Be Kind? Oh, Bother!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, June 5, 2014

Pooh, Eeyore and Christopher Robin - illustration by Ernest Shepard

Pooh, Eeyore and Christopher Robin – illustration by Ernest Shepard

Eeyore - Stained glass from Delphi Glass

Eeyore – Stained glass
from Delphi Glass

Be Kind? Oh, Bother!

I felt more than a little like Eeyore today. I did not feel one hundred percent healthy, so right off the bat I was dealing with a body that was in slow motion. A few aches and pains, and a slight headache. Yes, I still have the cold my son so generously shared with me. So yes, I had a ways to climb just to get to my normal starting point for the day.

It’s not that terrible things habitually happen to me, but I found today I was more pessimistic than usual. (Oh, bother!) It’s not that the world is a rotten place, or that it’s always raining when I go outside. No, I know that’s not the case. But today, it seemed that I had to run extra hard just to keep up. Bob and tread water just a little faster just to stay on top of the water.

The administrative assistant at work was so helpful today! Sunny got some things ready for Saturday, when I am going to have a Blessing of the Animals. I really appreciate teamwork. I’ll be picking up the animal treats from the large pet supply store near the church, tomorrow afternoon. And, I was able to get some bottled water for the pets’ families, too. I am looking forward to a great morning on Saturday!

But meanwhile, I still need to get through this common, garden-variety cold. And I still feel like Eeyore. It isn’t that I think happiness is out of reach, somehow, but happiness seems further away when I’m not feeling well. Even though the weather outside is beautiful and sunny. I’m reminded of one of the workers at the nail salon this afternoon. (Yes, I did get my nails polished. I do, periodically. Just a basic manicure, with some neutral polish.)

This worker was really an Eeyore, if ever I saw one! Sad, downhearted, mouth in a straight line. She did not make eye contact with anyone. Hardly said a word all the time I was there. I don’t like to compare myself to anyone, but I was only an Eeyore-wannabe, compared to her!

Something inside of me wanted to connect with her. I was friendly, I talked a bit. I smiled at her, complimented her. Nope. (At least she did a lovely job on my nails.)

I didn’t think about it until afterwards, but she might habitually be like that. Always thinking the world is grim, always pessimistic. It is sad to think that—for some people—they might think that happiness is something just out of reach. God, I am so glad that I know that You are right by my side! And when I take the opportunity to be kind, to smile and be helpful? It helps so much for me to connect to people! Or, at least to try to connect. That gets me out of my own pessimism. Out of my own head, and makes me available to serve! To offer to help, to be kind. Even when I do feel like Eeyore!

@chaplaineliza

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In Which I Did Sunday-type Things

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, May 18, 2014

BK be kind - color

In Which I Did Sunday-type Things

Today is the day the Lord has made! Yes, today was, indeed! Not only did God make today, but this particular Sunday was a beautiful day, on top of everything. Gorgeous! Even more than awesome!

I did Sunday-type things today. I tried to rack my brains and think of something particular, or something special I did today, but nothing popped into my head. Yet, I know I attended church. I greeted every person in the congregation. I prayed, gave the brief children’s message, prayed some more, and co-led the morning service. I talked with most people in coffee hour this morning, and joined in the optional, brief bible study the church had, after service.

As I said, I was puzzling over and over about exactly how I was of service today. (How did I serve, anyway?) And after thinking hard for most of the afternoon, I could not come up with any specific instances. (Of course, I thought of situations where people were kind to me—like, for instance, the man from the church who stayed several feet away from everyone because he was afraid of passing along a bad spring cold. (even a not-so-bad spring cold!)

Of course, I used my smile quite a bit today. (If anyone has seen my photo, you know I have a friendly, open smile. And it just sort-of-naturally happens! That’s one thing God has indeed blessed me with.) However, I didn’t go out of my way to do something special for someone else.

When my daughter and I were driving in the car recently, she happened to comment on my daily posts on this blog. She wondered out loud how effective it was for me to look for kind things to do each day. I mean, praying for God to send intentional acts of service into my life. “How ‘intentional’ is that, anyway?” she asked. Great question, I responded! I told her that I really and truly tried to have these acts of service come from the heart. Not out of obligation! No!

I tried my darnedest! Never that. I was earnest when I said that kind of attitude was self-defeating. That attitude would also negate any positive, genuine, loving expression of kindness I showed. She wrinkled her nose and looked at me sideways. (Maybe it was the position she was in, riding in the passenger’s seat next to me, but still . . . ) I affirmed the fact that these acts of kindness and service are getting more and more natural. (Easier?? Um, sometimes. Maybe once in a while.)

I think I am starting to really get the hang of this kindness thing! At least, I hope so. I pray so. God, how am I doing with this intentional act of service thing, anyhow? If you could , I pray that you will allow me to find out. That would be great, God! Affirmation and confirmation for me, and continued acts of service for everyone else!

Thanks, God!

@chaplaineliza

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Following Christ’s Example—Being of Service

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, April 16, 2014

cross -lenten quiet day 2011- stgeorgesavannah.org

Following Christ’s Example—Being of Service

As I sat in bible study today, the leader ended the study with a call to service. Serve as Jesus served. Not surprisingly, this blog was the first thing that popped into my head. Accordingly, I spoke up. “I have a blog where I write about acts of intentional service. God gave me this idea at the beginning of this year, and I have been looking for opportunities to be kind every day.”

The other people around the table nodded, and seemed interested, but we were just finishing up. I did not want to get started on another conversation. So after some prayer, we left for the morning. But this idea kept rolling around my head. This call to service—because our Lord Jesus served others—is a tremendous reason to be kind, intentionally.

I thought I would go back and look at what I intended as I started, in January. Yes, I thought I would focus on acts of service during each week. And I am intentionally pursuing acts of service for each day. That’s every day this year. At least, that’s what I am trying to do.

What did I do today, you ask? I used my listening skills. I actively listened to a friend, and talked with this friend for some time. I hope I provided some encouragement and assistance. I know I was encouraged, for sure!

Our Lord Jesus provided encouragement and assistance regularly to people. According to the biblical record, He was never in a hurry, rarely upset, always calm and collected. Lord, that is what I want to try to do. Please, God, help me in this endeavor. I want to serve as Jesus served. Thank You so much for hearing my prayer and doing what You can to respond! I know I am faulty, flawed, and sometimes angry or upset. But, God, You can make things right. You can make things beautiful. I pray that, please!

@chaplaineliza

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