Serving by Housekeeping—or Rather, Maintenance?

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, April 21, 2014

KIND another one kind word

Serving by Housekeeping—or Rather, Maintenance?

I went to work this morning. Quite a common thing to do, for many people. Going to work, that is. I am still getting used to my workplace, and everything involved with it. I very much like it! However, there are a lot of parts and pieces to my job. I need to get up to speed in more than the areas of pastoral care, preaching and music ministry. And, that’s a necessary thing. A good thing.

Say, administration and office work. I know how to do a lot of that, in other contexts. Just not in this specific church, in this particular suburb. I know each place has different idiosyncrasies, so it’s a good idea for me to familiarize myself with as much of the office as I can. And perhaps, I can suggest some things that might be helpful to the functioning of the office and organization. Or if you like, helpful to the ministry of the church and the congregation.

I asked some questions today about operations and maintenance, too! I know that some people would think certain questions might be silly. However, I’ve found I am usually beyond feeling shy or embarrassed at asking most questions. When I was a teenager, even into my twenties, I used to be shy and awkward. I might have those tendencies even now, but I am able to laugh about my occasional stumbles and missteps. It’s okay! Really, it is. Most people slip up sometimes. Or even more often than that. Like I said, it’s okay.

Thinking about the bible verse I chose for April, I could easily apply it to today’s activities. A verse from Colossians, verse 3:23. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” I don’t need to concern myself with what human beings think of me and my work. Instead, my first priority is to stay focused on God. If I try to please God, that’s the main thing.

Since I need to brush up on my church administration skills and activities, I do need to find out more about the office. Talking with informative and helpful people—like the head of the trustees, and the church treasurer—is a great way for me to orient myself to all things. And, I hope that activities at my workplace continue to go smoothly.

I know I want the best for my workplace. I also know I will try to be conscientious, kind and cheerful in my work and ministry. Will this be hard? Without a doubt. Will this job be rewarding? I know so, in many cases. I hope and pray that I will do my best—as Colossians 3:23 recommends. And not just at work, but in every area of my life.

What about you? Is there an area or a person you’re not sure about? Why not try some prayer? God will lead each of us. Whenever, wherever you or I go. God will be right there, by our side. That’s a promise.

@chaplaineliza

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Showing Love, Cleaning the Kitchen

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, February 6, 2014

kitchen scene -Flickr

Showing Love, Cleaning the Kitchen

I had an unexpected day off from work yesterday, so I took the opportunity to be a homebody. Just stayed at home, did work on the computer, and caught up on some business (not urgent, but it still needed to get done eventually). I also did some cleaning in the kitchen. Not exactly my favorite thing to do, but it also needs to be done. I cleaned and straightened a number of things, including the counters, microwave oven, table, and especially the stove and sink. (I must be rigorously honest, though. Yes, I still need to wash the floor. It’s in the back of my mind. Nagging. Pestering me. But that’s for another day.)

Some members of my extended family are natural cleaners. Since our family grew up on the northwest side of Chicago, among some Polish immigrants, and since our family has Polish stock in our ancestry, several of my family joke that certain members inherited the Polish cleaning genes. I remember some of the middle-aged and older Polish ladies in the neighborhood, while I was growing up. Their houses would be immaculate. I remember one older lady—I think she was the older aunt or grandmother of the people who owned the house. I’d walk by their garage, a few doors down the alley, and she would be on her hands and knees washing the garage floor. Seriously. No joke cleaning. Well, some of my relatives are almost that thorough.

The verse that I am focusing on in February is 1 John 3:18, “Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.” What could be more loving than making certain that my kitchen is a clean and pleasant place to cook and to eat food? And, to sit and read at the kitchen table? I must admit, things do tend to pile up around my house. Mail. Papers. Books. (It is not a large space to begin with.) This is one area that I know I need to work on. God, I get the message. I feel the nudge. Or, nudges, depending on the week. Sometimes I have legitimate reasons why I can’t get to the housework. Work is important, and I have worked some overtime recently. (My husband was pleased about that—so was I.) But sometimes . . . sometimes, I only do the minimum required.

That’s like my internal housekeeping, too. Sometimes, I only do the minimum to keep things spiritually tidy, to get thoughts and ideas internally organized, to get my brain oriented towards things that are useful, or helpful, or worthwhile. Not that I waste a lot of time (since we don’t have cable television or any of the computer-assisted television packages), but I am pleased to say I do not watch hours of reality television. And—I do not miss it! But enough with bashing current trendy culture.

God, I do want to follow You. Be of service. Act in ways that are kind and helpful. Please, help me as I work on cleaning more regularly, each day. Wow, what a way for me to be of service!

@chaplaineliza