Being Kind, and More Adventures in Dentistry (#BestOf)

Being Kind, and More Adventures in Dentistry (#BestOf)

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I went in for a regularly scheduled dental visit last week. Teeth cleaning. When the dentist came in, he gave me a clean bill of dental health. As I read through several posts from June 2014 (when I was in the middle of my Year of Being Kind), I came across this one—where I talked about self-care, and how self-care was so important a part of the life of someone in the caring profession. I cannot emphasize this enough. It’s good to take care of oneself. Jesus is an excellent example for me. God willing, may I continue to follow His example and continue to take care of myself.

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, June 17, 2014

kindness sand image

Being Kind, and More Adventures in Dentistry

There I was, having a snack on Sunday afternoon. Suddenly—I felt something hard in my mouth. And part of my molar was gone. Cracked. I felt the jagged edge with my tongue and took in a deep breath. Breathed out the sigh of frustration. I needed this like I needed another hole in my head. (Upon reflection, I suppose that’s pretty much what it is. Another hole, I mean.)

The dentist’s assistant and I talked yesterday, and I found out that I could have the first appointment on Wednesday morning. Thank goodness I have a responsive dentist! He was gone over the weekend, but will be back tomorrow. So, bright and early, I have the first appointment in his office. And, I am—almost—filled with trepidation to find out what are the next steps he suggests for this lower molar.

Today was rather challenging for me. Not too much, since I don’t want people to think my cracked tooth is causing a great, big hole in my mouth. But, it is rubbing a little sore in my tongue. Irritating, and bothersome. So much so, that I am speaking as if I had a slight speech impediment now. Since about the middle of the morning.

I reflected on my practice of being kind, as I sat in the office today. As I thought, I found I was concentrating so much on being kind to others. I don’t often sit back and allow others to be kind to me. Not to get all introspective or anything, but taking care of myself is important, too! The dentist’s assistant was very kind and understanding as she put me down for a special visit tomorrow—the earliest of the day, too.

This train of thought led me on. What other things am I neglecting in my life? How can others be helpful to me? And, how else could I be kind to myself?

I know, from my years of working as a chaplain, how valuable being kind to myself could be. Except, I call it “self-care.” I know that this practice is getting a lot of press now, especially since those in the helping professions are increasingly finding regular self-care to be a necessity.

Now that I’m talking about it, I can see how Jesus practiced self-care in His life, during His ministry. He would withdraw on a regular basis. Go away by Himself and be alone. Pray. I suspect He was resting and recharging His batteries (metaphorically speaking, of course—especially since batteries were not invented until 1800).

I ought to follow His excellent example and take time for myself. Be kind to myself. Follow good practices of self-care. Good idea, O Lord! Thanks.


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

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




Of Service, in a Department Store

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, November 13, 2014

LOVE one another John 13-34

Of Service, in a Department Store

I helped out today. Volunteering in a department store. My church is participating in Carson’s Community Days, this Friday and Saturday. By participating, the church sold coupon books. The coupons are designated as “our” coupons. So when people who bought books from St. Luke’s Church give the cashier at the register “our” coupons, they are credited to “our” account. (At least, that was the way the process was explained to me. I may not have it quite right.)

So, I spent two hours yesterday, and two hours today greeting people at one of the main entrances in Carson’s. Asking whether anyone would like to purchase the books to use tomorrow or Saturday. I had some really interesting interactions, too!

I assisted one senior who was looking for a small cart. (Yes, Carson’s has small shopping carts, in a little corral by the door.) She was really downhearted at not finding a cart. I could see it in her face and hear it in her sigh of frustration and regret.

In my friendly, open manner, I came up to her. I asked her whether she might be able to use one of the metal strollers. “I know it’s more of a stroller, but it’s heavy duty. And it can carry packages and bags, too.” The senior looked at the black metal stroller assessingly, and then said she thought she would take it. About forty-five minutes later, the senior returned. Pushing the stroller with several bags in it.

I smiled at her. “I see you found some things today. How did the stroller work for you?”

“Oh, very well. Thank you for suggesting it.” I wished her well as she went out the door to her car.

Unexpectedly, I also met a wonderful woman, a retired employee I had known while she was working at a care center nearby. Such a caring, giving woman! It was marvelous to run into her again. Truly. She and I had a brief opportunity to talk together. And it was not just superficial. We had some meaningful, true conversation. Deep sharing. It is so amazing when that sort of thing is able to happen.

And those are just two of the wonderful interactions I had today. This was yet another situation when I saw God’s hand at work. When I put myself out there, give God the opportunity—“here I am. Use me. Send me.” God can do marvelous things.


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

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.