Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Operation Nice - -How Nice!

"No act of kindness, no matter how small,
is ever wasted!" Aesop

We have such a small window of opportunity to make a difference with our kids and teach them service and how to be truly nice and thoughtful to someone else.

I try to teach that to my kids and wonder how much sinks in -I hope when they are around other people they will genuinely be nice to them.

For Family Home Evening - I put this little thought process to the test! I shared with them one of my life changing moments - my infamous In-N-Out Burger story. Have you heard it? Let me share it for all posterity and whoever else wants a great Christ-like service story.

Several years ago, it was Summer time and I had two small little girls. My husband had called me that morning and asked if I wanted to meet him at the park for lunch and we would have a picnic  - he works down by Sea World and so we were going to go to a park close to that area. Well, in order for this to happen, I had to be on my game  {anyone that knows me, knows that I am pretty much never on my game and always running a tad late for things} So... I attempted to get my girls and be out the door knowing that my hubby only had an hour to be with us. Well, as we are driving down to meet Bart, I realize that I didn't pack any lunch....Duh! and so I was a little frantic, to say the least.  But, I saw off the freeway, an In-N-Out restaurant and I thought "Great - that is just the place -you're In and than Out!" So, I pulled off the next exit and made my way to the drive-thru line. No sooner had I driven up to the line than I regretted it as there were a ton of cars in front of me. Before I could pull away, several other cars pulled in behind me! I was STUCK and feeling very impatient and stressed out knowing that Bart had limited time as it was for lunch! So, there I was having to just sit and wait. Well, as I was waiting and fretting, I noticed out of the corner of my eye, there was a car that had pulled up next to me {in the drive-thru line} with their blinker on. I couldn't believe it! Are you kidding me? Don't they know the rules of the drive thru?? you wait your turn. So, to show this lady that I knew the rules, I pulled my car up smack into the bumper of the car in front of me!  I felt so proud of myself...but to my horror I saw that the car directly in front of me was motioning for her to go in front of him. Well, now my blood pressure had reached a boiling point - for sure! At seeing this, I went bazerk and threw my hands in the air and shook my head back and forth. I was mad! I had seconds of doing this before I realized that I was still stuck and going to have to wait. As i sat there waiting, I started to reflect on my rude behavior and thought how unChrist-like I was being. I didn't know this ladies circumstance - maybe she was pregnant and she wanted one last double double before giving birth or maybe she had a car full of screaming kids that were demanding food - who knows? All I know is, I wasn't the one to help her out and that is just plain sad!Well, the story doesn't end there. i had time to wait and settle down a little and also figure out what we were ordering. As I placed my order and drove up to the window to pay, the girl at the cash register told me that I didn't need to pay - she said, "the man in front of you paid for your meal and he said to tell you that he hopes you have a better day today." Well, can you imagine how I felt? I felt pretty small and I kept thinking that I should have been that person - the one looking for ways to serve someone else. Instead I was on the receiving end and I will be forever thankful for the lesson it taught me! And man, you should see me now - sometimes, I actually go the speed limit and let cars go in front of me on the highway!  Every once in a while I even brake for pedestrians and it feels like I am doing my part! Hee hee - all kidding aside, I am grateful for the lesson of service that this complete stranger taught me!

So, with that story under my belt, I thought it might be fun for us to go out and "pay it forward" a little with complete strangers!

I found this website - and I got some great ideas off of that!  We also found these cute little notes that can be left around town and we chose the movie theater.
The funny thing is my kids were more excited to leave the notes than they were to watch the movie.
I thought that this note was placed in a funny spot! 
Good job Bailey!
These were Parker's favorites. He wanted to stay and watch someone find the money but I told him that that would ruin the service and surprise.

This was really fun and my kids want to know where we are going next! I hope this plants some seeds of kindness!
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is 
fighting a hard battle!" Plato


Mad Men Girl said...

Calling all random acts of kindness! Or even on-purpose ones!

I've entered a contest to win a walk-on role on that retro-licious TV show "Mad Men".

If you wouldn't mind taking two seconds to vote for me, go to my blog, or use the following link, which will take you right to my picture:

Thanks a bunch!

Elizabeth said...

I've never heard that story before! what a great idea for family night. is that person before me serious?

Carrie Olson said...

I so remember that story that you told the your women a few year back. I have thought about that many times and it has made an impact on how I treat others and not always thinking of my wants and needs. I found a website called where a lady for her birthday did like 50 kind things for people with her family instead of getting presents they used the money to do kind things. I so want to do that for my birthday. The response from some of the people was amazing.

Marci said...

I love the In n Out story! I've seen that idea of leaving random notes around and LOVE it. We'll definitely have to do one of these days. (and how cool to have a machine that dispenses fake mustaches?!!)

3WimmerBoys said...

That is truly one of my all time favorite stories. You are awesome Heather! Love it!

MBlairsLars said...

Nope...never heard that one either. Great story and truly inspiring. As usual, your the best!

These Are The Days said...

That's a cute kids would love it. I'm sad to say but I have way too many unChristlike days it seems. We had a man freak out at us at the gas station as we were leaving for California. We were both pulling up to two pumps at the same time and we didn't notice the one closest to him was out of service. He flipped us off and acted crazy. He didn't give us a chance to allow him to have ours, it made for an awkward moment when he and Kimball ended up pumping gas right across from each other. My sweet hubby went over and apologized and the guy felt like such an idiot. Sad thing is, my first reaction was to get mad right back at him. We just never know what kind of day people have had, or what stresses they are under. Great post!

tammy said...

I love your In-n-Out story. Thanks for sharing that. That could've just as easily been me and I would've probably done the same thing as you. And I love what you and your kids did. I think we're gonna have to do that.

Amy said...

You just provided our Family Scripture thought for tomorrow. I love you Heather.