introducing: friendly friday

Whelp, here it is, 2011 and I am just now hopping on the day-of-the-week blog meme bandwagon. At this point it feels like they’ve all been done (and maybe this one has been done somewhere, too, I don’t know) but finally something resonated with me enough that I felt compelled to think, write, and act on it weekly.

Some blogs host weekly memes about what you’ve been wearing, encouraging you to be fashionable.

Some blogs host weekly memes about marriage, encouraging you to be intentional about loving your mate.

Some blogs host weekly photography challenges, encouraging you to develop your photography skills. (Ba dum ch! Develop. Get it?)

Some blogs host weekly writing challenges, encouraging you to flex your writing muscle.

Some blogs host weekly gratitude memes, were bloggers get together and give thanks and focus on the beautiful in life.

It kinda feels like all the good ideas are already taken.

But then on a drive in the car, like most drives I take in the car with my two boys in back, I was listening to our local Christian radio station. (aside: Poor Christian music stations. They are given the task to play ‘a genre’ of music that really contains 4 or 5 sub-genres. They’re notoriously playing songs that are too old, too cheesy, too pop, too gospel for someone. Because of that, they’ve kind of gotten a bad rap.) (Ba dum ch! Rap! I am on FIRE!)

Once a month, this radio station encourages its listeners to participate in ‘the drive through difference’ where at McDonald’s or a coffee shop, wherever, listeners pay for the drive through window order of the car behind them. They have a note on their website you can print off and leave with the window teller, which includes the radio station’s phone number so the person on the receiving end can call and tell their story.

It’s amazing to hear how God works through these “random” act of kindness taking place all over the Twin Cities. Based on the phone calls, it’s never random who God chooses to bless with this – a new mom, someone recently bereaved, the unemployed, someone having a horrible day. The recipients call in and talk to the host, and I’m not going to lie, I’ve teared up before over the stories. (I might have been pregnant at the time… but still.)

And I realized I want to do that. I want to encourage, challenge, spur my friends and readers (who are friends I just haven’t met yet) on to do random acts of kindness through my blog. O, and myself. I sure could use some reminding (again and again).

It didn’t quite take 9 months, but I still feel a little like this post is giving birth to a baby I’ve been cooking.

Every week I will come here on Fridays and share about something I stepped out and did for someone else. While DanO and the boys are more than deserving of these acts (and hopefully are already on the receiving end daily), I am going to focus my effort on the more outside of my comfort zone ones – strangers, neighbors, acquaintances. I truly believe that spending time looking for opportunities and acts throughout the week will have an impact on me. I can only hope that the kindnesses I am able to do will have an impact on someone else.

Join me?

Pay for the car behind you.

Help them with the groceries.

Leave cookies on their doorstep.

Send a note of encouragement.

Bring her coffee.

Stop and help clean it up.

Take her kids for the day

Offer, even if it’s inconvenient.

I realize that many of these opportunities come to us in the moment and are not something we can set out in the morning to do, but we can set out in the morning to look for them and to be ready when they come (hesitation has stopped me many times from blessing someone). Hopefully this weekly prompt will combat my inhibitions, will make me more bold, will make me more attentive.

Then, we’ll come back here, write about our experiences, and link up on Fridays. Even if it’s only me, that’s ok. I understand that there are already eleventy bajillion weekly blog link-ups out there and only so much time in the day.

My hope is that this results in kindness in action; the writing and sharing parts are an added bonus.

Have a lovely weekend, friends.

{photo credit}

22 Responses to “introducing: friendly friday”

  1. annemarie

    This is a great idea! I don’t have time today to blog and link up, but I am babysitting my cousin’s daughter even though ACK PREGNANT PLUS TWO TODDLERS and I hate babysitting. Everyone should get time to themselves sometimes.

  2. emily bilbrey

    this is wonderful, lady! i’m not christian, but am a huge advocate for the random act of kindness, and for kindness in general. i LOVE picking up peoples’ tab when i hit the starbucks drive-thru; i never knew it was a “thing” before! i think it’s so great about your station having people connect and share their stories about how a stranger made their day – make me feel even better about doing that for people! (;

    one simple way i help teach poppy about the important of kindness and giving, is to purchase extra goods while we thrift shop together – we gather up baby/kids pajamas & clothing, great educational toys & warm winter coats, give them a thorough wash at home, and take them downtown to our local catholic-run shelter. i’ve seen first-hand how these things make a HUGE difference to those who have fallen on hardship – it’s incredible to watch someone walk in, just desperate for something specific that they honestly can’t afford, and have it handed over happily. i think poppy is actually starting to understand what we are doing, which is amazing to see…

    i’m super excited to look at your upcoming posts on this theme, and see what concepts other people come up with for sharing kindness! can’t wait to be inspired to do more, and more often. (:


      • Jules

        Along the ideas of shopping for others – instead of clothes, how about groceries? Why not put an extra box of noodles, or soup, or something, in the cart on our weekly grocery run. Gather the extras in a bag and drop them off at the food shelter each month. A little over time seems easier to handle than a huge payout all at once, y’know?
        I’ll be thinking this week of how to do something kind for someone else. Thanks for the nudge.

  3. Nancy

    Awesome idea! I too have missed some great chances to do a good deed because of hesitation. Hopefully going out and purposefully looking for a chance to bless someone else will help keep me at the ready! Thanks.

  4. becca

    i like it. and i like the idea of really striving to do this weekly. it’s so easy to be self-absorbed. keeping this is the forefront of my mind (and omg, i just typed “front” as “frunt” – gah!) thinking about it on the daily will most definitely help me out!

  5. Katie

    Hi! I just found your blog and this post through Emily posting it on twitter and I absolutely adore this idea. I’m pretty sure that our christian radio station does almost that exact same thing. And I just love the idea of helping someone out and just doing little things to make someone smile or make their day. I’ll definitely try to be a part of this every week. What a great idea for a friday link up!

  6. Melissa

    I stopped participating in most memes a while ago, but this is a fantastic idea, and hopefully inspires lots of people (including me) to do things they might not otherwise take the time/energy to do!

  7. Jo

    I try to do nice things for others, but feel kinda weird about sharing them. Seems to make it less meaningful or like I’m looking for validation? I know that’s not the case but I have a problem ‘admitting’ I am doing nice things for people sometimes.

    OK…so here goes. *clears throat*

    I found out it was my waitress’s birthday at lunch today so I tipped 100%.

    *takes deep breath*

    Ok, I guess that wasn’t so bad.

    This is a good idea A. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  8. Tera B

    “I realize that many of these opportunities come to us in the moment and are not something we can set out in the morning to do, but we can set out in the morning to look for them and to be ready when they come…”
    Friends, we can pray that God will put the opportunity in our path, and God will. In that way, yes we can set out in the morning, confindent that we will show God’s love in some unexpected way.

  9. Elena

    this is perfect timing for me…I have really had it on my heart to do something like this…I will gladly participate!
    Thank you–YOU are a blessing to me just by sharing your love for Jesus and people on this blog <3

  10. Jocelyn

    I love this. I do something for my mother in law every week. She is caring for my father in law who has ALS, and it is a full time job. I try and clean a bathroom and do the dishes. This weekend I did a small shopping trip for her and cleaned the basement. I am going to try and do something for a stranger this week as well. I love following your family. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Michelle P

    I read this today as a positive to a decision I had already made. A couple weeks back I bought my bosses wife a bottle of wine and card to lift the spirts. Her oldest left for college. Then yesterday as I sit in Target I hear this man ask how much a lemonade would cost as I hear this I am about to say I’ll pay for it another woman jumps up with money. It made me think I should be offering more often. This ruffed up dirty man was so gracious and kept calling everyone mam. He is the type that deserves a hand of kindness. That scary looking sweet man who says proudly he is a landscaper and needs the paycheck

  12. Stacia

    oh actually it’s funny that you wrote “pay for the car behind you” because one day i went to starbucks and the car in front of me paid for me. i sat there stunned. i totally wasn’t expecting that at all. so of course i kept it going and paid for the guy behind me but wow what a way to start the day huh?


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