GIVEAWAY: Listen, Love, Repeat

Gwen Smith Blog, Giveaways 101 Comments


I’m super excited because it’s my FRIEND FEATURE and GIVEAWAY DAY!! Today I’m honored to introduce you to my friend, KAREN EHMAN. I’ve adored Karen (and her sweet daughter, Kenna) for years and I just know you will too! This story, which is an excerpt from her new book, LISTEN, LOVE, REPEAT, Other-Centered Living In A Self-Centered World, is going to melt your heart and send you searching for somebody to love on. It’s a great read and a great heart directive.

Now, sit back and enjoy this wonderful story as told by Karen…


Mr. Brown was our mailman. But he wasn’t your average, run-of-the-mill postal worker. Mr. Brown delivered more than just the commonplace letters, bills, and packages each day. He delivered smiles and encouragement to those along his route. He didn’t see each house on his course as merely a destination to drop letters. He saw the people who lived inside the brick-and-mortar homes. Never too busy to chat for a few minutes with a lonely widow, or to ask a youngster about his upcoming Little League game, Mr. Brown got to know the folks along his route. Our kids couldn’t wait to surprise him one afternoon when he brought us our daily mail.

In order to prepare for Mr. Brown Day, we took our children to the local dollar store and told them to let their imaginations run wild dreaming up gifts for Mr. Brown’s goody bag. So they purchased a squirt gun for him to use to ward off the neighborhood dogs. They grabbed a few candy bars (truthfully, their favorites, not necessarily his!). They bought a few other trinkets and then asked if we could purchase a gift certificate to a local restaurant so he could take Mrs. Brown out for a “fancy dinner.”

Apparently they felt our neighborhood Dairy Queen served a good supper, and so we stopped there to snag a gift card for him and the Missus. We baked cookies and made some fresh-squeezed lemonade. We also purchased some party blowers and confetti to use on the big day. Then, when the day came—a random Tuesday—we hid inside our front door and waited.

Just like clockwork, he rounded the corner that sunny spring afternoon. (Well, maybe not like clock-work. Mr. Brown’s uncanny ability to converse with the people along his route did have a downside. Sometimes he got behind schedule from all the chitchat!) My pre-school son, Mitchell, was our lookout scout. When he saw Mr. Brown coming down our maple-lined street, he whispered excitedly, “Here he comes!”

We continued to crouch down underneath our picture window. Our old wooden door was open and just our screen door stood between us and our favorite mailman. Just as he stepped up on the porch, we flung open the door, blew our party honkers, and tossed confetti in the air.

“Surprise!” we shouted. “It’s Mr. Brown, best mailman in town! Today is officially Mr. Brown Day!”

To say he was surprised would be a gross understatement. He immediately wanted to know what all the ruckus was about. I sat and watched as my sweet children explained to him what they had in their treat basket for him. He chuckled at the squirt gun they’d chosen. He raved about the gift certificate to Dairy Queen and assured them that Mrs. Brown would think that was a luxurious treat and would wear her fanciest dress to the outing. He snacked on a cookie and sipped the lemonade. And then, the moment came. He asked them what in the world ever prompted them to create this new holiday just for him.

My daughter Kenna, a kindergartner that year, told him we had been studying in the Bible about not just saying we love people but really showing them. And she and Mitchell had chosen him!

Mr. Brown smiled, gave each child a hug, and patted baby Spencer’s head. Then he went on his way but with an added spring in his step. I didn’t really think much more about our front porch shower of love until about a week later.

I was out front, once again trying to clean off all the little fingerprints on our living room picture window, when I heard the familiar sound of Mr. Brown’s feet coming up my front walkway. I turned around and greeted him. His response made my heart swell with joy.

It was a sunny day and he was wearing sunglasses. He slowly removed them, shook his head from side to side, and declared, “I have to tell you. I’m still not over Mr. Brown Day.” And then he said something I could not believe. His voice cracking, he continued, “You know, I have been a mailman on this route, delivering mail on this exact street, for thirty-three years, and no one has ever done anything like what your family did for me. Sure, people remember me at Christmas. But no one has ever reached out to me on a random Tuesday afternoon to say that they appreciate what I do.” Visibly choked up, he concluded, “Thank you for Mr. Brown Day.”


Hurray! Hurray! A Giveaway!!
Congratulations to our giveaway winner, Ellen Nolan!

To qualify for the drawing, you need to do TWO things:


#2. SHARE THIS POST on social media.

That’s it! Once you do both, your name will be entered into the random drawing. Be sure to tell your friends so they can sign up too. The drawing will take place on Monday, April 24th, so don’t delay! {Contest is limited to US and Canada readers only.}


Karen Ehman is a New York Times bestselling author, Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker, and writer for Encouragement for Today an online devotional that reaches over 4 million women daily. Her latest book Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World, is full of ideas for scattering kindness to family, friends, strangers, and the “necessary people” who help you get life done. A wife and mom of three, she resides in central Michigan where she enjoys cheering for the Detroit Tigers and processing life with the many teens that gather around her kitchen island. Connect with her at where she helps women to live their priorities and love their lives.


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Comments 101

  1. Great reminder to not overlook the everyday people in our lives! Showing gratitude for them just being who they are is sharing God’s love. Thank you!

  2. This story truly touched my heart. My father Randy, is also “Mr.Brown”. Yesterday evening my Dad was very ill at home alongside my Mom and I was called over to check on him. My Dad is retired army, 61 hears old, works 60 hours each week at Kennedy Space Ex here in Florida (the Space Center) and has a heart of gold. He would give you the world! I am 32 years old and have never seen my Dad in the pain I saw him last night. I’m a Certified Medical Assistant (as is my Mom) and after assessing my Dads symptoms and history, I decided to call 911. I’m so thankful that I listened to that inner voice called Holy Spirit because my father was admitted to the hospital last night for a severe infection. I woke up this morning and my heart is really moved by his condition. I slept for 3 hours and woke up at 6:30 today calling my Dad. I don’t know if he knows how much I appreciate him or that I think the world of him but I won’t waste another moment to show my Dad, Randy Brown, that i love and honor him for simply who he is. Thank you for this story.

  3. Mr. Brown Day what an awesome day and way to show your kids how to love others. Can’t wait to read the book.

  4. I love the story and can’t wait to continue being inspired on how to love on others and make them feel as special as our Creator says they are!!!!

  5. I love the Mr. Brown story. That was such a great idea and gesture. I am a grandma, but I want to teach my grandkids to do this random acts of kindness. Thanks for sharing!

  6. This is truly inspirational. Doing something for someone just because is one of the most unselfish acts a human being can do. That is love the way God intended. God Bless!!!

  7. This is a wonderful story about making the mailman his very own day. It was very sweet about the squirt gun to ward off dogs on his route. We should all follow this example every day to listen, love and repeat!

  8. I love Mr. Brown Day! I can’t wait to read this book whether I win it or not, but I hope I do. Thank you, what a great example of living out the gospel this is.

  9. What a wonderful story about how a little kindness can go a long way! We need to be more aware of our brothers and sisters of God around us and take time to show them our love just as Jesus taught us.

  10. You can learn from the little girl. She learn something that was spoken throught the bible. I did not get that as a little girl. When grew up I lack a lot of things. But the lord care enough to bring my husband to teach me what I did not get as lacking as a child. You can learn a lot from the children. They can be an example to you. The good thing about the lord he brings you what you need to learn. The story really touch my heart because the children were really caring to the mailman. The mailman was touch by what they did. How he expressed himself he was very grateful. This teaches any one do something for some one else that’s in need. Also just go all out for someone. Very nice to be a blessing to some one else. From Rachel Sims

  11. Mr. Brown’s Day warmed my heart. Just when thought the chaos in the world was enough to make you cring, someone extends the heart of God to another. Priceless…..

  12. What a wonderful and inspirational story. I shared it with my daughter and she has come up with all kinds of ideas to share Jesus’ love with others. She can’t wait to get started!

  13. It is so nice to see this wonderful family surprise the mailman. My mother used to do this as well to her mailman. We have a new mail person and she and I have talked but they seem to be sending different people. But we just smile and thankful when it is junk and no bills.
    I will finish this my neighbors mother just came to tell me my friend died this morning. So I will ask for prayers. Thank you Susan

  14. I love reading all of your comments here. May God bless you as you seek to bless others with whom your life naturally intersects. They are your necessary people! And thanks to Gwen for having me on today!

  15. Oh what a self centered world we live in. Too many are all about “ME!!!” God give me a loving others centered heart to minister to a hurting world.

  16. I was touch by the story because the little girl learned something what she was taught throught the bible. The children went all out for what they did for that mailman was so caring. Let mailman see how he was cared for just by what they did. For those childern to something like that was so caring. The mailman was vey thankful for what happened. From this story these children teach you to be helping hand to some one else. Also just show someone by doing something for them. Very sweet story.

  17. I really enjoyed this story this morning. Simple act’s of kindness is one way of showing our love for Jesus Christ and our love of God. You don’t have to do anything big just a little something makes someone feel so special and gives us such a blessing in life. Teaching our children to appreciate other people and the things they do for us in our lives is very important for them to learn. Learning to give of their hearts ♥ is another way to teach them about loving Jesus and what his teaching is. Kindness,caring,love,appreciation of others,these are all things that Christ teachers us and it’s our place as parents to teach them these things.
    I read Karens devotional every day and been doing her bible study on line too. I would really enjoy getting this book to read the stories and put forth the things I would learn from them. I am still on my faith walk and learning more each day. Praise God and my Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you Gwen for your devotional reading each day and your blog because both bring me much joy and blessings every day too. God Bless you both. Thank you for your Friday Giveaway too.

  18. A beautiful story, made me tear up! I pray that God will show me someone who needs this to happen to them.

  19. What a beautiful blessing you shared with me. Thank you for sharing. I would greatly love to be able to read more of your book. May God richly bless you this day and in the days to come.

  20. This story made my day. Thank you for sharing! I am looking forward to reading this and teaching my kiddos as they grow up to love on others, just because. What a selfless act of love and great reminder!

  21. My husband was also a mailman, he was loved by many on his routes, always had a smile and a cheery hello. i would love to have your book so that i may be able to read the whole story, thank you

  22. What a wonderful blessing that was done without expecting anything in return.
    God wants us to love and bless others as he has done for us.

  23. Just became familiar with your site through the registration site for FP4H Summit Conference where you’re a featured speaker. will be signing up for your blog!!

  24. This will be just an added learning and growing closer to God book for my bible studies. Thank you for the chance of winning this special read. Growing closer to my faith is so exciting to me.

  25. Thanks for the reminder that we need to be thankful of other all the time. We really never know what a person is going through and our small gestures may be just what they needed. I would love to win the book but if not it is surely one to purchase.

  26. beautiful story of appreciation for that mailman and Mr. Brown did appreciate everything that was done for him that day.

    We try to tip at Christmas for all that they do. Smiling also helps.

  27. What an inspiration. I loved this story. Probably because my parents were both “mail men” They didn’t walk a beat, but, they drove their own vehicles over rural Northwest, PA through all kinds of weather. They were rewarded at Christmastime, too. But, if you do your job, you only get to hear the downside and not really “good job” until something goes wrong. I know we appreciate our mail carrier. She works very hard and we order a lot through the mail so she has packages to carry. Thanks for the happy story.

  28. I love it when God gives us an idea to be intentional with people to bless them! We are to be ambassadors of Jesus love! Thank you for a way to put our faith to action!! I would be honored to read this book thenpass it on so it can be a live chain of Jesus!

  29. I live in Northern Michigan and would love the ability to read this special book written by such a terrific author! Thank you so much for this opportunity!

  30. As I read this post I could feel the emotions welling up in me. I would so love to be able to read this book. Thank you

  31. Thank you for reminding me how fun it is to do for others!! I needed that reminder as I watch the rain come down and flood our area. There will be plenty who will need some sunshine in their life!

  32. Thanks for the story of Mr. Brown. That kind of love and thoughtfulness
    From the the kids gave his joy in his heart. Thanks for sharing.

  33. I work as a house manager at Valley Women & Children’s Shelter where I often get the privilege of leading the women in chapel. I would love to share the message of Listen, Love Repeat with these precious ladies.

  34. What a wonderful thing for mr brown! This not something we do anymore. Real people, real events for teaching. I love this. Thank you for helping us all to remember how it would feel to be loved.

  35. I love stories about random acts of kindness and they often prompt me to follow suit! I know I should more often and without prompting but life just sometimes gets in the way! Thanks for this story and I’d be honored to win a copy of your book!

  36. it’s just a good thing to show kindness to someone and everyone ,makes the world a better place to live in I just love the fact they had a Mr. Brown Day for there mailman such hospitality and kindness he sure deserve to be appreciated I should show kindness to someone in need of kindness. thank Karen for that great book sure hope to win.

  37. Such a touching story! It made me tear up. I also felt truly inspired to do that random act of kindness for someone else.

  38. Wow what a touch warming story. Beautiful what those children did. In real life were suppose to do that everywhere we go. Even if we don’t have money A Thank you card, a smile a baked good. The most important thing we can do is have Jesus light come out of us.

  39. What a great reminder that simple acts of kindness can make a huge difference in the lives of those we share them with! Something I can and should do more often!

  40. Wow! What a beautiful, heart warming story! Thank you for sharing and for reminding us how much the little things we do can mean to others. Spreading love is contagious, and by doing so, we reap the rewards! Thank you, Jesus!

  41. Oh!!!! I know God is ALWAYS speaking. I want to hear Him more clearly so that He will highlight people to me that need His touch or word through me. This book sounds like it is from Him!

  42. Great story by one of my favorite authors. There are so many “Mr. Browns” that we interact with daily, that perform tasks that may seem so mundane, but make our lives just a little easier. I made Christmas cookies for the crew that faithfully collects our neighborhood’s trash every week, no matter the weather. I will never forget the looks of surprise, and how appreciative they were. We now greet each other with toots of a horn, waves, and big smiles!

  43. WOW..what a great reminder of how powerful love is and what an impact random acts of kindness can make. Lord, help us to put our God eyes on and look for opportunities to show your love to others.

  44. Very touching story. It does make you want to reach out and let someone in your daily life is loved and appreciated

  45. Thanks for offering your book and telling the story of Mr. Brown. I’m a retired Postal worker and have so many friends and relatives that work for the Post Office. Working in the office part we all don’t get customer relations. This is such a great story. For awhile we were associated with the slang term “Going Postal” because a few people took their frustrations out on other workers or customers. We work hard to get the mail out and to be honored this way is a testimony to what we do to get the mail to you.

  46. It is so hard to remember people and not take them for granted. I thank God for Karen and the book ( part of the Bible study). It really helps you to take a second look into the lives of others and not focus so much on yourself. I thought about Mr. Brown and how he said that he had been doing his job for 30 years and no one had gone the distance to make him feel special. I also thought about Jesus who was always stopping to help someone. Lord please help me to think more of others than myself. In Jesus’ name a-men.

  47. Thank you for your encouragement to get into Gods word on a daily basis. I.choked up reading about Mr. Brown Day. So wonderful. Would love a copy of this book! Thanks!

  48. What a blessing this was to me! I have always tried to encourage my children to do random acts of kindness and to never take people for granted. After all, God places everyone in our path for a reason and we should be ever mindful of that. Now…who to bless today with God’s love?

  49. What a blessing for Mr.Brown. So often people make such a difference in our lives and we never let them know. Life gets so busy and we never take time to thank God for the people he sends in our lives. Perhaps it was the smile or the few words shared each day that impact so many. A random act of kindness makes such a difference. Mr. Brown was celebrated by you all but he did what he did everyday for 30 some years and you made a big difference on a Tuesday in his life. May we all make a difference in everyday life. Smile more, take time to care. Be humble and kind. Everyone is dealing with something in their lives may we all be the one that takes time to say Thankyou and impact someone’s day for life. Gods Blessings Sandy Weber

  50. Wow, it was so neat to see Karen on your Friend Feature! I have been participating in her online Bible study for the last three weeks. It’s really helped me to “live alert” and tune my ears to the needs of others around me. I’ve not purchased the book yet and definitely want to read it!

  51. What an awesome reminder to show real love to others!! We get to be the hands and feet of Jesus….we may be the only interaction with Jesus that some people ever have. What an opportunity!

  52. Love this!! What an awesome reminder to show real love to others!! We get to be the hands and feet of Jesus….we may be the only interaction with Jesus that some people ever have. What an opportunity!

  53. That is awesome to be reminded to show love to someone everyday. Life is not promised. This book sounds great!

  54. Wow, it was so neat to see Karen on your Friend Feature! I have been participating in Karen’s online Bible study over the last three weeks and it has really made me stop to think to put others before myself and how we need to live alert and tuned in to the needs of those around us. However, I’ve just never purchased the book and I definitely want to read it!!

  55. What a beautiful story! What makes it even more special is that those very young children took what they learned from the bible and applied it to their lives. We adults can learn a lot from those children. Kudos to that mom for the way she is raising her children.

  56. God showed me many years ago that we are blessed best when we are a blessing to other in and through my Daughter Amanda. Amanda started working at you guessed it Dairy Wueen when she was in High School and randomly would leave gifts on my bed saying “Happy Tuesday” or whatever day it just happened to be. As I sit here writing this comment the tears roll down my cheeks remembering the many times this happened throughout the years. On June 7th this year Amanda will have been enjoying her home in heaven with GOD and Jesus for the last 2 years and I will continue to praise and thank HIM for allowing her to have been a gift given by HIM to enjoy for almost 40 years. We are always blessed when we are a blessing to others. In Christ’s love Miss Rusty

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