Surprised by Grace

It had been a good day, the sun was shining bright, Spring was in the air! Rose was singing to the radio and feeling blessed as she drove down a country road. Oh No! She looked in her rearview mirror, there were red and blue flashing lights! Oh how she hoped that they were for someone else, the only problem is there really wasn’t anyone else on the road. She pulled over, praying for the cop to pass her by, but nope he pulled right behind her, and her head went down.

She was shaking her head, she had to be more careful driving these country roads, it was so easy to take them a little too fast.

She put her window down, needed some air as she waited. Soon the cop was there.

“License , registration and insurance cards please.”

Rose already had them in her hand and handed them to him, with her hand shaking as she apologized for speeding.  He thanked her and went back to his car. Time ticked by as she anxiously waited and wondered how big the fine would be.She looked in her mirror again and saw him heading towards her car and she took a deep breath.

“Ma’am I am going to give you a warning this time, though I could have given you a pretty a big fine. You should know that the road you are on usually has several cops along  it, due to people speeding pretty often on this stretch. Make sure you are very careful and watch your speed next time you happen to travel this road. Be careful pulling out now and have a good day.”

Her heart leapt as a relieved expression passed across her face. “Thank you so much officer! I really appreciate it. I am sorry and I will watch my speed more next time. Thank you again!”

While pulling away she was thankful for the grace that the officer had shown her. She started thinking if there was anyone in her life that she needed to show grace to. Anyone that she could “pay it forward” to.  Rose decided that  she will look for an opportunity to bless someone else, to bring them some unexpected happiness.

As Rose continued down the country road, she thought of something. In this life we meet so many people in our normal day to day routines and there are opportunities every day that we have to add a little more sweetness to someone’s day. Opportunities to give a little grace to people.

Grace to the person that cuts in front of her in traffic, the one who was ahead of her in the grocery store express line with more than 15 items. She knew, she had ounted them! The fast food worker that messed up her order. Or perhaps the waitress that spilled her pitcher of water on her.

Yes, opportunities arose every day and Rose told herself that when she was tempted to get impatient and upset that she would remember the friendly cop. The one who showed her kindness, for kindness brought smiles to the hearts. Plus spreading kindness not only brings smiles to the hearts of others, but it fills your heart as well.

Her heart was full as she reached her road and pulled into her driveway. Tomorrow would be a great day of surprising someone with unexpected kindness and remembering that there are times in life when we need to show grace.

 

 

 

A Special Kind of Royalty

7396628bd8ce277a32d363a404411460 picture from Pinterest

 

The day had arrived. It really was here, she really was on the train. Her excitement was high! How long had she hoped to do this, dreamed to do it and finally the dream was coming true! Dreams really can come true, even without a fairy Godmother. She stretched back in her seat looking out the window, admiring the scenery.

“Mama Mama, are we almost there?”  piped little Tabitha.

“No sweetheart, we only just left not that long ago. Remember how I told you that this was going to be a long ride?”

Tabitha scrunched up her face, and then got a smile. ” Yes, I remember now. I am gonna start practicing.”

Juliet laughed, ” Practice what my dear? she asked Tabitha.

“Well my cutesy of course Mama!”

“Your what?” asked Juliet.

With her small hands on her hips, Tabitha looked at Juliet and said, “My cutesy!” as she bent her legs.

Juliet tried to hold in her laughter.

“That was great sweetie, but its called a curtsy my dear girl.”

“A cutesy, that’s what I said!”

Juliet smiled, it did look cute, for sure.

“I gotta practice Mama, for you said we are going to see special people.”

“Yeah, we are going to see royalty, right Mama!” asked Liam, who had been reading, but was now distracted.

“Are we seeing a real King”, said Liam, will he be wearing a crown and dressed in royal garb?

“I want to see a Princess, Mommy! I want her to see me do a cutesy, and Liam, you gotta practice bowing.”

They started practicing in earnest as Juliet sat there shaking her head. She better explain to her children.

“My dear children, we are seeing special people, but I am afraid that they are not royalty, no Kings and no Princesses. ”

Her children looked up at her with wide eyes, “But…but…”

“I am sorry.” Juliet said as she saw the disappointment in their eyes.

It didn’t last long though. until Liam spoke up.

“That’s okay, being royalty isn’t what makes people special, right Mama? Its whats in their hearts.”

Juliet’s heart was warmed,  as she put her arm around Liam. “You are exactly right my boy.”

“And I know these people have good hearts because you told me and Tabitha about them.”

“Yes they definitely  do,” said Juliet.

“So we best get to practicing again Tabitha. For if you are special in your heart, that makes you royal to me!”

That was all Tabitha needed to hear, as she eagerly practiced another curtsy.

Merriment danced in Juliet’s eyes, oh how she loved her children. Life was always an adventure with them.

Love on the Wall

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall …

Humpty Dumpty had great fun, sitting in the sun and watching Jack and Jill come tumbling down the hill.

“HI Jack and Jill!” cried Humpty from his perch on the wall.

Jack and Jill heard him and came running over to chat for a bit.

“How are you Humpty Dumpty?” said Jack.

“I am fine, just sitting and listening to the birds sing. So nice to hear them sing again, now that Spring is here. The black cap chickadee, the whipporwill , the nuthatch and the tufted titmouse, all so delightful to the ear.”

Jack and Jill agreed. They chatted a bit more and then remembered that they needed to get their chores done, before going to Scarborough Fair that night. They bid Humpty Dumpty goodbye and soon were out of sight.

Humpty continued to sit, for what else was he to do, he was on a wall and he surely didn’t want to fall.

He sat and listened to the wonderful songs of the birds and he waved to all that came by. All were welcome at his friendly wall. People stopped to chat and some climbed over the wall as it wasn’t very tall, and some went around. The wall wasn’t built to keep anyone away, it was just a nice  place for Humpty Dumpty  to sit.  A place where he didn’t feel alone, for there was always all kinds of people passing by.

Humpty Dumpty was known to everyone. Some would come and tell him their problems, as they sat by him on the wall. They knew they could count on him to listen, for he wasn’t going anywhere. Others would share stories and laughter with him.Sometimes he had to be careful that he didn’t laugh too hard, possibly causing him to fall.

On the wall he would sit, and wave to all the kings horses and all the kings men as they rode by him at nightfall.

In the stillness of the night, Humpty Dumpty’s heart would be full. It would be flooded with warmth as another day had been spent spreading love from the wall.

 

Spreading the Light

Yesterday I posted about a tragic shooting that happened at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.  11 innocent lives were lost.  I asked the question of why it is so hard for people in the world to be kind! Why do we have so much hate and prejudice against others who are different from us?

Tonight I wanted to show a short video clip of children being kind to their classmates. I have always believed that we can learn a lot from children and this is just one of the many ways.

Spread the light of kindness and love!

 

This next video clip I thought was an excellent way to spend your birthday! And really an excellent way to spend any day! Spread smiles!

 

 

It’s not Rocket Science!

Why is it that we can send a man to the moon and come up with cures for various illnesses?  That we can constantly be making new discoveries in complex technology, but…we that have so much trouble with one simple thing!

Why is it that in this world where almost anything is possible, there are those who find it so hard to display the simple courtesies of respect and kindness. Displaying those courtesies to everyone, no matter how different they may be from you!

Once again we have had a senseless killing of innocent lives. A senseless killing because of one person deciding they can’t tolerate those who are different from him. My heart goes out to the victim’s of yesterday’s mass shooting in a synagogue. I have struggled with what to say, because there just doesn’t seem to be sufficient words for the horror of what hate does to people.

A post that I over a year ago came to my mind and I am going to re-post it here. It’s just a simple story of kindness and friendship. A simple story,  because after all, showing kindness and respect to others is not rocket science!

The Language of Flowers

Jenny took off on her bike once again to go deliver some flowers of Happiness. Her Mom watched her out the kitchen window, she was so proud of her daughter. Jenny had a special love for flowers. She always made sure to have some in her room. She would also use her own money to buy her Mom a fresh bouquet of flowers every week to have them sitting on their table. Jenny said how the sight and pleasant scent of flowers made her heart happy and she wanted to spread the joy to her Mom.

Recently she had started delivering flowers to the neighbors. Once again using her own money. She started with the neighbors on her street but she started adding the streets from the development behind her. Jenny told her Mom how she loved to see the smiles that would come across the faces of the people when they would receive them.

She laughed as she told her Mom that even sour Mr.McGregor was starting to give a faint smile. At least he wasn’t shouting at her anymore to not walk on his grass. In fact Jenny noticed that he was sitting on his front porch more regularly lately. One time Jenny said how nice it was to see him waiting for her. He just grunted, but again she saw the trace of a smile. His sour expression and grunts used to scare her, but not anymore.

Little Billy would come running when Jenny would ride into his driveway. He would always raise his arms up for her to pick him up. He would smile big as he clutched a flower in his chubby little fingers to give to his Mom. He knew not to put them in his mouth anymore. Renee, his Mom, started coming out with cookies and lemonade when Jenny came. They would sit on the porch as Billy would beg for Jenny to play with him some.

Hazel was a older widow and she often told Jenny how a visit from her was the highlight of her week. Her husband had bought her flowers a lot when he was living. Jenny enjoyed talking with her, she enjoyed hearing stories from her past and of how things used to be. Hazel usually had little nuggets of wisdom to pass on to her. Jenny tried to make Hazel’s visit be the last one, so that she would have plenty of time to talk to her.

There was another house that Jenny longed to stop at, but her parents told her not to. Jenny really didn’t understand why. Her parents didn’t really give a reason besides the fact that they said those people in that house were “different”.. “Different”? Jenny wasn’t sure what to think about that. It spiked her curiosity though. What was so “different’ about them, she had to know.

One day she had an idea. She ran up to the front door, laid some flowers down, pushed the doorbell and biked away as fast as she could. It worked! She got away and no harm came to her. The next week she tried it again. Jenny decided that as long as she never had to face them it would be fine to continue it and so she did.

Jenny asked Hazel one day about a sign that she had put in her yard. It said, “No matter where you are from, we are glad that you are our neighbor.” Hazel explained that it meant she welcomed everyone as a neighbor. Jenny got real quiet and then looked up at Hazel and said, “But what about that house down the street, aren’t you afraid of them? My parents say they are different!”

Hazel sighed and got a sad look in her eyes. “They are just like you and me Jenny. They have hearts that can be happy and that can break. They may speak a different language and come from a different land, but they know the power of a smile! Sadly people are afraid of things they don’t understand. If they would only know the joy that they are missing out on by not opening their heart and mind. Jenny put her head down and said softly, ” I wish I could meet them someday but my parents keep telling me to stay away.” Hazel took Jenny’s hand and gave it a squeeze and they just sat there in silence for a little feeling the gentle breeze.

Jenny’s Mom was inconsolable, the time was growing shorter and the Doctor’s faces were getting graver. Hope had been so strong at first, but it was getting hard to keep holding onto it. Jenny’s Dad held his face in his hands, he just didn’t understand. How could this have happened. One minute Jenny is delivering flowers of happiness and the next she is fighting a life and death battle,  due to having been hit by a speeding driver.

Jenny needed a blood transfusion but she had a rare blood type and they were having trouble finding donors. Time was running short and Jenny was unconscious not knowing how her parents hearts ached. Suddenly the Dr. burst into Jenny’s room. “We got a donor! ” Jenny’s parents embraced as their hearts soared! Tears were falling as they watched their precious daughter be wheeled out of the room.

Three days later Jenny was doing a lot better. The Dr has said she should be ready to go home in a couple more days. Her Mom was sitting in her room talking to Jenny when the Dr came in. “Dr. Kline Jenny and I were talking, would it be possible to meet the one who donated blood for her, we really would like to thank them.” Dr.Kline smiled and said he would see what he could do.

The next morning Jenny was finishing her breakfast as Dr. Kline walked in. ” Mr. and Mrs. Stouffer, I was able to locate the person who donated blood to Jenny.”  Jenny clapped her hands and her parents were all smiles. Dr. Kline stepped out the door for a minute and then stepped back in and said, “Please meet Roshana!” Jenny’s parents gasped! It was the new neighbor! The “different” neighbor. They couldn’t speak. Jenny though eagerly reached out her hand and squeezed Roshana’s hand as she said, ” Thank you so very much!!”

Roshana took her hand, and smiled. She then pulled from behind her back a bouquet of flowers for Jenny. Her parents watched as tears filled their eyes.

When Jenny came home from the hospital there were two signs to greet her in the front yard. One welcoming her home and the other sign welcoming ALL their neighbors to the neighborhood.

 

Tuesday’s Thoughts!

17 years ago today was a day that so many of us will never forget! 17 years ago the day started out in a normal way for so many but was a day that changed so many lives forever. Say “I Love You!” to the ones who are so special to you. Give that hug! Embrace the moment that you have! Also let us remember how the world came together on that terrible day 17 years ago. For a moment in time we were all united! There were nothing dividing us, we saw each others hearts, not their skin color, not their religion, but their hearts! We need to see the hearts of others again.

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The Special Gift

Gina is a wonderful blogger from https://alifelesslivedblog.wordpress.com/2018/08/29/writing-challenge-the-gift-you-share/  and she has posted a fun challenge. Her challenge has been to spread joy by sharing in 100 words or less about a time that you made someone happy.  Feel free to join in with the challenge.  Spreading joy is always a good thing!

I am blessed often by others in making my heart smile. In fact examples kept coming to my mind of how others have made me happy, so I am going to divert a little from the rules and spread the joy by sharing an example that came to my mind.

The Special Gift

 I was in the hospital, back in 2012.  The  Doctor’s all agreed that something was wrong, but no one knew what it was. It was a scary, frustrating time.  It was also the week before Christmas. I wanted to be home!

One night I was especially upset after I had said goodbye to my family.  I so badly wanted to go home with them. I belonged with them. I broke down as soon as they walked out of my room.  My spirit was worn, the tears were flowing.  The phone rang.  It was my sister. She knew it was late but she felt the urge to call. We talked through my tears and my heart was lifted. She gave the gift of her time.

The gift of your time is a priceless gift that I  have treasured from many. That night, it was from my sister, and a night I won’t forget.

 

 

No Words Needed!

be62e8f519e693b1b4bd06a31384548e  Oil painting by Jan Kasparac (pinterest)

Today would be my brother’s 58th birthday if he was still living. He was 10 years older than me, which makes me about 30. I never was good at math!  I was thinking about him and how he a friend to people of all ages and always had a smile to share. The following is a fictional story, but I could easily see Nelson doing everything in this story. He modeled kindness and definitely had the gift of humor.  I was so blessed to have had him as a dear brother!  There are some true parts to this story. He did live in Costa Rica for 3 months, he learned how to open coconuts, though I don’t think he ever got hit on the head by one, he did own a ferret, he loved music and he did have a lot of trouble with the Spanish language! But sometimes you really don’t need to know the language.

 

Nelson was walking through the jungle of Costa Rica amazed by the beauty of the wildlife and just soaking in the moment as he enjoyed a leisurely stroll. He was lost in thought when “Klunk!” he was hit by a coconut in the head.  It stunned him for a little and he looked up to see where it had came from, but all he saw were the leaves of the tree.  Then another one landed right beside him. He looked up again and saw the tail of a monkey jumping to another branch of the tree.  This time he saw the coconut coming and he quickly moved out of the way.  He looked up again and this time saw 3 monkey faces peering down at him and sounding like they were laughing at him as they chattered away.

52202ff637623d7659b5f15b9f8e09ab1Photo credit to Richard Heathcote from Pinterest

He laughed as he walked along, animals could be funny indeed. Perhaps it would be fun to have a pet monkey, he had a ferret before, why not have another unusual pet.

Hearing the sound of rushing water distracted him from his thoughts about monkeys as he quickened his pace.  He was feeling hot and was hoping to be able to cool off in the water.

Oh this really was a tropical paradise! The waterfall was beautiful! He didn’t waste any time at all of taking off his shoes and wading into the river. The water was cool, but it felt so refreshing.  He heard the sound of boys laughing and he saw 2 little boys running towards the river. They stopped at the edge when they saw Nelson. He smiled at them and motioned them to come in.  It wasn’t long until they joined him and soon they were engaged in a big splash battle.

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After being soaked Nelson decided he would take a break and lie down in the grass, letting the sun beat down on him.  He waved  goodbye to his 2 young friends and stepped out of the water.

Nelson dug into his backpack for the food he packed. He pulled out 2 big cookies and he walked back  down to the water waving at the boys. They came over to him and soon big smiles spread across their faces when they saw the big cookies in his hand. He gave them each one and they all sat down on the grass as they ate. After eating the boys waved bye and headed back into the jungle.

Nelson stretched out in the sun feeling drowsy. It didn’t take long before he dozed off. He slept so soundly that he never noticed the monkey that jumped from the tree right next to him and helped himself to a little present,  as he scurried back into the tree.

Nelson woke up and stretched, feeling good and ready to walk again. He looked beside him and got a curious look on his face as he looked on the other side of him. Well that is strange, where did his hat go? He was sure he had laid it right beside him before he dozed off. He stood up and walked around in a big circle, the hat was nowhere in sight! Then he heard some chattering coming from the trees above him causing him to look up.

Well the missing hat mystery was solved! The monkeys were fighting over it! Nelson shook his head, the monkeys sure were having a fun time with him today.  Monkeys – 2 (coconuts and hat) Nelson-0! Perhaps he should rethink about having a monkey as a pet.

He heard drumbeats in the distance and he followed the sound to a old temple. There was a small group gathered inside the temple and when they saw him they motioned him to come in. There were other instruments too and Nelson  soon was caught up in the rhythm of the lively beat.

He couldn’t speak their language very well, but smiles and music was a language understood by all. After spending awhile there listening to different songs and even taking a try at the drums he realized that he needed to leave soon, for one didn’t want to to be in the jungle after dark. He shook their hands and bid them farewell. The sound of the drums slowly grew fainter as he walked away but he carried the music in his heart.

As he was walking he thought about his day. He realized again the power behind smiles and handshakes.  How hearts can be warmed through shared laughter and how no matter the language you speak, the appreciation of music can be enjoyed by all.

In this world of so many different languages, there is a language that can be spoken with no words at all. The language of kindness.