Advent Talk in January
So you might be wondering why I am still talking about ADVENT in January. It is not that I have my months mixed up, even though you can be sure I have accidently written 2019 several times. I closed out 2019 doing acts of kindness and inviting the world into the opportunity, but I have not talked about it much, and I want to share a bit about it with you!
Although I did not post about the #sowkind advent here, I made short videos with a kindness call to action and posted them on social media beginning December 1st-December 24th. That was a lot of work [yes, I feel super old when it takes me 100 minutes to figure out how to add music to a video], and it was fun!
Here’s a little sample!
Behind the Scenes
A friend had the idea to create kindness advent calendars, and I thought it was a great idea. Who am I to say no to getting behind someone else’s idea to carry the ripple of kindness? My daughter and I created daily acts of kindness on 24 cards and turned it into our customized #Sowkind advent calendar. In case you are wondering, I will be sharing a template of the cards in a later blog post [watch for it]. It was a great advent(ure) that centered our minds on others during a season that can fill up with a lot of self-focused activities.
My Favorite Part
Day three of the #sowkind advent invited us to take treats to teachers. While discussing this with my teenager, I was delighted that he had several teachers he wanted to treat. My delight was not simply rooted in the fact that I am a teacher, but that he has learned the skill of seeing the value in others. Yes, even those who assign “too much” homework!
After landing on a plan to encourage a handful of teachers, we decided to email one of the teachers right then and there. Please don’t ask me to explain this, I can’t. Except that it was a palpable prompting. Have you experienced one of those? You just know that you are supposed to do something RIGHT THEN.
It was late when we drafted our email. It went something like this:
We are participating in a #sowkind advent challenge. Today, our card said to “treat” a teacher, and you are the teacher we’d like to treat.
When our big kids were home for Thanksgiving, we talked about you during one of our car rides. Each of the children mentioned how much they appreciated you as a teacher. Think about it, it’s been over 5 years since the big kids had you, but they were able to connect with their brother about you! As a teacher myself, I know this is no small accomplishment.
Thank you for being a wonderful influence on all our children. You are teaching more than a subject. You are connecting with students on a deeper level. This means everything to this mama!
I’d love to bring you lunch or a treat [Starbucks, Mary’s Tacos, etc.] to say thank you.
Please let me know what works for you.
Again, thank you for being you!
This was nothing fancy, but it was true. I spent many years thinking kind things about others without EVER telling them. Yet, I am never one to turn away encouragement myself because LIFE IS HARD. Kind words are fuel for the soul; they give life to weariness and strength for another mile.
My son and I were excited to execute this day of advent. We were closing down my computer, after having sent the email a few minutes prior, when we received a response from his teacher. We sat with tears in our eyes at her words. In fact, the same tears fill my eyes even as I type this one month later. Here’s what she said…
Thank you so much for taking the time to email me. This means so much to me. It brought tears to my eyes. It has really been a hard year and this email came at just the right time. God really knows when we need things. You have such great kids! Thank you so much for wanting to bring me a treat! I would love a taco from Mary’s tacos.
This. The timing. The need. The willingness. Wow.
There were other stories. You can be sure of that, but this one impacted our entire family. You see, it is easy to brush off the promptings to do something for someone else. It is easy to consider how weird and awkward the interaction COULD be.
BUT-what if it isn’t?
What if it is right on time? I believe every act of kindness intersects an authentic need. We do not always have the privilege of knowing, but that should NOT stop us from acting. Right?
Sure we have moved beyond the season of advent, but kindness transcends seasons. What can you do TODAY to make a difference? Can you call a friend you have not talked to in awhile? Can you write a note to a teacher? Can you help someone with a physical need? Can you forgive someone? Can you be kind to yourself?
Wouldn’t the world be a lovely place if we let encouragement and kindness be our dialect?