Category Archives: Making A Difference

THE POWER OF KINDNESS

A Few Kind Words

During the years my husband was attending college full-time, I worked at an event facility that specialized in hosting weddings. It was the most physically exhausting time of my life. I was working multiple jobs during the week and I was working long hours and very late nights on the weekends to make ends meet while Michael was unemployed.

Even though it was a season that stretched me, I would relive it all over again because of the spiritual growth and the lessons I learned during that time of life.

One memory from those hard days stands out more than any other. It happened while I was working at the event facility during a night shift. The kind words and actions of a complete stranger encouraged me and left a permanent mark on my heart.

I remember it clearly. I was moving swiftly around the ballroom, dressed in a tuxedo shirt, black vest, and a bow tie as I cleared plates and silverware off the big, round tables. My arms ached from the long hours of hard work during my husband’s season of unemployment.

As I reached down to pick up a plate, I heard a woman’s sweet voice speaking to me. I felt her hand gently nudging my arm as she said, “I know how hard it is to do what you’re doing. I have children, and I’m working a job similar to yours to make ends meet.”

Immediately, her words began melting my stress, and she slipped some folded money into my vest pocket. Then she paused for a second or two and did something that touched the deepest part of my soul. She leaned over and kissed me on my cheek, treating me like royalty.

My tear-filled eyes locked with her eyes and my voice cracked as I said, “Thank you.” It was obvious she knew I was feeling weary. My tears conveyed the message that she had deeply touched me.

Her kind gesture and words of encouragement caused my spirit to be lifted high in an instant. It was as though Christ had shown her that I, too, was a mother, and I needed to be encouraged.

With the formal setting of the ballroom, I knew it would be unprofessional to show the full extent of the emotions in my heart. So I hurried over to the door that led into the storage room. As I pushed the door open, I burst into a deep cry.

While reaching into my vest pocket and pulling out a twenty dollar bill, the magnitude of what she had done hit me. At a place where tips are not normal, it was obvious that God had nudged her to be kind and to generously tip me.

That evening I went home feeling treasured, and during the remaining years of working at my weekend job, I felt empowered. A woman’s small act of kindness helped me to be invigorated and remain strong through a tough season.

Later on, my husband earned a college degree and landed his dream job, and my long-time dream of being a stay-at-home mom was fulfilled. Looking back, I realize the power of that sweet woman’s kind words and deeds helped to strip away the pride in my heart and helped mold me into a more compassionate woman.

It’s been quite a few years since a stranger at my job powerfully impacted my life, yet I remember it like it happened yesterday. It was the tough season of living paycheck to paycheck—barely able to pay our bills—that I learned the most about kindness and generosity. Now, when I’m out and I see a weary person, I think of the woman whose kindness uplifted me during a hard season, and I strive to be one who shares the same kindness that was bestowed upon me.

A few kind words or a generous tip could be all it takes to change a person’s outlook and make a real difference in the world.

Have you ever been the recipient of a stranger’s kindness? I pray God will convey His love to you through someone’s kindness today or prompt you to share kind words and that you, too, will experience the power of kindness.

Lord,

Thank You for being the ultimate example of kindness and encouragement. Help us to remember to encourage the people around us with gracious words and gestures of kindness. I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.

“Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.”

— Proverbs 16:24 (NLT)

THE PURPOSE OF PAIN

ThePurposeOfPainEdit

On a day of volunteering at a ministry that provides food to people in need, I was able to see clearly how God uses pain in our lives. As I stood next to a table that had a variety of delicious foods, I picked up a pie and handed it to a sweet, young mom. Tears came streaming down her face as she saw the abundance of food we were giving her family. The pie seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, or to put it in better words: It was the pie that touched the mother’s heart. She was obviously deeply touched by the generosity of God through this ministry.

Through her tears, she began telling me that her small children had been without enough food to fill their tummies the previous week. While she was sharing her heart, I was overcome with weepy emotionsWith tears rolling down my cheeks, I embraced her tightly. Her story was taking my mind back to the time when I was experiencing a difficult circumstance similar to hers.

As I remembered my pain, I told her, “It will get better with God’s help; I promise.”

Memories flooded my mind as I hugged her. I thought about the years my husband’s home-based business was struggling and he delivered pizza for less than $7.00 an hour while I was home-schooling our children and working part-time. As I listened to her painful story, I remembered the day when our refrigerator was almost empty and my daughter asked me, “Are we going to starve, Mommy?”

Join me over at DaySpring’s (in)courage site to read the rest of the story. I’m super excited to be a guest contributor to one of the best women’s ministry websites online.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE ONE SMALL ACT AT A TIME

DSCF2508

I wept and wept when a group of my Bible study friends joined together in 2005 to be the hands and feet of Jesus and helped me during our family’s crisis. To the ladies who stepped in to help us, it seemed like a simple act of kindness. But in reality their joining together to help, provided food and gift cards that fed our family for at least eight months while we struggled through a season of low income jobs. It was life-changing for me. Not only did their act of love provide for us in our need, but it instilled in me a desire to do the same thing for others for the rest of my life on this earth.

I wrote the Prayers of a Mother’s Heart eBook with the goal of making a difference in the world. Several weeks ago, during a special promotion of my eBook, I wrote a post sharing that I planned to purchase bunk beds with the proceeds from the promotion. I have great news! With the royalties from the April promotion and with the previous months’ royalties, I was able to donate money to Hands of Love to enable them to purchase beds for two children. Did you hear that? My books’ royalties provided beds for children who would otherwise be without one. I’m shouting praises to Jesus!

Bunk Beds for Children

I don’t think we really realize how much our acts of love impact others eternally. We may wonder, “Is buying a bed for a child really making that big of a difference?” To a child who has been literally living on the streets, never knowing what it’s like to have a comfortable place to sleep, a bed is life-changing. He will remember the day he received his new bed for the rest of his life in the same way I will remember August 24, 2005—the day my friends came to my rescue.

Hands of Love

It thrills my heart when I meet others who are passionate about making a difference. I am excited that I recently learned about Kim Belcheff’s site—a blog dedicated to supporting charities. I am honored to have an interview posted at Heart of a Philanthropist.

My prayer for all followers of Christ is that we would band together to reach out to the homeless and loveless in their great need. While we, the Body of Christ, function as His hands and feet, we will see the world begin to change.

I refuse to stand by while the world falls deeper into darkness, thinking, “I don’t have enough money to make a difference.” We can overcome the darkness as we realize our small acts of love actually do make a significant and real difference.

“Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.”

— James 1: 27 (The Message)

 

PRAYER eBOOK: 99¢ UNTIL 4/8 AND GIVING BUNK BEDS TO ORPHANS

Hands of Love Bunk Beds

I was inspired by the power of prayer working in my life and in the lives of my children to write Prayers of a Mother’s Heart: For a Chosen Generation, an eBook about faith-filled prayer with several personal stories and over twenty-five actual prayers.

One of my goals for the book was to use it as a fundraiser for our plans to adopt a Ugandan child. During the process of writing and publishing my eBook, our plans to adopt shifted. We listened to God’s voice guiding us to postpone the adoption plans until after our youngest child graduates from high school in 2015.

Although, we postponed our adoption plans, my passion for the Ugandan people has only gotten stronger. A beloved friend introduced me to Hands of Love, a ministry that cares for over 1,400 orphans. My husband and I partnered with this ministry because we love how they’re meeting the needs of children who would otherwise be living on the streets, struggling to survive.

This past year, we were over-the-top excited to buy a bicycle for our sponsored staff member at Hands of Love and to provide money that helped fund bunk beds for the children who aren’t sponsored. I’m sharing this only to testify of Christ’s goodness for restoring our finances so that we may bless others.

unnamed

The staff members at Hands of Love are ecstatic about their new bicycles because they don’t have to walk miles to work and to church anymore. I can only imagine the relief they are feeling.

So, what does a prayer eBook have to do with giving bunk beds to orphans and providing bicycles to the staff members at the orphanage?

Prayers of a Mother’s Heart will be .99 cents through April 8th as a special promotion. I plan to use the proceeds from this promotion to help purchase more bunk beds or whatever the children at Hands of Love may need.

Can you imagine sleeping every night on a hard floor? A child’s world is changed when they are given a comfortable bed and provided with safe shelter. My heart is rejoicing to be able to make a difference in a child’s life so that he or she will one day make a difference in the world.

Prayers of a Mother’s Heart was written with a divine purpose to bless children and can be downloaded at Amazon.com.

ebook-3d-small

May Jesus use each of us to make a difference every day in the lives of those in need.

The photos were taken at one of the Hands of Love orphanages.