Kindness through Imagination

A Year of Being Kind blog – Tuesday, December 2, 2014

favorite children's books

favorite children’s books

Kindness through Imagination

Have I mentioned that I love to read out loud? I am so happy that I am able to read out loud to the preschoolers and kindergarteners who attend Kids Academy at my church. This is a separate preschool, but housed in the same building.

I enjoy the children being excited about my reading to them. The teachers tell me they regularly, eagerly ask when I am coming to read to them. Every Tuesday, at 11:00, is the answer. Even though I had a cold today, I still came and read to the girls and boys. (I just made sure I stayed a good distance away. I don’t want anyone to catch what I have!)

I read two books today that involved imagination. The first book had a girl who imagined all of the stuffed animals and toy creatures in her bedroom came to life. (All this imagining kept her from cleaning her room!) We enjoyed seeing her have fun with each creature, in turn.

The second book was more involved. (The girls and boys got very much invested in the story!) This story had a more timid boy who wanted to go to the playground, but a pushy boy kept scaring him away. The timid boy would go home, where he and his father talked about the different situations and what he might do. The timid boy and the pushy boy finally made friends and started playing together in the playground. Imagination was a big part of this book too!

I’ve always had a marvelous imagination. I love to encourage this in people, any chance I get. (Especially in children!) This ability is such a gift, and such an opportunity. Almost like a muscle, imagination almost always just needs to be used to get stronger, quicker, and easier to use.

I’m happy to oblige! I am so glad that the children are so excited about reading. God bless these girls and boys, and help them develop their imaginations further. And especially, help all of these children to develop a lifelong love of reading.

@chaplaineliza

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Kindness, By Long Distance

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, November 22, 2014

a faithful God

Kindness, By Long Distance

Social media is a marvelous thing. But it can also be a lonely thing.

Sure, here we are. On one hand, so closely bound together, two people from opposite parts of the country who would otherwise never have met are now sitting IRL (in real life); They are sipping coffee together in downtown Chicago, talking each other’s ear off. On the other end of the spectrum, I know there are lonely people, separated and far away, in their apartments or homes, separated from meaningful interaction. These lonely individuals are nevertheless on social media most of the day, evening, and into the night.

I must admit, I laid low today. I was going to stay at home, quietly, after my yoga at the YMCA this morning. And, that was exactly what I did. But—a quiet afternoon? It was not.

As I mentioned to several people in the past few days, I have individuals coming to me, asking me for prayer. Several times in the morning I was further moved to ask several acquaintances for prayer, too. Keeping the prayer chain vital and active. It took a little while, but I prayed for individuals and groups, sometimes myself,  I felt energized and heard–on social media.

I don’t know—whether one or the other—or even more than one. God, may the praise and worship and prayer continue, whether You’re on social media or not, Even in real life.

 

@chaplaineliza

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Back to the Office—and Still Being Kind

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, July 23, 2014

kitten and little girl

Back to the Office—and Still Being Kind

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Well, what about all play and no work? What will that do to Jill? What kind of a girl will she become? It’s not that I did no work over the weekend. Certainly not! But I was in a very different setting. In two different settings, actually. (For those who missed my comings and goings, I was at one conference in Cleveland from Friday afternoon until Sunday midday. And then, I made a hop, skip and a jump to another conference in western Pennsylvania from Sunday mid-afternoon until after lunch on Tuesday.)

I’ve blogged about my conference-going for the past few days. Some marvelous insights! Some innovative ideas! Lots to think about, and lots to process over the next couple of weeks.

So—I was back in the office today. Answering a ton of email, responding to social media, doing a good deal of computer file maintenance and other types of office work and correspondence. Oh, I read to the preschoolers and kindergarteners at the preschool. Had several meetings with people over the telephone. Pretty much just stayed put, at the church.

And yet, I realized today that in just about every interaction, I purposed to be kind. Amazing how much six months of a kindness-orientation or service-practice can cause me to change my mindset. Well, that’s not quite right. I have shown the spiritual gifts of helps and encouragement for decades. That’s nothing new. But—this purposeful kindness- or helps-orientation every single day? That is new for me.

I haven’t spoken of the verse I chose for the month of July much. This is not a deliberate error on my end, because so much has been going on! But before July slips away, let’s take another look at James 1:22; “Be doers of the Word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.” To my way of thinking, using my spiritual gifts of helps and encouragement is doing the Word. Being active, not passive.

Towards the end of the day, I did something else that was active. Doing the Word, not just sitting there, vegetating like a spiritual couch-potato. I wrote out two cards and sent them to two separate people. One was a birthday card. A happy occasion! The other was a sympathy card—a friend’s mother recently died after some years in a nursing home. A sad occasion.

Yes, I spent most of the day sitting in my office, doing necessary work. But, I can still be kind. Still be of service and help to someone else. And, I do pray for each family who will be receiving a card. God be with them and bless them as God knows they need a touch from above. Thank You, God!

@chaplaineliza

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