I had a fun idea a few days ago that I should make my Post Office workers something fun. 3-4 times a week I am in their place of business with my tub of envelopes that have been hand lettered and decorated. Because I choose to Hand letter each Package it takes them way longer than it should to enter all the information than it would if I did it like every other business and print off the easy ship labels. They are patient with me though as I stand there and carry on conversations with them. Some days I'm in there for 30 minutes but those are the good days-- those are days I learn about their families and the places they went for the weekend. Laura and Dusty aren't just employees of the post office...they have become friends. Heck, I see them more than a lot of my friends. So, what do you do when you really care about someone? You show them...Well, I do at least.
My love language is giving and receiving gifts. This doesn't mean that I need diamonds and money to feel loved but it does mean that I GET JOY OUT OF GIVING and also receiving...some of the best gifts I've gotten have been a colored card from my niece, the Tangled movie & Birthday Cake Gum from Brad, and my very first business card framed from my friend Jill. Gifts are fun because it means that for just a tiny bit of time in someone's day they were thinking of you and like you enough to show you...Simple is good in my world, I lived too complicated for too long.
Anyway.. I put together a little somethin' somethin' for Dusty and Laura but then i started thinking "Why should I only do this once...why don't I always show people I care about them if I see them all the time? Can I do this for 30 days?"
SO... I am accepting my own challenge--I am going to spread love using my art and creativity to show people I care about them. God calls us to Love Him and To Love others...I'm on a quest to do just that. Why? Because I can, and so can you. You don't have to go out and purchase tons of stuff or use the excuse that you can't afford that right now.. never under estimate a kind smile, hand written note, or a genuine compliment.
Are you in? Will you join me to Make this world a little more lovely for the next 30 days? If you choose to do so every day for the next 30 I will send you something in the mail that's awesome---The way i will know is you and I are going to use the #VWA30DaysOfLove
That hash tag will directly link me to you and I can follow your giving journey. So, I bet you're wondering what about if your private and I don't follow you... no worries. Keep track of your 30 days and then at the end of the 30 send me an email with all of your pictures you took. I'm excited about this.. Now, time to spread Love!!!
PS: in your 30 days of kind things you DO NOT have to include my art, although i think it would be neat if you did... However, if you chose to purchase things for the purposes of sharing them in your 30 days make sure you write that in the notes section of your order and ill give you extra goodies to give away!!!!!
PPS: Printable Mirror cards Printed on Fun Paper would be amazing to give away and they are super cheap!!! Also, you can purchase a pack of my Super Encouragers (folded Cards) and write a simple note in each one and then take a picture when you give one away---that's 20 days right there..just saying. This is a simple thing but is going to be a powerful movement I believe. Not just for the person but for me...God is already working.
I know a single mom who has multiple jobs, 2 awesome kids, and she loves my art and tries to but it when she can. I sent her a coloring book , candy, art, and some other things to show her she matters. Single moms are super moms. If you're one, you're amazing and you are enough... If you know one, bless her with what you can.
Today I was on the search to stick an encouraging card in the perfect book. I walked into the book store and walked to the self help section--- after searching the titles I found this one, I knew it was exactly the right one.
During my teenage years I spent a lot of time In the self help section of Barnes and Noble trying to figure out what was wrong with me,I thought that I struggled alone with food and depression & I had no hope... So, I'm praying my card in this book offers hope to whoever finds it--
About the book I chose:
"The quest for perfection is exhausting and unrelenting. There is a constant barrage of social expectations that teach us that being imperfect is synonymous with being inadequate. Everywhere we turn, there are messages that tell us who, what and how we’re supposed to be. So, we learn to hide our struggles and protect ourselves from shame, judgment, criticism and blame by seeking safety in pretending and perfection."
Today I made 5 envelopes with gift cards inside to McDonald's, a mini YOU ARE LOVED print, and a postcard with an encouraging message. I believe that everyone needs to hear that their life matters... Especially the people who never hear it-- these 5 cards will go to 5 people I see on the street.
Maybe they are homeless but maybe not, I'm praying the person who gets a card needed to hear that they have value. Your words have power. Speak intentionally- build up, don't tear down.
DAY 6 & 7:
Yesterday I got to deliver cupcakes and a special card to my printing company. Some days I'm not easy to work for and I realize that, maybe that's the artist in me... Always wanting things to look perfect.
In an embarrassing moment I raised my voice a little too loudly on the phone at one of the workers. I couldn't quit thinking about it after I had done it so today I made a cupcake peace offering... Admitting I was wrong and my actions were unacceptable is never fun but it's worth it, I have a feeling I'll be thinking about the way I talk next time... Tone matters!
Today I also put together a little surprise package for my very first customer-- this is a Thank You gift for your continued support and I've included some cards and a bracelet from a few generous donors :@kdurham and rachel_tenny. Thanks girls!
Day 8: 365 Truths
Today is my friend Jill's birthday and I had no idea what to get her SO I thought and thought and thought. Then I had it, a jar of truths and words to ponder on when you're having a rough day. I don't know about you but everyday something comes up here I could reach into the jar and remind me of who God is and who I am... Some days it's hard to remember even though we have Jeaus in our hearts. So, here's to the best year yet.. Happy birthday Jill!
Day 9: A Gift for Jane, my mail carrier
Day 10&11: Mansfield Weekend
I've been out of town this weekend so before I left I put together some things that I could spread about randomly-- Saturday I put these in random places as I walked around
They are tiny "this thing" prints that are in a protective sleeve and stuffed with spangles. You can find this print on my website now :)
yesterday I went to church with Brad's family and left this envelope (above) in the bathroom for someone to find. I'll never probably know who got it but I believe they needed to read the words inside the envelope and that nothing happens by mistake.
Day 12: Because Moms are the best...
today I received a load of tshirt a from BeStillClothingCompany (http://be-still-clothing-company.myshopify.com)
and immediatly began thinking who I could give them to--- the first person I thought of was my mom. She loves Be Still, the verse and the shirts so I knew she was perfect. She's put up with way too much crap dealing with me over the years so I put together a little "you're awesome" gift of a Market Colors Bracelet, one of my painted pouches, and a Be Still Baseball Tee with a hand written note and hid it under her pillow. Thanks mom for never giving up and having grace, you're pretty o.k.
Day 13: today I had to go to the bank so I put a mini "This thing isn't going to break you" print in the little tube that goes up. I also last night gave a high school girl one who is struggling in life right now... Those prints come in really handy and I feel like most people have something going on in their life that could "break them"... They are perfect reminders. Get some and pass them out :)
Day 14: Surprise Mail
I've always colored and I've done it for 2 reasons... One because I enjoy it and two because it's cheap therapy. When I am coloring I don't have to think about a lot other than the page and the crayons.
When I get stressed out or nervous the first thing I do is grab a pen or pencil or crayon and start making marks on a page, I didn't always do this first, I've chosen a lot of other things first in the past, like drugs and drinking, but now I'm trying to walk with jesus and make the next right choice...& right now crayons work.
This weekend I went on a trip that was 4 days, my longest trip so far. I ate out a lot and tried new things and I was scared but I did it (and I didn't die). There was an opportunity to color multiple times with Brad's nephews so obviously I took that opportunity, long story short I colored all of the dinosaur coloring pages. I told the Oldest Boy Colt, who is 5, that I would send him some more coloring books because there were no pages left In his so today, Brad and I sent them a package that was full of fun and coloring Goodies and books and Candy. Day 14 is all about family and adventures and Love.
Day 15: 2 surprises in one
I had someone place an order today to ship a gift of a print to her friend who is an mom and is battling terminal cancer, she only has a couple months to live and has a 2 month old baby
. I added a whole bunch of other happy to this gift and hopefully it will make her day. Join me in praying for her?
Day 16: Bookmarks in Random Books
Today I made a load of bookmarks with encouraging words on the to stick in books around Amarillo. You can never have too much truth!
I'm Praying that the people who find these really feel the word and believe it and it causes a desire to either know Jesus or become closer to Him. I want to be intentional with what I'm doing and really think things out. I'm praying for me that I wouldn't only be intentional with gifts for 30 days but that it would be a lifestyle of love. I want to love well...
Day 17: Welcome Home
One of my favorite things to do when someone comes back from a trip is surprise them when they walk through the door. I've done this since I was a kid although my kid gifts look much more different than my adult gifts.
My parents just got back from their Florida vacation so I went and bought some chocolate cake for my dad because it's his favorite and some pears and sunflower seeds for my mom because those are her favorite. I also made this super simple banner and hung it in our entry way... Giving doesn't have to be expensive it just has to be done with love and it will be appreciated- at least in my experience.
Day 18: Happy Birthday J.B.
There are certain people in my life, and I'm sure in your life, that you pray for a lot. Jim Blake is one of those people for me, he is always there if I need him to answer a bank question (because that's his occupation), or if I have a running question (because he is kind of a beast at that), or anything else-- you can always count on him and he's always willing to help with anything and serve others.
In June I started going to a bible study every Sunday Night that had some friends of mine in it. So last week at Bible Study JB said his birthday was coming up so I asked what his favorite dessert was because baking is one of my favorite things to do. He told me pecan pie so I knew exactly what I wanted to do, Celebrate!! Anyone who knows him knows that he is genuine and his life is worthy of celebration.. So, happy Birthday J.B., here's to the best year yet!!
Day 19: showing up
Today I got to get my Favorite set of twins, Bailey and Addison, from school and we went on an Orange Leaf Date to eat frozen yogurt, laugh, and do homework before church and dance..
Sometimes showing up and spending time together is a better gift than money can buy.. I haven't always been a reliable person who could be counted on but I'm glad The Lord has changed me from the inside out and I am a person who can be trusted to show up (on time) and that people trust me to be a good example to littles.
Motto for the day: "Modest is Hottest."
Days 20 & 21:
Yesterday I snuck this book In a certain Daiper bag. It's a book about Hope by an amarillo Author Debbie Skinner... Some days we just need an extra helping of Jesus and this book is good for that.
Today I met my wonderful friend Kris at a Local coffee shop called Palace Coffee (Palacecoffee.co). The coffee shop was recently named "America's best coffee house" so, it was only fitting that we celebrate her last days in amarillo at the greatest coffee house in the United States. Also, how nice is this awesome note from the Owner.. I'm a sucker for hand written things, thanks Patrick!
I'm thankful for Kris's friendship and the leader she has been to me the past 3 years in my fight for victory and climbing out of the pit. I'm sad that Portland is taking her away BUT I'm so excited for all the newness of this season in her family and her life. Thanks for being an awesome friend Kris, thanks for calling me out when I was in denial and thank you for challenging me every time you could. You helped me grow and I am super thankful for that. I will miss you, you are loved!
Recently I had someone tell me that they were having a hard time with life and the circumstances of the season they were in. So, today I slipped some cookies and art in her mailbox to make her smile if only for a moment.
Sometimes life isn't glitter and rainbows and if I can do something to be a calm in the storm I will try my best to do it.
Day 23: Just be there
A friend of mine is throwing a baby shower and if you've ever been the coordinator for an event and hosting it in your home you might find that some parts could be stressful, like decorating... She called me and asked if I could help her out and I knew that I needed to show up. It didn't matter what I was doing at the time, in that moment she mattered more.
So, I left Work and went straight there to helped. We talked about God, relationships, things that matter and love. She is one of my closest friends and I'm thankful for her. Sometimes just being there to listen is the greatest gift you can give..
i made a whole bunch of #monstersofnesterday (search the hashtag on Instagram) and stuck them in orders. These monsters are perfectly imperfect and include a truth for you to believe. They are cute and powerful..
today i will be including 2 free mini prints in every order, one for you and one to share.
Giving my art to my customers is one of my favorite things to do because everytime I give something to you and you give it away you are spreading jesus to so many more people than i could ever do alone.
Day 26: coffee love
today was a simple act of love but I know that if someone did it to me I would be super thankful... Today, I bought the person's coffee behind me in the Roaster's drive through line.
Simple, but maybe he will do something kind for someone else.. My picture for this day is going to be my friend Lara painting with me at Roasters Seeing as how I don't have a picture of this man or his coffee and if I did that would be super awkward..
Day 27: candy time..
our church (www. Hillsidewired.com) is hosting its annual Trunk or Treat tomorrow night and my small group will be there dressed as tailgaters...
So, today I am buying way more candy than I should to stick in my trunk tomorrow to give away. Here's to not making Halloween creeptastic..
Day 28: trunk or treat
My church every year throws a Halloween bash called trunk or treat, this year, some member of my small group and I dressed up as tailgaters.
It was a lot of fun and we lived on little kids. My favorite costume was a little scuba diver boy... I wish I would have taken his picture.
day 29: grandma
My grandma is a Breast cancer survivor so today I mailed her one of my newest prints and a handwritten note.
When I was growing up she wrote me letters every week with a dollar inside. I believe that she is the reason I love mail so much and I know it's the reason that I send a lot of little kids mail. Handwritten love is the best!
Day 30: Being Present
this is the last day of my challenge and I'm sad the numbered days have come to an end but, that does not mean that I will quit with the acts of love. We as believers are called to love one another and to encourage each other so my quest to do both of those things will continue. My day 30 was taking a break from my to do list to color with, hug, snuggle, and tickle my niece and nephew.
Kinzee is 3 and in this picture she is drawing Sully from Monsters Inc. (I think she will be an artist when she grows up)
Eli loves to do art with us too, he is getting better at holding crayons and at painting.
Kinzee and Eli also played with their match game that I bought them from theshopamarillo.com they love it and I love everything handmade...
if you have completed all 30 days of my challenge and have posted pictures of each one with the hashtag then be sure to email me with all of your pictures so I can get you your something special.