We have had so much fun so far doing random acts of joy this month!
One of the things I feel like God is showing me is how much He loves to shower His love on us. But because God does not have actual hands and feet here on this earth, He uses PEOPLE to be His hands and feet. Isn't it neat that God chose to partner with PEOPLE to show His love? What an exciting opportunity :) Realizing this really makes me want to steward His call on my life so very well. My prayer is that people are drawn to and wooed by their loving Father through these random acts of joy. And that the hopeless will be given hope. And that the lonely will know that they are noticed and not alone. And that the frazzled person will get the fresh breath of air that they need. And that the depressed hearts will turn to JOY!
Perhaps you are wanting to participate with us but don't know where to begin! Good news! My mom, sister and I have come up with a list of just over 30 ideas to get you started! I have compiled the list and posted it below. Some of the acts cost money, and I know that money can be tight at times, so we tried to make a good balance between free ideas and ideas that require some cash.
If you choose to join us, be open to hear what the Lord is wanting you to do and who the Lord is wanting you to serve. Be intentional in your kindness. Don't stress about completing the whole list - just do what you can in this season of life! (Preaching to myself here!!!) And be sure to have fun :) Our hope is that this becomes contagious, and that joy is spread throughout our communities and our world. And that ultimately, people will grasp an understanding of how much God adores them!
If you have additional ideas that aren't on this list, would you share them with us? Leave a note in the comments section or shoot me an email or message.
Random Acts of Joy:
1. Bake cookies for someone you love.
2. Get a happy for the mailman. We did chocolate, but my friend Lauren did hand sanitizer! I thought that was a cute idea too :) Include a simple note saying you appreciate them.
3. Make hot chocolate or cookies for the garbage man. We ended up doing fresh fruit and that was really fun!
4. Take any unused unexpired coupons you may have and a roll of tape and go tape them to the items at the store for whoever will be shopping for those items.
5. Pick up the tab of the person in the drive thru behind you.
6. Write out encouraging Scriptures on cute cards and pass them out to your grocery clerk, bank teller, toll booth worker, someone in the parking lot or whomever the Lord leads you to. One word from the Lord can change everything!
7. Pick a friend on Facebook (cannot be your best friend or family member!) that has a birthday this month and send them a sweet card or small happy in the mail. Let them know you are thinking of them and praying for them!
8. Surprise a friend with a small surprise face to face. Perhaps show up on their doorstep with flowers, or have your kids do this for their friends with balloons.
9. Bless a single mom. We participated in an Embrace Grace shower last Friday!
10. Offer to help a mom of a newborn in some way. Cook dinner, go wash dishes or do some laundry for her. Clean the floors. Offer to hold the baby for a little while so she can get a shower or nap. And be sure not to overstay your welcome! ;)
11. Send a meal to a friend.
12. Pizza night! Order a pizza for your family and have one sent to your neighbor's house as well :)
14. Write a heartfelt note to someone who has made an impact on your life.
15. Help someone load their groceries into their car at the grocery store.
16. Keep some $5 fast food gift cards in your car to pass out to homeless people.
17. Keep gloves, hats, blankets or socks in your car to pass out to homeless people as you come across them.
18. Pray with someone who seems to be having a rough day. If they are not comfortable with you praying WITH them, be sure to pray FOR them throughout your day.
19. Pay for an elderly person's prescription. Even if you leave money with the pharmacist and tell him to take care of it for you.
20. Give a note and a little treat to your kids' Sunday school teacher or nursery worker, telling them you appreciate their service.
21. Bring cookies or brownies to your local fire or police department.
22. Make pinecone bird feeders for your neighbors with your kids. All you need is some pinecones, peanut butter and bird seed :)
23. Pass out fuzzy socks at the nursing home.
24. Bring a coffee to a friend or coworker who needs caffeine!
25. Bring fudge to the causeway workers or airport workers on Thanksgiving Day.
26. Leave a crazy tip to your waiter at the restaurant.
27. Keep little hand sanitizers in your purse for the check out clerks at the grocery stores.
28. Buy a $5 gift card at the grocery store and then pass it back to the check out clerk and tell them to get a little treat on their break. This one was super fun!
29. Stash your bag with Dollar Tree happies that you can hand to random people that you may come across during the day.
30. Send chocolate to the bank teller through the tube :)
31. Have a few "toddler activities" (think toy, mini coloring book, etc.) on hand for that momma in the supermarket whose kid is going crazy.
32. Coffee to construction workers.
33. Keep Dollar Tree umbrellas on hand to give to people who forgot their umbrellas on a rainy day. (added 11/15)
34. Fill an Operation Christmas Child shoebox with your kiddos. (added 11/15)
We wanted to make sure that the list included our family, friends, coworkers, someone who is less fortunate than us, total strangers, someone who serves us and someone internationally. I am brainstorming trying to get a list together of ideas for international and also ideas for serving my family. If you have any ideas, let me know ;)
Have fun!! And Choose JOY!