4/10/17, Random Acts of Kindness

Hi Everyone,

I had a particularly fun four days, visiting one of my daughters in LA, to celebrate her birthday and spend some one on one time together, which isn’t always easy to achieve, with demanding jobs, and busy lives, and she travels even more for work than I do. So I loved having the time with her in LA for lunches and dinners, and shopping, and just hanging out!!!

I hope you’ve had a good week too. I thought of something the other day that I wanted to share with you. It was one of those small miracles that happened in my life, and affected me for years. It was proof to me at the time that good things DO happen, and maybe it will give you hope and encouragement too, if you’re looking for a new home or apartment, or need a lucky break. And we all do at times.

When I first arrived in San Francisco, my second apartment was one I particularly loved. It was in a small building, in a good residential neighbourhood. I had only one child then, my oldest daughter, who was five, and there was a lovely, secluded playground a block away. I felt lucky to find it, at a rent I could afford, in a safe building. Everything about it suited me. There were two apartments on each floor, mine had two floors, it had 3 small bedrooms, which worked well for me, a balcony, and a beautiful view of the San Francisco bay. The owner of the building lived on the ground floor, and everything was perfect, until he decided that he wanted my apartment on the top floor, instead of his. I had a year left on my lease and he asked me to give up the apartment to him. I refused, because the apartment was too good to give up, and I was sure I couldn’t find anything to match it that I could afford. He became quite irate about it, and extremely convincing when he threatened me with a gun. That terrified me, so I began looking for a new apartment immediately. I was very young then, and scared to death!! I looked at lots of apartments, and everything I saw was awful, dark, dingy apartments, in decent neighbourhoods, or slightly better ones in dicey neighbourhoods. There was absolutely nothing I could afford, or where I’d want to live, and nothing that even remotely compared to the lovely apartment I had and was being forced to leave—-at gunpoint!!! On top of it, I had a dog, and most of the apartments I saw didn’t allow dogs—OR they didn’t allow children, and I had my daughter. One landlord told me to let him know if I changed my mind—-about what? My daughter or the dog??

I was immensely discouraged, when a friend called me and told me she had driven by a “cute little house” in her neighbourhood with a for rent sign in the window. I assured her that there was no way I could afford a house, and I couldn’t have afforded anything in her neighbourhood. She lived on Russian Hill, which is one of the nicer areas in San Francisco. And her suggestion seemed ridiculous and no help at all. She insisted that I should go to see it and said “you never know”. I was annoyed at the suggestion, which was so obviously out of my leagues. She called several times to push me about it, and finally just to shut her up, I drove by, and it was indeed a VERY cute little house, I wrote down the phone number on the sign, called the owners, and made an appointment to see it, feeling ridiculous because I knew there was no way I could afford it. (I was working as a copywriter at the time, in an ad agency, not very well paid, and writing my books at night. And I was doing free lance translations, to make ends meet. And my books weren’t successful yet, it was the beginning of my career).

I went to see the house, and if you had asked me to list everything I wanted in my dream house at the time, that house would have been it. It was small, but cozy and well laid out, in perfect condition. It had a living room with a fireplace, a dining room, a big sunny kitchen, three bedrooms, a small bedroom downstairs for the student I had living with us to help take care of my daughter when I was at work, it had a garage, and a small pretty garden, and balconies off two of the bedrooms. All it did was show me what I couldn’t have, and wished I did. The woman who showed it to me explained that she and her three cousins had inherited the house from an elderly aunt who had no children. They didn’t want to sell the house, didn’t need it, she was of a grandmotherly age, and said that all her children had their own houses and children, and the house was too small for any of them. So the four cousins who had inherited it had decided to rent it. She also told me that there were three couples who wanted it, who had seen it first, but the owners of the house hadn’t made any decision yet. Predictably, I nearly fainted when she told me what the rent was that they wanted, and the house was worth every bit of it. I told her that I couldn’t afford it, and explained that I was divorced with a child and a dog. The house was exactly four times what I could afford. We talked for a while, and she asked me what I could afford to pay in rent. (She was very well dressed, and it was obvious that they weren’t pressed for money, but the rent they were asking was reasonable for what it was. On top of it, it was on a historic block on Russian hill, in a row of beautiful little Victorian houses. This one was stucco, and built in the 1930’s, and had been beautifully maintained). Feeling very embarrassed for having wasted her time, I told her what I could afford, so much less than they were asking in rent. And a few minutes later, I thanked her, and left, and went home even more discouraged than before. She called me the next day, and the four cousins had discussed it, she said what I had suspected that none of them needed the money, and she told me that they had decided to rent it to me, at the price I could afford, a quarter of what they had been asking. It was a gesture of such enormous kindness and generosity that it took my breath away. It was truly a miracle in my life. It was a real home, a house!!! In a beautiful neighbourhood, at a price I could afford. It was the most amazing thing that had ever happened to me. I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I was.

I moved in a few weeks later, with a sense of wonder over what had happened to me. My daughter loved the house and so did I, and even my dog was happy with our new home. I lived there for almost 5 years, and my books became more and more successful while I lived there. After four years, I was able to buy the house, the first house I had ever owned. And the year I bought it, John and I got married, and I sold it, and my life with him began. I moved to his house, and we had many children, and you know the rest of the story. But I never forget the incredible kindness of those people, and the miracle that that house was for me, just when I needed it. From a frightening situation, being threatened by my landlord, I found a house that was so much better, and a haven of peace and safety for me and my daughter, for a rent that they reduced to what I could afford. It gave me faith in miracles, and in the unexpected kindness of total strangers. I was thinking about it again the other day, and wanted to share it with you. The blessing of that experience has stayed with me in the many years since. It gives one faith that wonderful things can happen, when you least expect them, and need them most. And it occurred to me to share it with you, maybe it’s something you need to hear right now. Miracles DO happen, that certainly was one for me.

Have a great week, full of wonderful surprises, and random acts of kindness that come your way.

love, Danielle

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61 Comments so far
  1. Alex April 10, 2017 1:34 pm

    Thanks for sharing this story. Just exactly when I need it the most. Good things do happen …in the most weird ways sometimes.

  2. Melanie April 10, 2017 5:02 pm

    Kindness really can change people’s lives. I know the area your speaking of..you’re Angels we’re on the job😊

  3. Rob Scott April 11, 2017 11:01 am

    Danielle,

    Thank you for this as I will be looking for new housing shortly and your story left me inspired like your books and writings.

    Perhaps the place you were seeking was seeking you.

    Sorry about the man with a gun. But you turned around a seemingly bad event into a blessing.

    I learned to listen to these signs in life and take action by making strong demands on Love as I work out my own salvation.

    You demonstrated that something serendipitous can out of tragedy as we find “hope” in he heart of darkness.

    I would like to share this one.

    Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL Mankind.

    Keep shining!

    Rob Scott
    Oaxaca, Mexico

  4. Victoria Kennedy April 11, 2017 6:23 pm

    Hello,
    I just had to chime in; I soo admire you for so many reasons.

    You are self reliant;

    You thrive when life has shown you sadness;

    You are so energetic;

    You choose to work, not of necessity but of joy;

    You are creative;

    You are an original, no one can copy you!

    You love life!

    You entertain people.

    Cheers to an amazing person!

  5. Suzanne Capp April 28, 2017 7:19 am

    What a beautiful story!! There’s miracles that happen every day, you just have to look for them!!

  6. VALERY April 28, 2017 7:26 am

    Your books are my escape into anther world……..reading relaxes me…..I have read every book you have written. You are my light……..and I thank you for all you do❤️

  7. jane April 28, 2017 7:38 am

    The world is full of good people and reading these wonderful pieces makes you realise good will outshine the bad and evil of the world.
    I am sure because you were shown such kindness when you were struggling made it easier for you to show kindness to fellow mankind. Karma.

  8. Sheila Semple April 28, 2017 7:40 am

    How wonderful. It just was what you needed. It just goes to show that there are kind people around. Its my daughters birthday today and i bought her Dangerous Games. We are so addicted to your books and have read every on if them. Thank you 💖

  9. Debbie Tomlin April 28, 2017 7:46 am

    That was a lovely story, and yes. Good things do happen to people. I was taught that when you do something nice for someone, you get back ten times more. And when one door closes another one will open

  10. sidra April 28, 2017 7:47 am

    Thank you for sharing I really need to motivate my self to have belief in me and God. I have tear in my eyes right now I really need a miracle, someone who can be with me, can listen the unsaid words, can feel the pain I am going through. Remember me in your prayers. God bless you

  11. Elizabeth Tutell April 28, 2017 7:50 am

    Thanks for sharing that beautiful story. Just when you think that life and your luck is down, God steps in and puts people in your path for a reason. And yes there is always a blessing when miracles happen! Love your books and your letters. Thanks again.

    Elizabeth

  12. Margo Wilson April 28, 2017 7:50 am

    Thank you for sharing that story….amazing knowing there is such awesome people in the world:-) Glad they gave you the opportunity to write your amazing Books!

  13. Kathy Gautreaux April 28, 2017 7:51 am

    The Lord’s hand leading and guiding. So wonderful!

  14. DORIS SANDERSON April 28, 2017 7:59 am

    WHAT A GREAT STORY. ALWAYS LOVE YOUR STORIES. GOD WORKS MIRACLES EVERY DAY.

  15. giuseppina milio April 28, 2017 8:06 am

    what a beautiful memory.
    thanks for sharing with us.
    Miracles do happen! <3

  16. Cindy simpkins April 28, 2017 8:17 am

    Awsome miracles do happen❤Hugs u rock😘

  17. Edna Jones April 28, 2017 8:34 am

    It is times when we’re in a storm and we don’t know what will happen next or what tomorrow will be…
    When there is an opportunity and we feel like nothing will work because we let FEAR enter in, instead of standing on the ROCK, our Lord Jesus Christ…
    Even though we don’t feel like it ( cos’ it ain’t about feelings) He is working ALL things out for good… We just got to keep the FAITH🕊❤️
    Thank you for sharing such an encouraging testimony.
    Love your books …. Blessings💫

  18. jenny tiwari April 28, 2017 8:38 am

    you were the first who taught me hope at the age of 15 when my parents divorced. Through your books you created a world of hopes, dreams and keeping the faith for me, and i lived by that all my life, even when my family would tell me books are just fairy tales. You were and still are my inspiration for writing. you even sent me an email telling me to hold the dream at age 16! im nearly 45 now with 4 kids and finally writing. You are my encouragement. My dream was and still is to meet you one day and spend the day with you 🙂 my kids always remind me of that. I’ve writen childrens short stories but they are sitting in my laptop :). My only hope is a miracle that i stumble upon a publisher who will take me on – and one that i can afford too ☺😊 ! All my heart always, jenny from cyprus xx

  19. Barbara Hughes April 28, 2017 8:48 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this story. I try to do one kind thing everyday. It really can change lives. God bless you!!

  20. Daad April 28, 2017 8:51 am

    You’re such a wonderful and generous person ,,
    Thank you for sharing with us this beautiful story that gives hope to most, especially nowadays when it’s hard to find genuine people ,,

  21. Virginia Blair April 28, 2017 9:00 am

    Thank you – I really did need to hear that today – I have been working my whole life and am still wishing that there was some way that I could retire – I will be 75 in 2 months – you gave me hope that maybe someway in the next few years I will be able to quit my job
    thank you for sharing your story
    I have read all of your books – just ordered the latest one – thank you for writing them – love them all

  22. jane April 28, 2017 9:15 am

    Am really moved by your words and not only this story gives me encouragement also your books have made me whom a am today..always strong and ready to face whatever may comes

  23. Mariama Kamara April 28, 2017 9:37 am

    Miracles do happen…yes when you least expect. God also makes us uncomfortable in the process of moving us to our next level. Thanks for sharing, I’m inspired.

  24. Lesia Trotter April 28, 2017 9:48 am

    Hi Danielle……

    I loved your story if Acts of Kindness. You’re right, it made me feel positive about good people in the world. I have been really challenged since moving to a different state, trying to obtain employment as well as a place to live. I have not had the magic that you experienced, but I remain hopeful that all things constantly change for the better as long as I stay focused. Thanks for sharing.

    Lesia Trotter

  25. Wanda April 28, 2017 10:34 am

    Such a sweet story, to remind us to be the one to provide this miracle to someone else, if we have the opportunity.

  26. Christine Davis April 28, 2017 10:41 am

    That is such a wonderful story and truly heart warming. Thank you for sharing it with us. A wonderful gesture at a time when least expected.

  27. florence dompierre April 28, 2017 10:53 am

    I have read every book & just finished mistress & go shopping for another one.Thank You as it gives me so much pleasure as at 83 years don’t get out unless my children comme & get me which they do often.I have one son & 5 girls.Thank you so much.xxx.

  28. Machelle April 28, 2017 11:23 am

    Angels are everywhere, often where we least expect them. Always pay it forward with no expectations. I’m hoping you see this, I want you to know how much your book His Bright Light meant to me. I’ve read all your books, but by far that one hit my heart, thank you so much for sharing!

  29. judie pyburn April 28, 2017 11:42 am

    Orange Park florists in Orange Park Fl. once a year gave away red roses…you were given three and required to keep one and give two away to random people

  30. Maryam April 28, 2017 12:22 pm

    Our creator never forget us…if we face some bad time but there is always good time after that…..the world is full of good people

  31. Viviana April 28, 2017 12:27 pm

    Mi è piaciuto molto leggere una parte della sua vita. Ed è bello sapere che nel mondo c’è ancora gente che fa delle gentilezze. GRAZIE di averlo raccontato e grazie dei suoi bei romanzi

  32. Fidel April 28, 2017 12:51 pm

    Hi Danielle, it was such an inspirational and a philosophically sound piece you shared.
    The little icing of truth I would like to add to the cake of your story is that God had mercy on you and specially knitted that miracle through those kind hearted people to come to your aid.
    It is my sincerest desire that you discover More of God to appreciate and understand the mystery of the truth that nothing good happens randomly to people without being manipulated by the hand of God.
    There were other three bidders with obviously a better price offer but you were chosen outside the boundaries of human logic and expectation.
    Just as no man can create a human being , i pray your eyes get supernaturally illuminated to see that God owns us and is responsible for all kindness we receive. Your tale isn’t a random act or art of kindness but a demonstration of Gods love towards you.
    Stay blessed my dear.

  33. Arlene Martignoni April 28, 2017 12:59 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing. Miracles really do happen. I keep waiting for one for my daughter and her family.

  34. Clarice wooding April 28, 2017 1:15 pm

    What a wonderful story. If only people were so caring today, what a wonderful world it would be.

    Love your books, have quite a library of hardbacks, keep them coming.

    Love to you and your family. Xx

  35. Donna Greenfield April 28, 2017 1:43 pm

    Love your story. Love the act of kindness. There are kind people in the world. I believe in Guardian Angels. Love your books.

  36. Carolyn Vassallo April 28, 2017 2:47 pm

    I wish I could express myself as eloquently as you!!!!! In response to “Random Acts of Kindness” , I have to tell you it brought me a few moments of reading something quite positive and uplifting. In this day and age you must certainly know it’s not common to find. Thanks for sharing this and for all the wonderful moments I have spent through the years reading your books.Your gift is priceless!!!!

  37. Lemlem April 28, 2017 3:28 pm

    so inspired God is faithful i love your book s novels

    God Bless

  38. Leonore kelch April 28, 2017 3:47 pm

    What a wonderful story the power of the universe,good karma attracts good karma,and how your life changed after moving into that house x

  39. Josephine April 28, 2017 5:03 pm

    Thankyou for sharing your story with us. Miracles do happen every day. I do believe what goes around comes around. I treat people the way I like to be treated and try to find the good in everyone sometimes it doesn’t work and I get hurt but at least I know I tried my best. Life is a learning experience and I do learn new things every day you just have to have an open mind. Good things do come to everyone it just depends on your own acceptance of these gifts and how you use them. 😊

  40. Karen April 28, 2017 5:39 pm

    My husband of 43 years died 9.5 months ago. I miss him terribly and am so sad. I cry often and miss being a wife to him. I needed to read this. I’m hoping for a miracle to help me continue living without the love of my life,

  41. Ms. Leone Yost April 28, 2017 5:48 pm

    Danielle,
    Thank You for sharing this story .
    I love your books .One of my favorites is The Good Mother and I
    can’t remember the name of the other one it’s about the daughter who’s diabetic?
    God Bless You & your family
    Ms. Leone Yost

  42. Verna Foley April 28, 2017 6:10 pm

    I love your story it does give you hope feeling that miracle do happen. And thing happened for a reason. Thank for sharing . Love your books always get lost in one of the characters.please keep writing.

  43. GeriFavasuli April 28, 2017 6:41 pm

    Love your story as well as your books I have every book you published and love reading them..my daughter single parent with two girls could sure use some of this luck she has been struggling for a very long time and all she’s ever wanted was a good husband and a home n family life..I keep praying for her and the girls but sometimes it’s so heart breaking to see her struggle and we don’t have the means to help but do what we can..she’s such a wonderful mother and provider as best she can be with what she has..I know her day will come my faith is strong..

  44. Angie Cook April 28, 2017 6:55 pm

    Thank you for sharing. I have had many random acts of kindness in my life, especially over the last 3 years. I was diagnosed with stage 3-4 cancer in 2014 and am still fighting it. I am a single mother of a daughter, who is just finishing up her first year of college. I have had so many people help me in my time of need. It has just been incredible and I will probably never be able to repay it. But I am so blessed and will always remember the love and support of my community, which their taps never seem to run dry! I have been giving a lot of thought about writing a book about my journey. Even though it has been a pretty rough ride, I have also met wonderful people and have learned so much along the way. I have several stories to share, but I do wonder if anyone would be interested in reading it. I have been reading your novels for years, and you are a true inspiration. Thanks again for sharing pieces of your life with us! God bless…

  45. Ruth Koh April 28, 2017 7:30 pm

    My mom & I were at eating lunch at our favorite restaurant enjoying our day When I asked for the check, the server informed me that a lady at a nearby table had already paid for our meals.
    Unfortunately she had already left so I didn’t get the chance to thank her. She had mentioned to the server that we reminded her of the lunches she had enjoyed with her mom.
    I never forgot that sweet lady.

    By the way. What languages do u speak? My parents escaped Germany “on the last train” & eventually ended up in Bolivia where I was born. I speak German. Spanish & English.

  46. Linda Weissman April 28, 2017 7:36 pm

    I love reading everyting you write. Just to let you know,I have been reading your books since the very first one. I too, have lost a son and feel very close to you. When we moved to Az.from N.J. My middle son followed 9 months later because he felt we would need him. He is the middle son of my 3. The youngest one died in a construction accident at 21. My son is an auto body mechanic and really wasn’t making any money here, but 1 day he drove by an old Auto Body shop and his angel brother made him stop and look for a job. He was hired as the manager and 3 or so years later,bought the business and is doing really well. All this because he came here to help his parents deal with the loss of his best friend and younger brother. I hope u never stop writing you bring such joy to my life. Thank you.

  47. Therese Steinlauf April 28, 2017 7:37 pm

    Lovely story. I’ve read all of your books (several more than once), except for the ones about homeless and your dogs and the YA book (all on my list), and this little story vies with the best of them. True stories ARE the best! Thank you!!💕 Therese

  48. Martha April 28, 2017 7:48 pm

    Boy did I need to read this tonight. My boyfriend of 5 yrs just told me I don’t do it for him anymore. And he left. I gave up my life, family and friends to move to be with him. I don’t have any family or friends here. I even lost my kids because of him. He’s very jealous and insecure and wanted me to put him first before my kids. A person should never ask someone to pick them before their children. It’s wrong. I never picked him before my kids. I just pretended. But my kids didn’t like him much, so they kind of backed out of my life. I’m so upset and depressed. And then I read your article. I’m not sure if agree though. I didn’t exactly have the greatest life, but I’m a nice person with a heart of gold. But this man changed me, I guess, cuz I had tons of friends and now none of them call me because of him. They didn’t like the way he treated me. And I’ve been waiting for something good to happen, but nothing ever does. But I still pray and believe that some day it will. Everybody I’ve ever known has told me you are such a nice person with a huge heart. Thank you for the article. And thank you for the amazing books you write. You are my favorite author. I’ve been reading your books for over 30 yrs.

  49. Bernie Jelley April 28, 2017 8:20 pm

    Have always been a fan of you and your wonderful stories. Enjoyed reading about your first home.

    Keep creating the stories that your readers can travel and escape to!

    Hugs. A Grandmother in New Hampshire.

  50. Elizabeth Humber April 28, 2017 8:37 pm

    Danielle,

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing the story above about the little house and how it came to be yours, just when you needed it most. I needed to hear this more than you can imagine today. This is one of the loveliest stories I’ve heard in a while….and so inspiring. I truly appreciate you sharing it with us.

    I’m a huge fan and have been for many years, and I love curling up with one of your novels. It’s always a pleasure.

    God Bless.

  51. Joyce Norris April 29, 2017 2:52 am

    That is the most beautiful story I have ever heard! Yes,Miracles do happen if you believe.

  52. Sandra carrolk April 29, 2017 3:32 am

    What a lovely story also want to let you know my Mum was 92 yesterday and won’t read any other books only yours she read them every day and when has no more she goes back to your older ones she loves your books so much xx

  53. Mamba Precious Nokulunga April 29, 2017 5:32 am

    Your experience touched me a lot….there r real kind people out there. I also believe that miracles do happen….thanks for sharing

  54. Glenda Garcia April 29, 2017 3:13 pm

    Ms. Steel,
    Thank you for sharing. I’m 63 (still have to work). Having a not so pleasant time w/supervisor. I needed this reminder that good things are still happening and surprises all the time.

    I love, love, your style of clothing and jewelry. You are a elegant lady!!!

    Thanks again, for Random Acts of Kindness

  55. Carroll Bosse April 29, 2017 4:47 pm

    Great story Danielle, like all of your books!!!!

  56. Brinda Boojhawon April 29, 2017 5:01 pm

    Danielle
    Thanks for sharing this with us. Something we must never lose in life as difficult it may be…. Faith😇

    God Bless Us

  57. Linda Ingalls April 30, 2017 8:31 am

    Hello Danielle,
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. Very similar things have happened in my life! I appreciate and am forever grateful for those who have blessed me with their kindness and now I always try to live by “Be the reason someone smiles today”.

    Thank you for always sharing love, kindness and light to our world!

  58. Vicki April 30, 2017 7:56 pm

    Lovely story, I pray for a miracle for my daughter every day

  59. Rose May 1, 2017 5:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story I never give up on life my faith is very strong their is still good people left in this world thank

  60. dianne webster May 14, 2017 2:46 am

    i have read every book you have written and loved them all.i have kept everyone.i tell myself I will read them all again in my old age[I am now 67]not sure when old age is|
    I agree with your letter there is always someone that will do you a kindness we should never give up on other people.

  61. Doreen Lunkuse May 15, 2017 8:47 am

    Awww that is what i call an amazing miracle..God is always faithful. Wow am in that dilema right now and i really need a house for me and my kids..i pray that i get that kind of miracle too. Thank u lord for blessing Danielle. This is a very nice inspiring miracle. Thnx for sharing.