Monday, November 14, 2011

Oh Happy Day! (A Mega Recap with a Mini-Treat for YOU!)

When I hear that line, I can't help but get my Sister Act on.

 And you know after I sing that, I am channeling my inner Fugee singing "Joyful, Joyful, Lord we adore thee" and get my Whoopi Goldberg dance moves going.
Which is basically how I learned to dance, and the only moves in my repertoire.
You know you did that "what have you done for Him lately" booty fan move at the last wedding you attended.
(Don't lie).

I kinda feel like busting these moves whenever I see this cute little badge around the bloggy world.
happy day

Julie and Jeannett have some crazy huge hearts, and even more awesome, crazy huge convictions that they can't help but share.

And truly embodying Hebrews 10:24:

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
(Hebrews 10:24-25 ESV)

So here is the challenge, given a few days in advance.
Which was awesome, because it gave me a few days to consider how to be intentional about spreading the happy each day.
I don't normally encounter homeless people on a daily basis.
Or those who served.
I feel like I don't know what books my friends have read, and what they haven't.
And ever since I had a neighbor stalker, I have kept myself very guarded around my building.

But, that's the beauty of this project.
It's not about ME.
It's about doing.
And knowing that the Lord is the one doing the work.
He is just using my hands.
Which he doesn't need.
Because if the earth is His footstool, I imagine He doesn't need my teensie tiny hands.

He is allowing me to JOYFULLY serve Him.
By serving the ones He loves.

It brought to mind this verse:
    Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
(Hebrews 13:2 ESV)
 When God asks you to serve, you don't know who you are really serving.

A few days before this project, Betsy and I were driving to Palm Springs - and there was a homeless man, standing right next to my window. His cardboard sign stating that he was a Veteran.
As we drove away, Betsy turned to me and admitted "I never know what to do" - and I turned to her and confessed the same thing. Here I was thinking I was preparing my heart for the Happy Day project,  and a man approached me and I did nothing.

I felt so dumb.
I felt like I had failed.
Jesus provided someone to serve, love, and give to right then and there.
But I didn't, because it wasn't happy day week. 
Major fail.

And I think that is the point Julie and Jeannett are hoping to make.
That we CAN serve people.
Without prompting.
But here is kick in the booty to do it.
And it doesn't just have be on a designated week.
In fact, it shouldn't be.
I think I will carry gift cards in my purse from now on.
And learn to be ready.

All weekend I had my online Bible open - sitting on this passage

    Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
(Romans 12:9-13 ESV)

Yep. Quite possibly the perfect passage to meditate on before a week like the Happy Day Project.

I pray that my love was genuine, that I loved others with brotherly affection, and it cracks me up that we are supposed to be outdoing each other in showing honor.  Bloggers know how to do things well, so I think that this challenge has just been brought.

So, the week has been incredible, and here is a my brief, yet not so brief, recap.

Day 1:
Monday I didn't get home until late. I had work. Then gym plans with Ellen. Finally, I was home and able to throw some Butter Pecan Bread together. Don't be too impressed, it was just a Williams Sonoma mix that my mom gave me. A few Christmases ago she also gave me a loaf pan that makes four snowflake shaped mini loaves. I knew I'd be baking for my four neighbors. I had sent the printable to Walgreens earlier in the day, and once baked, and cooled, I wraped them up in some twine and tied on the card with quick note on the back. I dropped them off at 9:50pm (yikes!) quietly, three single women and one family that live on my same floor.

Day 2:
Tuesday was write a letter day. I thought about who I should write to, and knew I needed to write to my sweet Compassion child Felista. I have been terrible about writing her this year. Absolutely the worst. I think of her all the time. I pray for her. But I never sit down and write her. A few weeks ago I found out that Compassion has updated their letter writing page on their site - and you can type up, AND include digital pictures and send letters straight from the computer. Which is AWESOME. You can even pick customized adorable stationary. So Compassion sponsors, I encourage you to check it out. But this assignment was about the handwritten note. Which was definitely overdue for sweet Felista. I printed the black and white printable, and bought myself a pack of crayons. I had so much fun coloring the card, which made me smile, because Felista's letters always include pictures she has colored. That's my favorite part.

Day 3:
Oh Day 3. Giftcard to the homeless. Here in San Mateo, I don't see homeless people that often. Maybe every few weeks. I was a little bit apprehensive about this assignment. But on Tuesday I bought Subway and Starbucks gift cards, and decided to roll with it. Wednesday morning in my quiet time I prayed that the Lord might allow me to encounter someone hungry or homeless. I prayed for that person, whoever he or she might be.
On my lunch break, I headed to my parents like I do every day. And as I passed by the Wendy's drive thru, I saw a man standing there asking the cars for food or money. I sat in the lane I was in for a moment, until the lighbulb went off.
It was one of those giant DUH moments.
I easily pulled into the right lane, made a right into the parking lot, and got out of my car and approached him.
His name was Phil. He had a huge smile on his face, a giant camping backpack on, and a Doors hat on his head. I introduced myself, and shook his hand, and handed him the gift cards.
To say that he was thrilled would be an understatement.
His gratefulness was abounding, his hippie slang made me smile.
He asked me if I was going around handing out gift cards,
and I told him that no, but I had bought them and had them with me intending to give to someone.
To him.
I walked back to my car, and he said thank you again.
As I drove off, he gave me a giant smile and a wave.
I kinda feel like he made my day happy.

Day 4:
One of my favorites. Give a book to a friend.
Yes please.
I love reading.
And I love giving.
I sent two friends each a book (thank you Amazon Prime, sometimes I think you are my BFF).
To Betsy, I sent Kisses From Katie. 
To Hannah, I sent Big God - although she may not know it yet. 

I haven't read Kisses from Katie (but I do read her blog). Katie's heart reminds me a lot of Betsy's. I think she may have been a very thrilled recipient.

I read Big God early this year. 
Totally spoke to my heart.
If you haven't read it yet, you totally should.
It was convicting and hard to read. 
But well written and easy to read.

If that makes sense.

Day 5:
This was a bit of a toughie for me.
First off, I didn't know what "refresh someone" would entail.
Paired with Charity Water, I figured it meant give them something liquidy. 
No duh, right?
I'd be happy to buy someone a soda, or a Starbucks. 

A few years back, on a very old blog, I wrote about my feelings on Bottled Water.
And linked to this article. (I encourage you to read it).
It is kind of an issue that is close to my heart. Kind of my soapbox issue.
I won't buy it unless absolutely necessary.
And I try and do what I can to help others access tap water.
(Have you had our tap water? It's delicious!)
But, like the title of the post, Bottled Water is not a Sin.

I don't want to do those things out of legalism, or pride, or arrogance.
I want to choose not to drink bottled water (when situations permit) because I love others.
Weird, maybe.
With that choice, what do I do with it?
Money is saved.
Resources are saved.
I know it might sound crazy and farfetched, but I kinda hope that the industry of bottled water (for those who don't truly need it) might decrease. That those who actually need water would be able to afford it, to access it safely.
I don't know, not trying to get all political on this one. Just sharing my heart.

So for Day 5 I chose to donate to Charity Water.
But as I sat on my comfy chair in my jammies, I really did want to offer someone refreshment.
As I donated on my laptop, I sat staring at a man painting my front door (remember, Construction Zone).
If I had bottled water, I would have given him one. 
Because sometimes the gesture is what matters.
So I went into my fridge, and found two Gatorades.
As he finished up, I offered them to him.
He declined.
I offered a bit more strongly.
I may have forced him to take one.
For later, I said.

He took it. 
(I'm bossy like that).
I didn't get his name, but he was very kind. 
Has a 5 year old girl, and another one due by the end of the year.
Please join with me in praying for him.
And whomever else Charity Water might affect.
In the name of Jesus!

Day 6:
I was looking forward to Day 6, since it was following Veteran's day and supporting the Wounded Warrior Project. There is a small boutique in town, called Living Peacefully, and they donate proceeds from their sales to WWP. How awesome is that?
It's actually the same shop that I got the little tweet birds for my first giveaway a few months ago.

I wasn't exactly sure what my intent was going in there - but I knew I wanted to support their store, since they support the Wounded Warrior Project.

After perusing every little piece of their merchandise (think Urban Outfitters meets Hallmark Store) - I picked out this cute shadow box of old fashioned keys for myself.

And I also picked out something for YOU. 
Did you give to the Wounded Warrior Project this week? (If not go do it now, it's not too late). 
I went home and donated as well. 
Let me know in the comments below (Honor system.) - and I'll enter you to win this adorable "adult sippy" and iPhone case (fits 4/4S). The pink bracelet cost $5.00 - all of the proceeds go to WWP. You get that too!

Let me know by Sunday at 5pm, I'll announce the winner on Monday the 21st.
Makes the happy day project just a tidbit more happy! :) 

Day 7:
I was excited for Day 7 all week. I've always wanted to do blessing bags. 
But as I have already admitted, I'm lazy.
And kinda lack the follow through on this one.
I made a stop at Target a few days ago, and found a bunch of items to put together for a blessing bag.
I actually ended up with two full bags of goodies.
Chapstick, lotion, hygiene kit, snack bars, gum, bottled water (yep!), thick socks, McDonald's & Starbucks gift cards and a Bible that I have been carrying around to give away for a few years.
Like I mentioned on Day 3, homeless people are not a daily occurrence for me, but sometimes, on Sunday mornings before church, I will see a man named Little Joe hanging out side of our Starbucks meeting place. Some weeks he lets me buy coffee for him. And some weeks, he doesn't want anything more than a kind word.
As I prepared this bag, I prayed for Little Joe. Prayed that he might be at Starbucks this morning. 
I inscribed the Bible to him, and wrote a little note on the first page. 
But to my disappointment, he wasn't at Starbucks this week. But I have the bag ready if I see him. 
Or someone else who may be in need of it (and I can always get him another).
For now, I will continue to pray for Little Joe, and ask that you might join me. 
I also pray for whomever ends up with the Blessing bag that I am toting around, as well as those that you distributed.

Final Reflections:
What a week it has been. 
In the awesomest kind of way.
A week of focusing on others, when so much I am tempted to focus on myself.

Speaking of that, and in final thoughts, I struggle sometimes with how much I should share about what I did this week. After all, He should increase, and I should decrease (John 3:30). And giving should be in secret (Matthew 6:4). I truly do not want to take any attention on myself that belongs to the Lord. 

He has graciously (and I really mean graciously) allowed me to serve Him and His people. An incredible privilege, that is not limited to today. Or this week. Thank you Julie and Jeannett for your obedience to Jesus in leading us through this truly Happy Project. 

In the spirit of Matthew 5: 16 which our pastor, Dave shared this morning: 

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
(Matthew 5:16 ESV)
That is my prayer in sharing here. All Glory be to God. Join me in praising Him!!!


  1. You Go Girl!!!
    i had intended on participating in this then i wound up with sickie-poos all week. no my hubby has it. i will make it up though.
    can i admit that the homeless hippie brought tears to my eyes. i love that he made your day happy! god is so good.

  2. ok so....i really appreciate your honesty and vulnerability when you talk about how some days were just harder than others. i think that's the point, you know? when you say, "i never know what to do", i think that's exactly where you should be...because that's when the Lord molds us and teaches us, you know?

    also....if you want to be somebody. if you want to go somewhere. you gotta wake up and payyyyyyyyyyyyyy attention.

    do you know what i'm talking about?!?

  3. holla for the happy day!
    great recap! and i am stoked about that book!

    the lord is good, he is using you!
    the more you get loose and let him at you, like those 'uncomfortable' times with needy people, the more opportunities you'll get! kingdom minded, girl! you inspire!

    love you!

    also, i gave to wwp...i dont have an iphone though, but would pass that pretty on!

  4. It is so fun to see how all these blessing are going out! I love the idea in that verse about outdoing each other in honor... striving to do good together. :)

    I want to see your Happy Day dance. :)

  5. great to read all your happy day fun.

    i have a few days left to do and post on. i'm okay with them being late. i have two sick kids and a house-in-the-making that has to be somewhat ready for us to move saturday, so the happy day project is getting some grace here.

    i just got a letter from one of our compassion children- maria. i love her. she asks me when i am going to come see her. TUG ON MY HEART STRINGS!! wish. both our children are in the dominican republic... someday, someday.
    i am excited about compassions new email system.
    last time i sent our compassion kids letters i sent a photo of my 3 holding thier letters. i hope they liked that. this new system will make it even easier and quicker.

    i have donated to charity water before, AND had it donated on my behalf as a gift! so cool.

  6. tears.
    happy happy tears.
    and maybe even some sniveling.
    love your heart friend.
    i only saw jesus in this.
    not really you.
    which is good.