Spreading Kindness

Have you ever heard the saying, “hurting people hurt people”?

It’s when someone is hurting so badly that their pain seeps out into the people around them through criticism, rudeness, resentment, and so on.

My first experience with this was years ago in a restaurant where I was a waitress. The staff and I got along well and had a fun time at work until this new woman started working. For unknown reasons, she would go out of her way to be rude to me.

We would walk around the same corner and she would just stand there and say, “move!”. She made deliberate attempts to get in my way and eventually stopped saying “move” but just gave me a mean look. After about two weeks, human nature kicked in and I began to participate with negative responses. I felt justified in my behavior (well, she started it, right?).

Until this day…….

It was the holiday season and I was baking cookies to share with my neighbors and family. A feeling came over me that I should take a plate of cookies to my not-so-nice co-worker.

Do you ever get that little nudge from God asking you to do something you don’t understand? (or worse, a nudge from God to do something you REALLY don’t want to do)?

This was one of those moments for me. Why would God ask me to do something nice for someone who was never nice to me from the beginning? I figured if I took her cookies, she would probably just laugh at me, humiliate me, or not even accept my gift. My mind told me I was putting myself in a vulnerable situation, yet my heart was telling me to listen to the words God was whispering in my ear.

I lined a paper plate with some colorful tissue paper and chose the prettiest cookies. Then I wrapped the plate in clear tissue paper and tied it all together with holiday ribbon. It looked so professional and inviting.

Anxiously, I brought my plate of cookies to work (praying on the way for the right words). When I saw her, I asked if she would come outside for a minute. I didn’t want to put her on the spot and give her cookies in front of other people. If she was going to reject my offer, I wanted it done in private!!

When she came out, I said, “You may think I am strange, but I brought you some holiday cookies. I hope you enjoy them.”

Immediately, tears began to stream down her face. She responded, “No one has done anything nice for me in so long. I moved here from Florida with my boyfriend and he broke up with me a month ago. I’m here all alone”.

It was an eye-opening moment for me. God was showing me that hurting people really do hurt people. She was so full of pain that it seeped out as anger and frustration.

God was showing me that as faithful Christians we are not to take those acts personal, but instead, share acts of Gods loving kindness. Think about it………… When Jesus was on the cross he was asking the Father to forgive them “for they know not what they do”. If Jesus can overlook what the Roman’s did to Him, then we can overlook someone having a bad day, right?

Is there someone in your life who is hurting, someone unpleasant to be around?

My mission for this post is to encourage as many people as I can to put negativity, justifications and pride aside. Replace those things with random acts of kindness, encouraging words and God’s unconditional love (for no other reason than to just spread God’s love to a hurting world).

Here are some ideas to get you started…

  • My number one way of showing people I care is to give food made from the heart. Cookies and treats to neighbors. Chicken noodle soup to someone who’s sick. Cooking a few freezer meals like lasagna, for someone who just lost a loved one and doesn’t have the energy to cook. Fresh fruit for the homeless.
  • A woman at my church always has candy in her purse. She greets everyone with a smile and a piece of her yummy candy.
  • Take a co-worker a cup of coffee or a bagel in the morning.
  • Share some of your garden harvest with neighbors.
  • Hold the door for someone who has their hands full.
  • Offer to babysit for an hour so a single mother can have a little break.
  • Ask the grocery store clerk how her day is going (and thank her for ringing up your groceries), even if she was slow. She could be in training or maybe she was up all night with a sick baby.
  • Offer a cold drink to the garbage collector on a hot day.
  • Put runaway grocery carts (near someone’s car) back in the stall, even if it isn’t your cart.
  • Leave a random sticky note on someone’s desk to say “Hey, hope you’re having a nice day”.
  • Smile at everyone.. Someone once told me that a smile is free to give away, but could mean the world to the receiver.

Kindness is infectious!!

Feel free to comment below. How do you share kindness to the people around you? How has someone else’s act of kindness been a blessing in your life?





Over 30 years ago, I stood in the front row of a kindergarten performance. We were singing for all the parents at the elementary school. I wore a beautiful dress hand-made by my mother. My hair was long and styled in a curly Q, Shirley Temple sort of fashion. I felt like a princess.

During the performance, I sang “from my diaphragm” just as Mrs. Summers instructed. My heart felt as if it would pound out of my chest when the audience applauded our performance. Since I was in the front row, it was as though everyone were clapping just for me.

At the end of the performance, Mrs. Summers spoke words that would impact me for nearly a lifetime. She walked up to my mom and said, “she certainly is the most excited and eager student I had this year, but she couldn’t carry a tune in her pocket (hahaha)”. Most certainly she was just making a joke, but those words hurt me.

From that day on, I was insecure about my singing. It became a source of embarrassment and I didn’t want anyone to hear me. When I was home alone though, I would belt out songs as if I was on stage. It made my heart dance and my soul felt alive.

Years later when I began attending church regularly, I found a place of comfort where I could sing freely. One morning a woman asked why I didn’t join the choir. She said I had a beautiful singing voice and sang from my heart. I gave a little chuckle and told her  I KNEW I wasn’t choir material. With a look of surprise, she simply suggested I pray about it because I would be a nice addition to the choir.

That night I prayed and God began to show me how those words from my childhood found a home in my heart. He showed me that, even though the words didn’t play in my mind, the feeling from them came to surface each time I sang.

With the new revelation about why I had a hard time singing in front of others, I began to do some research. What did science say about singing? What did the bible say?

Professor Graham Welch from the University of London studied the health benefits of music and singing for over 30 years. His findings suggested that singing was good for the heart and lungs because it was an aerobic exercise. In addition, he said that singing reduced stress and increased our emotional well-being because it increases the “feel-good” hormones called endorphins.

When I went to my bible I found this scripture…..

Psalm 33:3 “Sing to Him a new song; skillfully (on the strings) with a loud and joyful sound”.

Science was saying that singing was good for me, and my bible was saying I should be singing loud and joyfully!! I cant even tell you how excited this made me feel!

I made a decision to stop believing the lie that had been rooted in my heart for so many years.  The following week, I joined the choir at church, singing talent or not, and I began to feel better. Slowly, I started singing in other places.

Now I sing in the streets, I sing in the gym, I sing while I lay outside tanning, and I sing while I drive. It doesn’t matter if I can carry a tune in my pocket or anywhere else, I carry it on my heart. Singing brings me so much joy. When I see someone else singing, I smile because I know I see a happy person.

What is the point of this story? Words (as innocent as they may be) can be spoken over us and they can hurt us, mold us, cause us to believe untruths about ourselves. We need to go to God’s word and believe what the bible says, not what our insecurities say.

Maybe you are insecure about something and you don’t know why. Maybe words were innocently spoken over you that hurt you. Maybe the enemy is just whispering words meant to steal your peace.

Go to God in prayer and ask Him to reveal truth to you.

Love yourself and give yourself permission to enjoy every part of you. Your heart and your spirit will thank you.



Hungry, Please Help

The man was wearing tattered clothing covered with stains and holes. His hat kept the hot California sun from burning his face. He stood on a busy street corner, during the middle of rush hour traffic, holding an old cardboard sign.

“Hungry – Please Help. God Bless!!!”

My first reaction was to think about how this man could go out and get a job just like I did. After all, I was a single mother with no formal education and I was supporting two children on my own. If I could do it, surely this man could.

As I got closer to the street light, I actually prayed, “God please don’t let me get stuck at the light, just let me get through”. I was beginning to feel angry at this man for wanting something from me. If I had extra, I would buy myself some new socks or maybe a Starbucks coffee.

Of course, my prayer didn’t work. I was the first one to get stopped at the light so the homeless guy was standing right next to my window. I was doing that thing where I pretended not to see him – no eye contact. Then God gave me a gentle nudge and reminded me that I had just been to Costco. I had a whole tray of apples sitting in the seat next to me!!

God also opened my eyes to the sign that said, “Hungry, Please Help……” The man was not asking for money, he was asking for food.

Immediately I felt convicted, so I rolled my window down and offered the man an apple. Just as soon as I did, he smiled the BIGGEST smile and said, “Thank you and God Bless”.

That’s when I noticed he didn’t have a single tooth in his mouth!!

Just as quickly as God laid conviction on my heart, the enemy swooped in and did the same thing. I drove away feeling mortified for offering a hungry man with no teeth an apple.

I cried and felt totally defeated, “I am such a jerk and totally useless. I can’t even do God’s work right!”

Thankfully, it was Wednesday Night Bible Study and I was able to take my story to a group of women that walked me through it.

We talked about how God speaks to us, but so does the enemy. God gives us thoughts of righteousness, love, thanksgiving, worth, and encouragement. If we aren’t careful the enemy will replace those thoughts with fear, insecurity, anxiety, anger, frustration, and discouragement.. The enemy will tell you that you’re worthless, you’re a failure, you’re ugly …….. “you can’t even do God’s work right”.

After that study, I began immersing myself into bible scriptures. As I learned more about the Word of God and had a better understanding of God’s love, I realized that I could choose to believe God’s words over the enemy’s.

God wants us to believe in ourselves because we were created in His image.

Imagine one of your children (or someone you love very much if you don’t have kids) coming to you and saying, “I’m a loser. Ugly. No good. No one likes me and I will never amount to anything”.

What would your response be?

You would say, “Sweetheart, you are beautiful, amazing and talented. You may be struggling right now, but this wont last forever. I love you.”

God loves us just the same. When a negative thought enters your mind, realize it isn’t from God – be quick replace it. “I am a beautiful child of God and I refuse to listen to the lies”.

What are some of the ways God has worked in your life? Please share in the comment section.

John 10:10 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.



Hey Renee

*What you are about to read is a true story.

My early years
When I was a young girl we attended church regularly. We had an elder neighbor that would have church sing-a-longs at her house. We celebrated Christian holidays. Jesus was no secret in our home.

As I got older and went out on my own, church became a thing of the past. Jesus was always in the back of my mind and I didn’t doubt His existence, but I didn’t rely on Him for strength or pray on a regular basis.

Without going into great detail (maybe that will come on later posts), the paths I chose in life took me to some very dark places. My life became a whirlwind and out of control. I fell farther and farther away from my Christian upbringing.

As my life became more unmanageable, I found myself leaning on what I knew as a child and walked into a church for help. There I met an amazing woman I like to call my Angel. It was her love that brought me back into the church.

Full of doubts
I spent several years working on strengthening my faith, changing my lifestyle and becoming a better person. My life seemed to be going pretty good until I found out some unsettling news about my husband. We talked about the issues and tried to seek counseling, but in the end, the choice was made to end our marriage.

So many things went through my head and my heart. What did I do to deserve a failed marriage? Why hadn’t he loved me enough to try harder? Where was God in all this? Why didn’t God work harder to change his heart, after all God doesn’t like divorce, right?

Many nights I cried myself to sleep struggling with the new life of single motherhood, sole provider, fear of the future, doubt in my own abilities. Many nights I wondered, “why ME”.

My defining moment in Christ
One particular morning I felt more defeated than usual. I guess you could say I was having a pity party for myself. Going through a divorce, single mother working two jobs to pay the bills, not enough time to spend with my children. I was exhausted and there was no one around to give me any relief.

When I got into my car to head to work, I broke down with tears and I cried.

I reached my hands towards the roof of my car and yelled, “God you’re NOT even real. If you were, I wouldn’t be suffering so badly ………….. yeah right, pearly gates and streets of gold. Just a stupid story some hurting person made up to feel better about their life on earth.”

Up until that moment, I held onto a hope that God was real and His promises would show up in my life, but that didn’t happen. I truly felt alone in the world. The stories of God were like that of Cinderella, just fairytales.

Since God wasn’t going to help and no one else was going to pay my bills, I made a choice to just suck it up and get to work before I was late. I wiped the tears from my eyes with a sigh, “all that time wasted believing in a God”.

I turned on my car and this is when my life changed forever.

My radio was tuned to an A.M. Christian channel and as soon as I turned the ignition, this is song I heard……

“Hey, Renee
How you doing today, Renee?
Picking up a cup of coffee
Then you’ll be on your way”

The world literally stopped at that moment. The lyrics went on to talk about lying awake at night and contemplating life, daydreaming about erasing the things in life that went wrong, and having days full of doubt. This song was my life!

The song ended with these words:

“Hey, Renee
It’ll all be okay
Sorry, no, you don’t know me
Hope you have a nice day

You got a tough role to play
Jesus loves you, Renee
That’s all I wanted to say”

My face was soaked with an uncontrollable stream of tears. The God I just mocked and rebuked had just spoken to me. And it wasn’t just a feeling in my heart or a thought that “might” have been from God. It was the most audible way God could have spoken to me.

In that moment of deep desperation, my unbelieving heart was renewed with something so powerful words could never express. God knew that I was giving up on Him and that I had to have a powerful sign from Him so not to chalk-it-up as coincidence.

Could this be coincidence? ……………..

20 preset stations on my radio, 24 hours and 1,440 minutes in a day, millions of songs that could have been playing on my radio at that moment.

My name, my story, my moment of despair. A voice in my radio speaking MY name, confirming “I” had a tough situation………… and then those ever precious words, “Jesus loves you Renee”.

Coincidence? Not a chance!

I was a young single mother without an education, worried about feeding my children, wondering if I would have enough to pay rent and keep a roof over our heads.

God took the most desperate moment in my life and turned it into the most inspirational. When I feel negative thoughts creep up in my life now, I only need to remember this moment. The moment God revealed Himself to me, in all His glory.

God came to me and told me He loved me. He called me by name and told me everything was going to be ok.

Life changed forever
I look back now and see, every struggle I went through, He was by my side.

My children were always fed (sometimes through help from the church), we always had a place to live (even if sometimes it was in someone else’s house), we didn’t always have a car (but we always had two feet to walk to the grocery store, to school and to work).

I’ve learned to wait on God’s timing and trust that His plan is always the best.

Please come back to Faith, Farm & Family Table to read more about my journey. Many more stories from my crazy, funny, inspiring life to come.

See you soon!

ps. I’m trying to get permission (and to figure out the technological part) so I can upload this amazing song to this post.

This song titled “Renee” is from the album Revolution by Scott Krippayne – THANK you Scott for writing this song! It literally changed my life!