Comments and Kristina Creek
Last week as I was glancing through some old posts, I came across this one called, “Introduce Yourself.” This post stood out to me especially because it holds the all time record for the most comments ever collected on a single post–164!
Reading all those comments a year after they were left was fascinating as many of you introduced yourselves, told about your background and where you are from. So many of your names have become familiar to me over the year(s) which made it especially fun to return to that post and be reminded of so many of the back stories behind your familiar names.
The very coolest thing about it though, was that some of you left comments about other peoples’ comments and then other people commented on those comments. It ended up turning into one big happy, across the backyard fence conversation.
And I thought last week as I read those old comments, “Wow. This is so much fun to read the interactions between people who are strangers to each other except through this blog.” And then I thought how cool it would be if my readers continued to do that occasionally—see another comment and follow up on it.
But like many bouts of wishful thinking, I got all done thinking about that particular wish and went on with my day.
Imagine then, my happy surprise last Friday when I checked the day’s comments and saw that someone from a long distance away (Alaska, to be exact) had somehow managed to read my mind and was zipping all around the comments area, writing responses to other readers’ comments. It truly made me smile!
And so yes, Kristina Creek, you are my Monday morning smile-maker. I am shouting out a big “hooray” to you for the effort and time you took to interact with some of the other wonderful Smithellaneous readers. (I know there are a few others of you who have done some of that in the past too, and I appreciate you as well.)
So anyway, I just wanted to mention that and let you know that if you ever say to yourself, “Hmmm. That was an interesting comment; I should reply back to it” please feel free to do so. The resulting conversations are always so much fun.
The Wastebasket/ Moose Shower
I was so proud of the women in our church last week; they outdid even themselves, and that’s pretty hard to do!
Here’s the story.
A couple of months ago, a young mother (who I’ll call Julia) fled an abusive relationship in another state and ended up staying for several months at a local shelter. One of our members works at the shelter; she got to know Julia and invited her to church and Julia has been attending ever since.
Julia landed a good job and then last week, she found an apartment for her and her young son. Only problem? She had left her former home with just a few basic belongings and had nothing with which to furnish an apartment. A tough place for a young mom to be but thankfully, not the end of the story.
Early last week, one of the women in our church called me and said she wanted to throw a housewarming party for Julia. What followed was an amazing outpouring of love and generosity. If you could have seen Julia’s face as she unwrapped gift after gift after gift, you would have had tears in your eyes, just the way the rest of us did. She laughed and she cried–she was overwhelmed, overjoyed, amazed and thankful, all wrapped up into one. And by the time all her gifts had been opened and stacked for transportation, they overflowed our entire (huge) dining room table!
One of Julia’s favorite gifts (that she clutched to her chest and oohed and ahhed over) was a simple, plastic wastebasket. She said, “Oh this is wonderful! I’ve been using a grocery bag for a wastebasket and now I get to use a real one instead!”
I must say that there is something especially joyful and rewarding about giving things to a person who has nothing. So many times when I am buying a Christmas or birthday gift for a friend, I rack my brains trying to think of what I can possibly give to someone who already has everything she needs.
But to buy something for a person who has nothing? Let me just say that those of us on the giving end had a whole lot more fun than our new friend did who was on the receiving end–and that’s saying a whole lot.
Several of the women’s thoughtfulness also extended to Julia’s son. One of the gifts he received was a brown blanket that folded up inside a moose’s head. You have never seen a child love a gift any more.
There was wonderful food in abundance, some of it healthy . . .
. . . and some of it not so healthy.
When these bars arrived in my kitchen, I got weak in the knees and came close to swooning. In fact, you know the looks those girls used to get on their faces when they watched The Beetle’s perform? Yep, I sported the very same expression when I took a bite into one of these delectable, delicious confections.
(That is a layer of peanut butter between the cookie crust bottom and the melted chocolate chip topping. Just in case you were wondering.)
The whole evening was so very special to those of us who got a front row seat on the transformative, life-altering powers of compassion of compassion and generosity. And what made the evening all the greater was the knowledge that Julia is the kind of person who will one day turn around and pay forward the kindness she received that night.
Haven’t we all had something paid forward to us–at one time or another?
Sometimes paying it forward is done in large and bold actions . . . and sometimes it’s performed in actions as simple as presenting a single mom and her son with a moose blanket and a plastic wastebasket.