CGP Office Christmas Party yesterday at @manafirkin_brewing_company .
Just a quiet moment with my wife and son, a moment to sit and reflect on our accomplishments of the year and our aspirations for the coming months... my two and a half year old son, being the friendliest person I know, said hello to everyone who passed by on their way out the door. .
We were pleasantly surprised by a young couple who came back in with a wrapped gift. They set it down on our table and my son’s eyes lit up. “My wife and I give gifts to children around this time of year, I think this is something he would like.” .
It’s this type of kindness that brings me hope for the future, this random act that filled our hearts with joy. I have no way of thanking this couple directly, but if this message should happen to find you, thank you so very much. .
Remember two weeks ago, I was a blubbering mess because some jackass in Urmston asked me if I was a man... Well today I've blubbed again but for a very different reason. I must say I felt dizzy/sickly whilst walking to the shops today - I was nervous because of what happened last time I went into town.. Whilst I was in Aldi I spotted a woman look at me and smile...I smiled back but immediately asked Andy if I had something on my face ... A couple of minutes later she came past me and said 'you look just like the lady from the chateau... lovely!' She meant Angel Adoree...oh wow what a compliment. I teared up and thanked her for making my day, and wished her and her friends Merry Christmas 🎄
So after a long time of feeling very self conscious, today I was handed a massive boost thanks to a total stranger 💖
Someone who regularly leaves empty egg boxes and jars on our gate as well as buys eggs from the honesty box very kindly left this crafty chicken as well!
How kind of a stranger. It now hangs in our kitchen.
Well that was very sweet of the older gentlemen next to me to offer his side of hashbrowns and sausage, because his friend bought him too much food and didn't wanna go to waste. Yes sir I totes will accept! What a lovely gesture and before heading into work. Especially in tight times like this, and wasn't sure I was up to eating food at work or able to for hrs.
I will def pay it forward this week.
To the lovely couple sitting next to us, who were finishing up their meal as we were sitting, who we only chatted with for a few brief moments, who surprised us with this decadent blueberry cornbread cobbler, at the end of our already delicious meal... thank you, from the bottom of our hearts and very full tummies. We had a magical evening, accented by your kindness and generosity. #christmasspirit#kindnessofstrangers#randomactsofkindness#payitforward
Today was graced laced in every single way, today was beautiful love breathed down from heaven, today has me in awe of just how powerful God is in every way! How He is a God of details, a God of grace, and love, and protection, and provision, and of surprises, and serving, and helping one another, and loving on one another!!! He is such a good good Father! .
I’m sitting here will tears running down my face...happy tears!!!! .
Today awesome blossom and I SERVED at the Foster Care Christmas Party and it was such a beautiful day for so many kiddos. .
Serving others...I have found no other thing that leaves me so full that I feel like God has breathed heaven right down here on Earth!!!
From that to the Nutcracker to picking up dinner and God continuing to breath down His beautiful grace through a sweet old man at Longhorn Steakhouse.
We ordered dinner and we stood next to him. The waitress asked my name and I said, “Emily.” He smiled and said that is my daughters name. We chatted. He was there to get his wife some soup who is on hospice...On other nights he goes into Baton Rouge to Olive Garden for her...and then this sweet man looked at the waitress and said I’m buying her dinner. I said, “oh no sir”. But he insisted, the waitress in shock...and my sweet Lizzy standing in awe of the kindness of a stranger, I told him we would pray for his wife and we will. And I told him we would pay his kindness forward. .
As we parted he gave me the sweetest hug and I prayed for him...he said you are going to bring me to tears...but little did he know I walked away with tears rolling down my cheeks. .
Prayers already going up and a grateful heart for his kindness and the beautiful grace he shared this evening with our daughter! .
Today and everyday it is all about Jesus! .
God I thank you for your amazing grace! .
It was of August, 2015. I had just come back from Vermont to live in California again, as I wanted to be near my family and best friends. I had finished unpacking everything, telling everyone I knew I was back, and more importantly I needed to find a job. I remembered that one of my friends does volunteer work for his church each week to help feed the homeless in our city. I get myself together and I then head over to their meeting point, unsurprisingly a church. I really didn’t know what I would be in for as I walked to the entrance of this seemingly small church. I walk in to see many pots of freshly made soup, individually wrapped sandwiches, loaves of bread, packed snacks. I help divide the food evenly, and then help bring everything outside to see what happens next. One of the homeless individuals approached me and started talking to me about the shirt I was wearing. Most of my casual shirts are ones I had bought at many of the concerts I have attended, and he recognized this band in particular, D.R.I., which was a punk band. Suddenly we were just storming off about all the shows we had attended, and I discovered that he himself was an old-school punk rocker and had even played in a band at one point. Amazingly, he had found himself an old bass and amp in a dumpster, and recovered it for himself to continue practicing as he felt for personal entertainment, and even ran back to his tent to bring it over to me so I could check it out. It’s amazing how much music, especially for those of us into the more underground scenes, bonds us. I had said bye, and I told him I would see him next week. I didn’t see him that next week though and I’m not sure what ever happened to him. He wasn’t a regular in our city and I was in fact the only person that had ever caught his name in the first place. I still have hopes I’ll see him again even though it’s been three years since that moment. I had found a kindred spirit with many similarities to myself, and I thought about how I would act if I were directly in his place. In fact, I noticed some of those homeless people didn’t ask for a lot of food and really wanted the conversation with regular folk.
My camera tumbled out of the car when I hopped out to ask these folks for directions to one of the hikes/play with their pitbull. I was certain the camera was gone, but retraced my steps and they'd taken it to the visitors center.
Annual Community Policing Forum Christmas Parade. We decorate a truck with Christmas lights; ride through our region; Santa visits the retirement home and hands out snack packs.
I am very ill. I really shouldn't have gone; but duty calls. Whilst there, in the dark of night, I felt a giant hand tap me on the shoulder. I turned around; but couldn’t see who it was; only that he was very tall. He said "Brother, will you let me pray for you?"
One can't exactly say no. He prayed that my colon would heal; (I am in my worst ever flare-up). I had never met him. How did he know? I turned around to thank him; tears welling up. He was gone.
Be kind people. Tis the season; tis the reason.
*One Year Later Update* ***We did find our kind stranger (and learned his name.) at another game almost a year later. We were lucky enough to get the chance to thank him again and enjoy a game with him.
What an amazing memory he gave to us and taught Grady that there are still some wonderful people out there.*** The kindness of strangers!!
Oh my god. I could cry!! Our seat neighbour at the hockey game asked if Grady was going to get a jersey, I told him we had to wait until payday. His response was to take us to the Tigers store and buy Grady a jersey and toque!!! AND THEN.... he managed to get Grady's new jersey signed by TWO of the tigers!! My poor heart... so grateful to him and how he made this Grady's BEST DAY EVER!!! Thank you Mr Section H, for being our hero and having such a big heart ❤ It meant so much to us! MERRY CHRISTMAS!
#update @canaltacentre @medhattigers @medicinehatnews @chat945 @my96fm
In the last half a year of travelling, I carried along a personal copy of the #chalochale zine. Every excuse there was, I'd dig it out of my 10kg bagpack, hidden under two envelopes of ziplock, to ensure it remains waterproof. (My passport only had one layer of protection.)
Yep, I'm rather proud of this almost #photobook . It's by no means a #travelguide to #Rajasthan , rather, a very precious collection of images and annotations — my #memories from a trip to northern #India last March.
Fast forward 20 months to this November, I made an impromptu #detour to #Jaipur to celebrate Diwali with the Sharmas. Their reaction to the #zine was pure joy. Haven't felt this accomplished in a while.
There's an in-depth #interview with @yourlocalnewsstand about how I ended up in India, the #kindnessofstrangers , and growing up in Singapore. (Link in bio.) If you like to have this 44-paged goodness in your hands, swing by @yourlocalnewsstand online store to order a copy.
Meanwhile, enjoy the rain or snow wherever you are!
So grateful to Lord Jesus for the #kindnessofstrangers
BT enjoyed leftover 🍕 and I had 🥗 and almost letting my worries take over instead of praising God for how He has always provided for us. Of course God showed up~ one of our favorite people gave us a treat for dessert (we love cheesecake and the last place we went to eat as a family with Bean was at Cheesecake Factory). That was to me Almighty God saying, “Mimi, my child do you trust Me? I’m always faithful. Stay obedient and never ever give up.” Deuteronomy 7:9 🦅
Know therefore that the Lord thy God, He is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations;
Lately I've read a few things that have saddened me, words of warning and caution that might make someone think twice about venturing out and exploring. As someone who has travelled a fair bit and who enjoys the freedom of travelling on my own occasionally, I think all I would have missed out on had I stayed home. In my travels I've learned that the good FAR outweighs the bad in this world.
This photo is a reminder of that to me. This couple who Nathan and I spoke to at the campground before setting off thought of us as they drove through the beautiful mountains in BC and decided that a cold drink would be a nice treat on a hot sunny day at the top of the mountain. They bought some ice cold gatoraid and waited for us at the top. Boy were they right, it was a hot tiring climb on our loaded bikes, a cold drink never tasted so good and the thoughtfulness will never be forgotten. Perhaps we will be able to return the favour one day ourselves.
I do my best to live without fear and encourage you to do the same, you will be rewarded..... #kindness#payitforward#theworldisyours#travel#explorebybike#roadslikethese#escapeEveryday#worldbybike#kindnessofstrangers#actsofkindness#bikelife#biketour#cycletouring
Day 13 of #storiesofgoodnessadvent
Story & photo: @rachfrakes .
“I was pregnant with my second, & spent the last ten weeks on bedrest for preterm labor. It was the middle of a bitterly cold Indiana winter and I spent it on the couch in our little apartment, tossing goldfish crackers at my two year old. When my doctor finally lifted my bedrest restriction, I loaded Luke up and we went to Walmart to stock up on allll the groceries we would need in the coming weeks (I am now so grateful for the invention of grocery delivery). Luke was angry that we'd been cooped up for so long and the first place we went was the grocery store- and moving around had brought my contractions back. Our trip looked like this: I'd put something in the cart, he'd throw two things out. I'd bend down, pick them up, pause for a contraction, rinse, repeat.
The whole trip took us an hour and a half and by the time we reached the checkout, I was near tears. By this point, Luke had moved on to trying to throw himself from the cart, and I couldn't carry him.
A woman behind me stretched out her arms to him, and asked me for permission to hold him. He leapt into her arms, and she pointed around the store and distracted him while I paid for my groceries. As I turned to collect him, and thank her, she pressed a Lightning McQueen balloon into my hands, saying how she'd already rung it up on her tab and that hopefully it would ensure a peaceful drive home.
I did end up crying as I left the store, but they were tears of gratitude for my angel. I had my baby the next day, and it's been almost six years, but I still pray for that woman every time I set foot in a grocery store. I never knew her name, and I don't even remember what she looked like, but I am so grateful to her. Such a simple thing- she probably doesn't even remember helping me now, but it made such a difference to me. I'd like to be another mother's grocery store angel someday.”
Thank you so much @kennedycenter for giving the families at @rmhcdc such great tickets. We didn’t want to deal with parking so we took Uber. But it’s less than 10 mins away from @414salonspa so it was less stressful for us to take Uber 😉
My handsome Marine husband and I enjoyed our short date very much! It’s so nice to have a few hours to ourselves. I cried and cried of course thinking about our sweet youngest son in the hospital (almost 22 months of #hospitallife now) when I heard “I’d give my life for you”.😢😭
Thank you so much to my bestie Ann @shearann888 for going out of her way to buy us bánh mì for lunch and dinner, pampering me with my blowout, and watching BT for us. Thank you to our other amazing good friend and neighbor Harumi @haruminaka for watching our fur kids so that we’re able to stay at the hospital and DC longer.
••• 🇸🇩 Sudan 2014 🇸🇩 •••
We had been in the Bayuda Desert for 8 days, with only the food and water we could carry on the camels. The day after we left the desert was to be my last with Lev on his Walking The Nile journey, and we set up camp near the river - the first time we had seen it in nearly three weeks.
👳🏾♀️ ••• 👳🏾♀️
As we unpacked the camels, this man came over and insisted that we stay at his house. But we needed to be near the camels, and knew that we might be the least pleasantly fragrant house guests that he had ever encountered. He nodded and walked off.
🛏 ••• 🛏
A few minutes later, I heard a scraping sound, then turned to see this stranger dragging his bed out of his house, before putting it on his head and carrying it over to us.
“I cannot let you sleep on the floor,” he said, “You are guests in my country. So, if you cannot come to my house, my house will come to you.”
🏠 ••• 🏠
Imagine a Sudanese person getting that kind of hospitality next to the River Thames or Tyne in England!
🙏 The Kindness of Strangers 🙏
This is the good that social media can do 💕
Asking family, friends, and strangers, for contributions to Christmas gifts bags for the charity that I volunteer for, Contact the Elderly, and this is what they are rewarded with.
Home made biscuits, truffles, cards and coasters, boxes of chocolates, biscuits and Christmas cakes, beautifully wrapped bone china sets filled with sweets, hand creams, calendars, books, poinsettias, and so much more 💕
Christmas is a very difficult time to ask people for things, money is tight, time is valued and scarce, so when I ask the question, “Would anybody like to contribute to the Christmas gift bags I’m putting together for our eight elderly guests?”, I never ‘expect’ too much, I only ‘hope’ for a little. Over the last three years of asking however, I have been repeatedly humbled by people wanting to be involved in this. I have stood on the doorsteps of strangers or they have graced mine, as gifts have been delivered, or collected, and I have chatted about the greatness of the charity that is @contact_teas and their hope to end loneliness in the elderly.
I can’t thank you enough. Each and every one of you, gave more than I had hoped for, you are all incredible. Thank you. 💕
A little thank you to @theemmabritton for having me on #bbcradiobristol last week too where I got to talk about the volunteering, the kindness of strangers and this lovely charity.
If you can spare two hours once a month, you could do your bit to try and tackle the huge problem of loneliness and isolation that so many are facing. There are a few ways you can volunteer with Contact the Elderly, so please give them a thought if you have a little time to give, I guarantee you will love your time with them 💕
This morning whilst out running errands I saw a mum hunched over her steering wheels sobbing hard, that ugly kind of crying you hope no one will see. She was parked and the door open and standing next to her was her son having a moment. An older lady spotted her just before me and asked if she could do anything to help. The mother sobbed ‘please take my child away’. I didn’t stop as I didn’t want to overwhelm her and the older lady said she’d sit with her a while. Whilst in the shop it played on my mind so I was glad to see her still in the car park. I stopped and just gave her a massive hug. A stranger. But in that moment, she was a mum who needed a hug. She cried. And to be honest, so did I. The older lady was playing with the little boy in his car seat so I could chat with this mum, a single mum who works full time and her 3.5yr old has been ‘pure hell’ for fifteen months, and this morning he bit her so hard her hand bled. Saying he’s fine with everyone else I tried to reassure her that he feels safe with her and so can express his big emotions and what he bottles up with other people. She talked some more and I gave another big hug. She said to us both she was so close to just leaving her son and driving off but by us just taking a minute to stop and show #kindnessofstrangers she could just have a minute to breath. It’s made me feel incredibly emotional and I hugged A super tight before naptime. Since having A I notice other mums more, and when we’re out I always smile at them, or say a passing hello. You never know how someone is feeling and a simple hello could be all they need to hear that day. I’ve been struggling a lot with loneliness and I know that a smile or a chat with another mum, even a few seconds can lift the day. So at this time of year with life so hectic and fraught, look up, smile and say hello to someone, anyone.
Via Dinarica HR Blue Trail | It's amazing how well I've been treated. Can't get used to it. I don't need much, but a roof above my head when the wind gets too strong can make me superhappy. I had people driving up to a mountainhut to open it just for me, people that let me sleep in a caravan, people that offered me a room, an appartement or simply gave the keys of their weekend house. So many people invited me for coffee, lunch, dinner, treated me to a nice cold beer or a warm bowl of soup, gave me fresh food, homemade food, chocolate, cookies, candies, bread, nuts. I've been spoiled with warmth, good and kindness. Got about ten more days to go, but I'm already feeling nostalgic. Perhaps it's the time of the year, the end of the year when people start to reflect. Or it's just because the end of the trail is near. The end of my Via Dinarica adventure. Anyhow, I'm dry and warm for tonight thanks two a sweet old man and his sweet old caravan. #iamthankful#hiking 👣 #ViaDinarica#BlueTrail#caravancamping#hrvatska 🇭🇷 #kindnessofstrangers#makemyday#hikingcroatia#endoftheyear#nostalgicmood