21 Days of Christmas: Days 8-15

Well, I lost track of time this past week, with it being the week of Christmas, and didn’t keep up with the 21 Days of Showing Kindness through Christmas, and into the New Year.

If you’re like me, you can get off track, and start again when you can! The goal is to keep going, even when you have to take a short break. . .

With that, here we go!

Day 8- Bring someone joy by painting a rock, and hide it somewhere in your community for someone to find.

Day 9- Leaving encouraging post-it notes in random places. Maybe at your work, the grocery store. Get creative!

Day 10- if you go out to eat, find out when your favorite restaurant has their weekly special. Order off of the special menu. Your bill will be lower. But don’t stop there! Leave a larger tip than you would normally be able to for your waiter, with an encouraging note on the receipt!!

Day 11- bring someone their favorite drink and snack!

Day 12- when you’re grateful for something that someone has done. Tell them “thank you”, and why you are glad they are in your life.

Day 13- compliment someone. Did they do a great job at work? Did they take out the trash? Did they go above and beyond? Did they show up? Let them know you noticed!

Day 14- bring the people in your office breakfast. Donuts, anyone?!

Day 15-going through the drive through? pay for the next person in line’s coffee. If you can only lend a small amount- that’s ok. Ask the barista if someone has ordered with the amount you can give, or pay towards someone’s order!

Times can be rough. Just remember to keep spreading the kindness!!

21 Days of Christmas: Day 4

Our acts of kindness and compassion can bring hope to other people, chipping away at the anger and hardness in their hearts.

People go through so much. Often times, people need just a little bit of grace and love.

All too often, we are reallly hard on people on social media. Hiding behind the screen, it’s easy to call people trolls and snowflakes.

But, what if, we just kept on scrolling. People spend hours a day arguing with strangers on the internet. And I truly don’t understand why. I can guarantee that arguing with each other on social media isn’t going to change anyone’s mind.

So, for Day 4- let’s bypass that strangers comment. Just keep on scrolling if we disagree- or at least be kind in our conversations with strangers on the internet.

After all, we don’t know what other people are going or have been through. They just may need an extra dose of kindness today!

21 Days of Christmas: Day 3

I don’t know about you, 9x out of 10, if I’m in a hurry- my hands are full with kids in tow.

Most places I go, now, have automatic doors, curbside, or drive through. That’s because I tend to frequent places that help make life a little easier.

However, there was a time that I had: my large bag, a baby bag, and 1, 2, or 3 kids.

And, I don’t know if you’ve ever had your hands full, when a stranger holds a door open for you. . . But it’s small things, like holding a door open where people find hope in humanity.

So, for Day 3- Let’s do it. Hold open that door, wish them a great day, and smile!

21 Days of Christmas: Day 2

Kindness is like a warm hug.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been blown away by the kindness of strangers.

And the best part, is that it doesn’t cost a single thing.

There have been many instances when a friend or family member sent me an encouraging text, or called me at just the right time.

So, today send someone an encouraging note. Let them know how awesome you think they are. If you know the struggles they have going on in their life, speak life into those situations.

21 Days of Christmas: Day 1

The theme of 21 Days of Christmas is kindness. I believe at the root of kindness is hope and love. We will start with showing ourselves kindness!!

This weekend, my kids have been with my in-laws. Today, I was going to take a day to get it all done. Did that happen? No.

I didn’t change out of my pajamas today. I lounged around, watched Christmas movies, and my husband slept. All.day. We both needed a day of complete rest.

To be honest, with traveling and COVID, we haven’t had many days without any of our kids. I didn’t realize just how worn out we were.

When you are that worn out. It is super hard to pour into others. It’s hard to show love and kindness, when you are running on empty.

So, for day 1: Take time for yourself. Get rejuvenated and refreshed, as best you can with the resources you have.

Take a nap. Read a book. Go on a walk. Do nothing. Whatever it is for you. Do it. Because, you can’t show others love and kindness well, unless you are doing it for yourself first.

21 Days of Christmas

This year has been hard, there’s no doubt about that. There’s been hardship for practically everyone this year. Fighting a world pandemic. An intense election. Much needed fight for social justice.

So much division.

I feel like this year was inevitable.

Over the past 10 years, it has seemed that each passing year there’s been more anger, more division in the US and across the world. It feels as though this year was the eruption point. The lava has been building for years, and now it’s seems everyone is shouting and not many are listening and doing, and frankly showing love to others.

What if we took the next 21 days, and created a new habit to love others when we disagree, even if we don’t want to.

Ya’ll. This is hard. Yet, I know that if we dig deep, find it within ourselves to say “enough is enough”, we can make a greater change and impact in our social circles. When we do that, I know it’ll make a big difference.

Now, I know I’m writing and sharing this later than I planned. The beauty is. . .we can take 21 days of Christmas and extend that into 2021 when most people feel the hope of Christmas leading up to Christmas Day, and the “magic” fades away. Let’s take that “magic” and keep spreading into the new year and beyond.

December!!!

I’m not really sure how we are already over a week into December. . . And, I just wanted to send well wishes out to you all!! I hope that you are receiving joy, hope, and love. That you see light in the world.

It seems like there are a lot of people who need to feel the love.

A lot of people going through tough times.

And, I know, I know- that’s honestly been the theme of 2020. It’s been a tough year for all.

Through these types of seasons- It’s easy to get stuck inside our own thoughts and our own problems. What if we saw the opportunity in this last month, of this ridiculously hard year to spend each day, of the rest of the year gifting love, compassion, and kindness.

And then, carried it over into next year!

That’s what this season is about!

It takes 21 days to make a habit. So. Let’s take 21 days of Christmas, and give the gift of love, compassion, and kindness. Let’s show up, and come together. Let’s show up, and show the people in our world love.

Stay tuned.

Resource: Podcast

I’ve taken more time than I wanted to start sharing resources. . .But, I’ve wanted to make sure and listen to, read, and research before sharing.

Because podcasts are sooo easy to listen to, this is where I’ve started!!

Some time ago, I asked some friends for some recommendations on resources to share for anxiety, depression, and motherhood.

And they shared some real gems.

These are the two I’ve started listening to:

Untangle:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/untangle/id1073460738?i=1000360413196

This podcast is a great resource, when it comes to mental health. The episodes in this podcast talk about the science of meditation and the benefits it has on our bodies.

Natal:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/natal/id1508013775?i=1000479392069

This podcast tells stories of black women and their experiences of pregnancy. It is super informative. I’ve learned so much.

What I love about these two podcasts, are that they share stories.

I firmly believe that sharing our stories not only brings us healing, it brings hope and healing to others who are experiencing things we have walked through.

I hope that you will enjoy these podcasts.

Self-Care: Days 10-18

Last week was super busy. In some good ways. . .and in some ways hard.

My husband and I had a lot of work and projects that overlapped. With all 5 of us being home, makes for tricky scheduling. We learned a lot about taking turns to get work done.

I was so thankful I’d already had a good week of concentrated self-care.

There was a natural transition into automatically doing self-care throughout the day.

I finished my read and finished my first fiction book. I was so proud of this, because I haven’t read fiction in such a long time. There was a sense of accomplishment. I FINISHED something.

I’ve learned that when anxiety is high, fear stops me from doing things. Most of the time, action helps me to overcome that fear. Completing a task helps me overcome that fear. Even the simplest of tasks.

Self-care I’ve been doing this past week:

* Brushing my teeth

* Taking a shower

* Reading

* Listening to podcasts

* Playing worship music

* Time with Jesus

* Joining a virtual retreat with other moms- I didn’t get to spend the amount of time I wanted to this week to dive in deep. So, I’m looking forward to the next one!!

Some important takeaways from this week:

*Some of these self-care “activities” are not always self-care. If I’m doing good, brushing my teeth and taking a shower are just every day routine. But, on days when I’m not feeling it, things like brushing my teeth, taking a shower, and putting on a little make-up makes a world of difference.

* It’s super important for my kids and my husband to have self-care as well.

* Self-care resources are important and need to be shared!!

So, going forward in this 40 day self-care challenge, I’m going to start sharing resources that have been shared with me! I hope they will be helpful to you all!!

Self-care day 8 and 9

We spent a portion of this weekend catching up on cleaning.

I don’t know about anyone else…but, this is a form of self-care for me. Having everything clean and tidied up clears my brain and allows me to relax.

When things are cluttered, I feel anxious. My thoughts can’t stop racing on all the things that need to get done…

But…when everything is clean…I feel more peaceful. I feel more calm. I feel like I can operate from a place of peace and calm. I have found that my outer environment deeply affects my inner environment. And, often times what’s going on in my outer environment can be a reflection of what’s going on, on the inside and vice verse.

I also started reading book this weekend. I’ve loved taking moments here in there to a) get lost in a story, and b) set an example for my kids.

Right now, we have a “Summer Rules” paper up on the fridge. My kids have a list of things they have to do, before they can have tablet or tv time.

Some of them are self-care. Some of them are prepping us to get into our school season. One of the rules is reading for 20 minutes. Kids, they pay attention to what we are doing, as adults. Are we holding ourselves to the same standards?! Are we making ourselves have some self-care, are we making ourselves read and write everyday? Are we spending time cleaning and taking care of our environment?

It’s a lot easier to do what we say, when our actions and our words match up.

So, I’m thankful for creating these habits of self-care, so that I can have the energy to do the things I say my kids should be doing.