Last year on my birthday, I challenged all my friends and family to complete 41 acts of kindness to help me celebrate my birthday over the course of the year. I don’t know who did or who didn’t and to be honest, I don’t need to know. I know acts of kindness, both random and intentional, have become a part of who I am. It’s just what I do every chance I get. I don’t have a lot of money. Cancer and lack of paychecks have made sure I’d have to think of other ways. I’ve been blessed just as greatly if not more abundantly. It’s not what you give or how you give or even who you give to, but that you stop and think of others and give what you have.
This basket is full of gifts. Mostly well thought out and intentional acts of kindness given to me over the course of the past year. Many of them came on the days I needed them the most. Some of them were nothing more than a simple hand-written note that said I was prayed for, thought of, or loved. Some came stuffed full of money or gift cards from mysterious people. This basket is full of much more than cards. It represents paid rent, paid medical bills, groceries, special occasions with my family. It’s a basket of prayers, positive thoughts, hope and love.
Yesterday, I turned 42. Once again, I’ll set out to intentionally bless the lives of 42 people in some random or intentional way. Life has new meaning. It’s much more fragile than I ever realized. There’s way too much ugliness in the world, and beauty isn’t an appearance – it’s an act! I want to be part of the beauty of life. So as I say goodbye to 41 and all the beauty that colored over the ugliness, I welcome 42. I challenge myself to give more, to be better, to help others, to be a light in a dark life, and to never lose sight of how great my life is because God’s granted me “one more day” to live it.