How Many Birds Can YOU Kill With One Stone?

How Many Birds Can YOU Kill With One Stone?

Where’s Hope?

A couple of weeks ago our backyard desperately needed to be raked. My husband and I, who like to walk every day, decided that our exercise would be to rake the fallen leaves, thus killing two birds with one stone.

Just before I got started raking, I noticed a Facebook post from a friend of ours who lives nearby.  Michelle is a young mother with five kids under the age of 12.  Her post simply read: “I need a break!” I quickly called Michelle with an idea: Walk all the kids over to our house and they can help us rake the leaves. In turn, they can reward themselves by jumping and playing in the big pile while Michelle could take a much-needed respite.

The family soon arrived and we all began to rake the leaves into a big pile. It wasn’t long before Carson (3) and Hope (6) were buried in the pile by their older siblings. Leaves were raining down everywhere, wedging into the hair, eyes and mouths of the little ones while they kept laughing.

After pulverizing the pile of brittle leaves, the kids went on to rope jumping, getting along remarkably well. The three older kids even helped their younger, blind sister learn how to jump rope.

Our one activity of raking the leaves blossomed into many fun-filled and rewarding accomplishments:

* The yard was successfully cleaned up.

* Everyone benefited from the exercise.

* The children were filled with high spirits as they experienced the teamwork of working and playing together.

* We all enjoyed that youthful energy and laughter that only children can so generously and selflessly provide.

* Michelle, who opted to stay for these activities, turned her exhaustion into vitality after witnessing the jubilation of her children at play.

“Here I Am!”

Oh, and did I mention how much fun was had by all? You see, my original goal was to relieve Michelle’s pressures of having to take care of her husband, kids, dogs, household chores, work and studies. I thought Michelle would take this time for herself to unwind. Instead, she opted to stay with her children and partake in a whole new world of circumstances that varied from the habitual patterns family members tend to fall into. For Michelle that evening, the ordinary had become the sacred.

I felt a little guilty about sending Michelle home with her five kids dirtier than when they came, but Michelle didn’t mind one bit. It is sometimes the simplest moments that leave the most profound imprints on a mother’s heart.

I set out to kill two birds with one stone. By reaching out to help someone else, I inevitably accomplished so much more. What a good feeling!


About the Author

Sharon Lape is an editorial assistant in the periodicals department at Franciscan Media. She also researches and provides content for the popular Minute Meditations feature. Sharon is a wife and a mother of four children.
  • Kathy Wandstrat

    Thanks Sharon! Great article about my daughter and her children! It’s all those little things that we Mom’s cherish in our hearts forever! Thank you for offering to give Michelle a break, but instead reminding her and the rest of us what a blessing we have in our families!

  • Leah M. Hartlaub

    Sharon, this blog is well-written and simultaneously heart-tugging. I like your writing style. Such a simple activity turned into a brief, inspirational tool in your creative hands. Thank you for sharing!

  • sandy digman


    Nice of you to offer to help your friend. Doing nice things for others always comes back to us, doesn’t it? I loved the lesson here.

  • Linda


    Such a great inspiration! We are truly blessed to have you. Some day these children will look back on this day and see the People of God in their lives and you will be top of the list!

    Love you!

  • Mariann

    What a wonderful and inspiring story!

  • Mary Carol Kendzia

    Sometimes all a mother needs is to have someone else be in charge for a while. This is a lovely story.

  • Judy

    Great story. I could have used your special loving touch when my kids were little!! Great story.

  • http://nothin' Jimguy

    Hi Sharon!! it’s an ordinary experience that could give fire to us readers!! One thing that catch my attention is,”.. kill the birds…” maybe you know that this saying is coming from a hunter/cowboy’s mentality. this mentality is not environmental friendly and advocating that killing wild animals is just a fun.

    • Greasedchickenman

      Jimguy,Hmm,you seem to be taking things out of context.How is a hunter/cowboy mentality not “enviromentol friendly”? What do u mean by that? How does a hunter hurt the enviroment? She never said kill the birds nor is, she avocating killing birds.In your twisted way of comprehending a term used to “muti-task” or do two things at one time.Folks like you just sit and wait for things to complain about and then hang that enviroment tag on everything.There is nothing wrong with the enviroment.The air is actually cleaner than it ever has been thanks to all them millions of dollars spent on the E.P.A.(if thats what you meant) Actually your comment makes no sense.I am a hunter I harvest animals,I find no pleasure in killing them.But if I am lucky enough to harvest an animal I thank God right then say a prayer of thanksgiving for providing food for my family.I do NOT hurt the enviroment in anyway.I pray to God that he may educate you and your ignorance to the “enviromentol freindly” term

  • Monna

    Great inspiring story Shar.

  • lisa younger

    I really enjoyed this article!! It was well written and brought to light for me that a lot of times in our daily life it is the little things that we take for granted and i’m sure those cute little kids will never forget the fun that they had!! thanks

  • Janice

    I thought this article was really great! You are a great writer. And your meaning of enjoying the simple things in life should be well understood.

    As for JimGuy complaining about kiling birds – it has nothing to do with hunting — This idiom dates from the 1600s, and was initially used to describe a philosopher’s attempt to prove two arguments with a single solution. The implication was that killing two birds with one stone is extremely challenging and unlikely, and that the philosopher’s attempt should be viewed with suspicion.

    Further God has never said anything in the Bible against hunting which appears to be his issue. Actually the Bird of the air are provided for food … Genesis 9:1-3 says: “Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. The fear and dread of you will fall upon all of the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, now I give you everything.”

    • sharonl

      Janice, I couldn’t have said it better myself! Thanks for the post!

      • sharonl

        Thanks, everyone, for your kind replies. Please keep this family in your prayers as they currently have a family member in hospice. Thanks!!

  • Greg H

    Inspirational story for all us to realize the everyday things in our lives can be an opportunity to help others. Thanks Sharon. Nothing wrong with the idiom about the birds. And anyone who would write this type of article doesn’t have a cowboy mentality.

  • Tammy G

    What a wonderful story! It’s amazing how the simple things in life can really be the most memorable and you captured that moment with this story.

    What a great friend and neighbor! Wish there were more people out there like you.

  • Michelle

    Great story Sharon, and it really was a good day :) Glad you were there to help me de-stress, as for Jimguy or whatever his name is…REALLY?

  • Debbie

    Great idea! I agree, a lot was accomplished from a simple loving deed!

  • Nyounger

    A nice reminder that we mothers need to take time to appreciate what we have rather than get upset because things aren’t perfect.

  • Sr-mary-d

    Another example of God’s grace working in and through you because you have responded “Yes”.
    Like St. Francis “make me an instrument of your peace”. I am very proud of you. Sr. Mary