August 15, 2011

Palms up.

Once there were two little froggies

I turned my hands, palms upward, and said help me give today. I was in the shower trying to wake myself up and clean off the busy. We had one day left with the vehicle we'd used for our roadtrip and I wanted to do something good with it like their mission with Hometown Heroes.

But in all honesty I was failing miserably. My best attempt earlier in the week: being too exhausted to even plan a play/coffee date, I drove to a friend's house, slipped a book and Starbucks card in her door, and was off. Hoping it was enough. And vowing to do that more often, instead of nothing.

I ended up taking the kids to the zoo on this final day, which was probably selfish encouragement on my part. It's what I needed. The drive was breathtaking. The kids led the way, zigzagging from animal to bird off our normal course. We sat on a bench to eat our popcorn and snow cones and a lady came right up to me and asked me for a dollar. My opportunity to give, so I reached in my purse and handed her one. (Then she came back a few moments later and asked for another, and I said no. And I felt both annoyed and guilty. If I could go back in time I would have given her all I had. I feel like that was what I should have done.)

Palms up.

The past few days have had me groggy and tangled in my puppet strings. It's like at the beginning of summer I set out all the plans and to-dos and then wound myself, nudged off into the motions, but my heart has had a heck of a time keeping up.

During our river cabin stay, Gray was on constant search of these little frogs that were all around us. These tiny little woodland creatures. We emptied the box from our plastic forks and he made a home. One escaped under the deck when not in careful grasp, and the other kept playing dead until he wasn't playing any longer.

Gray was heartbroken to say the least, as five year olds do, and so we made a big deal about it, too, as if he'd lost someone very close to him. He decided on a quiet burial at sea, and shed real funeral tears. I hugged him and let him cry.

and then there were none

So, as I'm trying to be more intentional with my encouragement and do-gooding every day (and finding that it's not easy in this already not-easy life) it doesn't mean I won't keep trying. Most days it will be in the form of a smile to a stranger, an email, a hug while you just cry or maybe a text or a comment on Facebook. Other times I will hopefully sit myself down and handwrite it out and take a walk to the mailbox.

And some days I'll be the one receiving- 

Palms up.

-this time to catch, instead of release.

Hallmark has never asked me to do product placement here but I personally wanted to mention that I take comfort in having a stack of cards, stamps, and a pen in a designated spot on hand, because if I have to make a special trip it's probably not going to happen. Even better are the pre-paid postage cards. Win win.

Go forth and encourage!

Hallmark is compensating me for this sponsored post, but let me write about anything I wanted in the theme of encouragement. It would be awesome if you'd sign up for their promotional emails (you might even see me in there!) by following this link. I am partnering with Hallmark to shine a light to the Life Is A Special Occasion  blogger campaign for the rest of this year. As always, all content and opinions expressed are my own.


  1. Awww... cute baby frogs. I'm sure he was truly devastated.

    We like to take our free passes that come with our yearly membership and find a family that is walking into Brookfield, and pass them out. The kids get a HUGE kick out of it and it saves a family about $50.

    Good luck on your intentional giving mission. You'll find tons of little ways to help others; I know it.

  2. This "palms up" sort of living has been my desire lately, as well. So much easier said than done. It's our nature to hold back. To look out for #1. But Jesus calls us to so much more. And when it's all said and done, I want to be found faithful.

    Thank you for this extra bit of encouragement on this TOO EARLY of a Monday morning : - )

  3. I follow the lead of St. Therese as often as I can remember: SEE THE FACE OF GOD IN THE PEOPLE AND EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE.

    Sometimes... when you need it most... it's that simple. xo

  4. I think you are just wonderful. You care so much, you try so much, you do so much. For so many. Love, love, love to you. Hope you receive that. xo

  5. So many times, you just make my day something special. I sat down here feeling kinda of blah, but now I feel a new stirring deep inside. Now it's my turn to do something good for someone else...palms up! Love you Steph! Thank you.

  6. I'd never heard the term "palms up" before and although I figured it out from the context of the post, I was curious about it. I did a quick search and read a post on the blog Becoming Minimalist ( about it. What a wonderful idea. I try to pay it forward as much as I can, but the palms up phrase fits better. It's not about giving in response to something you've received. It's about giving because. Just because. You've written about it just beautifully. - Jen

  7. Some days all you can do is turn your palms up tothe sky and try to keep your head above water. You give more than most people I know, so don't ever feel guilty for the days you can't give.

  8. I love this. Palms Up living, this is such a perfect way to describe it.

    You encouraged me to reach out and help this morning instead of assuming someone else would do it.

    Thanks love.

  9. this was the encouragement i needed today to get some things packaged up and put in the mailbox. not that i'm bragging b/c i could and should be doing more. so maybe i'll come back and read this post tomorrow? ;)

  10. My oldest(almost 7) just found out this afternoon that his best friend is moving. Big ol' crocodile tears. Breaks my heart.

  11. i love that second photo. so sweet.

  12. LOVE this.... and I'm excited for your teaming up with Hallmark :) Nice work mama!

  13. Literally, chills up and down my arms. Your words always lead me down paths that seem so new until we get to the end and I look back and realize I've been here before.

    Also? Check your block for today because this post was an encouragement--a reminder--for me, of all the little ways to lift up.

  14. You are perfect to represent Hallmark....

    Thank you for the encouragement! Palms up!

  15. So sweet, thank you for the tender heart you share. Palms up is how I pray, so this was a great reminder. I often pray with the girls at brekkie, "Help us to be a blessing in someone's life today." and I think ol Padnah does!


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