Worried and Distracted? Being Kind Anyway.

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, November 19, 2014

kind words

Worried and Distracted? Being Kind Anyway.

Very early in my experience reading the Bible (in Sunday school, I suspect), I vividly remember being introduced to the sisters Mary and Martha, in the Gospel accounts. I believe I first was attracted by their poignant emotions and the down-to-earth descriptions by the Gospel writer.

So, periodically, I reacquaint myself with these two ladies.

Some time ago, the Scripture passage that accompanied my prayer time was from Luke 10. I was drawn to the verse where our Lord Jesus said to Martha, “you are worried and distracted by many things.” God, that’s me! I can be worried and distracted by all kinds of things: important, trivial, you name it. I bet I’ve been distracted by it, at one time or another. My Myers-Briggs type is ENFP, and a prayer for this type goes this way: ‘God, help me keep my mind on—look! A bird! –one thing at a time.’

This whole situation matters to me today because I was called upon to pray, several times today. I was so moved by several things, I almost couldn’t help it. Here, with my immediate, active interest and compassion, I found myself available to serve God. And, to serve others. My words of encouragement, comfort, and prayer helped calm several people today.

When I specifically have set aside time for prayer, God needs to take top priority. And, then people take a close second. Even when the distractions are genuine and worthwhile (or so I think), help me understand that they pale in comparison to spending focused, uninterrupted quality time with You.

I am so glad I was available to pray with these dear people. Such important situations. So tired, and yet re-energized by the power of prayer.

Thanks for being there, whenever I need You, God. And, thanks for accompanying other people. (me, too!!). I couldn’t manage without You. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

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Being of Service, Even Though I Had a Splinter . . .

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, August 20, 2014

little things

Being of Service, Even Though I Had a Splinter . . .

Today was a busy day. Lots to do at work, with a sermon to block out and outline, but email to answer. Calls to return, even some paperwork to take care of. (Yes, there’s still paperwork. The church has not gone paperless yet.) Plus, I am still helping my daughter get ready for move-in day on Friday. I did three loads of laundry between late last night and early this morning. Almost all for her, I may add.

Yes, that was my big task of being kind for today. But I needed to prepare for tomorrow, too. I am participating in a hymn sing at a senior residence facility in Chicago in the afternoon. I am going to play the piano and lead the seniors in hymns and gospel songs. I am looking forward to this, very much! It will be so good to see many of these seniors again.

But—I’m not there yet. I was still at my church this afternoon, handling some necessary things, on the computer. I sat at my desk. The desk is large. Wooden. Mostly plain, except with a rather fancy edge trim, all around the top. Little lip, inset, out again, and then straight down for about half an inch. I must admit, I never really thought about that edge before. That is, not until this afternoon. Not until I happened to bump my left hand against that little lip. My hand was on its way up to the laptop computer keyboard, I got distracted, and bump! I ended up with a tiny sliver in the tip of my middle finger. That sliver? About one quarter of an inch long.

I ended up spending almost an hour getting the sliver out. I went to the kindergarten teacher (it was nap time). I asked whether they had a needle anywhere around. No. Only a set of plastic tweezers. I searched in the church office, just about everywhere. Finally, I found a pin. A large pin with a decorative head, probably used for securing a corsage. At least it was sharp! I washed the point off with soap and water and proceeded to pick at the splinter. I finally removed it, bit by bit.

That little splinter totally preoccupied my mind for almost an hour. Such a little bit of a thing was huge in my mind and my feelings.

All this time, I dearly wanted to practice the piano. I haven’t played for a number of days, and I wanted my fingers at least a little limber, to be better able to play tomorrow afternoon.

Yes, I did finally practice. And yes, I did continue helping my daughter pack, and get ready to leave. Being kind, and being of service. Preparing for more service to come.

Now, God, there’s still the matter of that sermon . . .

@chaplaineliza

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Being Kind While Distracted?

A Year of Being Kind blog –Thursday, March 20, 2014

you are not alone

Being Kind While Distracted?

The last day at my conference for alcohol and drug counselors was today! Yes, there were some fantastic sessions! However, I had a difficult time concentrating.  But more about that, later.

The morning session was on ethics: the ethics of doing what counselors do, the dual relationships that can happen, and what might possibly be the results of those interactions. Dual relationships are a difficult animal! Sure, they happen, from time to time. And especially in parts of rural Illinois. This conference drew people from all over the state, so we had an opportunity to hear things from a wide variety of workplaces and backgrounds.

I enjoyed the afternoon session, too. The two facilitators presented a topic that made a lot of sense, given the kinds of people drug and alcohol counselors usually work with. The topic was on family systems—the way families work. Add some cultural differences and some relationship insights, and stir briskly. Then sprinkle with substance abuse issues, and what do you get? A common problem that people in this field often are forced to deal with. Family issues go far beyond anything that one individual might be dealing with.

Yes, I was interested in both sessions! I happened to sign up ahead of time (when I sent in my conference fee, last month). But there was some additional relationship stuff going on right now. I mean, with me, personally and currently. Or rather, with one of my family members. Since I was at a conference with other counselors, I thought, what a great place to get some advice! I asked two or three of my fellow counselors some general questions: here’s a basic situation, I said. How would you deal with it? What is one starting point? Where do you think you might concentrate?  And I also wanted to know, what was one action plan you might suggest? Since I was and am so close to my family situation, I need all the help I can get.

As I’ve mentioned before, the people at this conference are kind, encouraging, and caring, in all kinds of situations. Just so, in my personal situation, as well. Yes, I was distracted! Yes, it was quite a challenge to keep my mind on the sessions I was sitting in. But thank God, people were kind to me. I reciprocated, to the very best extent I could! I think it is marvelous that I am a part of a professional group that has such loving and caring people as members. I know that many of these people are people of faith, and I was able to connect with a few of them in that area, too. Able to be present with each other.

I also know that God is present with me, even though I am going through a rough time. (And it’s not just my business–it involves several others. If it were just my rough time I am talking about, I would let you know!) I take deep breaths. Say the Serenity Prayer. It’s not just an intellectual understanding, but I also have a deep-down feeling that God is right here, too. Next to me, for real. God is right next to you, too. Believe it.

@chaplaineliza

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