First Baptist Church of Herndon

681 Elden St., Herndon, VA 20170-4722, Phone 703-437-3620

Unexpected Fringe Benefits

Linda Soller | Mar 04, 2024

When you take on a project or new endeavor you have at least a vague idea of what you will get out of it. Example – you help someone buy food for their family. You know it will help them and their health. But maybe you didn’t expect how you would feel when you heard their sincere thank you. Or maybe at a later date you get a crayon picture from one of their children. Those two things are fringe benefits. You didn’t give them food money to pump up you mood or decorate your refrigerator with art, but the two unexpected things happened.


I spend time watching the birds at my feeder and a good amount of time learning to do watercolor. The seed in the feeder is good for the birds, but the calming it brings to me as I watch them is icing on the cake. My painting slowly progresses.  I’m not a great artist, but in addition to the fun I expected I have the unexpected fringe of knowing I can still take on new challenges. Sometimes as we grow older, we need to be reminded of that fact.


My bird watching and my art have given me another shared fringe benefit that I never expected. I find I am more observant of the world around me. I never expected those two activities to provide inspiration to look harder at nature, to appreciate other types of art, or to embrace a wider range of animals in the natural surroundings where I am blessed to live. The more I considered this subject I began to see this trend in other areas of my life as well. I am not a great knitter either, but knitting has brought me new friends, a way to serve the community, and a way to interact with my grandchildren that otherwise may never have been available to me.


It all comes down to this. Sometimes we do things because they are the right thing to do at the time. Maybe we can start doing even more in anticipation of the unexpected fringe benefits. Who doesn’t like a good surprise? Maybe those benefits will then lead us to other new and exciting avenues. You won’t know unless you try.



Be kind, be brave, have faith!  : )   Linda

681 Elden St. Herndon
VA 20170-4722