Friday, November 9, 2012

My November Bless-Tacular Project

Thou hast given so much to me,

Give one thing more, a grateful heart;

Not thankful when it pleaseth me,

As if They blessings had spare days,

But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise

--George Herbert  


I've had intentions of posting more frequently as I have been crafting away but instead I've chosen to spend my blogging time as time to reflect. I've read the various blogs about these amazing women who are participating in The Birthday Project.   (Originally inspired by this incredible woman named Robyn who celebrated her birthday by performing a random act of kindness for every year of her life.

This inspired me so very much but as someone who has a birthday in January and was just now reading these blogs in October, I would have to wait a few more months until I could follow in their footsteps.

Then I started seeing the daily thankfulness status updates on Facebook that many of our friends and family post each day during the month of November and I had an idea. Instead of posting what I am thankful for each day, why don't I post what I did to perhaps make someone else thankful that day? What if I choose to bless someone every day of November as well as counting my own blessings?

After all, I could go on and on about how blessed I am. That's one of the things we usually post about our personal Facebook page as my husband and I share an account. Our loved ones know about our struggles and challenges and the abundance of blessings that our heavenly father has given us time and again. 

I feel strongly that I should be thankful for ALL of those blessings every. single. day. I speak openly about my failed marriages, my infertility, my cancer, my father's many health challenges, as well as our incredible adoption journey. I am thankful for what God has brought us through and what he has gifted us with. Every. Single. Day.

So, instead of crowing about it again on Facebook, I decided that I'd like to inspire and hopefully challenge friends and family to give others something to be thankful for. During this season of thanksgiving, there are SO many people who feel as if they have nothing to be thankful for. To quote Aesop "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

I started this personal project on November 5th, so I had a bit of catching up to do so I performed the first 5 in one afternoon. Many of these I will be doing with my 17 month old but my husband will also participate when the opportunity presents itself. 

Some of the plans I have for the month are handing out bottles of water  to the after school crosswalk monitors and our neighborhood postal carriers. Saving the higher value coupons for food, make-up, craft stores, etc. and taping them near the products they are for with a note. Visiting a local hospital - most likely the one where my son was born - with flowers for the nurses. While there, I'd like to tape some coins to vending machines and leave some goodies in the waiting areas for children. I'd also like to visit a senior home and bring them some cheer, too.

Below I will keep a record of what I hope will be 30 days of blessings for friends, family, and complete strangers aka My November Bless-tacular!

1. Went to Old Navy and offered my SuperCash to the pregnant woman in front of me in line. She looked so surprised! She told me that she'd had such an awesome day so far. She had just left a meeting that she thought would be quite extensive and ended up only being 30 minutes long. I overheard her tell the cashier that she was a teacher. I was so pumped to have helped an expectant mother as well as a teacher.

2. Went to Michael's. My son was flirting with a woman in line behind us. Another cashier opened up and asked me to step over to be rung up. I told the lady behind us (who had an overlowing full cart while I had a handful of items) to go right ahead. The smile on her face was infectious!

3. Still at Michael's, I gave my cashier my coupon for 40% off to give to someone who could use it. My items were already on sale and could not benefit from the coupon anyway. My cashier ended up giving me 50% off of my total. Wow.

4. Went to Chic-Fil-A for an iced tea. After receiving my change from the twenty I gave him, I gave the drive-thru cashier a $5 bill and asked him to apply it towards the next drive-thru order.

5. Went to Hobby Lobby and wandered about. I'd printed two coupons for 40% — not to use, mind you — and looked around for someone to give them to. Ended up handing one to a lady and her husband walking in as we were leaving. She was so surprised and grateful!

6. Gave $5 to Toys for Tots.

7. Did not make it out but made plans to double up on day 8...

8. I printed up some inspiration quotes and pieces (such as Desiderata, Mother Teresa's Anyway, etc) and slipped them into fun and cheerful note cards that I picked up at Target. On the blank cards I wrote little notes such as "Smile! Happy looks good on you!" or "Keep being awesome! Keep being you!" and various other sentiments similar to those. 

Since I had missed doing anything on Day 7, I packed up a few cards and took them with us for family dinner. Our sweet little 17 month old gentleman handed one over to the restaurant manager who, after opening the envelope,  told us that we'd made her night.  As we left the restaurant, I tasked my husband with putting an envelope on a car and I did the same. Yes, we handed out three because I was worried that I'd miss doing anything on Day 9 as Fridays can be hectic for our family.

To be continued...