Love Out Loud
At only 10 years old, my parents gave me my first Ideals poetry book. Written inside the front cover are the sweet memories, “To JoAnne because she loves beautiful things. Mama and Daddy, Mumps Day.” I still enjoy reading poetry and I have written a few poems over the years. As a young girl, I would have never imagined that my life would be blessed with a special friend that writes some of those beautiful poetry books that I now have sitting up on my shelf. When Connie Arnold recently asked me if I would like to be a part of the blog tour for her newest book, Abundant Comfort and Grace, it touched my heart to be able to share some of her poignant verses to go along with my post.
and by always striving to do our best each day.
The best way to give thanks is by loving and giving
as we follow Christ’s example in the life we are living.
Our local shelter was asking the community to contribute signed birthday cards with a $1.79 donation inside each envelope; enough to pay for one meal for a homeless person. The rescue mission was planning an all-out birthday party—complete with a birthday cake, ice cream, a gift for each individual, decorations, and giveaways. At the last minute, I eagerly decided to get involved, feeling one of those nudges from God.
Remembering back to the first time I had really witnessed the harshness of life, I can still envision a frail-looking man curled up on the sidewalk in a fetal position partially covered with a quilted baby-sized blanket. Staring down at what I thought were gaping holes in his socks, I was stunned to notice that this destitute person was not wearing any socks or shoes. The soles of his bare feet had worn through several layers of skin like bald tires. In my city, Portland, Oregon alone it has been estimated that we presently have over 4,000 homeless individuals, which doesn’t include the down-and-out living in cardboard boxes under the bridges. We are not talking about the deceptive panhandlers either standing on the busy street corners, but rather human beings who are truly less-fortunate.
In only three days, I managed to collect over 50 birthday greeting cards from friends, neighbors, clerks at the grocery stores, our family’s doctor and dentist offices, anyone that I could ask at such short notice. Unexpectedly, an overnight express package arrived addressed to me from over 2000 miles away. Tucked inside was a deep sense of caring from a group of eight young women at my middle-daughter’s university. Included in their birthday cards and monetary donations for total strangers was an added special touch of thoughtfulness… each card signed individually with love from one of the eight girls listing their different home states.
I found that sharing blessings with the less fortunate can be contagious. Some people just seem to be born with a generous nature, while I believe others learn from example. Life blossoms when we are role models that help plant the seeds of showing love and compassion for others.
Please join us in celebrating our friend Connie Arnold’s writing successes. As you read each of the inspiring blog posts on her tour, don’t forget to leave comments in order to add your name in the running for two drawings on August 14. One prize will be for a free copy of Connie’s first book, Beautiful Moments of Joy and Peace, while the other is a $10 Amazon gift certificate. Also, there will be an additional drawing for a $25 Amazon gift certificate. Your name will be entered for this drawing when purchasing a signed copy of her newest book, Abundant Comfort and Grace, from her secure website http://www.conniearnold.webs.com If you choose to buy your copy from RPJ & Company and Amazon, just contact Connie with confirmation of your online purchase to have your name added to the drawing. Thank you!
Come follow me to the next blog on the tour Simply 4 God at http://simply4god.blogspot.com/