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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Serve with Enthusiasm Means Be Kind, Positively!

A Year of Being Kind blog –Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pooh, Eeyore and Christopher Robin - illustration by Ernest Shepard

Pooh, Eeyore and Christopher Robin – illustration by Ernest Shepard

Serve with Enthusiasm Means Be Kind, Positively!

Today was a whirlwind day. Running, running from one thing to the next. Don’t get me wrong—I enjoyed everything I did today! However, I also considered the verse I’ve chosen for March again. It comes from Ephesians 6:7. “Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women.”

I was at my new job for a while this morning, then at my old job this afternoon, and back to the new job for the evening Lenten service. My new church is full of life during the week, what with the preschool and small children in many classrooms throughout the north part of the church. I love children, and especially small, exuberant ones. Overwhelmingly, they have almost no inhibitions at all, entering into each experience as a new adventure, or a fascinating curiosity.

This exuberant enthusiasm of these dear children is something I find echoed in the verse I chose for March. (And I chose it for March at the beginning of January, I’ll have you know. Coincidence? Providence? You decide.) Truly, God is blessing people at my work. Not only the congregation, but also the preschool. I pray that it continues!

I also had a bittersweet good-bye today. I said farewell to someone I’ve gotten to know very well. I don’t mean, farewell for good. However, this dear person and I will not see each other very often, now that I have taken this new position. This dear one wished me the best! Imagine the appreciation and kind regard I have in my heart! And I wished the very best for that person, as well.

Question: how did I get in this particular place, anyhow? I still feel like pinching myself, because at the beginning of March, I had no idea that by the third Sunday, I would be leading worship in a new church. Today was the weekly bible study. Already, I am starting to feel the rhythms of this new place. Already, I can enjoy the children as I walk down the halls and say hello to students and staff alike.

It’s good to praise God with enthusiasm! Of course, the pessimistic viewpoint tries to inform me that it may rain tomorrow, and I may lose my keys, and someone might even shut the door on my tail. (Oh, no. Now I’m sounding like Eeyore. Oh, bother!) I much prefer the optimistic view, right now. Happy-go-lucky, one-day-at-a-time thinking. I suspect Winnie the Pooh would approve.

So, whether I am channeling Eeyore, Pooh, Piglet, Tigger or Owl, I hope I can always consider the excellent example of these dear preschool children. And be enthusiastic. Even if I’m not quite as exuberant as Tigger.

@chaplaineliza
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