I had had a very difficult and stressful week. Quite honestly I was having great trouble that Monday morning to find the motivation to face the day with a smile, never mind muster up the boundless energy one needs to face a room full of enthusiastic, eight year olds. On my way to work, I desperately prayed “Lord, I just need SOME encouragement today to keep me going. Please send it in some form. Amen.” I sure have a great God who loves me because within the first hour of school not only was I the recipient of one random act of kindness, but three! First my good friend mentioned she had left me a “treat,” on my desk which was her amazing, homemade hummus. Next a generous parent brought in oodles of Tim Horton’s bagels and doughnuts for the entire staff just to show her appreciation, and finally another very kind parent wrote me a touching, personal note to thank me for making her daughter feel so special on her birthday. All I could say was “Wow!” A simple prayer was answered so quickly and left me feeling very encouraged, loved and ready to seize the busy, yet wonderful day.
Last month I had forgotten to hand out Good News Tickets to my class. It broke my heart at assembly when I saw them with fingers crossed hoping to win the school Good News Ticket draw. Sadly with no tickets in the bin, from their forgetful teacher, their hopes were utterly useless. Not my most proud teaching moment that is for sure. To redeem myself, this month I got a hold of as many Good News Tickets I could find and started handing them out for anything and everything positive I saw. Not only did it give them lots of chances to win the monthly draw for Pizza with the Principal, but it really put a positive spirit and excitement in the classroom. Kids were doing great things and it was being noticed and validated. I was so happy this month when two names from my class were drawn as winners. The kids were so happy for their lucky classmates and it showed how a little thing can really make a big and powerful difference.
I have been guilty of underestimating the power of a small act of kindness in the past. Often I have felt that it was not significant enough to make an impact. On the contrary though like the way I was feeling that Monday morning, a simple gesture could be just what a person needs to keep on keeping on. I have told the comical story often of when my kids were very little and I was having an “overwhelmed mommy” moment. I said to Tyler, “Mommy needs Gramma to come today, but she’s not answering her phone. Let’s pray that I can reach her and she will come.” So together we did just that. I prayed “Dear God, Mommy is having a rough day. Please send Gramma to help me. Amen” No word of a lie as soon as I said “Amen,” my mom burst through the door with a warm and enthusiastic “Hello!” (Oh, how I love that woman.) Tyler said “Wow Mom! Your prayer really worked! It was so cool. I felt like she was Mrs. Doubtfire here to say “Help is on the way dear!” Proof that God hears our prayers once again and wants to send people and circumstances into our lives to keep us moving forward. Not always are prayers answered that quickly obviously, but sometimes they are and it is really amazing.
Little kind gestures carry a powerful impact. We have the power to make or break someone’s day by our simple actions. Actions do speak louder than words and people remember that. Everyone needs someone to sing their praises every now and then. As Christians we are called upon to love as Christ did and be the example He set to bless others. The amazing thing is when we are a blessing to others, we cannot help but be blessed in return. It is such an edifying experience. Years ago, in my social work job I had a client who was really struggling in many aspects including financially. He shared that times were so tough, he could not even afford a coffee and muffin from Tim Horton’s. As fate would have it, it was “Roll up the Rim” season at Tim Horton’s and I had just won a free coffee and muffin. I gave him my winning cups and proudly said “Today is your lucky day my friend. Here is a coffee and muffin on me.” He actually broke down and cried sharing that I had no way of knowing how much that small gesture meant to him. Later on when I was leaving to have my baby Tyler, he came in grinning ear to ear with a special gift for me. It was clear he could hardly contain his excitement. He stated “I will never forget all you have done for me, and I will always recall the free coffee and muffin scenario fondly. I had my mom knit a baby blanket for your new baby. I hope you will like it and always think of me when you see it.” O.k. now it was my turn to cry. It was absolutely beautiful and I have kept it to this day for Tyler to have as a keepsake and maybe use for a child of his own one day. It is true what you give out you get back in return. Sometimes it takes time, and amazingly sometimes it comes back very quickly.
I have several great people who I seek out when I am down and their gift to me among other things is their positive presence. Just the act of being by my side and listening without judgement as I share my heart, lifts my spirits incredibly. Some may see it as a little thing, but truly it is not.
We all have incredible gifts to share with others which is what makes us all so interesting. Your gifts are not mine and vice versa but that is so worth celebrating. This is why we all need each other so much. A listening ear, a Good News Ticket, or a free coffee and muffin can have a very big impact when given at the right time. As we strive to be sensitive to what others need or don’t need, we can become instruments of healing and hope. That is an amazing thing to strive for. Remember little things do mean a lot especially when people see the love behind them.
Until next time,
Matthew 10:42 ~ And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded.
Little Lesson Learned: It is often the smallest gestures that have the biggest and most lasting impact.
Copyright: littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2015