Friday July 15, 2011

This morning over my first cup of coffee, I wrote down all the giveaway entry names…

…tossed them all in a bag {using a fancy bag this time, it’s a high class operation we’re running here}

I reached in and pulled out one little slip of paper. 
Congratulations @iloveaholiday you won the “Little Things” giveaway!

Please send me a private message with your address so I can send your prize off!

I wanted to take a moment to tell you all how much I loved hearing your “sweetest little gift” stories.  You all had me smiling the whole day through. 

Each one of you told me about a gift the meant something to you, but what you really told me about was someone who was special to you.  In most cases the gifts were very small, monetarily worth very little, but the giving it’s self and the hand that gave, both hold a special and permanent place in your heart.

It was hard for me to choose a sweet gift to tell you about, because choosing one meant leaving out dozens of others that were just as precious to me.  But since you shared it is only fair that I share as well.  My “sweetest gift” wasn’t really a gift… in that it was something tangible.  It was a phone call from my father-in-law.  I was a new mom trying to adjust to life with two, needy little boys under my feet, and was feeling rather inadequate.  He had seen my drooping shoulders and the weariness on my face.  One morning, out of the blue he called, and with a catch in his throat told me that I was doing a good job with my boys.  It only took 5 minutes out of his day, but it meant the world to me to hear him say those words at that moment.

Never underestimate the power of kindness.  You have all you need to pass that onto someone else.  It is so easy so turn our focus inward and walk through life with our heads down.  It’s time to lift our heads and look around.  To be the hand that helps, the kind word that heals, the shoulder to lean on…
Some how I don’t think the Lord meant for us to take care of ourselves.  He wanted us to take care of each other, so that we would depend on one another.  He wants us to ease the burden of another, so that they can in turn do the same, and so on, and so on…

What you have to offer may seem small, but smallness is not the same as worthless.
Be the little flicker of light that the darkness cannot overwhelm.
Be the seed that falls in the crevice, that sends the root, that breaks the rock.

“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.  Be hospitable without complaint.  As each one had received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”  1 Peter 4:8-10

15 thoughts on “Friday July 15, 2011

  1. lifeisadance

    Your sweetest gift almost made me cry. I cannot imagine how much that would mean from a father-in-law! Just precious!! Thanks for sharing that little story with us, and reminding us of the power of positive words…

    And congratulations to the winner of the darling giveaway! :)

  2. bamsniko22407

    It’s amazing how simple and kind gestures can have such huge effects.  I am reminded by that everytime I think of one of our friends that we grew up with (my husband and I met in high school through a lot of mutual friends).  I saw him at Target one day and we stopped to talk to him and his face lit up at seeing us, even though it had been a couple years since we’d really gotten together or hung out.  We chatted for about 3 minutes, and I wished I’d taken more time.  I wish I’d have known he wasn’t as happy as he’d put on.  He committed suicide just weeks later and it broke so many hearts.  He is missed dearly, but I often catch myself wondering, “What if we’d gotten his number and invited him over?  What if we’d told him just how great  a friend he was and reminded him how much he means to everyone?” 

    We have lost 2 friends and it’s really opened my eyes at how fragile we all are and how much we should cherish each moment with one another.  I was actually just thinking about reaching out more to the parents of one of those friends we lost, esp. since they also just loss not only their son, but his fiance.; <—  who would have known that such a young couple newly engaged and moving up in life would have been lost to us so soon? 

    Great post, as usual.  I really enjoy all your crafts and inspirations.  I hope to get an iron and ironing board soon so I can start some sewing projects (I haven’t sewn in years!).  Also, I wanted to request gift ideas for men, other than gift cards, which can add up to a lot after just a few cards!  Any ideas?  I LOVE that website you offered with the simple and easy to make clutches and such, which I intend to use up some of this scrap and random fabric I’ve had for years making those as gifts for a lot of the women and girls, plus use your cute gift cards holders and goodie bags!  Can you tell I start Christmas shopping/crafting in July?  lol

  3. down_onthefarm

    i came by…’cause april is just a really neat person and i want to read every post. yes. that.
    and to congratulate the winner. that too.

    and here i am…feeling tears. NOT because my name wasn’t pulled.
    i’m totally used to not winning. ever.  not that.
    but your words! about your sweetest little gift. and the power of kindness.
    they are exactly about what i have “ran into” in more than one way this week.
    in completely unrelated ways.

    is HE trying to tell me something?!!!  
    speak Lord. i’m now listening.

  4. mytoesareblue

    i missed out on this draw :( but i’m so thankful for this post. especially the part about being the light in the darkness and that seed that breaks the rock. i also think that your small gift that your father in law gave you was sooo special. thank you for sharing. love you hon.!

  5. ThreeSilkStockings

    This whole thing made my day, my week.  How special is it that you take time out to think of others and share your fun creations?!  And thank you for the verse….Often I am the one giving little gifts to others and offering words of encouragement.  Lately I have been wishing I had someone in my life that could offer some encouragement to me….I am so glad I joined this Xanga thing and have already found some good God-fearing women to read about and be encouraged by your stories. :)

  6. farleyreader

    April- You hit the nail on the head…kindness is easy to share, but sometimes we do not share it. Kind words go much farther than we ever can estimate. 

    Thanks for sharing. SK

  7. Iloveaholiday

    I’ve been gone all day and just now getting to my laptop.  I was thrilled to see my name had been drawn as the winner!  I’m so happy and can’t wait to get my beautiful treasures. I will message you my address. Thank you for your giveaways. 
    Your post is so sweet and so true. If only we could get this simple message, this world would be a much better place. Thanks for your words of encouragement today. 

  8. appalolly

    I Absolutely Loved what you wrote here!  Funny, this idea keeps coming up in my talks with others this week.  Hmmm… Maybe there is someone I am supposed to call?

  9. Elizabethmarie_1

    Ok, that is one of the sweetest stories. Thank you for sharing this and encouraging me to be kinder to people.  Thanks again for the little purse, I Love it!
    Hope you had a nice weekend. =)

  10. inanorchard

    @bamsniko22407 - I’m so sorry!  It is so hard to lose someone who is still in the prime of their life and in such a senseless way.  I think reaching out to their parents would be a wonderful gesture :)   I hope you are not too hard on yourself about not realizing what your friend was going through. 

    If you end up making some of the gift bags you MUST take pictures and show them to me!  I love giving handmade gifts for Christmas.  I’ll try to dig up some ideas for sewing for men.


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