From that short, little trip, I brought home a ton of fresh inspiration, and these two jars.
They were sitting outside of a little ‘hidden treasure shop.’ That is my way of describing junk stores. 🙂
It was love at first sight, and the price was right! (Hah! That rhymed! The extent of my poetry skills.)
I had a couple of ideas about using them, but if nothing else, they would remind me of the beach.
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The small one sits on the coffee bar. Maybe it will be used for coffee beans, but it’s a little large for a pound of beans. I’m thinking cookies instead.
The large jar is sitting on the coffee table.
My big idea last week was to make it into a gratitude jar. Oh yes lovely. To write down something you’re grateful for everyday and drop it in the jar.
I even went all anal and cut out pretty pieces of paper to write on, but then I had this vision.
What if my neighbor came by for a visit?
She would notice this large jar with pieces of paper in it and I would refer to it as a gratitude jar.
If she stopped by a few months from now, the jar would probably be half full, or more. That would be impressive, right? Looking at it today with just a few pieces of paper laying on the bottom, I would feel led to tell her it is something new.
Implementing something new starts small.
Either scenario feels embarrassing for both of us.
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I’ll find an old shoe box to use instead and keep jotting something down each day. It will be interesting at the end of the year to go though the slips of paper and read what I was grateful for.
The hardest part so far is not knowing how the act of kindness was received, or if it was spotted at all.
It seems there’s more to it than the act itself.
I love my two neighbors! After Christmas, I left a note in one of their mailboxes wishing them a beautiful season. We are newly getting to know one another, and as you know, I Scare People!
Once I do these small acts, doubt sets in.
Was it the right mailbox? Will the mail lady see it has no postage and take it? Silly stuff!
I blew it big time yesterday. I left a small gift under the counter of a friends workplace who needed some kindness. I told her boss it was there, and to let her know. He was distracted at the time, so what did I do? Texted her to make sure she found it. 😦
I have to do this with zero expectation.
My neighbor got her note, and left one in my mailbox in return. The note was tied around a bar of candy. How did she know it was one of my favorites? She most likely had peace about it.
So, even in this, I need to trust God more.
My Bible verse this morning was, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5-6
Coincidence? No way.
God is big into the finest of details. The note my neighbor left for me had a sticker on the back of the envelope. When I saw it, I just stopped and stared.
Yes Lord, it’s all about growth. Not the act itself.
To go with the flow, I did small tasks to improve my environment. Just little things around the house that had been overlooked, like the kitchen table. It had become our ‘catch all’, but now it is clean.
I also worked on my spot.
This is where I write my Blog. A laptop allows endless choices of where to write are, but sometimes I need to focus, and get it done.
I enjoy sitting in the natural light of the window, but it can be distracting. My neighbor, Mr. Mike is puttering around his backyard. He has a doggo that my doggo loves to hang out with. I remembered this quote, and wanted that for my dog today.
“Live like someone left the gate open.”
I walked outside with my dog, and opened the gate. He raced into Mr. Mike’s backyard straight to his buddy Rosie, and I walked over to Mr. Mike.
He had a disappointment today.
His granddaughter was supposed to come visit, and she canceled on him. I know Mr. Mike lives for her visits, so I tried to encourage him through it. Just saying some kind words, I found myself saying…
I’m not sure he has heard those two words before. He became very still, and quiet. I left him with that, and went back to my spot to continue writing.
I just noticed him opening the gate even wider. Maybe he is thinking of leaving it open for good.
In his thinking, I hope he remembers he does matter. It looks like everyone has found their spot.
The privacy fence around the backyard has four gates.
One is at the end of the driveway. It has a vine growing along the fence, and up a small arbor, waiting to bloom.
I haven’t discovered yet, where the other three lead.
Whoever built the house, and fence, had a reason, but it’s a mystery to me. I have a neighbor on each side, and one behind me, and a gate opens into each of their backyards. This fence was probably built before social media replaced human interaction. I haven’t had a neighbor in 5 years!
I haven’t written much about the effects social media had on my life, but it wasn’t healthy. God started working on me last year, after ‘I Bled Out‘, and I found myself bucking the trend of social media. There are still no social media apps on my phone, and I rarely take my phone when I leave the house.
This from a woman who spent years promoting a Blog, and encouraging others via social media.
A couple of weeks ago, I disconnected this Blog from all social media outlets. It doesn’t automatically post, once published. It sits right here in the WordPress world.
I want to dwell as near as possible to where life flows.
I will let you know what is on the other side of these three gates.