Christmas, RACK - IACL

Day 4: Nothing beats spontaneous kindness

Day 4:  Today was another one of those days that hasn’t gone as planned.  I continued being a “coupon fairy” at every store I visited today.  I love getting a great deal and I definitely scored some today!  But I was the recipient of another coupon fairy and it totally blessed me!

It was a super busy evening and all day I had been looking for opportunities for a random act.  My nephew was over hanging out while his momma was working, so we decided to go to the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie since it was dollar night.  Perfect opportunity!!  We got to bless the people behind us by buying their tickets!  It didn’t cost a lot. but her whole face lit up when I handed her the tickets.

The thing that I like about this is that sometimes I think about doing these things but I get nervous or whatever, lately it’s been a feeling of being free to give.  The focus has been on just finding ways to bless others…and just show them that someone cares about them.  I didn’t hesitate at all tonight and that encourages me.  It’s becoming easier and easier to act on my faith daily.

Today’s verses were from John chapter 1, verses 29 and 34-37.  The theme was learning that we needed Jesus’ sacrifice for us.  We also read Isaiah 9:6.  We learned that one of God’s name is Everlasting Father.

From our calendar (I will post them again after Christmas):  Tuesday, December 4Verse:  John 1:29, 34-37 (We needed Jesus’ sacrifice); Isaiah 9:6 (the Everlasting Father).  Buy movie tickets for the people behind us.

Christmas, Family, RACK - IACL

Day 2 & 3: Kindness is FUN

Day 2:  I knew today was going to be a busy day…I was right!  We had planned to go to the living Nativity near our house and we were so blessed to have not only my nephew join us, but my parents AND my sister!  My parents took us a couple times when we were little (10 and 7) and I still remember it, so I had high hopes these kiddos would love it too.  And they did!!  We decided to grab an early dinner together…perfect for today’s act of kindness!

We got our Random Acts cards ready with quarters and candy canes so we could tape them to the candy machines.  Daveid Michael (my nephew) really wanted to give one to someone…his mom.  He wanted to bless her and I thought that was super sweet of him.  Then, off to church.  It was an awesome living Nativity, that was cold but soo much fun!  They do a great job and it was well worth getting chilled for!

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Today’s verse was Genesis 3:6-8.  The theme was learning why Jesus came, that we needed a Savior because our sin separated us from God.  We also read Isaiah 9:6.  We learned that one of God’s name is Wonderful Counselor.

From our calendar (I will post them again after Christmas):  Sunday, December 2Verse:  Genesis 3:6-8 (Why Jesus came); Isaiah 9:6 (Wonderful counselor).  Tape quarters to candy machines.

Day 3:  Catching up from the whirlwind of the last couple of days.  Today was the planning meeting for the Spokane Orphan Summit and once I got home, it was a bit of a rough day for me!  So, we redeemed the day by spending some quality time together.  One of the reasons that I didn’t list our events before we do them, is that they are constantly changing.  So far, we have changed them around every day.  We had a little shopping today and decided today would be a great day to be “coupon fairies.”  We put out tons and tons of coupons that will *hopefully* bless future shoppers.  And we got some great deals so I was able to bless Fiona too.  And we got some great deals for upcoming Random Acts so that’s awesome too.

coupon fairy

 

 

Today’s verse was Isaiah 60:1-3.  The theme was learning about how our world needs God.  We also read Isaiah 9:6.  We learned that one of God’s name is Mighty God.

From our calendar (I will post them again after Christmas):  Monday, December 3Verse:  Isaiah 60:1-3 (World needed God); Isaiah 9:6 (The Mighty God).  Be a coupon fairy!  Take all of our extra unneeded coupons and put them with the right item for a customer!

Christmas, RACK - IACL

Day 1: Kindness Feels Good

I love love love random acts of kindness.  I try and do them as regularly as possible.  It makes me happy to be kind.  Fiona loves to join in on the anonymous ones or ones with professionals…she’s pretty shy when it comes to strangers individually.  🙂

So, today…I started off by recycling all of our plastic bags.  This isn’t our “official” one because I always save every bag and regularly recycle them.  I have become a bit of a recycling fanatic…it only goes in the garbage if it has to.  But I think that it counts for an unplanned act of kindness…the recipient being the planet Earth.

Next….we FINALLY started decorating!!  Thank goodness for Pinterest!

Here are some pics of the decorating madness:

My inspiration from Pinterest
My inspiration from Pinterest

My version (not nearly so elegant, but lovely and beautiful:

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Even Fiona got into the spirit:

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Our actual act of “Intentional Crazy Love” was to go through our stuff and donate it.  We have been working on this one all week!  We definitely have an abundance of stuff that could be given a new home.  I love that most everything could be given somewhere.  Even stuff not good enough to rehome can be recycled and that is being a good steward of our planet.

Along with each day of Christmas and love, we are reading specific Bible verses.  Today’s was John 3:16.  The theme was that God loves us…that’s why we love others.  We talked about the significance of this verse in our lives.  We also read Revelation 22:13.  One of the names of God (He has a lot of them!) is Alpha & Omega.  He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last.

From our calendar (I will post them again after Christmas):

Saturday, December 1Verse:  John 3:16 (God loves us!); Revelation 22:13 (Alpha & Omega)  Go through toys and closets for stuff to donate.  Deliver it!

Christmas, Family, RACK - IACL

Thankful. Inspired. Excited.

What a great time of year.  My favorite.  I love the thankfulness that Thanksgiving inspires in so many people, including myself.  Posting daily what I am thankful for wasn’t hard…it was hard to limit the amount of daily posts.  The last few months have taught me so much about what is really important in life.  It’s not about stuff.  It’s all about Jesus.  And loving others.  That’s it.  I couldn’t care less about the “American Dream.”  I don’t want my life to be spent collecting stuff.

 

 

This time of year also inspires people to be better versions of themselves.  While at times it can seem that people are just focused on consumerism and greed, there are also a lot of really inspiring acts of love and kindness.  I am sure they happen all the time (I am optimistic like that) but I think we really look for them and celebrate them at Christmas.  There is this really fantastic website that I would encourage everyone to check out.  They inspire me.  http://www.adventconspiracy.org/  And this picture brings tears to my eyes.  I cannot express just how deeply it moved me.

NYC Police Officer bending down to help this homeless man put on his new boots, a gift from the officer himself.
NYC Police Officer bending down to help this homeless man put on his new boots, a gift from the officer himself.

And I am SO very excited to start our Random Acts of Kindness Advent Season tomorrow.  I have been waiting with anticipation.  I want to share the love of my Savior in a meaningful way.  In a fun, happy way.  No pressure, just sharing His love with others.  I love seeing Fiona’s face light up when she has an idea or gets inspired.  She has such a beautiful and tender heart.  I couldn’t be more proud of her.

I will be posting here dailyish…as daily as I can!  To share our journey “in real time.”  And coming up December 9 – 15, I will be blogging for the launch of Doug Bender’s new book, Live Second:  365 to Make Jesus First.  (I will be blogging on Kupenda 127, but I will reblog them here.)  Check out I am Second for the more details.

 

Christmas, Fiona, RACK - IACL

Random Acts of Kindness 2012 Edition

 

I cannot wait.  I wish it started today!!  But instead, I am getting each day ready.

I have decided not to call it a random act — because it isn’t.  It’s intentional.  Planned.  Prayed about.

And it isn’t about kindness, although *hopefully* people feel kindness…it’s about sharing Jesus’ love with people.  We love Jesus and that’s why we are doing this.  We want others to experience the amazing, radical, crazy love of Jesus.

So get ready…we are almost there!  We have 25 days of awesome activities planned to bless those around us — people we know and people we don’t.

And it’s going to be AMAZING.

Challenge, Christmas, Family

Challenges.

I love challenges.  I constantly sign up for new e-mail challenges, Christmas, stress-busters, health, you name it.  And that was just this month.  I don’t know if it’s the challenge themselves, just to prove I “can” do it or something else.  I think it’s probably a mix, a desire to better myself and to push myself.

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http://www.karenehman.com/

I would encourage you to check out Karen’s blog and challenge.

Here’s a few things I learned from it:

Day 1:  I didn’t necessarily learn this entirely today, but it does apply.  I am a control freak.  Holidays, especially Christmas, included.  It’s not specific items I want to control, but mainly, I don’t want my important things forgotten.

I do find it a bit challenging to give up all control of the holidays to my ten year old.  (The challenge is backing off on making any holiday decision.)  But I can commit to backing off of some and including her more, backing off completely at time.  Part two of the challenge, I did include having Fiona’s input on our Random Acts of Christmas Kindness — and I changed some of them to better suit her.  I want her to enjoy it, so she should be in on the planning and this year I will let her do it her way.;  🙂

Day 2:  Today was a good one for me!!  I think it was a good reminder of what’s really important!  The holidays (any holiday) doesn’t have to be “perfect.”  Especially when our standard of perfect comes from HGTV, a magazine, or Pinterest.  Sometimes imperfection makes the best memories…sometimes way better memories than the “perfect” ones.  Change your focus from the external to the internal.

Christmas at my actual home has never been perfect, rarely ever lived up to my expectations.  And in the past, that’s always made me sad/frustrated/discouraged.  This year, thanks to the challenge, I hope to resolve that.  Instead of the old standard, this year we will focus on others.  Our “measuring stick” will be the joy that we see.  In the big picture — and really, truly, the important Eternity picture — nothing else matters.  It’s about loving family and celebrating Jesus’ birth. It is not about gifts, lights, decorations, food, or whatever.  And refocusing makes all the difference in the world.

Day 3:  Ooh!  I love the Bible.  Today’s verse really hit me — Mark 7:8.  Check it out.  Traditions are a funny thing.  We really stuck to them more when I was a kid, then the last few years have been this weird in-flux time in our lives.  A couple things have remained, but not really a lot of our traditions.  I did have a family meeting with Fiona and we together decided what this would look like for our family this year.

The tradition that knocks me out is the amount of gifts.  Too much money, too much time shopping, too much wrapping.  It’s just too much.  This year we are downsizing.  And grabbing a new perspective?  Done.  Love others.  Seek peace.  Don’t worry.  Love this…I am enjoying this Christmas more already!!

Day 4:  Ah, family…what would Christmas be without them?  And I am lucky to have one pretty amazing family.  Not perfect.  But perfect for me.  However, that being said…our holidays have often been overshadowed by conflict and a lot of tears.  Today reminded how often I should be praying (constantly!) about interacting with challenging people.  Another good reminder — I can’t control everyone’s actions and responses, but I can control mine.  My reactions and actions.  I can make sure that my actions are not hurtful or cruel, that they are pleasing to God.
I won’t name names on who my difficult family members are, wouldn’t that be hurtful?  But I can remind them, as well as the other members of my family that Jesus loves them unconditionally — and I do too.  Even when they hurt me or betray me, not just because they are in my family — because I want to love like Jesus does.
Day 5:  Loved today!  Loved it!!  You see, I LOVE to buy gifts for people.  One of my favorite things to do…give someone a gift.  But today, really helped remind me of something — give purposefully.  It’s not about quantity, but about the thought and love behind the giving.
The challenge today was to do one act of kindness for someone in need, but one of the things that we have decided to continue as a tradition is our Advent Calendar — Random/intentional acts of kindness from Dec 1 to Dec 25.  It’s about making ourselves focus on other’s throughout the holiday season.  And it’s FUN.
Thanks for letting me share about this challenge and how it influenced me…I hope you sign up and then let me know what you think.  🙂
God bless…Katie
Christmas

Getting ready for our Random Acts of Kindness Advent Celebration

Fiona and I have decided to celebrate Advent this year by doing random acts of kindness every day from December 1 to Christmas…  Thinking about expanding this through the year and having a weekly act of kindness as well.  🙂  So many amazing ideas out there!

I plan to document this on here and on Facebook to share our journey with others.  I want to really focus on the reason for the season…the love of God for His children and sending His Son to earth for us.

So excited for this adventure….I absolutely CANNOT wait.  Hope that you enjoy it as much as we do 🙂

XOXO,

Katie and Fiona