Small Acts of Kindness: Wedding Roses

By Sarah Van Diest

It was my wedding, well, it was my second wedding. I never dreamt I would have been divorced, much less get married a second time, but here I was, and ever so thankful to be here after such a long and difficult road.

I was nervous. And though I had an idea about how I wanted things to go, I didn’t have a solid handle on how to pull it off. I called in some friends to help make it happen. One did my hair. One did the food. One did the flowers. It was simple and it was perfect.

The wedding we planned was very small. Only family and a few friends were invited. Our pastor’s house served as our wedding venue. We had cheesecake and punch, the music was one guy with a guitar, and the kids played out in the backyard. It was cozy and sweet. I wouldn’t change a thing.

After our small ceremony, my wonderful groom took me off for our honeymoon and to the start of our new lives together. We left our five boys with various family member and went away for a week of learning to be us.

The boys were really the only thing I thought about back home.

But one of my sweet friends thought of something else. After the wedding, she grabbed my bouquet of red roses and dried them, preserving them beautifully for me. When we returned home from our honeymoon, she came over to deliver the bouquet. It was such a sweet surprise!

I had no idea how much that gesture would mean to me, but when she handed them to me, I cried. I’m still not exactly sure what the tears meant, but I think it was all things combined together: a second marriage, a blended family, a new start, and the knowledge of dear friends to support and cheer us on.

I still have those roses, 13 years later. I keep them as a reminder of that day and of my thoughtful friends and all they did to help make that day so special. They remind me that tiny gestures of kindness can be enormously impactful. They encourage me to be thoughtful of others. And they tell me that the kindness doesn’t have to be huge to be meaningful.

Click to tweet: Small acts of kindness. Kindness doesn’t have to be huge to be meaningful. #kindnessmatters #amreading

Sarah Van Diest is a writer and editor. She’s the mother of two boys, stepmother to three more, and wife to David. Sarah wrote this book as letters to a dear friend whose life was turning upside down. She’s done this for years for numerous friends and will continue to, Lord willing. It’s her gift to them. It’s hope written down.

God in the Dark

When you are in the dark places of your life, Sarah Van Diest offers a companion for the path you are walking. You will find a voice of comfort and truth to call you back to the light, to help you see that you are never alone, never too far gone, and never unloved. This collection of 31 devotions doesn’t minimize the reality of your struggles, but rather points you to where God is—walking right alongside you. Receive this hope in the pain, God in the Dark.

Roses For No Reason

Half a Dozen Red Roses

Photo courtesy of pixabay

By Ellen Andersen

It was an ordinary day at work. I’d been in and out of patients’ rooms, developing discharge plans for them when they left the hospital and returned home. In the middle of the day, someone came to the office and asked for me. When I answered, he came in with a bouquet of half a dozen red roses.


Shocked, I wondered what they were for. The card attached said they were from my boyfriend, Doug. It wasn’t Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t my birthday. It wasn’t an anniversary. Why in the world would he send me roses? I had no idea, and the card didn’t provide any clue either. It just said, Hi Ellen. Hope you’re having a good day. Love, Doug.

Doug was romantic, but he didn’t have a lot of money. I couldn’t figure out why he would just decide to send me roses. We’d been dating for about six months or so, but this was a lot.

“Wow! Is it your birthday?”

“No, I have no idea why he sent them.”

“Really? Is it your anniversary?”

“No. I really don’t know why he gave them to me.”

My husband’s never sent me roses”, my supervisor said. “You must be really special to him”

“I guess so…” I said, still puzzled.

The next time we saw each other, Doug asked me if I’d gotten them.

“Yes, I did. What made you do that?”

“I was just thinking about you and wanted to let you know”, he said.

“Wow. Thanks “I said. “That was really nice. It made me feel special. Everybody at work asked me why you’d sent them and I couldn’t tell them. It was funny because they didn’t believe me.” He just smiled.

It’s been nearly 20 years and I still have no idea why Doug sent flowers that day. But I think I’ll always remember it. It brightened my day and told me how much I meant to him.

Click to tweet: Small acts of kindess: Roses For No Reason by Ellen Andersen. #kindnessmatters #ValentinesDay

A Small Act of Birthday Kindness

By Mary L. Hamilton Alt. headshot

Most of my adult life, I’ve lived a thousand miles away from my family of origin. I’ve missed family Christmases and Thanksgivings, not to mention birthdays, graduations and even a wedding or two. But physical distance doesn’t always equate to emotional distance. I count my brothers and sisters as my closest friends. I know I can count on them, whether I need a good belly laugh or a gut-wrenching cry.

A few years ago (I won’t tell you how many), I answered the door to find a floral delivery just for me. I accepted it with great excitement, though I wondered about the faint odor of paint as I carried them into the kitchen. It didn’t take long to figure out the source of the smell. I unwrapped the flowers—a dozen long-stemmed black roses in honor of my 50th birthday. The attached card held a greeting from my brothers and sisters.

rosesThe next day, another floral delivery arrived—a pretty little arrangement in a vase, along with another card from my siblings. Every day for five days, I received a gift of flowers. Five days of flowers with five birthday greetings from my five siblings, celebrating my five decades of life.

The flowers are long gone, but the memory is still fresh of the way my brothers and sisters made me feel loved and special even from a thousand miles away.

Along with her five siblings, Mary L. Hamilton grew up at a camp in Wisconsin much like the setting for her Rustic Knoll Bible Camp series (ages 10 and up). Though her feet have been in Texas for most of the last forty years, a part of her heart still remains in the Midwest.

When not writing, Mary enjoys knitting, reading and being outdoors. She and her husband have three grown children and a rescued Golden Retriever.

SNEmodifiedcoverSpeak No Evil, Book 2 in the Rustic Knoll Bible Camp Series

Taylor Dixon knew having his younger sister at camp would be a pain, but he never expected the pain to go so deep.

At 15, Taylor dreams of getting his driver’s license and driving race cars when he’s older. But Dad won’t let him get his license unless he stays out of trouble, convinced Taylor’s heading for the same jail cell as his once-favored older brother. Only his younger sister, Marissa, believes in his dreams, but her adventurous spirit keeps landing him in trouble.

At Rustic Knoll Bible Camp, Taylor expects the usual softball, swimming and sermons. Then he discovers a classic Mustang in the camp’s machine shed, and the owner’s invitation to help restore it fuels his dream of driving race cars. But when Marissa falls for his snobbish cabin mate, the ensuing war of words and pranks escalates until it threatens to destroy both the car and Taylor’s dreams for the future.

Will he end up fulfilling Dad’s prediction?

Or will the message of the old Mustang’s engine set him free from the prison he’s built himself? 


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Kind Hearts, Blessed Souls and Beautiful Roses

Autumn 2014By Alexis A. Goring

May 23 is my birthday and this year, I decided to celebrate it with my dear friends from church. So I planned a dinner at one of my favorite restaurants and showed up early because I was excited to attend my own birthday celebration and spend time with my friends.

There were three wonderful surprises that touched my heart during this celebration. The first surprise happened on the evening before my birthday when my Mom surprised me with beautiful and unique roses that were each a rainbow of brilliant, soft and vibrant colors.

My MOM's unique and beautiful rose giftThe second surprise happened on the evening of May 23 when my friends showed up to the restaurant with a beautiful bouquet of roses mixed in colors of red, white, yellow and pink as a “Happy birthday” gift for me.

I was not expecting “happy birthday” flowers from anyone so this made my day and reminded me that I am loved by family and friends.favorite roses

Another sweet surprise on the night of my birthday dinner celebration was when one of my friends who was really busy that night still found time to show up to my birthday dinner and celebrate with me and our friends.

The blessing toward the end of the evening was when one of my friends paid my bill. I was fully prepared to pay my bill and after dinner asked our waitress for separate checks. She returned with four bills. I accepted mine but before I could read the bill, one of my friends gently and quickly swiped it away from me with a smile on her face. She then reached into her purse, retrieved her credit card and paid both of our bills!

My friends were kind enough to help me carry the gifts and flowers and my take-home dessert to my car before we parted ways.

The acts of kindness from my friends on that night truly made my birthday special. The beautiful multicolored roses from my Mom made my birthday unique and wonderful. Ultimately, these small yet oh so significant acts of kindness blessed my heart, I think it was God’s way of working through loved ones to remind me of my true value and for that, I am forever grateful.

Alexis A. Goring is a writer at heart and a journalist by profession. She loves the art of storytelling and is especially delighted to have released her first book, an inspirational romance novella called Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories, in Sept. 2013. When Alexis is not working on her next book or chasing down the next big story for the newspaper where she works as a freelance reporter, she can be found listening to songs by her most admired musicians, enjoying the food in cafes/restaurants, shopping at her favorite malls and spending quality time with loved ones (family and friends).


Media imageHope in My Heart is a collection of short, heartwarming stories with characters in need of hope.

In “Love Unexpected,” a car crash brings commitment-wary Sebastian and career woman Chandra together. Neither is looking for romance, but those around them see the potential, and Sebastian and Chandra discover that sometimes love shows up unexpectedly.

Christmastime is the setting for the middle story, “The Best Gift.” Christina desires to lose ten pounds so she can fit into her dress for her sister’s wedding. Jordan wishes her mom would stop trying to marry her off. And Joshua hopes to be reunited with his ex-girlfriend but eventually learns that the best gift this Christmas will be the restoration of his relationship with God.

In “Peace and Love,” three characters living in a metropolitan area are desperately searching. Elle, a starving artist, aspires to become a paid professional. Eric, a divorce attorney, wants to resolve his issues concerning his parents’ divorce. Kristine anticipates finding her birth mom before she marries Derek. All characters pray their searches will conclude this holiday season and fill their hearts with peace and love.

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