As moms, our minds and schedules are full of taking care of our family members’ needs. So it can be difficult to step outside our familial world long enough to take notice of the needs all around us. But our light shines brighter, and speaks volumes about the love of Christ, when we do. That’s why this month’s focus in my mini-goal series is all about the RAOK – Random Acts of Kindness.
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Last December, I read one of those life-changing books. The kind of book that you can’t walk away from the same as when you started reading, even if you might want to. The book that sticks with you long after you’ve put it back on the shelf.
That book was Karen Ehman’s Listen, Love, Repeat, and it woke me up to how much I lived my life inside a bubble of “self.” Focused on my needs, my wants, my plans. Her words reached deep into a part of my heart that knew I needed to wake up and take notice of the needs around me. Like her subtitle says, I wanted to be someone who lived “other-centered … in a self-centered world.”
When I decided to commit to a year of mini-goals, I knew I wanted to incorporate this “other-centered living” into one of the months. I wanted to work on looking up from my own life and taking notice of others’. I wanted to share the love of Jesus in practical ways like never before. And I wanted to start meeting needs of the people around me.
So this month, I’m choosing to focus on Random Acts Of Kindness (RAOK). Here’s how:
3 Ways to Rock the RAOK (Random Acts of Kindness)
Goal #1: Send one card/letter each week
Who doesn’t love getting a piece of mail that’s not junk or bills, right? And people don’t send good old fashioned cards or letters anymore. So I’m going to make someone’s day by sending her a piece of happy mail each week.
Goal #2: Do at least one thing from this list
I featured this post from The Stay-At-Home-Mom Survival Guide in my October Fabulous Finds last month, and now I’m going to use it for this month’s mini-goals. It is an awesome list filled with really practical ways to help another mom (or anyone in need). So my second goal this month is to pick one or two things off this list to do for someone else.
Goal #3: Keep a running list of “heart drops.”
A “heart drop” is a concept from Listen, Love, Repeat. “It’s when a person, either directly or in a cryptic way, gives you a peek into his or her heart. It may be through actual words, or you may pick up on a feeling, perhaps sadness or loneliness.” If we listen closely, a heart drop often presents an opportunity to touch that person’s heart, meet a need, or let them know they are valued and loved.
Paying attention to these heart drops does not come naturally for most of us. Though we come in contact with, work with, and even get close to other people on a daily basis, we don’t often pay attention to what is really going on in their lives. As Karen says, “Because near-narcissism and the too-busy lifestyle is the normal default, to become a person who thinks of others first takes great effort on our part. It requires us to live alert.”
So living alert is what I want to work on this month. And I’m going to train myself to pay attention to the heart drops around me by keeping a written list of them when I notice them. Ideally, I would try to address all the needs that I notice, but for now I will be happy with becoming more aware of them. Baby steps, friends, baby steps.
As moms, most of us already have several lives we’re managing. We run our own lives, support our husbands’ lives, and take care of our children’s lives. It’s a lot to handle, so it’s totally understandable that our lives become insular — focused on the needs within our own family.
But being the hands and feet of Jesus means reaching beyond the walls of our own home and sharing that love with others. There are so many needs all around us, but we often get too caught up in our own that we don’t even notice. I know I have been guilty of that through most of my life. But I want to start changing that this month. And these RAOKs are going to help me do that.
My Year of Mini-Goals Series:
- January: Health & Fitness
- February: Love & Marriage
- March: Reading Challenge
- April: Personal Finances
- May: Prayer
- June: Freezer Organization
- July: Recipe Organization
- August: Family
- September: Writing
- October: Hospitality