Prayer and Acts of Kindness: Gifts that keep giving

Most people love to give and receive gifts– not just sometimes– but most times.

Despite the occasion, there’s immense gratification by showing people we care.

This year, I’ve chosen not to dole out gifts for the “Season” but to give gifts, when and if I want to, for no particular reason.

There are tangible gifts, and the other “gifts” that have far greater significance.

The best gift(s) I given and received are priceless: free gifts!

You can always distinguish the “gifts” that come from the heart.

Often times, I’m speechless when I receive an unexpected gift.

There are times when I know, without a doubt, that the gift was “God sent.”

Why? Because the gift changed my life for the better.

If you ever received these types of wonderful gifts, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

The right person gave you the right information, right when you needed it?

Have you ever forwarded or given a gift that you know will make a big difference in that person’s life?

Have you ever shared a job announcement with friends or family?

What about an opportunity for personal growth or development?

Or, just sent someone a fun or business invitation?

And the best of all:  The gift of offering yourself, services of others or just a plain service?

One of my “gifts” I share with others is that I’m resourceful, so when my neighbor sought me out for resume help, I knew I couldn’t help her, but I knew exactly where she could get help

“There’s this organization that offers free resume help, here’s the address,”  I said.

At the top of my list of gifts, “Acts of Kindness” ranks pretty high.

Ever been the giver or receiver of such a gesture(s)?

My daughter Courtney and I make it a habit to buy a stranger a cup of coffee, just to make their day and to put a smile on their face.

Another gift we all have is to give compliments or perspective to our friends, family or even co-workers.

These days, I find I am doing these things in person, but mostly on Facebook and even to perfect strangers.

The feedback worked both ways. It made me smile, laugh, cry, smile knowing I made a difference–however big or small.

This year, my gift is a little different, but just as profound to anyone reading this post: Developing a relationship with God.

What you’ll get in return from Him is free: A personal relationship and life everlasting with God.

Most of all, I share this message because I’ve seen what He has done for me. Period.

It’s all about asking, receiving, offering, believing and requesting prayer. The number is (712) 775-7031. Put in this code 707926262#.  Remember, prayer is always free.








Stuff the holiday fluff!

I should know myself by now and yet, each year, the same thing happens:  “I’m never “quite prepared.”

I should embrace the holidays are upon us and should prepare accordingly.

I should be preparing the house for my three 20-something adults and perhaps their invited guests.

Every year without fail, I prepare for family, friends, neighbors, should they stop by.

Weeks ago, my auto pilot modus operandi style of purchasing “extra” stuff kicks into high gear and it’s off to the races.  In my head, I go through my mental list:

More food.

More decorative holiday towels.

More scented candles to make it festive.

The emphasis is on self-imposed “shouldas” and “more.”

My three children have grown up with lavish Holiday dinners—either from myself or my extended family members, and of course, my all the holiday decorations.

I’ll admit: I’m pretty enamored with the holidays and all things festive.

My siblings and I (I have four siblings) always made a big deal out of Christmas for two reasons: Honoring Jesus and honoring my mother, who’s also born on Christmas. So, there was more reason to celebrate and buy more.

And what parent doesn’t want or like to buy their children everything they wanted and everything they didn’t need?


Holidays gave me a reason to indulge my “shouldas” by preparing the turkeys; indulging in pulling all-nighters and making sure everything was just so.

After all the preparations—and probably driving everyone in insane by last minute requests and last minute preparations—is there any wonder why I was stressed out, tired and cranky afterwards?

While I loved the so-called arrangements,  the redundancy of the family gatherings/holidays and my own expectations,  had lost its luster.

“Let’s go shopping?”

“Let’s go to the movies, bowling or the mall.”

“Let’s eat out!”

“Let’s start preparing for the Christmas, let’s decorate the house.”

All family fun and lasting memories. Right!

Not anymore.

This year, I simply opted out. This new revelation was recently voiced early November.

“This year, I would love to spend the holiday differently,” I said wistfully.  “I would love going somewhere new.”

“Yeah? Where?” my son asked.

“Maybe visiting my friend Mary in Arizona. How awesome is that?” I gushed.

“Let’s make it happen,” my daughter said so seriously. “Really.”

And they did.

When I told Mary, that after 10 years of promising I would visit, I was finally coming.  Excitedly, she started rattling off all these dishes she was going to make.

“No, please don’t. Simple is best,” I heard myself saying and then it hit me. Simplicity shoulda been on my list years ago.

“Girl, I love to cook!” she exclaimed.

“Ok,” I said. “But I’d really appreciate a side of rest; a double helping of memories and an extra helping of belly aching laughter!”

And believe you me, we had “our fill” of all three orders.

On my plane ride home, I reflected on my “shoulda” and made a vow to replace it “I’m gonna.”

“I gonna enjoy myself.”

“I gonna do it now.”

“I gonna do this again….soon.”