Sunday, November 4, 2012

Kindness Challenge & #21 Days

The Kindness Challenge
#21 Days

I'm participating in two challenges simultaneously. The Kindness Challenge is a 14 day event. 14 acts of kindness in a 14 day period. Actually, if you follow the instructions, it will be MORE than 14 acts of kindness, because some of the acts are multiple in nature. Here's my progress so far:

Day 0 - We were encouraged to invite others to participate. I posted about the challenge on my FaceBook account, and am, of course, blogging about it here now. It is definitely a means of getting you outside of your own head and doing things for others, which is pretty much guaranteed to make you feel good about yourself. So, if you want to join me, here is the link to the kindness challenge:

Day 1 - Give a hug to three people (or everyone you see for bonus points!). I spent the day yesterday at the Central Arkansas Puppy Up! Canine Cancer Walk. It was the perfect place to freely give and receive hugs. Had a great time with my dog Spot. Really, I'm a hugger anyway, so this was an easy one for me. I exchanged more hugs today at church.

Day 2 - Give up your seat to someone. This one is almost an impossibility for me. There is no public transportation here, and I almost never go out to eat. So, I improvised... I gave up part of my day off and did things for someone else instead of things for myself. I think that should count.

Day 3 - Write thank you notes to 3 people you appreciate. The toughest part of this assignment was thinking who the three people would be. In fact, this has challenged me even further to continue to write thank you notes. In this computer age with Facebook and email, how many of us take the time to hand write a note to another person? Yet, how much would you treasure receiving something a little more out of the ordinary than a computer generated e-card?

That brings me to today's challenge:

Day 4 - Sign up for volunteer work on top of whatever you have been doing. As soon as I walked into church this morning, I was able to cross this one off my list. With Ladies Agape -- our annual women's meeting -- taking place this coming week, I volunteered to help out in a couple of different spots.

So, what about the #21 Days?  You may remember I designated this a year of praise and thanksgiving, and started out blogging about something for which I was thankful every day. Then life intervened... But, here I should be able to manage 21 days.

Day #1 - I went fairly generic. I'm thankful for life. Something most of us take for granted instead of recognizing it as the gift  that it is and living every day to the fullest. Often it takes death or disaster to wake us up and remind us how precious life is.

Day #2 - I'm thankful for rest. That day off I talked about earlier? It was the first day off of work (not counting weekends) that I have had in a long time, and my work days tend to be extreme - often 12-15 hours long. So, rest and relaxation was great!

Day #3 - I'm thankful for people who are willing to give up a part of their weekend to support an important cause. Yesterday, that cause was Puppy Up! Last month, that cause was the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Both activities got me out of my normal routine, out in nature on beautiful days, and around some great, upbeat people (and dogs!).

Day #4 - Today, I'm thankful for my church where I am instructed in the uncompromised Word of God, and supported by a loving and caring church family. It's an important blend of holding each other accountable, yet displaying mercy and forgiveness for the times when we fail. My experience in the past seems to have been with one or the other, but not necessarily both. It's a great place to feel comfortable to stretch and grow and even fall, because there are others to soften the blow and help you get back up on your feet again.

Okay, now I'm up-to-date, and so are you. Stay tuned. I'll post daily on the Kindness Challenge and #21 Days.

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