Being Helpful, at a Farmers’ Market (#BestOf)

(the Best of) A Year of Being Kind, Sunday, September 13, 2015

It was a sparkling September day today. Just like it was last year, on the 13th. I wanted to repost this, partly because it has good memories, and partly because it has a two-for-one kind of deal, again. Yes, I link in today’s repost to the Feature Friday article from the day before, where I posted about the Children of Abraham Coalition. (Check out my link, below, if you’d like to find out more!) Yes, good memories from the farmers’ market, and good memories from the potluck, too!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, September 13, 2014

BFM produce for blog book

BFM produce for blog book

Being Helpful, at a Farmers’ Market

Farmers’ Markets are wonderful things, whether in the middle of the city or in the suburbs. Not only are they places where local produce, goods and products are readily available, they are also great places for communication; for local non-profit organizations, churches, synagogues and other places of worship to get their messages out. Last—but certainly not least—farmers’ markets are wonderful places to meet and greet. For friends and acquaintances to say hello, touch base, and even make new friends.

It was a gorgeous, sunny September morning. For something different and out of the ordinary, my husband and I went to the market downtown today. We haven’t gone there regularly for a few years (not since the children were smaller). It’s a happening, bustling sort of place! Lots of shoppers, lots of stalls selling all manner of goods and produce, and lots going on. We strolled up and down the large aisles amidst all of the people coming and going. Took in the sights, as it were.

As we strolled, my husband put his head close to mine and said, “I wonder how long it will take before we meet someone we know?” This is a humorous sort of game we play when we go to a local restaurant, or take a walk downtown on a weekend. Sure enough, it’s rare that we don’t run into someone we know. And sometimes, know well!

Almost before the words were out of my husband’s mouth, the next thing we know I bump into a good friend. Literally! I had just picked some corn on the cob from a bushel basket and straightened up when our friend bumped into me with his backpack! (It didn’t hurt at all.) We both immediately stopped, turned, and started to apologize—when— “Hello! Good morning!”

After smiles, shaking of hands, and hugs, we started right in, talking. Our friend Gregg asked me about the church (which is going well, thank God!), and inquired what I had been doing lately. I knew our friend was interested in social justice, peace and reconciliation. So, I told him about the Potluck for Peace I had attended on Thursday. I mentioned the Children of Abraham Coalition, and he was indeed interested. I particularly mentioned the different groups and synagogues associated with the Coalition. Our friend thanked me, and I said I would get more information to him. (I will, Gregg! The link to my Friday Feature: http://wp.me/p4cOf8-fP)

I know it may seem like a little thing, but friendly meetings mean so much, sometimes. Keeping up connections, friendships. Exchanging smiles and hugs. And welcome information, too! Thanks for the opportunity to do all of these things today, God!

@chaplaineliza

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

(Suggestion: visit me at my daily blog for 2015: matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers.   @chaplaineliza And read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er – Thanks!)

Being Helpful, at a Farmers’ Market

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, September 13, 2014

BFM produce for blog book

Being Helpful, at a Farmers’ Market

Farmers’ Markets are wonderful things, whether in the middle of the city or in the suburbs. Not only are they places where local produce, goods and products are readily available, they are also great places for communication; for local non-profit organizations, churches, synagogues and other places of worship to get their messages out. Last—but certainly not least—farmers’ markets are wonderful places to meet and greet. For friends and acquaintances to say hello, touch base, and even make new friends.

It was a gorgeous, sunny September morning. For something different and out of the ordinary, my husband and I went to the market downtown today. We haven’t gone there regularly for a few years (not since the children were smaller). It’s a happening, bustling sort of place! Lots of shoppers, lots of stalls selling all manner of goods and produce, and lots going on. We strolled up and down the large aisles amidst all of the people coming and going. Took in the sights, as it were.

As we strolled, my husband put his head close to mine and said, “I wonder how long it will take before we meet someone we know?” This is a humorous sort of game we play when we go to a local restaurant, or take a walk downtown on a weekend. Sure enough, it’s rare that we don’t run into someone we know. And sometimes, know well!

Almost before the words were out of my husband’s mouth, the next thing we know I bump into a good friend. Literally! I had just picked some corn on the cob from a bushel basket and straightened up when our friend bumped into me with his backpack! (It didn’t hurt at all.) We both immediately stopped, turned, and started to apologize—when— “Hello! Good morning!”

After smiles, shaking of hands, and hugs, we started right in, talking. Our friend Gregg asked me about the church (which is going well, thank God!), and inquired what I had been doing lately. I knew our friend was interested in social justice, peace and reconciliation. So, I told him about the Potluck for Peace I had attended on Thursday. I mentioned the Children of Abraham Coalition, and he was indeed interested. I particularly mentioned the different groups and synagogues associated with the Coalition. Our friend thanked me, and I said I would get more information to him. (I will, Gregg! The link to my Friday Feature: http://wp.me/p4cOf8-fP)

I know it may seem like a little thing, but friendly meetings mean so much, sometimes. Keeping up connections, friendships. Exchanging smiles and hugs. And welcome information, too! Thanks for the opportunity to do all of these things today, God!

@chaplaineliza

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

Of Service? Using the Telephone!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, May 28, 2014

telephone drawing

Of Service? Using the Telephone!

I did a number of things today, including a bit of breakfast family-time. Leftovers from the family reunion yesterday. Even though I had to be at work later this morning, it was so good to see several of my dear family members one last time (for this visit, at least!).

After arriving at the church, I got together some materials and facilitated a bible study. Not the usual bible study, but that’s okay! A confluence of some significant things all impressed themselves upon me, and I wanted to bring them to the bible study this morning. It is amazing how God brings disparate things to my attention, and then—like puzzle pieces—they arrange themselves into a pattern. Wow! Amazing how that works. And then, sometimes, I just have to bring these significant patterns to people’s attention. Like today. I hope it was a worthwhile bible study for those who attended. I pray so!

However, I didn’t want to go on and on about the study in this blog posting. No, I wanted to talk about the telephone. Yes, I know that some people today don’t use the telephone as much any more. Many people prefer to use the Internet. Email. Texting. Other forms of communication. Not me. No, I still enjoy talking on the phone. I relish that personal interaction, that connection I make with a person over the telephone lines. (Or, even more significant, talking face to face! But that’s the topic of another blog post. For another day.)

This afternoon, I had several telephone conversations. One in particular was of note. I was asked to find out some information, verify some facts, and take down some recommendations. And afterwards, I need to write up a brief fact-finding report, giving my personal insights and what I recommend for this specific situation. Everything about this is so interesting! And, I tried (and continue to try) to take the opportunity to be of service. Especially in this situation, I am trying my darnedest to be helpful.

Gosh, I didn’t expect the spiritual gift of helps to be so active in me! I knew I had some of it, especially from the inventory of spiritual gifts I did quite some years ago. Yes, that was a no-brainer. However, deciding to embark upon this Year of Being Kind really activated the gift of helps within me. I mean, I’ve looked for ways I might be able to help, for years. But this commitment, these 365 Days of Service are teaching me to put out my spiritual antennae. To actively look for people, places and things that might need some service. Or a helping hand. Or someone to be kind.

And sure enough, God is sending things to do, people to see and places to go. All in the name of God. Gosh, I wonder what God will send my way tomorrow? I’m not sure, but I suspect it will be great!

@chaplaineliza

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Being Kind, Accompanying a Friend

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, April 24, 2014

 

friendship when people know all about you

Being Kind, Accompanying a Friend

I accompanied a friend to a medical visit today. I was happy to! Really.

This reminded me of situations in the hospital or in the care center, where I—the chaplain—would stay with patients and their relatives while medical personnel came into the room and talked at length about their medical condition. Or, about other sensitive or confidential information.

Of course, I would never stay without their permission. Sometimes, if the patient was unable to request my presence, the family members would. And, I understood, oftentimes. If I do say so myself, I have a comforting, less-anxious presence. This is helpful when I deal with upset or anxious patients and loved ones, or even angry and downright upset patients and relatives. And on occasion, the patient or family want me to pray for them, pray for the loved ones at home or scattered throughout the country. Or, pray for healing of body and soul, pray for comfort and encouragement for everyone involved (in the hospital and outside, too).

There’s another reason I remain with them: an extra pair of ears is sometimes helpful, too. I’ve seen it happen again and again. Even though the medical personnel often speak slowly and try to make sure the patient and family understand all the explanations and details and options, sometimes things can be overwhelming. All the information, all the upset, all the distraction. The unfamiliar rooms and beds, the hospital units, the unfamiliar staff coming into the rooms at all hours. And in some hospitals, the sheer size of the facility can be intimidating.

Not that my friend today was involved with any of these unpredictable aspects, but all the things eventually got squared away. I did, however, keep my ears open when the medical personnel came in, and I simply listened. Active listening, I mean. I hold people’s confidences very dear to my heart, and do my very best to get the clear picture from the medical professional. Just as backup for my friend, in case there was any clarification needed or discrepancy found.

My friend and I had a good talk, after the office visit. I am glad I was there to be an extra pair of eyes, ears and way of transportation.

I wonder: will there be anyone to do that for me? I am in fairly good health. (Yay, me!) I don’t think I need to go into the hospital or care centers right now. So, I suspect there will be sometimes when my loved ones need medical care. Or, even me! I might need to go to the doctor or oral surgeon or some other kind of professional. Ya never know. (I don’t!)

@chaplaineliza

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Scattered, but Still Trying to Be Kind

A Year of Being Kind blog – Thursday, April 10, 2014

God's plans far exceed

Scattered, but Still Trying to Be Kind

God, so much to do, so many things to remember. I think I remembered just about everything. Except my power cord for my cell phone. But that’s okay.

Among other activities I did, I happened to meet with a new friend today. We talked about a number of things. And, I did one of the things I happen to do reasonably well: I listened. Active listening (again!). Again and again, I’ve found myself in recent situations where I fall back on one of my strong suits. And listen I do.

I had another meeting today, which was great. A good deal of information was passed to and fro, and I feel really positive about it. Isn’t it wonderful when something happens that you know—intuitively—was deep down good? That’s how I feel today. Good! Positive! Satisfied.

This reminds me of the verse that I chose for the month of April: Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Here in this verse, the Apostle talks about working with all my heart. Not half-hearted. With enthusiasm! Positive! Satisfied! Encouraging, too.

I know I sometimes think about what other people are going to say. I suppose that’s natural. However, I need to redirect my focus. Take my focus off others and place it on the Lord. I suppose I need to remind myself that God is my Boss, my Manager. And with God in the highest supervisory position/role, I can relax. God is not going to be dictatorial, or arbitrary, or downright mean to me! (And believe me, I have had bosses who have been all that, and more!)

Yes, today held a great deal of work, but there was some fun in there, too. I hope and pray I was an encouragement for the people I met.

Gee, I wonder what tomorrow will bring? God, hurry up and show me! I can hardly wait.

@chaplaineliza

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