As I reflect on 2017, I am proud of myself. I’ve never been one to keep New Year resolutions for more than a month. I was one of those people that had eventually turned my nose up at the concept of New Years resolutions, because deep down, I knew I wouldn’t keep them, and I didn’t want to have something to feel guilty about. But last year, I made them anyway. It started with a decision to get healthy, as I’m sure most of you who know me or have been following my blog already know. But a few weeks into my health journey, I started feeling so good physically, that I had a mental shift as well.

I (subconsciously) started being more empathetic, positive, and uplifting toward others. I didn’t gossip about people every time I got together with friends. I didn’t rant about the injustices of life or how the world has gone to crap on social media anymore because honestly, what good is that doing anyone anyway? Instead, I chose to see the good in people. I chose to be kind. I promoted the things I loved on social media, like healthy living, family, and adoption, instead of the things I hated.

“Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.”

Now, being positive on social media, doesn’t mean I was being fake. Life is hard sometimes (a lot of times), so I still kept it real with my friends and followers… we had a miscarriage this year, and it was definitely not the best time of our lives. But I chose to see the light in the darkest of times, and I think that made all the difference. And I know it made all the difference for a lot of people who had also experienced miscarriage. How? Because they told me it did. Having that community and support system of people praying for us was incredible.

I believe this world, and particularly social media, could use a little more kindness. There’s so much negativity, darkness, and despair. As Christians, it is our duty to be a light in that darkness.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.”     – Matthew 5:16

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”    – John 1:5

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a Holy Nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light.”      – 1 Peter 2:9

So this year, I’d like to step it up a notch, and I hope you will join me.

I want to start a movement called #BeTheLight where people just simply make it a point to be more kind in 2018.

Here are some ways you can join us:

  • Write a note of encouragement to someone.
  • Leave positive and uplifting notes around your community (e.g. in a library book or menu, at the post office, on the cough medicine bottle at the pharmacy, etc. Be creative!)
  • Reply to texts – remember, annoying or not, there’s a real person behind that screen.
  • Show gratitude to someone.
  • Offer to help an elderly neighbor with chores.
  • Promote someone’s small business.
  • Give someone a meaningful gift.
  • Talk to the person sitting alone at social events.
  • Spread awareness about a cause you believe in.
  • Raise funds for that cause.
  • Pay for someone’s meal.
  • Offer to babysit for any struggling parents you know (for free, obviously).
  • Be patient with your waiter/waitress/cashier. Ask them how they are doing.
  • Volunteer your time.
  • Donate clothes to someone in need instead of selling them on Facebook (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
  • Be intentional about including people.
  • Offer compliments to strangers.
  • Send flowers to someone who’s having a hard time.
  • Tell people the good you see in them.
  • Give someone a copy of your favorite book.
  • Thank a soldier, police officer, firefighter, etc. for their service.
  • Make dinner for a busy family or sick friend.
  • Take a sweet treat to the teachers at your local schools.
  • Pick up trash and put it where it belongs.
  • Smile at people as you walk by.
  • Take an old friend to coffee.
  • Visit a nursing home resident (family, or not).
  • Donate to someone trying to go on a mission trip.
  • Fill up someone’s gas tank.
  • LOOK for ways to show kindness to people around you every single day!

Some of these things you may already be doing, but I encourage you to pick at least 3 ways to be intentionally kind this New Year. I can guarantee that if you stick with it, your 2018 will be the best year yet!