Friday, September 10, 2010

Every day is a life changing day

Each day is not only a new day, but a day to make a difference for someone else. God has blessed me abundantly and I feel like it would be such a waste of His blessings to not pass them along to others in some way. Yet, I fail. On some days I fail so spectacularly at not sharing His blessings that I wonder why in the world He continues to provide not only what I need, but what I want.

There are those days where every little thing seems to tick me off, and I take it out on those around me. I just get so fed up with the apathy in people that I forget to just take everything with a grain of salt and take into consideration the factors in their own lives that may have led to a bad day for them, too.

But I want to make a difference. I want to be that friendly smile for a stranger, the source of a bowl of food for a stray animal or the encouraging word(s) that a newbie to our group needs. I listen to the "Make a Difference Monday" segment on KLOVE Christian radio and I'm always touched so deeply by the many ways in which others have reached out to those in their community and made a difference that day. I've heard stories of people paying for the coffee or breakfast for a total stranger, helping a busy mom carry her groceries to the car, or in one of my favorite stories, a woman who saw a need for her community and started a program that provides shoes for those that are homeless. 

Since I was a little girl I've always known the difference you can make for someone just by a small act of kindness. I learned this from my mother. I'll never forget the moment when I was about nine, we were standing in line at the grocery store behind a young woman with a few groceries. We were struggling financially ourselves and I have no doubt now, looking back, that my own mother was like so many parents, just trying to make ends meet. As we stood in line waiting for the other woman to purchase her groceries, we saw her start pushing items to the side as she realized she simply could not afford the items. These weren't frivolous items like candy, drink boxes, frozen pizzas and other convenience foods. These were basic items like applesauce, peanut butter, and oranges. It was now our turn in line, and as the woman in front of us was still waiting for her groceries to be bagged up, my mother quickly pushed the formerly discarded items into her own line of items to be purchased. She pushed the now purchased groceries to the items needing to be bagged for the other customer, and with a smile, simply said "I've been there". 
I'll never forget the smile of extreme thankfulness that came across the woman's face or the way in which you could practically feel my mom's heart swell with love and empathy for this stranger. I knew at that moment that one of my goals in life was to take every opportunity to make a difference for someone else.

What if we all did something, even just one thing a day, that made a difference for someone else? There are a million and one opportunities around every corner, if we simply open our eyes to the possibilities. So that's the challenge for myself and for you. Make a difference. Do something unexpected for someone. Be that smile that they need or those words of encouragement to help boost their spirits. You never know how it may change their day, and even add a little sweetness to your own.

 Little ways that you can make a difference:
  • Buying someone a cup of coffee in line behind you at Starbucks
  • Buying someone lunch in line behind you at the drive thru
  • Writing someone an encouraging note
  • Shoveling your neighbor's driveway
  • Buying someone some groceries
  • Sending a friend a card
  • Providing food for a stray animal
  • Watching your neighbor's kids while they go out
  • Baking some cookies and taking them to work
  • Leave a note of encouragement on a random car in the parking lot
  • Volunteer at your local Meals & Wheels to deliver meals once a week

    Leave me some feedback! What are your ideas and creative ways to make a difference? :)

    Don't just breathe in and out. Live a life worth living!


At September 10, 2010 at 12:17 PM , Blogger DanielleCorrelle said...

I hand out coupons in the store, hehe! If I see someone putting something into their cart that I have a coupon for, or in front of me in line at the checkout.

At September 10, 2010 at 1:47 PM , Blogger Saleta said...

That's such a great idea, Danielle! Love it!

At September 21, 2010 at 9:12 AM , Blogger Jessica said...

Thanks for the remind. This is something that we talk about amongst myself and a few friends at work and it is also something we struggle with most!

My friend Anthony always takes the time and makes it a point to say hello and smile to every single person he sees on campus. He asks how their day is and he means it sincerely. He listens to their stories and genuinely cares about how they are doing today when he asks. He's definitely a role model for us here.

At September 25, 2010 at 9:53 PM , Anonymous Fern said...

I cried when I read this, Saleta. It's a great reminder that children learn by their parents' actions even more than by their words. I remember that day clearly... (and I still do that, once in a while... when I can). I love the idea of leaving a note of encouragement on someone's car! I'm going to start doing that. You know, I learned from your grandmother how to give... and I'm prouder than I can say that the tradition continues! You are a credit to your family, dear child... and a great example for all of us!! Love you!!

At September 25, 2010 at 10:05 PM , Blogger Saleta said...

Jessica - That's so cool that Anthony does that. What a great example to those around him!

At September 25, 2010 at 10:05 PM , Blogger Saleta said...

Love you too, Mom! Thanks! <3


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