40Acts 2015: Act N°4: Devise A Surprise

I think I’m ahead of the game on this one!

Most people love surprises (of the nice variety!) so plan a generosity ambush for someone today.

Quick response: Make ’em smile: It doesn’t take much to make someone feel special. A treat through their letterbox or on their desk, or an unexpected compliment, can go a long way. 

Mid-range: Do the unexpected: If you don’t normally cook, surprise your friends or family with a meal.  Don’t forget acquaintances or strangers.  Give out flowers on the bus or pay for someone else’s parking. 

Push yourself: Go crazy: Your imagination is the limit. You might write someone a note of encouragement every day for a week, send them on a treasure hunt, take them out for an unexpected treat or even throw them a party ‘just because’. This is the day to go all out, no reasons required

Last year, one of the Acts that really resonated with me was the one about (as I called it) Ninja Notes Leaving notes (and occasionally 5€ notes) for people to find…usually tucked in shopping trolleys which are chained up waiting for the next customer. I have, from time to time, done this during the year – I usually get to Lidl and think “Rats, I could have brought some cards!” but sometimes I’m organised enough to remember them before I leave the house. Of course, with 40 Acts being on my mind, I remembered and took about 10 out with me. With messages on the envelope saying “Si tu l’as trouvé c’est pour toi” (If you found this then it is for you) ou “Pour toi, car tu es magnifique” (For you because you are wonderful) I left them in public toilets, on top of litter bins, and on benches, as well as in shopping trolleys. I don’t hang around to see if anyone finds them, trusting God will get the right person to it, but yesterday I saw someone notice one of the envelopes, and look around – with a smile – to see if anyone was looking as they picked it up. So I have already given someone a nice (I hope!) surprise.

I bought some blank postcards yesterday and this morning spent a happy hour with my craft supplies, sticking things onto them and writing more encouraging messages:


I now have 20 more cards to drop off during my next visit to Roanne – or maybe I can drop some off around St Just too.

I have cooked a kind of cottage pie for our friends who get back from holiday today. I know A isn’t a keen cook, and so it might be nice for her to find that she doesn’t need to cook tonight. Mind you, it went against the grain not to use onions, mushrooms or garlic in the meat mixture (the kids don’t like these things!!) – I never cook without at least two of those ingredients! (Unless, I hasten to add, I’m making a cake!)

I also have to go across to Monique and Michel with a bunch of flowers and an invitation to dinner – a carry over from Act N°2. That will probably count as a nice surprise too.

And how 40 Acts alters one’s outlook:

I was driving to Roanne yesterday – in a bit of a rush, because, while I wasn’t late I wasn’t exactly on time for my appointment – when I saw, on a well used side road, that has a steep up gradient on it on a nearly blind bend, that part of someone’s wood supply had obviously dropped off the back of a trailer as they were going up the hill.

“That could be a bit nasty if you met that coming round the blind bend..” I mused, and carried on driving. By the time I’d got 500 metres up the road, my mind was nagging me so much that I had to go back to pick up the logs and put them at the side of the road. Sigh… I didn’t know God could be such a nag! (that is said with a wry smile, by the way – not to be taken too seriously!)




2 thoughts on “40Acts 2015: Act N°4: Devise A Surprise

  1. Great to read about the different things people are doing. I know what you mean about this changing attitudes…each day’s task carries over to way beyond the day and keeps you thinking with a different focus. Hope you can keep up the momentum.

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