CLOSE YOUR EYES – Michael Buble:
JUST THE WAY YOU ARE – Bruno Mars:
BUBBLY – Colbie Caillat:
Since posting about my 50th Birthday Kindness Inspires Kindness Day …. something has changed. I feel like my joy set point has raised even higher. The surge of happiness I felt that day hasn’t diminished. It’s a natural high. It’s the purpose of my soul that doesn’t want to be buried any more. Such joy I feel when friends tell me they have been inspired to do an act of kindness where previously they would not have even seen the opportunity. These are the beginnings of the ripples of kindness. These are the first steps of multiplying, expanding, and exploding of the kindness.
I am overwhelmed by desire to do more. I am overcome by the feeling that change really is possible and each of us can create a splash and more and more ripples.
I am filled with joy.
TELL ME! … what ripples of kindness do you see in your life?
Here’s the final list from my Kindness Inspires Kindness birthday celebration. I hope you have all enjoyed the journey!
#41 Babies & Kids – I went to the day care center by my work and I read “The Night You Were Born” to the preschoolers there and donated it so they could read it to the kids when they have a birthday in the future. They were such a delight! I loved every minute and got a little misty when they all sang and wanted to give me birthday presents. They did make me a birthday card – aren’t they sweet? One little girl was having a birthday that week as well so I gave her my birthday boa. She was thrilled! I can’t show the kids for privacy reasons but here a couple of me.
#42 Babies & Kids – We all know that teen-aged girls can be the hardest on themselves. So I wrote 200 notes of affirmation and love and had them put on the cars of the girls at the high school I attended. Actually, it’s the all-girl school that every girl in my family has attended. My sister is a teacher there and she said they were all talking about it the next day so I guess they appreciated a little love in their day.
#43 Sick & Needy – I donated a pile of items to Goodwill. I like to do that several times a year.
#44 – Created an angel painting with a special message included. Love when the angels come out to play! (NOTE – picture not delivered yet so putting these angel wings as a placeholder so as not to spoil the surprise!)
#45 Just Because – I gave a copy of my book, MIGHTY INSPIRATION, Love Letters from God to someone. I love when I can spread the inspiration this way.
#46 Sick & Needy – I gave blood. It’s been a few years and now I remember why. They said I’m a “slow” bleeder and I got just enough, just in time to meet the requirement. Whew!
#47, #48, #49 – These three go together – These are my sweet “Giving Crew” – I bought them breakfast, lunch, and supper, respectively as they spent the day with me running around town and doing acts of kindness. They are precious and supportive and just the loveliest people! They helped make my birthday wish come true. Can’t thank them enough and couldn’t think of a better group to spend my birthday day with!
#50 – Babies & Kids – I saved my favorite one for last. My daughter and I went to University Hospital, which is where I was born. I had a gift for a baby girl born 50 years after I was born. Hmmm I’ve learned it’s harder to give a gift to a stranger than I thought, but I was patient and God worked it out. Anyway, I met the loveliest couple. They had identical twins and about halfway through the pregnancy found out they had a very rare condition where all the amniotic fluid transfers from one baby to another. So one baby was really swimming in it and the other had almost none. The doctors gave the 2nd baby almost no chance to live and the mom almost no chance of taking the babies safely to term. There was nothing medically that could be done and there was no way to correct the situation. Those are dire words to say to a young couple waiting for their sweet babies. So the parents and family did the only thing they could …. they prayed. And within a short 2 week period the fluid had evened out (impossible huh?) and the babies were born at about week 36 or 37 weeks – that’s awesome for twins! Both are miracle babies. One (Truette Lynn) was in the NICU so I didn’t get to see her but I got to see Larkyn Ellen. And the parents graciously told me to go ahead and hold her. Yes, it was a present for me in return. And oh yeah, I cried. I will forever pray for those birthday twins, Larkyn and Truette.
There you have it – the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER, in pictures!!! Thanks for being witness to my journey of kindness and thanks to all who blessed me for my 50th Birthday. Dreams really do come true!!
Here’s the next batch of the 50 Acts of Kindness ….
#31 – Those Who Serve – Bought pizza’s for dinner and delivered them to the Colerain Township Fire Department. Gotta make sure our heroes are fed!
#32 – Just Because – gave a gift card to the movies. My giving crew member, Pam said that when she entered the theater there were 2 older women who were having some difficulties with one of the people who work at the movies. She gave them the gift card and made their day.
#33 – Sick & Needy – Donated school supplies to St. Joseph’s Orphanage. This is the orphanage I grew up in and I have tried to give back to whenever I can over the years. It was the first time my daughter had been there with me. Next time we’ll leave time for tour.
#34 – Just Because – Placed 3 big bottles of laundry detergent in the laundromat for people to find and use.
#35 – Just Because – Paid for a birthday order at the NCH (North College Hill) Bakery. This bakery has been a part of family events my whole life. They have some really good pastries – definitely a family tradition with the Miller clan!
#36 – Sick & Needy – Gave a gift card to a family at the grocery store. This mom was reluctant at first. But once she opened the envelope she was relieved to find the gift card to help with her food purchase. She only had some pork and beans in her cart until then. At least I could help with a meal or two.
#37 – Those Who Serve – I left a gift card for my mail carrier. And the next day he left me a sweet thank you note. Yep, this is how kindness inspires kindness!!
#38- Just Because – I gifted angels to my giving crew and others who have been angels in my life. some chose an ornament to represent the day and others chose a key chain so that they could have an angel with them wherever they go.
#39 – Sick & Needy – bought a couple of uniform shirts for a student at the high school my son graduated from. I remember those days of uniforms and tuition. These will go to help a young family struggling to make ends meet.
#40 – Just Because – One of my giving crew walked my dogs while I was out all day doing these 50 acts of kindness. It totally counts, because my dogs (not me) were the real recipients of this kindness. Here’s my dogs feeling happy. 🙂
Here’s the next set of 50 Acts of Kindness ….
#21 – Babies & Kids – Donated 69 hand knitted baby hats to the Neo-natal ICU at Good Sam. Thanks to my dear friend Mar and her knitting crew, these sweet hats will be a soft and warm gift for many babies. This NICU unit is where my niece spent the first part of her life because she was born about 6 weeks too early. And here she is 11 years later as she dropped off the sweet little hats.
#22 – Those Who Serve – I wrote handwritten appreciation letters to wounded soldiers and dropped them off at the VA hospital. This is especially meaningful because many of the significant men in my life have served in the military. As a young girl, my Grandmother volunteered at the VA hospital every week. On my summers off she would take me along to volunteer as well. I am always touched by the service of our men and women.
#23 – Sick & Needy – Donated puzzles to the Ronald McDonald house here in town. It’s my hope that the families will be able to spend a bit of time doing something simple, and fun together. A few moments of normalcy can be a gift as well.
#24 – Just Because – Gave a gift card for dinner to a young man that I saw volunteering. My family shared the joy of volunteering time since I was a very young girl. I felt like reinforcing the wonderful giving spirit this young man already had.
#25 – Babies & Kids – We all took some stickers to hand out to little kids that we would meet throughout the day. This was a big hit. You know how kids think stickers are just the best!
#26 – Those Who Serve – Gave flowers to the retired nuns at the Mercy Convent. Nuns have played a significant role in my life. They cared for me when I was little in the orphanage, and they were teachers at both my grade school and high school. I love the devotion and spiritual life they lead. And it was an extra treat to see Sr. Amadeus, my former high school principal who happened to be in the dining room. That was a cherry on top for me.
#27 – Sick & Needy – Donated canned goods to Matthew 25 Ministries to distribute in the community. Here’s a couple of the young men who were volunteering that day and able to receive the donations.
#28 – Just Because – Paid for 10 coffees at the Dunkin Donut by my house. This is of course the second home for my daughter who just lovesssssss coffee!
#29 – Babies & Kids – Donated crayons and coloring books to Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospital. My helping crew said at one of the places they were ripping out pages so each child could have just one. Now they had plenty more to let the kids color!
#30 – Just Because – Gave a gift to a random woman who was helping her elderly mother in the parking lot of the dollar store. She was awe struck that a stranger would do such a thing. Well that just made me smile even more.
Here’s some more of the 50 Acts of Kindness from my 50th birthday ….
#11 – Babies & Kids – I stashed $5.00 in these mini-purses to be given to some little girls we found along the way. My friend Lisa saw these cuties while delivering the diaper bags to a McDonalds. They were excited to pick the cute little purses and find the treat inside.
#12 Sick & Needy: Gave a gift card to a needy person to help toward their prescriptions.
#13 Those Who Serve: I visited a veteran and spent some time talking to her about her service. Her name is Gerry and she is a quiet-spoken woman who has served in the Army. She was happy for the company, although she had issues with her eyes and the lights so that’s why she has her eyes shut. She was hoping to go home soon. I hope so too!
#14 Just Because: Babysat my niece so my sister and her husband could have a date night. Gotta support the parents out there! Although… she was such a help in preparing for the Kindness Inspires Kindness day that I think we both received a kindness from this. Here she is with my girl Maria who was also a big help in preparing for the day!
#15 Babies & Kids – Donated books to preschool and the library. We had quite a few good books to share with little minds. I remember reading to my kids every day of their lives until they could read to me. How fun to share the joy of stories with other children.
#16 Sick & Needy – donated blankets to the women’s shelter/homeless. This reminded me of a project I did with my daughter when she was in high school where we made “quillows”, which are quilts that fold up into themselves to become pillows. We donated those to the women’s shelter and I thought this would be a good reminder of that earlier project.
#17 Those Who Serve – Gave some sweet treats to some teachers for the first day of school. Goodness knows they need a little boost as they head into the craziness of another school year.
#18 Just Because – We taped money for the vending machines around emergency rooms and other random vending machines so those without enough change could still get a treat. I remember a time taking one of my kids to the ER and forgot my wallet in the rush. I figured this was a good way to do a small thing at a time of crisis.
#19 For Those Who Serve: Gave a gift card to a teacher to help out with the supplies she buys for her students. It’s so easy to forget how little teachers are paid and how much they give of their own money to help out their students.
#20 Babies & Kids – Gave newborn diapers and some wipes to parents of newborns at Christ Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati – these are the 2 hospitals where my own children were born. This is Scott, a proud Daddy of a newborn girl who was thrilled by the gift. He promised to pay it forward. Isn’t that a cute “proud papa” smile? He was heading to get his wife and baby girl and take them home.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the next set of Acts of Kindness. Be kind in your corner of the world and be blessed!
Well I’ve decided to post the acts of kindness in no particular order because some were big and some were small, and yet, they all had an impact. Enjoy the journey with me! I’m posting the category and the pictures below.
#1 – Sick & Needy: Toiletries to the homeless. So many people shared their extra items from travels and trips around the globe. Bethany House in Cincinnati is an organization that many people in my family have volunteered for through the years so we donated bags and boxes full of goodies to them.
#2 – Babies & Children: Bags of spare diapers were placed in restrooms near highways and at parks for those times when nature calls and supplies are low:
#3 – Those Who Serve: Yummy treats for the Police Dept. Weren’t able to get any pictures with the officers but here’s the 2 big trays of baked goods that we delivered:
#4 Just Because – Food, treats and tennis balls delivered to the SPCA. This was a favorite stop as my friend volunteers there and was able to let us interact with one of the dogs. If anyone in Cincinnati is looking for a dog, this one named DARGO at the SPCA in Sharonville was a sweetheart. He really liked my daughter and was more than happy to sit pretty for a treat or to run and catch a ball. Please check out the SPCA for wonderful animals who come ready to pour love into your family.
#5 Babies & Children – Donated beads for the American Heritage Girls kindergarten group who make bracelets to symbolize their projects and accomplishments. Sometimes the little things that aren’t covered in the budget make a difference. Here’s my niece accepting them on behalf of American Heritage Girls.
#6 – Those Who Serve – Gave the waitress at breakfast a 50% tip. She was so cute and enthusiastic about our adventure of the day that I couldn’t resist bringing her into it as one of the acts of kindness.
#7 Those Who Serve – Donated gift bags to the workers at the hospice center. We weren’t able to get a picture inside and I wouldn’t want to invade the privacy of any people going through these times but I have a picture of my friend Shelly out front of the building. The funny thing is, the gift sets were given to the workers there as part of the group that serve and they graciously turned and gave them to the families who are going through the hospice experience. Those who give never cease to honor that kindness within.
#8 Just Because – Donated miscellaneous items to a woman who voluntarily does bingo each week at one of the area nursing homes. It’s just a few things but every bit counts.
#9 Sick & Needy – Gave stained glass night light lamps to women at the nursing home who don’t receive many visitors – some just don’t have family and it’s sad to know that they are living day by day with no-one to visit. They lit up like kids at Christmas. Here’s just a few of the many. A special thanks to River of Goods & Margie Commerford for her generous donation of 3 cases of these lovely lamps. There’s a little more light in the world of these ladies now!
#10 Just Because – Gave water bottles to crews working on the highway and to childcare center. Don’t have pictures of this one.
Stay tuned tomorrow for 10 more of the 50 Acts of Kindness. Be kind in your area of the world and be blessed!!
It finally arrived – my 50th birthday, which means, August 13, 2013 was KINDNESS INSPIRES KINDNESS DAY!!! Woot woot! Nope, this story is really not about me at all – it’s just the day and the way I chose to celebrate a life sprinkled with the kindness of loved ones and strangers. I am dedicating that special day to 2 special couples – Mabel and Juel Bernard, my grandparents, and Jim and Jacque Miller, my parents. Because of how deeply they love, they chose to shower kindness into my life when I was a little ragamuffin girl in the orphanage, and still to this day. They changed my life. I cannot possibly repay them for the literal rescue they made of me, and so I choose to turn and pay it forward. They taught me how to love the unlovable, to give to those in need, and to never stop striving to be and do my best. I am forever in their debt. I love them with all my heart! Thank you Grandma, Grandpa, Mommy & Daddy!!
And, this day was also about the beautiful souls who continue to pour love and kindness into my life – my “Giving Crew”. I am overwhelmed by the generosity of hearts and hands who, when asked to help me with the Kindness day, generously said yes! Love and hugs to all these loving souls – that includes those who were with me that day, those who contributed, and those who cheered me on. So many – too many to list them all but you know who you are! Thank you!!
For my readers, over the next several days I will be chronicling in pictures the 50 acts of kindness that we shared in the Cincinnati area. I started with 4 categories: 1) Babies/Children, 2) Sick/Elderly, 3) Those Who Serve, and 4) Just Because. In as many acts as I could I included people and places that related to my life since it was, after all, a celebration of 50 years of blessings I’ve received. What a fabulous day – THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!! There really are not enough of the right words to describe the blessings I received during the day but I will attempt to at least share the stories and pictures.
Well, my 50th birthday is fast approaching. I am receiving help and donations from friends and family. Plans are taking shape and the pile in my garage is mounting. I cannot wait for my Kindness Inspires Kindness birthday bash. We will be running all over town sharing blessings and spreading kindness. It’s the best birthday celebration I can think of for my big 5-0.
If you want to help me celebrate – step out and do a kindness in your sphere of the world on August 13.
As the day approaches and the festivities occur I’ll be taking pictures and sharing on this blog.
Woot Woot – best birthday plans ever!
Join me and be blessed!