This has been one of the most powerful “things” I have ever done as a wife, mom and friend. Have you ever had a thought or a really “cool idea” that just seems to pop out of your “think tank”?   Sometimes it goes out into the abyss of nothingness, never to return or you actually capture it, tame it and hammer it into something tangible?  Well, ” 10 Nice Things” has become that “tangible” for me and many others; especially for my family.

Being the mom of four children, all two to three years apart, birthdays came often in our house; six a year to be exact including the parents. A wiser, older grandmother once said to me, “Jacqui, treat their birthdays as if it were a national holiday”.  I thought on that and I bought in. Birthdays can be a very special time, or a very difficult time for some parents who have suffered loss or disapointment. Birthing or adopting a child is nothing short of something absolutely miraculous and life changing.

The longer we journey on this earth and build a life, the closer we come to the end. Each year every “birth” day signifies something very relevant to many people and a bench mark to that journey. We buy a cake, open presents, sing, clap, blow out candles and cry (at least some of us). I find behavior at birthdays similar to that at funerals. We gather, we sing, we fold our hands and we cry (at least some of us). But one thing we seem to do different at funerals is we talk about that person. We honor them, we tell all about the good things but we don’t get to see their reaction to what we have to say. For most of us, we never get to tell them all the things we would like to say to them while they were alive. We assume they know, or we just never have an appropriate opportunity to “love on them” without it being really awkward or out of step. I mean, when do you intentionally “tell” them what they really mean to you?

Thus, comes the invention of you guessed it, “10 Nice Things”. It has a day, a time and rules. Yes, rules! You cannot do  “10 Nice Things” without playing by the rules. I give you my word, it will change the atmosphere of your home, your family’s relationships with one another, and what you thought you really, really knew. It is revelatory, emotional, somewhat uncomfortable and awkward, but oh so healing and POWERFUL! Words my friend, are oh so powerful! That’s what this truly is; the power of your words being downloaded into someone’s soul from your soul. That’s called “soul to soul”.


So, are you ready for how this whole thing actually looks? Okay, so here goes. . . Rule #1. The person being honored cannot speak the entire time ( we started with just birthdays, but my daughter recently did this at a baby shower and we did this at Father’s day). You choose the occasion. Rule #2. You reinforce Rule #1 no matter how antsy they get! Rule #3. Have a leader explain the rules and reinforce them! (Please don’t cheat and it’s important to encourage people to elaborate on the person being honored). This is where it gets real good! Trust me! Rule #4. Each person says “10 Nice Things” about the person being honored. For example, ” I love how you always think of others first” etc. What usually happens is people end up just putting “10 Nice Things” into a beautiful paraphrase of how they love/like that person.   Everyone usually just ends up in a big, bally, crying mess and we all laugh at how sappy we are in-between our tears. (Especially my one and only son, the biggest sap of all!) Crack me up! Rule #5. Let the honored person finally speak after everyone has shared; give them lots of time and if you have not cried by now, I promise you will. I just figure, hey why wait till we die to love one another in the moment we have – a tangible moment. Let’s take it, hammer it, hold it and give it!   “10 Nice Things” baby!!   The world needs more of this. I dare you! P.S. Let me know how it goes and tell me if you cry- and tell me true!  By the way….#1. I think you are a unique and beautiful one of a kind creation and there’s no one else just like you!  #2…  this one is on you…. all the way to 10! I bet you cry!!

– Jacqui

The Farmhouse Movement Team



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