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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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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