Mother Nature got a little confused this week but I do think that Spring is here since my eyes haven't stopped watering and everything outside has a nice film of green covering it. The rain did save me from rinsing off the car so I could see out the back window, so all is good.

With that being said, and speaking of things that are good, my bucket of good is overflowing this week.

Giving to others is a natural course of the day but when the tables turn and I'm in need I feel a little awkward to be on the receiving end. My family participated in a Walk to Defeat ALS. We were walking in Memory of their father who was diagnosed in August of this last year and lost his battle in December. This has been really hard on all of us, but for me, seeing how many people this disease has touched was a bit overwhelming. I just lost it. Seeing my children and grandchildren walking in memory of their Father and Papa just hit me so hard. Seeing those that were there who were battling this terrible disease and their families and friends there to support them was very powerful. So little is known about this disease but to see so many come out to support the cause, walk, high five each other and find the courage to smile was overwhelming. I needed to cry, to have someone listen to me and help me find my smile. I received that and so much more later that day.

On my way home I performed a wedding and this got me thinking in the right direction. Lots of great hugs, a shoulder to cry on, some loving text messages and being with friends and family turned that sadness into hope and smiles again. My night was filled with friends who had their own sadness they were dealing with and the one thing that brought it all out for each of us was just listening to one other.

There is a big difference between hearing and listening.

“Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals,” L.J. Isham.

Many times we don't really listen with the intent to understand what someone is saying but rather we are forming what our reply is going to be, how we are going to add to the conversation. Listening is a true art that requires us to put that person first, before ourselves and our desire to be heard. I received that, gave that to others and in the end lots of hugs were exchanged, a few more tears were shed but love flourished.

“The Best things in life are free: hugs, smiles, friends, kisses, family, sleep, love, laughter and good memories,” Unknown.

Your Kindness Challenge for the week: Do at least one of each of these “free” things that make your life the best it can be. Give hugs, smiles, kisses, love and laughter freely and lots of it, let your family and friends know how much they mean to you, sleep in and make plenty of good memories to be reflected on later when you need to turn a frown around and bring the smile back.

The trees are in full bloom, the waterfalls running and the birds are singing so if you'd like to book a stay, or pay us a visit, give us a call. If you have a heartwarming story, a thought or word of inspiration, or if you would like more information on how you can make a difference in your community by giving to seniors call, 501-253-4716, email, text or message me on Facebook through The Dirty Farmers Community Market.