Of Service, with a Vacuum (Cleaner, That Is)

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, May 25, 2014

car-wash and sponge drawing

Of Service, with a Vacuum (Cleaner, That Is)

Today is (was) the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it! Today was also Sunday. A wonderful day, and perfectly gorgeous outside.

I worked this morning. I do enjoy leading worship and preaching, very much! I hope and pray that the service was a blessing to many people. And afterwards, I finished up watching a video this afternoon. (My thinking? All work and no play makes Jill a dull girl, indeed!) After some computer work, a few emails, and a few tweets on Twitter, my daughter and I went out to clean up the car. After all, I have a number of family members coming into town tomorrow!

One of my sisters is hosting a family reunion this week. For my part, I said I would be happy to fetch people from the airport, and drive them around town while they are here. One problem: the car needed to be cleaned out. I do this periodically, but I hadn’t done it thoroughly since last fall. Our car badly needed cleaning! Vacuuming, and general tidying up.

We have one of those do-it-yourself car washes in town. Plus, the car wash also features several heavy-duty, industrial strength vacuum cleaners. Good for clearing and cleaning out vehicles, both large and small. When I need to clean out our car, I make a beeline for this place. Accordingly, I tidied the car, cleared out all the miscellaneous junk and stuff that needed to be thrown away, and vacuumed the car.

Meanwhile, my daughter cleaned the inside windows, and the dashboard and control panel. I know we didn’t do anything like deep cleaning, but it’s amazing how nice and tidy the car looks now! And, it’s ready to pick up and drop off my family, too.

Routine maintenance, that’s one way of looking at it. Gosh, I could make an analogy out of this, without much difficulty! Regular, routine cleaning of my mind. My intellect. My emotional state. My feelings. If I tidy up mentally, from time to time, I feel better. I am more likely to be on an even keel, emotionally. Part of my mental-cleaning routine involves prayer. Meditation. Mindfulness practices. And more recently—in the past six months—I have added gentle yoga. All helpful to me!

This kind of mental, routine maintenance certainly helps me get things in order to be kind. Do acts of service. Take opportunities to be helpful. I am going to be helpful to my family! Since I ordinarily don’t have much of an opportunity to see them (most of them live out of state!), I am very glad for this chance. I am looking forward to a family-filled next few days!

@chaplaineliza

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Little by Little

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, April 13, 2014

BK be kind whenever possible

Little by Little

Day Seven of the bathroom facelift: in the home stretch! My contractor is coming back tomorrow to put the vanity in place and touch up the fresh paint he put on today. That’s just about all there is left. The brand new tile is beautiful! White, with a gray-ish glass mosaic trimming around the top. I keep pinching myself, because of the old tile—gosh darn it, more than that! The whole bathroom was scuffed up, old and tired.

However, Phase Two is going to take place on Tuesday. New carpet! (and such a deal, too!) My husband is a book lover. I am a book lover. When we put a lot of our books in one room and turn off the lights, I could swear there is some funny business going on. It seems as if they are mating, since they seem to duplicate. Double, sometimes even triple in number. I mention the books because it was a condition of the carpet guys putting in the carpet. Yes, my husband and I are almost done boxing up all the books and bringing them downstairs.

This was a process. A long, drawn-out process. But little by little, we are getting it done. It’s amazing how , incrementally, things can add up. It’s amazing how the piles of boxes gradually grow in the basement, too. As I’ve been watching the contractor work for these past few days, I have noticed the same thing with him and his work, too. A few set-backs, a couple of difficulties and problems, but nothing that made the contractor throw up his hands in frustration. (I could just imagine!) But thankfully, work is almost done.

As for me, I tried to be helpful and patient every place I went today—church, home, stores. I took the cue from these excellent examples. So, I tried my darnedest to be kind. Be helpful. Be of service. Final confirmation with the carpet salesman. He and I had a great conversation confirming the correct carpet swatch and the photo.

I tried to help out the contractor, too. Verifying the paint color, getting various things—as long as I was going to be stopping by the do-it-yourself hardware store. And truthfully, all the people I encountered were really, really kind.

God, I hope You show me the best way to let people know that I am interested in them, that I care about them and their families. At church, in the garden, and especially when I am out and about. God willing, I’ll keep trying to make a way where there is no way. I hope and pray that You lead me to people who could use, even need my touch.