Category Archives: The Little Things

The little things is a campaign my church (Skyline) is practicing it’s motto of loving God, loving others and making a difference. As a church, we are striving to reach out within this community and beyond to make a lasting impact. It acts on the premise that little things and big things alike can make a lifetime of difference. Sometimes, a person might just need a momentary reminder that someone cares – that they aren’t alone in this world – and that even a stranger would care enough to share kindness. Our pastor has encouraged creativity with this, and wants to see love spreading like wildfire. It is with this fire and passion that we will see a difference and watch life change happen.

365 Moments Of Gratitude: Thankful For The Heart Of A Child

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I am routinely thankful for the heart and innocence of children. I have three such beautiful kids. They amaze me on a very regular basis.

The heart and innocence of a child is something that just warms my heart.

As we were at the Air Force base, my son came running up to where I was standing, begging for a “Little Things” card. He told me that he wanted to use some of his very own money to help someone pay for their lunch there in the food court. So, I gave him a card I found, and he ran up and stopped a transaction in mid operation, and asked the elderly woman if he could pay for her food. Both she and the gentleman behind the counter were touched. It was a small amount, only a few dollars, but it had a priceless impact. It impacted all who saw it, but also impacted my son. The pure and innocent joy on his face was heartwarming. After he did that, he came back to where I was now sitting at the table and talked about the whole thing. He smiled and waved at the woman he had helped. She came up to our table and said that he didn’t have to do that, but that she wanted to say thank you very much. She asked if I was his mother. I told her I was, and she asked if she could give him a hug. It was cute – but she wouldn’t hug him without my permission. It was a beautiful sight to behold. God working on lots of hearts that meal.

That same evening, our family went out to eat. As we were eating with the kids, my youngest struck up a conversation (or attempted it) with the two year old at the table across the walkway from us. She and her dad were dining alone. For reasons still unknown to me, God put their family on my heart. As we were leaving, my oldest son (whispering in my ear) said that we should “little thing” them – that he thought they looked like they could use some happy. After walking away, I went and found a manager. I told him I’d like to take care of their meal, and also notified their server, as they were just attempting to pay. Before I could see a reaction, I decided to leave the situation anonymous. I found one more “little things” card, and asked the server to pass it along. I’m not sure what situation they were in, but it doesn’t matter. I followed after the heart of God and just shared love and a “little thing” with someone. I don’t know what it did for them, but I can tell you it brightened my day in a beautiful way.

What I love most about this, is that doing these intentional, though random act of kindness is making a really big impact on my family. I know the things we do touch the lives of those we reach out to, but seeing my children’s giving hearts, and seeing them follow after the heart of God with such passion is definitely a proud Mama moment.

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365 Moments Of Gratitude: Thankful for God’s Provision

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More than any other time in my life, I am thankful to God for His provision. He is providing in and for every area of my life – my marriage, my health, my finances, my family, etc.

Today after church, our family went out to eat. My husband and I were discussing the church service. I was sharing with him about a family I know who has seen God’s provision in a big way. This family shared with me something very special. Through some pretty unsure times, God gave them a dream, and then provided for them to make it a reality. I told him (my husband) that I had the same level of faith, for a very similar situation in our lives.

It was almost as if God had a sense of humor mixed with teaching a lesson. He needed me to know that He indeed IS our provider. I had absolutely no idea that there were some friends of mine from church dining at the same place for lunch. It wasn’t until after the meal that they came over to speak. They asked how the food was, and if we’d paid yet. I gestured that my husband was up paying our bill at that very moment. They quickly ran up to the front desk where my husband was attempting to pay, and asked the cashier if she could cancel it (the credit card had already been swiped) and told her to add our entire bill to his. It was the sweetest and kindest gesture. My husband does not know this sweet family (yet) but was absolutely floored. They told my husband that it was a “little thing” and that they just wanted to bless us. To tell you that it blessed us would be an understatement. God used this situation to be so much more than a “random act of kindness” — it was more like an “intentional act of kindness, grown to a huge blessing all the way around” sort of thing.

Not only did God provide (through some very precious friends) for our meal, the “little things” situation also provided me with the opportunity to talk to my husband about God’s faithfulness and some of my heart on what had just happened. I was able to plant seeds, in and with faith, with my husband. It helped him see God’s love through a selfless act of friends.

So, to the faithful family who took care of my family’s lunch today – know that what may have been a little thing to you was much more to us. God used your kindness in multiple ways. Thank you for your giving heart. From my family to yours, we love you!

The Little Things – Hope Is Real!!

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The little things is a campaign my church (Skyline) is practicing it’s motto of loving God, loving others and making a difference. As a church, we are striving to reach out within this community and beyond to make a lasting impact. It acts on the premise that little things and big things alike can make a lifetime of difference. Sometimes, a person might just need a momentary reminder that someone cares – that they aren’t alone in this world – and that even a stranger would care enough to share kindness. Our pastor has encouraged creativity with this, and wants to see love spreading like wildfire. It is with this fire and passion that we will see a difference and watch life change happen.

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Today I did not actually intentionally set out to do anything in particular with The Little Things. As has become my custom, however, I carried plenty with me everywhere I went – just in case the need arose. As I was driving to pick up dinner, I felt a huge urge to pull into a place I already go from time to time. I didn’t think of it on my own, of that I’m now convinced. I drove up, and quickly became aware of my purpose there this evening.

To rewind a little bit, earlier this afternoon I put on a shirt that reads: Hope is Real (from the organization To Write Love On Her Arms AKA TWLOHA). This organization, and the message of hope they share is beautiful. I felt like today was a day, if only via a printed t-shirt, to share hope with the world.

Fast forward back to this evening. After I paid for my items, I felt led to pay a small amount towards someone else’s next transaction. Since no one was around, or behind me at the time, I asked the cashier to pass this (the Little Things card and a small amount of cash) along to the next person who needed it. She was visibly touched. She asked questions about the campaign, and also about the shirt I was wearing. Being familiar with TWLOHA, she asked if I had a personal reason behind the shirt. I explained that yes, I have had personal struggles but, as well as have lost people to suicide. I also very briefly explained some of the volunteering work I have done with crisis intervention and people hurting in such a real way.

Not wanting to pry, but wanting her to know she was not alone, I simply asked her if she had a story as it related to this. She proceeded to tell me about her brother, who had committed suicide just three months prior, actually on her birthday. My heart broke with her. Partially because I’ve experienced losing people close to suicide, partially because I’ve struggled with some pretty real pain at times, and mostly because she was hurting. Her pain was very real. Her life had been forever changed by and with this loss.

I’m sure my talking with her may had an impact on her – but the impact it had on me cannot be summed up in words. Like I said, it broke my heart to hear her story, but was an honor to share hope and His love in a real life practical way. I was able to pray for her, and just be a friend how He led.

I encourage you to listen to that nudge, or that urge you might otherwise ignore. You may have no idea why, and feel the need to go somewhere you otherwise wouldn’t have at that time – but God can and will use something such as The Little Things campaign to spark conversation and open dialog to allow God to work on another persons heart – as well as your own. Just keep an open mind, and an open heart – and be willing to follow where He leads. You never know how much impact the little things really can have.

The Little Things – Love In Action!!

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Today, I’d just like to highlight a few new and fun ways folks are reaching out within this community to make a difference through this Little Things campaign. My heart is forever grateful to and for a pastor who follows the heart of God with such passion, but who encourages the entire church – from young to old – to do it as well. As long as we are breathing, we should be loving God, loving people and making a difference!

Today my husband and I ate at a new restaurant. The individual who helped us asked if we’d dined there, and we let them know that we hadn’t. His service was amazing, and his attention to details was phenomenal. We gave him an initial tip when we ordered and paid for our food – and then at the end of our meal as well. (It’s a place where you pay for the food, then sit down and eat it.) As such, I just took the time to let him know afterwards that we truly appreciated his service, and that he evidently knew and did his job very well. When I gave him the extra tip and explained this Little Things campaign, he just kept on smiling and saying thank you. It was priceless. The owner of this place was watching what was going on and was concerned we’d gone and spoken to him with a complaint. I, then, explained it to her and how amazing the service was, etc. What I learned was that he was not normally “out front” but always in the back and had been given a chance out there today. I’m praying for him, that this entire experience will have lasting effects…and that God is able to work on his heart, and the hearts of his co-workers.

This Little Things giver shared some purchased sweet treats with a random stranger outside Wal-Mart.

Just a little thing, made one guy outside walmart so happy. All that he could say was Thank you God Bless and Merry Christmas as he was blowing us a kiss saying Thank you. Brought tears.

A few more ideas on thinking outside the box with this Little Things campaign.

Truly it is better to give than recieve. Here are just a few ideas if you are thinking about what to do with those little red cards!
* Take treats to a nursing home. Give the staff gift cards for lunch.

*Take some rolls of quarters to a laundry mat to help with the cost of washing clothes.

* Take goodies to a school, business, or firehouse.

* Pass out gift cards when you are out shopping.

* Give an unexpected surprise to someone you have been witnessing to.
These cards can make a difference in someone’s life. Maybe even for eternity!

I’m so proud to be a part of a church with such loving people. The youth have such a heart for God and for people as well. Truly inspiring.

Jaime had just put our “Little Things” card in with our receipt at Applebees when the waitress came over gushing about how the nice kids at the table nearby (Skyline Youth) had left her a note, card, and a very nice tip. She asked if we knew them, and if we did, to tell them thank you very much. We then saw her showing her coworkers the card and telling them all about it. Such a big smile on her face! Great job teens!

This just makes me smile. It’s all about interacting and connecting with people on a personal level. This couple showed love and generosity to some random strangers who I’m sure were blown away and blessed by this. (I know I would be speechless if I were in that situation!)

We were shopping at Target and were at the checkout stand – the cashier almost finished ringing up our purchases – when a young couple plunked down some gift and household items behind ours. I (Tom) asked the man if he would be alright with me paying for his items, and laughingly he said “sure”, but I don’t think he took me seriously. I directed the cashier to add his purchase to mine. Then the man addressed me. “Are you serious?” he asked. I said “Yes, and this isn’t Undercover Boss or anything like that. I’m a member of Skyline Church and I’m just wanting to be generous.” I handed him the “little things” card and added “you can likewise do a random act of kindness for someone else”. The couple was genuinely grateful. I saw a Barbie doll amongst his purchases, and I confessed to the man that I played with my sister’s Barbie when I was about 6 or 7, until I was gifted a more manly toy like GI Joe. He laughed, shook my hand, and said “thanks” about 3 or 4 times. This didn’t break our bank, and was a simple demonstration of kindness for this appreciative couple.

I LOVE this idea. LOVE it! I’m going to have to do something like this. Something so simple, yet will make such an impact – both on the cashier as well as those who receive the blessing. Great idea!

I am not a member of Skyline, I have never attended. However I am friends with Lance on Facebook, and had the pleasure of spending a week at camp with him this summer. This morning, after work on my way home, I drove through a local gas station’s drive thru. I bought my daily soda, which is only a dollar. Handed the Lady working a 10 and told her that I wanted to buy the next 9 sodas that she sold. Not much, but her face was priceless!

It doesn’t always have to be monetary to make a difference. I know that sometimes a simple smile or kind gesture can make a world of difference – and change the entire mood of a day.

Today I saw a small elderly lady struggling to free a shopping cart at Walgreens. I went over and freed the cart for her and wished her a blessed day. Just a little thing

This makes me smile. Sharing love in the form of support and encouragement can go such a long way in ensuring that no one feels alone in this world. Such a kind gesture may bring that temporary peace in the midst of chaos that’s really, and truly needed.

I had a little instant message from a friend at work that I gave a bag of cookies too with a card. She has had a terribly tough year with her husband deployed and some serious family issues. I’ve tried to make a point of checking in on her as she sits in a secluded area at work. She thanked me for supporting her the last 6 months and especially now as she prepares for her husbands return. She said she is stressing out getting ready for the holidays with her family here and trying to get ready for her husband’s return. Brought a tear to my eye.

Sometimes it’s the little things. That’s what this is all about. Sharing love in something small may just have made an impact on her day. We have no idea what was going on in the grouchy cashiers day or life, but what a blessing to just reach out in love and caring enough to not walk away angry after watching someone seemingly angry at the world.

I was at a store when a grouchy lady was ringing up our purchase. I put a card and a quarter on top of a pack of gum near the register. I sure hope she finds it and it makes her day.

This one brought tears to my eyes. Maybe it’s because I’ve had kids, and know what a blessing this is — but I could just envision someone walking upon this and being blessed beyond words. I’m praying that whomever saw it will know how much God loves them through the anonymous act of sharing love in such a practical way.

Free diapers?! Hope this blesses a frazzled mom/ dad tonight!

This “Little Things” campaign has transformed my way of thinking in so many ways. Instead of dwelling as much on things that affect me, health concerns, etc – I find that I am actively thinking on and pondering how I can make a difference next. Seriously, reaching out and being a blessing to another person brings me so much joy and healing.

Adventures With The Little Things – The Little Red Cards

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Skyline church has set out on a mission, a campaign if you will, to make a difference – to share smiles and pay it forward – within this community and beyond. As the card reads,

Thank you for allowing me to serve you today. May God bless your life in such a way that you will be compelled to share your blessing with others through The Little Things”. We believe that when a gift is given, whether big or small, it can make a world of difference. Your challenge is to make even a small difference in someone else and spread the love as we enjoy the small blessings of life.

Yesterday, I wanted to put this idea into action. I started working on exactly this, and the result was mind-blowing. At least to me. Here is what I had to say about it yesterday:

The Little Things…I cannot say enough about this. What an incredible experience. I’m honestly not sure if the recipient of these or if the giver walks away from the experience more excited.

I know I have been having a really rough time lately, and the last day or two have just been heartbreaking in different ways. So, as a way to focus on something else – and because I wanted to make a difference, I remembered our little campaign. I decided to be a part of this. I didn’t do anything spectacular, I simply paid for the person behind me in line’s drink at Starbucks. As I drove away, the amount of joy it brought in that moment was unbelievable. I know the $4 and change that I gave did not change the world, but it certainly impacted mine by just reaching out.

It sometimes really is the little things that have the potential to make the biggest difference. Take time today to figure out a way to become involved with this. You may just find yourself touched in ways you wouldn’t have imagined.

Today, I was having some trouble keeping my mind focused on Him. So, what did I do? I pulled out another card, and went on a mission. Sharing this joy with others is REALLY impacting me and bringing such strength.

Another guest story shared today on Skyline’s website:

Today I embraced the spirit of this season and with these little red cards (The Little Things) in hand, I went out, set on making a difference. As I explored, I saw a new business, right in the heart of O’Fallon. A cupcake and coffee shop. Who doesn’t need that? So, after I purchased my own goodies, I left enough cash to buy the next person some sweet treats. I have no idea what the reaction was or will be from the recipient of this little gift, but the shop owner and workers were touched. Their reactions alone made it all worth it. They mentioned how “it is just so nice…a sweet thing to do.” We had the opportunity to talk about God, and also about Skyline. “I have never seen such love from a church.” That is a comment I will take with me and keep in the back of my mind. What an experience. Thank you Skyline Church for this opportunity to make even a small impact in the lives of people around us.

Skyline’s pastor is a person of integrity. He doesn’t just ask the congregation to do something, while sitting back idle – waiting to see results. Instead, he gets right out there with the rest of us, feet on the ground – going about sharing and spreading love in this community and beyond. His heart is with and for people. This is what he had to say about his initial experiences with this: (you can also find a link to Pastor Lance’s personal blog in his response. I urge you to check it out.)

Today I took a little road trip full of Little Things. It began as Pastor Chris and I went to every school in O’Fallon to bless the office staff with a dozen doughnuts at each school. I just loved seeing the smiles on their faces as we said, “We just want to say thanks for the difference you make in our schools.”

Our Journey didn’t end there, however, as we continued our mission to bless the people of O’Fallon with of all things…..QUARTERS. A little change in the coin return of a vending machine (who doesn’t like finding some change), $.75 taped with a card at a gas station air pump (why do we have to pay for air?), $1.50 left behind at a car wash, some quarters strategically placed in the shopping carts at Aldi’s, and my favorite….quarters left in the bubble gum machines at Wal-Mart.

We did reap a harvest of smiles and “thank you’s” in the schools, but our other “Little Things” were done anonymously. I can only imagine what might go through those people’s minds…especially the kids at the bubble gum machine. The image of their smiles make all the difference in the world for me.

I have a few more ideas on my blog page….maybe you should check it out in the post “The Little Things Make A Big Difference”. http://themusingloft.blogspot.com/

The entire scope and purpose of this post is to encourage you to dig deeper. Join in on this. If your church doesn’t have a “Little Things” sort of campaign – create one! You really have no idea how something small can be life changing. But, what has become more important than anything else in this equation is that it’s often the giver that is touched and moved more than the receiver. Give it a try. I’d LOVE to see your stories. Please don’t hesitate to share how this (or something like it) makes a difference in your life or community. As always, you can feel free to use the “Contact Me” page OR posting directly in comments. Keep this going!