Sometimes I can't believe how amazing people are.
We are total strangers.
That dont feel like strangers.
We are friends from a far.
Everytime I see her little square pictures pop up in my Instagram feed, I feel like I am getting filled in on the happenings of an old friend, so I hurriedly go to look at what pretty and inspiring things sweet Nicole is sharing with the world today.
(Check out her fashion filled, faith based, inspiring feed by searching for her on Instagram @THEMRSCJM)
In all actuality though, we have never heard each others voice or shared a heart to heart over a coffee.
To me, it is completely possible for friendship to flourish on line, since we do live in a day and age where 35% of married people have met on line.
If you know me, then you know that Instagram is my favorite social outlet. I go there to get inspired, to ask advice, to share my life and to hear a resounding "Yes! ME TOO!" when I share my hurdles and triumphs with the amazing community of women there.
I still would have never guessed that the positive initiative I shared here, first, would travel to another country and end up coming full circle, in a package on my door step.
I had no idea, but I am so humbled.
When I began #theporchproject it was simply an initiative to inspire others to love in a more tangible way. A way for a friend to write a quick thank you note and leave it on another friend's front door step and then rush away without having to explain the drive and dash.
I thought it would be a lovely and easy way to introduce snail mail and hand written letters and all the lovely things that all of us twenty something, thirty something, forty something and beyond, grew up loving. It was a way for us to love without expecting anything in return. No invite in for coffee or having to deal with that awkward moment when you catch a friend in her thread bare pajamas at 2pm in the afternoon, with cheerios stuck in her hair, baby vomit all over her shoulder, and a glass of wine poured early and grasped in her hand.
(do NOT stop by without announcement on a Saturday off friends.)#youvebeenwarned
I would have never imagined that a woman, that I have never met before, would send me a package wrapped up so sweetly, with a card full of encouragement and with hand picked loot added in for my kids.
I could never imagine that kind of selfless sweetness from one essential stranger-friend to another.
But now I wonder why I didn't set my hopes and dreams for this project bigger too.
I mean, you ladies who leave comments, who write emails, who encourage, who share, you are part of the good that is in some places, missing in this world.
I said it before, and I will say it again, "This world needs less critics. This world and the people in it need a cheering section."
I often wonder what it would have been like to live in a day when women lived in small towns , and essentially in communities together, when they shared resources and remedies, and when they cared for each others babies, when it literally took a village. I often dreamily wonder about that era.
But guys, I dont think I need to wonder anymore.
This village of givers and encouragers is something that is so precious and is hear before us if we want to be a part of it.
I rarely cry out of pure joy, but I did today.
As I slowly unwrapped heart dotted tissue paper, that was creased so perfectly from hundreds of miles away, and with so much care, when I read the far away address on the package and when I tentatively lifted out items picked out specifically to make my children grin ear to ear.
Today, on LOVE day, I got to tell my children again about kindness. About giving back. We got to relive the moments in our memory, of the times when they excitedly ran up to a porch, knocked on the door of a friend, left a note or a package and ran back to the car, barely making it back, due to the happy giggle fits. Today I got to tell my children about giving back and today I got to see that giving come right back to them.
Just like I promised them it would happen.
Today a stranger-friend taught my babies an invaluable lesson on throwing kindness around like confetti.
Because, "Guess what?" I told them "When you throw kindness around like confetti, when you're celebrating others with your actions, bits of it will always fall back down on you."
I cant wait to share more stories about The Porch Project with you. If you want to see how it is already brightening peoples days you can search #theporchproject on social media. If you are wondering still about what The Porch Project is, and want to know the details behind it, you can catch up by reading the posts below.