If You Want to Make a Difference, Do the Unexpected

In the hustle & bustle of life, sometimes we feel like we don’t know if we are coming or going. When I lay my head down at night, I often reflect on, “did I make a difference today”. I’ll be the first to admit that more times than not, my truthful answer is “no”. I want to help others, I want to give back, I want to do so much but LIFE often gets in the way with my execution.

Sometimes we think there is an expiration on when you can do a good deed or show a kind gesture. The truth is, it’s the one off’s that mean the most. When you have to go out of your way to do something for someone else, not because it is expected, but because you want to, that’s when you make a difference.

Yesterday, I felt like I was running an afternoon bus route- drop Nolan off at batting practice, run to the store to pick up a few things, pick up my girls, go back to get Nolan from practice, drop two of my children off at home while I take the third to another practice. I think I drove past the same house at least 5 times. While I know taking care of my children and getting them from point A to B is a major part of my current season of life, I sometimes struggle with the question of “did I make a difference in someone’s life today?”.

Yesterday, while waiting on Nolan to finish practice, a sweet friend gave me a bag with the simple instructions of “this is for you to take home”. I nicely thanked her and waited until I got home to look in the bag. Inside was the sweetest card and a painting of a bird’s nest with 4 eggs.

It was the nicest and sweetest part of my day yet I felt so undeserving. Being the recipient of such a thoughtful gift not only lifted my spirits but it made me want to do better. When I start to struggle, God sends someone to make a difference in my life. It’s ironic that someone would do something nice for me when I feel like I am not at the top of my game. The truth is, that’s when I need the unexpected the most! We are called to do good for one another.
“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”- Galatians 5:13 Thank you to my sweet friend for impeccable timing when I need the unexpected the most!

Fast forward to today, I ran into a local grocery store to grab some lunch and pick up a few items. As I was checking out, one of the store employees scooped up my bags to carry them out. I definitely did not need the help as it was only 2 bags but he insisted. Once I got into my car, I took a moment to reflect on how this simple “unexpected” act of kindness was a bright spot in the middle of my day, again, when I needed it most.

I encourage you to think of a time someone did something unexpected and remember how it made you feel. If an unexpected gesture or act of service left you smiling or more upbeat, just imagine the effect your unexpected “something” can have on someone else.

The unexpected acts of kindness are the jewels we all treasure so much. These acts or gestures can come in all sizes- big or small, simple or complex. Remember, it’s the gesture that matters. When you are struggling with yourself or what to do for someone, start with a simple act of kindness. Don’t do something for the recognition but instead, focus on the unexpected. Not only will the recipient be rewarded but you will too! Be the change you wish to see- do the unexpected. And whatever you do, do it with a side of grace! “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”- Hebrews 13:16

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