We were in the middle of our homeschool morning routine one day last fall when the doorbell rang. I had been feeling worn down and tired for the past few busy days and my kids had been on a grumpy streak that morning to boot, so I took my time on the way to answer. The kids bolted to the door ahead of me, and quickly called out to let me know the visitor was here to see me.
Standing on our front porch was a sweet-looking older lady whom I’d never met before. She smiled and greeted me by saying, “I walk by your home every day and I’ve noticed the huge improvements you’ve made to the yard since you moved in. I thought you might like some of these irises I just divided.” She handed me a plastic grocery sack packed full of irises, wished us well and was on her way.
As I closed the door I could feel a huge smile on my face. My sweet visitor taught me a profound lesson that day. Kindness doesn’t need to take long. She needed to divide those plants anyway. She walked past our house every day anyway. But the fact that she thought of me and all the work I’d been putting into our fixer-upper yard projects and then she went out of her way for a just few minutes on my behalf changed my attitude for the rest of the day.
Looking for ways to acknowledge others can be a part of daily life and can make a much bigger difference than we realize. It may take a bit of courage and cause us to stretch outside of our comfort zones, but that stretching will lead to more opportunities to help others and gain friendships that would otherwise have been unformed. Service doesn’t need to be a huge, grand project to touch someone’s life. Small acts of thoughtfulness can make a lasting impact on those around us.