In Which I Am Kind through Social Media (#BestOf)

A Year of Being Kind blog (#BestOf) – Sunday, November 6, 2016

I was thinking about social media today, and about prayer, and I thought of my dear friend (yes, the same friend you see below). She still can use prayer. So can I. And, our kids certainly can. So, even though the date is not the first of the month—the date when I often start doing a daily task or practice—there is absolutely no reason why I cannot start praying for her kids and for mine. And, for both of us. Dear God, please hear our prayers!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, November 6, 2014

prayer-hands

In Which I Am Kind through Social Media

I was kind to several people today. Most significantly, I was kind to a friend. I have decided to pray for her children and for mine. I wrote about that here in A Year of Being Kind, a few days ago. But after praying today, I was moved to tell her my impressions from God.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t puff myself up, and think I regularly get messages from God. (Messages through email, maybe? Or carrier pigeon, or even perhaps smoke signals? Nope.) But every once in a while, I realize something about someone I’m praying about. Or, get some kind of idea that a certain thing might be going on. It was that way today.

I told my friend about my strong impression. I also quoted three sentences from the chapter on prayer that I read today. Those things almost made her cry, she said! She is so grateful that I am taking this month to pray for her children. (And for my four, as well! I am not purely altruistic! A little bit, yes, but not a whole lot. God, help me.)

The chapter from Stormie Omartian’s book concerns feeling loved and accepted. Dear God, this is so important! Not only for children, but for all of us! For the least of these, and for our seniors, the handicapped, the marginalized, the outsiders.

Specifically, I prayed for these dear children that they feel love and acceptance from God. That Satan not be able to poison their thinking and their experience of people’s love toward them. And I especially pray that these dear children’s parents (I very much include myself here) not only communicate their love and acceptance to the children, but also to everyone else they can. God, please bless, encourage, and support these children. Bless me, dear God; bless my dear friend, too. In Your precious name I pray, Amen.

@chaplaineliza

(Suggestion: visit me at my blog: matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers– where I am doing a PEACE journey through Eastertide and beyond. #PursuePEACE. Pursuing Peace – Thanks!)

(also published at ayearofbeingkind.wordpress.com .   @chaplaineliza And read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er – Thanks!)

 

 

In Which I Am Kind to Myself, through a Massage! (#BestOf)

In Which I Am Kind to Myself, through a Massage! (#BestOf)

be-good-to-yourself-too

Posted on September 10, 2014 by chaplaineliza

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, September 10, 2016

One of my—recent—favorite things is a massage. Truly wonderful! Heavenly. And, my masseuse is marvelous. She knows what my body needs and what my muscles are telling her as soon as she checks things out. I know this is a luxury. But, such a wonderful luxury. I thank God that I can take advantage of this excellent service at the YMCA where I am a member. (Thanks, Dori! Thanks, YMCA!)

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, September 9, 2014

In Which I Am Kind to Myself, through a Massage!

I splurged. I really did. Since last month was my husband’s and my wedding anniversary, I took the opportunity to buy a half hour massage at the YMCA here in town. And, today was the day I enjoyed a half hour of pampering. Self-care. Being kind—to myself!

Most times, I do prayer, meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga to try to relax. Ease my stress levels. Calm my breathing and minimize my worry. But every few months, I go out of my way to try to fit in a massage.

In case anyone reading this has never experienced a massage, they are wonderful. Marvelous. Truly a splurge-worthy experience. Of course, I go to an awesome masseuse, when I can scrape together the money. Dori is absolutely fantastic. I told her, as she was working on my forearms and hands at the end of the half hour, that I thought I died and went to heaven. (And I was more than half serious.) And, I sincerely thanked her for the wonderful job she did on me—and my lower back, too.

Of course, there are other ways to be kind to myself. Slowing down, having coffee with a friend, going to the Botanic Garden, or reading a fiction book (my current favorite books are a series of murder mysteries set in the 1920’s). There are other ways to practice self-care, too. Regular exercise. Going on walks in nature. Practicing giving or encouragement. Listening to quiet music. Prayer. Meditation. Silencing my spirit and mind. And, countless other ways, besides. Self-care—caring for one’s physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual parts of the whole person, however that may happen best.

Listed above are all ways that appeal to me. I know they won’t appeal to everyone. (And for some, the thought of a few of these ways are probably like fingernails screeching across a chalk board.) I also give God a big praise for making each of us different from all the others—over the world, as well as over time. King David in Psalm 139 refers to each of us being fearfully and wonderfully made by God’s hands. No cookie cutter creation for us, no sir!

What about you? What kind of self-care particularly appeals to you, right now? Or, are you shy of making room or making time for self-care? Does caring for yourself sound selfish and thoughtless? If you are not clearing your calendar or your life for taking care of yourself, you are missing out! (And believe me when I say I am preaching this to me even more than preaching it to you.)

God, thanks for the awesome focus on self-care. Help me to not only practice this good gift from You, but to pass it on. Help others learn the importance of being Selfish—towards God, and towards each person. Individually. I’m no cookie cutter creation, and neither are You! Thanks, God.

@chaplaineliza

(Suggestion: visit me at my blog: matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers– where I am doing a PEACE journey through the year. #PursuePEACE. Pursuing Peace – Thanks!)

(also published at ayearofbeingkind.wordpress.com .   @chaplaineliza And read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er – Thanks!)

 

 

In Which I Am Kind through Social Media (#BestOf)

(the Best of) A Year of Being Kind, Thursday, November 5, 2015

As I looked back today at my posts from a year ago, I felt like I was transported back to 2014. Seeing those year-ago words, feeling those year-ago feelings. And then, I read the post where I talked about praying for my friend’s children, and for mine. Yes, every day in the month of November 2014 I prayed for all of these children. (Grown-up and not so grown-up.) I appreciate Stormie Omartian for her loving, nurturing book (The Power of a Praying Parent) that served as a help and a prayer prompt! But most of all, I thank God for a wonderful friend, and for her loving family. God, bless them all today, and every day.

 

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, November 6, 2014

BK be kind be kind be kind

In Which I Am Kind through Social Media

I was kind to several people today. Most significantly, I was kind to a friend. I have decided to pray for her children and for mine. I wrote about that here in A Year of Being Kind, a few days ago. But after praying today, I was moved to tell her my impressions from God.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t puff myself up, and think I regularly get messages from God. (Messages through email, maybe? Or carrier pigeon, or even perhaps smoke signals? Nope.) But every once in a while, I realize something about someone I’m praying about. Or, get some kind of idea that a certain thing might be going on. It was that way today.

I told my friend about my strong impression. I also quoted three sentences from the chapter on prayer that I read today. Those things almost made her cry, she said! She is so grateful that I am taking this month to pray for her children. (And for my four, as well! I am not purely altruistic! A little bit, yes, but not a whole lot. God, help me.)

The chapter from Stormie Omartian’s book concerns feeling loved and accepted. Dear God, this is so important! Not only for children, but for all of us! For the least of these, and for our seniors, the handicapped, the marginalized, the outsiders.

Specifically, I prayed for these dear children that they feel love and acceptance from God. That Satan not be able to poison their thinking and their experience of people’s love toward them. And I especially pray that these dear children’s parents (I very much include myself here) not only communicate their love and acceptance to the children, but also to everyone else they can. God, please bless, encourage, and support these children. Bless me, bless my dear friend, too. In Your precious name I pray, Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Suggestion: visit me at my daily blog for 2015: matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers.   @chaplaineliza And read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er – Thanks!)

Reflections on 2014, A Year of Being Kind

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, December 31, 2014

BK power to change lives

Reflections on 2014, A Year of Being Kind

On the last day of the year, I was kind to my husband. This morning, I picked him up from the gym at the YMCA, where he has a new membership. He wanted to do several errands afterwards, and I was happy to be chauffeur. We also had the opportunity to talk while driving in the car, which is always an enjoyable experience.

This evening, a lady I didn’t even know was kind to me at the grocery store. My bill was $22.22, and I gave the cashier a twenty, two ones, and dug two cents out of my pocket. I was fumbling for the additional twenty cents in all of my various pockets, when the woman behind me very kindly handed two dimes to the cashier for me. “Oh, how kind!” I said, and smiled my friendly smile at her. It wasn’t that I needed the money, since I had another five dollar bill in my wallet. But the woman and I agreed that $22.22 was a significant enough number that it deserved to be paid for in exact change. (And, we smiled at each other as we said that.)

Gee, I must be turning into an old hand at this being-kind-thing! I certainly hope so.

I know that it helps to check the numbers from time to time. I’ve been following the daily readership on this blog, but it also helps to look at the big picture—the macro view. Just to let all my dear readers know, here are several facts and figures on A Year of Being Kind: 365 Days of Service.

In 2014, this blog was viewed about 5,600 times. That’s a lot of views! My viewing audience per day—on the average—ranged from between the low teens to the mid twenties. The busiest day of the year turned out to be June 3rd, with 87 views.

Two representative posts with a high number of views were Helping, while Saying Good-bye! posted June 2, 2014, and Being of Service for NAMI? Sharing My Story! posted September 5, 2014.

How did people find my blog? People came from a large number of different website, but the top referring sites were Facebook, Twitter, and dailyoffice.org. (Thanks for including A Year of Being Kind in the blogroll, Josh!)

The sands of the hourglass are running out. 2014 is quickly slipping away. But before it completely disappears, I do have a few things to say. I have learned so much through blogging every day this year. I was fairly quick to come up with writing or an article before 2014 started, but now? Even more so. Plus, I’ve increased my ability to seek out ways to help, to be of assistance, to be of service, and—most importantly, to be kind.

Now, what of 2015, you ask? I have been encouraged by my blog in 2014. Yes, I succeeded in writing every day. Quite an accomplishment. I have been even more encouraged by the response to my service, my being helpful and kind. So, I am going to continue, except in a different vein.

I am not sure whether you are familiar with my sister blog, matterofprayerblog.wordpress.com. I started matterofprayer in the fall of 2013. I have been posting to matterofprayer about once a week to every ten days throughout 2014, in addition to A Year of Being Kind. Starting tomorrow, I will shift the focus to matterofprayer. I’m making an addition to the name, too: matterofprayer: a year of everyday prayers.

I was so happy to journey with you on this 365 day journey of being kind. This blog will not suddenly stop, altogether! I will feature “the best of” A Year of Being Kind, to be published about once a week in 2015.

So, visit me at my sister blog, matterofprayer: a year of everyday prayers. And, God willing, I will see what God has in store for me in 2015, as far as prayer is concerned. I wish my dear readers the very best. And, a happy, healthy and blessed new year.

@chaplaineliza

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A Year of Service, Almost Over.

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, December 30, 2014

only kindness matters

A Year of Service, Almost Over.

Only one more day to 2014. Today was a routine day, a day not particularly out of the ordinary. A quiet day at work, since the preschool was on vacation during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. The only thing really different about today was the afternoon. I was asked to take a senior friend of mine to a medical appointment, and pick the senior up afterwards.

Did I, you might ask? Sure! Why not? (I ask this in all seriousness.)

Really—why not? I was asked to pick up the dear person, transport them about ten minutes away, and leave them at the medical appointment. Then, I could go back to work, do work for about an hour, pick up the senior after the appointment, and bring them home. Sure. Of course I could do that. And, I did.

My question is directed to myself, as well as my readers. Again, why not? Why not help someone in need?

Now, I perfectly well understand some people are not particularly steady on their feet or have various health difficulties. Others need to work. Still others have other obligations they need to take care of. But—please, if you can, if you’re able, could you consider picking up someone? A neighbor? And then, transporting them to work or to medical appointments, or even to pick up some groceries, or medication from the pharmacy. Then, back home.

I’d like to remind my readers. I said this year was going to be a journey of service. Of being kind. A daunting, exciting, up-and-down journey. I invited anyone, everyone, to come along with me. To come along with me—and God.

I tried not to have any expectations beforehand. No idea what was lying ahead. (Or, was it lying in wait?) I had been told any number of times—before this Year of Being Kind—that I often act in a naturally kind and tenderhearted manner towards others. I often use my spiritual gifts of helpfulness and mercy. This year, others have surprised me with unexpected words, looks, acts, and ways of being. On occasion, I see such kindness, helpfulness and service in the world today. You and I? God willing, we can add to the kindness. And helpfulness. We can be of service, too.

This year, 2014, has been a banner year for me. I’ve learned a great deal about myself. I’ve learned even more about different ways to be of service. A suggestion? Make 2015 a year to help out.

A year of service for you. 365 days of kindness.

P.S. My new blog for 2015? A Year of Everyday Prayers: Connection with God and Others. Stay tuned! More information tomorrow.

@chaplaineliza

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So Simple—Sincere Words. Being Kind.

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, December 29, 2014

THANKFUL always something to be thankful for

So Simple—Sincere Words. Being Kind.

Ever have someone say (or write) something that truly moved you? I mean, moved you so deeply? Yes. That happened to me, today.

As I woke up this morning and started my daily routine, one of the first thoughts that came to mind was, “Only a few days until the new year. Only a few more days of blogging for 2014.”

After doing several routine things, I went on the computer. Checked email, social media. Including Facebook. I checked out this blog, as I usually do, to see how many views it received overnight. And, I checked the other daily postings, on Facebook.

Lo and behold, one of my blogging friends—Joan—commented on the latest of the posts on my wall. Her comment was under A Year of Being Kind’s post: . I was quite happy and touched that Joan’s comment was there, and she and I had an exchange over the next few minutes. I thought it was a worthwhile exchange, too.

But—it didn’t stop there. No, I kept those kind, generous words close. Similar to Mary and the striking words of the shepherds and angels, once more I thought about the words of my blogging friend. Her comment, below yesterday’s post? “Lovely. I will miss a Year of Being Kind.”

Initially, I considered it to be just something nice, almost sentimental—for a friend to say. But, the words kept rolling around and around in my head. So kind! The comment touched my heart, warmly and deeply. And, that comment came to mind—repeatedly recurred. Again and again, today.

Thank you, Joan. Your words mean so much more to me than you can ever know. Talk about “being kind.” What a way to “be kind.” Or, even better, “be thoughtful” or “be sincere.”

And, I thank God that people are touched by the words I write, and by what skill or gift I may have. Thank God, indeed.

(I almost forgot! Joan’s blog is to be found at celticjlp.wordpress.com – Unorthodox & Unhinged: Tales of a Manic Christian)

@chaplaineliza

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T-Shirts for Being Kind! (Feature Friday!)

A Year of Being Kind blog – Friday, November 14, 2014

A Year of Being Kind t-shirt (at Zazzle.com)

A Year of Being Kind
t-shirt (at Zazzle.com)

T-Shirts for Being Kind! (Feature Friday!)

Usually, I feature someone else on Fridays. I mean, I post about someone who is a true example of being kind. I am really, really proud of this feature, because over the past ten months, I have blogged about some extremely moving things. And awesome missions. And inspiring people.

But, today, I have decided to depart from my regularly scheduled program. (Pardon me for the crass commercial announcement.) I am posting today about t-shirts,

Yes, I have made a t-shirt.

I thought that A Year of Being Kind was such a wonderful idea that I would popularize it, as much as possible. I would offer a t-shirt for sale. Several days ago, I went to one of the Interweb’s handy-dandy personalization websites (Zazzle.com), chose a plain t-shirt, and customized it with a brand-new logo that my friend and graphic artist Bill made for me. (Thanks, Bill!)  You can see this white t-shirt with the blue Being Kind logo on it, above.

I am trying to make the price for the shirts inexpensive enough so people would be able to afford to buy them. Plus, I am trying to balance this with a specific, small amount I will be able to receive for each t-shirt sold.

The best part is: I will give a portion of the money I receive for these shirts to the Maine Township Food Pantry. That is the food pantry in the area where my church is located. In the Chicago area, even people with two jobs sometimes have difficulty making ends meet.

So, it’s a win-win situation. You get an awesome t-shirt, telling the world about being kind. I’m the middle man, passing proceeds on to the Maine Township Food Pantry. Which also finds out about being kind, through action.

How do you get said t-shirt, you wonder? I’m glad you asked! You can click on the following link, BeingKind. It should take you right to the pertinent webpage on Zazzle.com.

I am in the process of trying to get a link on the sidebar to the right of where you’re reading, right now. My daughter needs to tinker with it a bit more. (Thanks, Rachel!) Hopefully, a working link in a widget will be coming soon.

Buy one! Maybe, even, buy two! (One for you, and one for a friend.) And if you like the idea of A Year of Being Kind, you can always try it yourself. God willing, when 2014 ends, I’ll keep going with my being kind. Being helpful. Serving others.

@chaplaineliza

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In Which I Am Kind through Social Media

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, November 6, 2014

PRAY woman-praying

In Which I Am Kind through Social Media

I was kind to several people today. Most significantly, I was kind to a friend. I have decided to pray for her children and for mine. I wrote about that here in A Year of Being Kind, a few days ago. But after praying today, I was moved to tell her my impressions from God.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t puff myself up, and think I regularly get messages from God. (Messages through email, maybe? Or carrier pigeon, or even perhaps smoke signals? Nope.) But every once in a while, I realize something about someone I’m praying about. Or, get some kind of idea that a certain thing might be going on. It was that way today.

I told my friend about my strong impression. I also quoted three sentences from the chapter on prayer that I read today. Those things almost made her cry, she said! She is so grateful that I am taking this month to pray for her children. (And for my four, as well! I am not purely altruistic! A little bit, yes, but not a whole lot. God, help me.)

The chapter from Stormie Omartian’s book concerns feeling loved and accepted. Dear God, this is so important! Not only for children, but for all of us! For the least of these, and for our seniors, the handicapped, the marginalized, the outsiders.

Specifically, I prayed for these dear children that they feel love and acceptance from God. That Satan not be able to poison their thinking and their experience of people’s love toward them. And I especially pray that these dear children’s parents (I very much include myself here) not only communicate their love and acceptance to the children, but also to everyone else they can. God, please bless, encourage, and support these children. Bless me, bless my dear friend, too. In Your precious name I pray, Amen.

@chaplaineliza

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Off the Hamster Wheel, Into Service

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, July 24, 2014

KIND one persons act of kindness

Off the Hamster Wheel, Into Service

Ever have someone say something that really hit home? (Upon reflection, this has been happening to me a lot, lately . . . )

I was talking with a couple of friends and acquaintances earlier, and one of them said something particularly striking. Striking to me, anyway. My friend made mention of personal shortcomings, and commented that service to others very much helped in lessening these shortcomings.

That comment did indeed resonate with me! Oftentimes, I find that I am all caught up in my own head. Me, me, me. After all, I’m the most important person in the room! (Aren’t I? That’s me, the extrovert with an inferiority complex talking.)

Service was one of the biggest reasons I started this blog, A Year of Being Kind. I gave it a subtitle, too: 365 Days of Service. My friend’s comment started the wheels turning in my own brain. I can be so preoccupied with “self” (that’s myself, thank you very much) that I feel like I’m going round and round in my own head. Like a hamster on a hamster wheel. Round and round and round. However, when I get involved in serving others, in being kind and helpful, I realize I get off of the hamster wheel. For at least a little while.

Accordingly, I did just that today. I went out of my way to give someone a telephone call, in another state. It’s been about two months since I saw him. This was a call to find out how my acquaintance was doing, and to generally check in. My acquaintance was so pleased to hear from me! It was good to hear from him. And, ask for some prayer praises and prayer requests, too. I also tried to pass along some encouragement. I hope I was successful.

I know I hit a home run with my pointers I gave, as far as a ministry suggestion. I gave my acquaintance the web address of a helpful website I use on a regular basis. He had never heard of it, and it’s one of my go-to sites for sermon preparation. I’m not sure, but I suspect that resource might be a really significant thing for him. I just have that feeling.

So, yeah. I got out of my own head today. And, I helped others and put myself out to serve. Encourage and be kind. What an opportunity to get off the hamster wheel! Thanks for the leading, God. Glad to be of service today. I wonder how You will use me to be kind, tomorrow?

@chaplaineliza

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A Year of Being Kind—Halfway Point

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, June 30, 2014

begin where you are

A Year of Being Kind—Halfway Point

It’s a prudent idea to take stock, at times. Evaluate. Look back. Not that I’m always prudent, but I try to be. Six months have gone by since I started this blog. Each day in the past months I have been faithful to this effort of actively looking for ways of being kind. Opportunities for service. And faithful to recording my efforts, too.

Originally, I planned each month to focus on a different aspect of service. In January, I wanted to concentrate on being kind. (As long as my blog is titled “A Year of Being Kind,” I wanted to start the year like that.) I’ve been told a number of times that I often act in a naturally kind and tenderhearted manner. When the idea for this blog concept came to me in December, I felt that it was a natural thing for me!

Looking back, I haven’t focused as much on the Bible verses that I chose for each month this year. True, it was a great idea, in the concept stage. That is, choosing a specific verse as a background for each month of service in 2014. I initially thought about using my choice of verse as subtext to my month’s service, as well as for my month’s blogs. It just didn’t always happen that way. Not that I am incredibly disappointed or downhearted about how my blog has developed, organically. No! It just worked out differently that I had originally thought. That’s all.

I’ve discovered that I can do something as simple as smile my friendly smile. Share the gift of my smile with another human being. And sometimes, that’s enough. A simple, friendly expression can do wonders for someone else. I know.

I can do elaborate, complex things for others, too. Things that require a good deal of planning. Individuals have come to me immediately afterwards, or days, or even months afterwards, and told me how much my service has meant to them.

Today, a telephone call was my way of being kind, directly. I think the person I talked to appreciated my friendly, cheerful voice on the other end of the line. Thank God that I can offer that gift to others.

With God’s help, I have chosen this Year of Being Kind to be a year of opportunity for me. I know I have shared with you that I asked God-as-I-understand-God for opportunities to help others and be of service. I also want to be gifted with opportunities for me. For my personal growth and development, too. The opportunities keep right on happening, for sure.

Yes, it is a continuing journey. A daunting, exciting, up-and-down journey. Now that six months have passed, I have some idea what lies ahead. More months of service! Will you continue with me?

@chaplaineliza

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