figure we should begin in our own backyard. As individuals you don’t need to start revolutions or host a talk show to try to make a difference. Just begin. Begin small. I put a small poster out in my front yard to tell everyone tomorrow is World Kindness day. I also put a bucket of Hershey kisses with a note that says…”Take one and do something Kind.” I also printed off the above list of ideas for anyone who wishes to take one.

We are all here to learn, grow and become better. Being kind is a good step.

Love, Peace, Hugs and Kindness. -H

The Little Things

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Every morning I go out into my yard with a cup overflowing with birdseed. Every time I walk out to scatter it under a certain pine tree my heart finds joy. Then as I watch the quail, my blue jay friends, the pair of doves and the variety of other little birds, my soul sings.

I have been throwing birdseed for years, but I now have an even greater appreciation for such a simple thing. A few years ago my husband was without a job and we literally had to get financial help from our community. We were in a bit of a fix, so every little thing added up. I had been feeding the birds for years & my heart would break every day I would look out under the pine tree & see them come, but unable to give them food. Believe me, I would gather bread crumbs and try to find anything that would suffice, but being unable to buy a simple bag of bird food was extremely humbling.

It is very true that sometimes it is the smallest things that take up so much room in your heart. I now treasure each morning that I am able to throw birdseed and see the birds gather. I hold such gratitude in my heart.

May we always appreciate the little things, for they truly are what make up the big things within our lives.

Embrace the day. Find something small to be grateful for and hold forever in your heart the ability to see clearly those things that are the most important gifts within your life.

Peace and love to you today.  -H

It’s What’s Inside

ITS WHATS INSIDE that matters

LOVED this ad. Enjoy!! Great visuals. Great meaning. Great, upbeat song.

I thought this ad was a great, upbeat way to illustrate the whole idea of “It’s what’s inside that truly matters.”

My sweet daughter is at that age (16) where she is starting to connect, date, get to know…She has had great conversations with many people she works with, strangers who have connected, guys at school, clubs, etc. She is beginning to notice the looks, the awkward moments, the cute guys who hide out on their phones or the even cuter guy who is really adorable because of his fun personality.

I have had conversations with her about getting to know people on deeper levels because that is where the true riches are…what’s inside. When you can just enjoy someone there is a whole new level of connection. It truly is what is inside that can surprise; that can charm; that can inspire; that can challenge; that changes things.

Here are a variety of ways to connect on a deeper level and find the treasures within.

  • SMILE
  • Make eye contact
  • Really connect through quality time (stay or limit your phone use)
  • Actively listen–really hear what the other person is saying. Don’t just listen to them speak, really hear what they are saying. Listen from your heart not your head.
  • Practice doing things for another person. Make someone laugh, do nice things for strangers, make a nourishing meal, just send out loving gestures of kindness and love. People genuinely remember how you made them feel.
  • Be present. Listen, ask questions, don’t get distracted and notice how you are interacting with others. When you give your full attention & are present with them, they will notice & your connection will be deeper.
  • Be YOU. Don’t just put on a face or pretend you are something you are not. People will appreciate your vulnerability and your authentic way you live. Share, provide safety and care for those you genuinely care about.

 

Ways to Have fun with someone!!

  • Do art together–Get a large piece of paper and just start creating with words, doodles, paints, anything. What is coming together??
  • Tell each other your favorite songs, turn them on & start singing.
  • Create a joke together–what would it be about? Would it be a pun?
  • Make a meal or dessert from scratch together.
  • Take a class together
  • Do an escape room to see how someone handles pressure
  • Play a game–board game, trivia, would you rather, etc
  • Take a walk and just talk–research says walking helps people open up
  • Check out a bookstore or library to find books or topics you both enjoy
  • Try something you both have never done–a new flavor ice cream, an activity like rock climbing or find a fun store neither of you have been before.
  • Do something outside–horseback riding, bike ride, hike, snowshoeing, etc
  • Visit a garden
  • Go to the zoo or aquarium
  • Take a mini road trip
  • Volunteer for a cause together
  • Find something unique to your town–old cavern, famous wishing well, haunted house, old mine, special restaurant that was highlighted, etc.
  • Rent some bikes or scooters & do a fun scavenger hunt around town
  • Go to an interesting museum & walk and talk about the various exhibits
  • Go bowling & make it interesting by checking out these ideas https://www.usports.com.sg/news/7-fun-game-ideas-at-the-bowling-alley/
  • Just BE yourself. Ask lots of questions & enjoy getting to know someone.

 

It truly is what is inside that matters. Whether this is on a personal level or on another level of getting to know someone on a deeper, more intimate level. Everyone becomes better, more beautiful when the sparkle shines from within. The surprises inside are always worth the wait.

-Peace and Love to you today!!  H