Mirrored Back

I’m a huge fan of catching the way light bends at a thousand different angles and reflects back on a surface, say glass or water for instance. Nature has such a extraordinary way of catching what it sees. Simplicity at its finest.

Sometimes life can be similar: do something kind for someone, they see it, and kindness is reflected back.

Well….. yesterday I had an interesting experience with kindness and I’m feeling a nudge to share it here. It’s so not my normal post, but sometimes the lessons live in places rarely seen.

So yesterday, my friend had a yard sale. When it was over, there was a lot of stuff left. We loaded it up in my pickup and her car and she knew a place in town we could take it.

I arrived first. I had a really uneasy feeling when I got out and put my tailgate down. There was a sign in the window mentioning video cameras and I looked up and saw two.

Video cameras. In a little tiny town. At a little place with a donation box out front. Hmm.

I took two of the bags over to the donation box, set them down, then stopped because I felt SO uncomfortable.

Video cameras and donations?? I mean, I know I’m old fashioned, but that just seems so contradictory to me.

I decided to wait until my friend arrived. Our kids were with us and they helped us fill up the donation box with items we don’t need anymore to help someone else out.

The reflection.

Like light hitting water and mirroring an image, the kids see kindness, then grow up and are kind.

We finished and got in our vehicles to leave. I had the windows rolled down and kiddos sitting in my pickup, when really nice truck pulled up. I thought they were there to make a donation, too. Cool!

Ummmm… no.

In a mean voice, the words that burst out of the driver’s mouth had me confused at first.

“Are you stealing out of that box?”

Did I say mean? Because it was mean and demanding and he was talking to ME.

You know those moments where you want to turn around and see if they’re talking to someone behind you? Nope, nobody back there.

It took a few seconds for his words to register. Someone was actually accusing me of stealing. Not only that, but stealing out of a donation box we had just filled.

It’s a long story, but the couple in the truck run the place, say they have people who steal, and evidently assumed I was doing the same.

Believe it or not, it ended on a friendly note. After we explained that we had just filled the box and they explained their position and apologized, we went our separate ways, but the lessons still linger.

What bothers me the most is the kids just had this super cool experience of giving their things to help someone else out, then heard all the rest. The windows were down….

So, will this stop me from being kind and making kindness generational? Not likely. I was raised being taught to share and help others when I can, I mean, isn’t that what life is about? We show how kindness works to our kids, they show their kids.

Weird things happen and sometimes people can be completely unreasonable, but maybe it’s good to just keep carrying on. To keep doing what we do, in the ways we do it. Because we never really know when our kindness can change someone’s life.

Want to know the really cool thing about that? Its not up to us to know who that someone is.

Who knows, maybe the next kind soul who pulls in and fills a donation box will be met with grace and gratitude, which is what would be lovely to see, mirrored back.

Leaving Home

It’s the last Friday in this house

9 years of adventures here have lead us to a new road

I savor the quiet of this morning

The way the sun fills up the rooms

Shadows from the window panes laid out across my hope chest

Dishes in the sink

Toy cars strewn about

Birds on the feeder outside our back door

The sound of the neighbor’s tractor as he mows

A white cow in the pasture

20 little birds just flew into the back yard, I’m standing at the back door and here they came

Little Bit sleeping in on his last Friday morning in his “will be” old room

Me, in my pajamas, wandering around my house, embracing these moments

That one day I’m going to miss

Jewels in June

Here it is, the last day of May already. I just want to tell you what an amazing month it’s been. Over on Facebook, a friend and I started a revolution called Miracles in May.

Participating was simple: share a picture of what a miracle looks like to you and add a hashtag, #miraclesinmay.

So, what sparked the idea and why miracles?

Well for starters, miracles are like the coolest things ever!! Did you know that:

  • Miracles are possible for everyone? It’s true! Every single one! Even me, even you.
  • That even a small movement on Facebook could change the world? Heck yeah! Let’s say, I posted a picture of a miraculous sunset. If someone hit that Like button, my miracle may have opened them up for receiving miracles! Maybe the next time they saw a sunset, they’d think it was a miracle, too!
  • Where miracles are concerned, it’s all about the noticing. The more you notice, it increases the possibility of more to come in.
  • Miracles can “live” a few steps past surrender, forgiveness, and giving stuff back.
  • Miracles can be tiny or humongous.
  • Sometimes miracles drop our jaws or bring tears to our eyes.
  • Miracles remind us that we are worthy.
  • They can suddenly appear and we may shout out, “Did you see that?” And, if someone else did, that’s a miracle x 2.
  • They give us something to look for.
  • They’re free.
  • Nature is a haven for miracles. Blue sky? Miracle! Wildflowers growing in the ditch? Miracle. Ocean waves? Miracle. Hummingbirds? Miracle!
  • Miracles join people together.
  • They bring hope, restore faith, and can plaster a big smile on someone’s beautiful face!

Wow! That’s quite a list!

Even though Miracles in May is ending today, the possibility for miracles is not. I’d love to introduce you to this month’s miracle revolution. We’re going to follow the same format: post pictures of your miracles with a different hashtag. Hope you will join us for Jewels in June.

This Wonderful House

Have you ever moved? Ugh. It’s sooooooo much work.

For days, I’ve been in this big frantic panic to get my house completely perfect in case someone wants to look at it to buy it.

The selling market in our area is super good right now and I want my beautiful house to look really nice for someone, so I’ve practically been knocking myself out to get all of our “life” out of it.

Seems like there’s a lot of pressure to fix a house up just so, to sell it. The internet is full of advice on everything from curb appeal to how to arrange the cupboards in order to sell a house.

I’ve completely fallen for it, too. Yesterday, I packed up every nook and cranny of my pick up and hauled our stuff to a storage unit in town. It’s not the first load that’s gone there either!

Last night on Facebook, I posted the picture below of my cleaned up kitchen cupboard. I was so proud of myself for organizing it so it’d look beautiful for someone else.

That’s pretty ironic and makes me chuckle now, because, come on! My cabinets never look this good. Who has time for this kind of fancy? Ha ha.

This morning, a friend commented about how in the old days there wasn’t such a fuss to get a house ready to sell. She mentioned that people just came over, and if they liked it, they bought it. They sold four houses that way.

Now there’s a concept. Live your life, in your house, with your things, and invite buyers in. For real? Even with dust on the piano and crumbs on the counter?

This reminder came at the perfect moment. When Little Bit was a baby, someone with grown kids gave me some excellent advice. She said:

‘I wish I would have played with my boys more when they were little and vacuumed less. I was always so worried about having a clean house. They grew up so fast.”

I’ve kept that with me and I try to live by it. I’m usually not a stickler for housework, it can wait. Little boys are only little for so long. Dust isn’t going anywhere!

So, my friend’s comment today really got my thinking about what kind of message I’m sending not only to my kiddo, but to myself, if I feel like I have to hide my life away in some storage unit so that strangers can see my home?

Then, something shifted and it suddenly dawned on me that I don’t have to do that. I can choose to just live here until we don’t. I can choose to let Little Bit play and scatter his things about until we sign on some line that we live somewhere else.

What a gift this is! I sure don’t want him having 9 great years here, but only remembering some perfect version of our house with none of our things in it before we even moved out! Eeks.

So, here’s what I’d love the ad on my house to say:

“Want to see my house? Come on in! Thinking of buying my house? Let’s take a look around. Let me share some stories. Look out the windows. Come back at night and see the stars. Look in my messy cabinets and toy filled rooms. This isn’t a perfectly manicured magazine cover, this is a perfect house. One with wood floors for bare feet. One with views of the neighbor’s old barn and silo. One with a tree in the backyard that’s been struck by lightning many times, but is still standing. This house has been filled with Christmases and birthday parties. The yard has flown kites and been filled with Easter eggs. This house has been a haven and a refuge. It’s kept us warm and dry. It’s been filled with laughter. If you feel at home here, then this is the house for you.”

That’s it!! I’m giving back the “have to’s” and the extreme urgency I’ve been feeling to get everything about selling this house right. It’s already “right!”

Wahoooo! Forget cleaning! Today we are playing cars, reading books, and playing in the hose.

Soon enough, someone else will be doing that here, because I know in my heart, that no matter how many perfect kitchen cupboards I have, this wonderful house will sell itself. ❤️