Day 27: Tantrum Acts of Kindness

Day 27 was a cold one. We woke up to a dark, snowy morning and since we all know that #iquitwhenitscold I was not thrilled for the winter to pop by this early in the season. And while my hibernation intincts to store food in my pillowcase and just hole up til spring were kicking in like nobody's business, I pushed through to the bright side. And the bright side is that I have waited for a snowy October day for forever! I have dreamed of bringing hot chooclate to the crossing guard near the middle school on the first really cold day of the year. And it was finally here! And I knew just the right person to treat! This guy is a little bit older, and he singlehandedly mans the busiest intersection in the neighborhood. 

So, when I woke up to this:

  I call this Phase 1: Frosted Mini Wheat Snow. It gets worse, and there are many levels of torture involved, but this is the beginning. 

I call this Phase 1: Frosted Mini Wheat Snow. It gets worse, and there are many levels of torture involved, but this is the beginning. 

I decided to make the best of it. I would bring the crossing guard a hot drink on the first really cold day of the year. This guy is faithfully out at that intersection every single morning, and every single afternoon all year long. 

Except for today. Of course.

Fortunately, I had already arranged to bring Harper's teacher her dream lunch today as well, so it wasn't a complete bust. I also extended the kindness of extra treats to my kids, because it is sometimes hard watching their mom just hand out candy and special lunches willy nilly, when you are getting the same old turkey on wheat that you always get. 

Jay, in particular, seems to be enduring the greatest temptations. 

 He starts off strong, ready to give joyfully, then crumbles upon learning that he will not be getting   his   dream lunch any time soon.

He starts off strong, ready to give joyfully, then crumbles upon learning that he will not be getting his dream lunch any time soon.

You can see the evolution of emotions he experiences as we wait for Mrs. Mendicino's dream lunch.

 We start here with a relatively strong smile and willing participation.

We start here with a relatively strong smile and willing participation.

 He starts to realize that maybe he doesn't care to wait here for something he won't be enjoying, but the one side of his mouth still has enough fortitude to muster half a fake smile.

He starts to realize that maybe he doesn't care to wait here for something he won't be enjoying, but the one side of his mouth still has enough fortitude to muster half a fake smile.

 Here we have stage three, as you can see the clenched and extended neck area shows building emotional distress, head thrown back in exasperation, but feelings are being stuffed in hopes that forced politeness will earn a handsome reward.

Here we have stage three, as you can see the clenched and extended neck area shows building emotional distress, head thrown back in exasperation, but feelings are being stuffed in hopes that forced politeness will earn a handsome reward.

 Reality sets in. Hopes are dashed. Fake smile, and entire face, disappear behind the goods. Tantrum ensues.

Reality sets in. Hopes are dashed. Fake smile, and entire face, disappear behind the goods. Tantrum ensues.

So, I resolved to really let them enjoy some extra dessert tonight. My friend Nan had so graciously made our family an apple crisp, and the kids were looking forward to having some after dinner. Apparently, Annalee discovered that I had "taste tested" a small bit, and sent a very clear message that she was watching.

Even though my hot chocolate mission was a fail because there wasn't a crossing guard there to guard all the crossing, I didn't report the old man who had clearly abandoned his post. I am not sure if that is kindness or negligence on my part, but we can just call this one a draw.

I really can't believe that we only have four days left of October. I have gotten a lot of messages from people expressing regret that they just learned what #AdamsActs is all about, and they feel as though they missed the opportunity. I am toying with the idea of making #AdamsActs an all year thing. I would continue to particpate at this level only in October, but I have been asked to speak about this movement in November, and I love the idea of issuing different schools, different communities, different churches, teams, organizations... the challenge of doing one full month of kindness throughout the year. I know why I do it in October, but there is no reason that I can't challenge other groups of people to do it any time of year. So, whatchya think guys? Can you think of a youth group, or a small group, or a neighborhood, or a book club, etc. that might be up for taking charge of a month? If thousands of people can spread this much kindness in the month of October, how many more people could #catchthekindness throughout the year? A wise and beautiful woman with an unbeleivable heart of gold (yes, that's you Sue Delgatti) said to me, "When this month is over, I am going to keep #AdamsActs going. I say #ContinueTheKindness." I like how Sue thinks.

I don't know what this would look like, but I know that my life's mission is to share this story of redemption with as many people as the Lord wants to put in front of me. I truly believe that God takes the worst of us, the worst of our experiences, the worst of our pain... and transforms it into something purposeful and beautiful if we allow him to. My passion is to share that truth with as many people as possible. So, if you have a group that could benefit from the good news that redemption and healing are possible, I wold love to share this story and invite others to join in the movement to be more actively and intentionally kind. I believe that we should give sacrificially, but joyfully. We should give 'til it hurts a little, then do it anyway, knowing that ultimate joy comes from loving and serving others ahead of ourselves. Don't we all feel a little tantrum-y like Jay when we really give big? And I have to be honest, the thought of pouring my story out year round is just about enough to make me throw myself on the floor and roll around a little... but I also know that some stories are just too big to confine to 31 days. Some things - like radical kindness, like overcoming grief, like sharing life with others - just might need to happen all year long.

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If you are interested in booking a speaking event, or have a group in mind that might be interested in participating in #AdamsActs for one month in 2017, contact Lara here.