Small Acts of Kindness: Food on the Table

kindness_beachIn August of 2012, while our family was at an annual cookout, we got a call.  My mother-in-love, Betty Lou, had been to the doctor and something wasn’t quite right; they would be running more tests.  Our hearts were heavy as we finished up our evening and the next day went over to visit.  She was a little nervous herself as the doctor seemed concerned.  Eventually the culprit of her pain was named:  Stage 4 cancer.  Our hearts were broken.  Further testing came and the cancer was fast-moving.  At best, she had 6 months.

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Gen M Moms

Earlier in the summer, I had been asked to attend a meeting at my church.  A new ministry was forming, Generation M.  This vision was given to a dear woman who saw multi-generation moms coming together for Bible study.  As she shared the vision of this ministry, using scripture to describe the tasks of each area, my heart began to beat quickly as she went over the duties of the Bible study leader.

I knew that feeling – it was the Holy Spirit looking for my attention and response.  I really wanted to blame it on the chocolate chip cookie – but I knew better than to leave without a resounding “YES!” that I would be glad to serve as Bible study leader.  For this first year it meant I would be writing study questions for our study on the women in the lineage of Christ as well as teaching once a month.   I was all in and thrilled at this new opportunity.  Strangely, I did not feel compelled to back out as this family crisis arose.  What God allowed was for these precious women to watch me as I leaned into Him during this hard time.

These precious women.  I was serving in Generation M with about a team of 8.  It had been a while since I’d served on a team of women and God quickly gave us an incredible love for one another.  God was helping me keep my head above water as my mother-in-law went through her battle with cancer.  He was so kind to lead me each morning through tasks that would set me up to be able to feed my family when we returned from staying most of the day at the hospice center with my MIL.  One week I was surprised with a phone call alerting me a few of the team was stopping by.  These precious women had taken their time and resources to bring me freezer meals for my family.  I was overwhelmed by their kindness.  I stored them in the freezer, thinking I wouldn’t need them for a while….but I was wrong.  They continued to be a source of help as our time with Betty Lou was nearing its end.

During this time, I was also a busy kindness (1)homeschooling mom of two boys and we were active in a local home school group.  These women have been such a beautiful support of me and my children.  This group of women supplied our family with meals after Mom Stone’s passing.  They also scheduled meals for me during a hard stretch while caring for my dear Father-in-law, who came to live with us after Betty Lou passed.

I am so grateful for how God tenderly cared for me and my family through the hearts and hands of others during these difficult and painful times.  His faithfulness to us causes us to love Him all the more.  It also helps us to be sensitive to His leading when we need to the be the hands that help others through a difficult time.

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.  Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)


FB_IMG_1445656931495Stacy Stone is a wife to a great fisherman and mom to two fun and active boys!  She is a Jesus Lover and looks for Him in all His Creation.  She enjoys sweet tea, reading, writing, music, and exploring nature.  You can find her sometimes blogging at Joie de Vivre and on Twitter @joyfulmom2boys.

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Small Acts of Kindness: Hospice and Hospital Care

Thomas and HarperBy Jennifer Hallmark

We needed help. My stepdad was struggling and Hospice provided a way to care for him at home and even in the hospital. This service began around November 1st and stayed close until his passing on January 20th.

Hospice care is a type of care and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient’s pain and symptoms, and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs.

HCA Hospice Care Logo (2012)To me, Hospice is a big act of kindness. During this time, we were the recipient of many small acts of kindness also. I’ve given this some thought and want to share a list of items and services that would help if you know someone who is under hospice or hospital care, a caregiver or helping a caregiver…

For an individual under hospice care and their family

  • Visits and phone calls. When you’re confined to home, a visit or phone call is like a breath of fresh air. Even better is a long visit where you offer to stay with the patient while the caregiver shops, goes to the doctor, or just gets away for a few moments.
  • Meals. Caregivers tend to be exhausted from the constant care a hospice patient needs. Always check and see what the patient can or can’t eat and cook or buy accordingly.
  • Greeting cards and emails. My stepdad loved getting physical mail from people. Not so much “get well” cards but those cards that expressed “thinking about you” or encouragement. Homemade cards from the children or grandchildren or school or church class are enjoyed also.
  • Gifts. The best gifts were the ones where people asked what we needed and then provided them. Some I remember are an electronic Bible that read out loud, pajamas, puzzle books, certain food items or snacks, and magazines.IMG_20160217_094918629

When the patient is in the hospital.

  • All of the above. Visits where you can stay with the patient are especially helpful so the caregiver can go eat or to the store without feeling stressed. Before bringing food, check on the patient’s dietary needs.

One thing people asked us during this time was “How can we help?” Beside the above ways, I’ll list items you can purchase that are useful during this time.

  • Restaurant gift cards.IMG_20160217_094952009
  • Gas gift cards. (so much back and forth driving)
  • Walmart gift cards.
  • Fruit or healthy snacks. (to keep at hospital)
  • Magazines, puzzle books, or books.
  • Small blankets or throws.
  • Mints, gum, or hard candy.
  • Phone charger (we had to go out and buy one)
  • Change for the drink and snack machines.

So when someone is under hospice care or in the hospital, you can make a difference. A show of concern can brighten the day of someone going through stress-filled times. Prayer was always welcomed and we loved it when people took time to ask, “What do you specifically need? I’ll bring it.”

Your small act of kindness can shine big in someone’s life today. Be the difference…