I am so blessed to have been raised (and still living!) in a home where spontaneous and creative giving has been the norm. My siblings and I can just think of creative ways to bless others without hardly a thought, thanks to my Mom.
My Mom is sometimes viewed (even by myself, shamefully) as a bit strict or harsh. But she’s really not. What is viewed as strictness and harshness is a desire to see her children (all seven) be the best they possibly can be, and reach the highest heights they can. What we don’t know is just how much is possible!
“But, Mom, I can’t–”
“There’s no such thing as ‘I can’t’, it’s ‘I don’t want to’.”
I’ve been lucky enough to have the truth pounded into me, time and time again. (thanks, Mom!) One thing she really taught us is thinking of others. Sometimes she’d tell us we had to write a letter to an elderly, lonely person at church. What? What are we going to say?! But she always made sure we did it. Somehow, we wrote something, even if it wasn’t the most fabulous letter in history.
We did lots of different things for people, and I’m not saying that to brag 🙂 What I’m saying is my parents really taught me that there are a million different ways to be kind to other people, and think of them.
So many people are truly lonely, and the young, unnoticed girl in a large church might be just as lonely as the old man who has no one else in his life. We can’t do something for everyone, but if you look around you, I’m sure you’ll find someone who could use a day-brightener 🙂
This Valentine’s Day, why don’t you make it a point to think of some other people outside your immediate family to bless?
- Send someone a Valentine’s card in the mail, of course!
- drop off some cookies or a bouquet of Valentine’s suckers at someone’s house
- take a friend out for a cup of Valentine’s coffee (or a smoothie, if they don’t like coffee 🙂 )
- Once we heard how someone rented a movie from a Redbox, and when they returned it they stuck $5 in the front plastic coating with a note to buy a snack to go with your movie! Why not give them a lovely Valentine’s treat?
Of course, some things would work all the time, like
5. Paying for the next person’s drink in a coffee shop
6. Paying for the next person’s meal at a drive-thru
7. If you’re really ambitious, pay for someone’s groceries!
8. There are numerous small gifts you could give people. Handmade are best, of course (check out my Best 11 Blogger’s Valentine’s projects that would make great gifts!). Even a nicely, brightly colored picture can brighten someone’s day!
9. Visit someone in the hospital or nursing home. If you can carry a tune, sing! People always love it when all nine of us gather around and sing a few songs 🙂