In Which I Did Sunday-type Things

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, May 18, 2014

BK be kind - color

In Which I Did Sunday-type Things

Today is the day the Lord has made! Yes, today was, indeed! Not only did God make today, but this particular Sunday was a beautiful day, on top of everything. Gorgeous! Even more than awesome!

I did Sunday-type things today. I tried to rack my brains and think of something particular, or something special I did today, but nothing popped into my head. Yet, I know I attended church. I greeted every person in the congregation. I prayed, gave the brief children’s message, prayed some more, and co-led the morning service. I talked with most people in coffee hour this morning, and joined in the optional, brief bible study the church had, after service.

As I said, I was puzzling over and over about exactly how I was of service today. (How did I serve, anyway?) And after thinking hard for most of the afternoon, I could not come up with any specific instances. (Of course, I thought of situations where people were kind to me—like, for instance, the man from the church who stayed several feet away from everyone because he was afraid of passing along a bad spring cold. (even a not-so-bad spring cold!)

Of course, I used my smile quite a bit today. (If anyone has seen my photo, you know I have a friendly, open smile. And it just sort-of-naturally happens! That’s one thing God has indeed blessed me with.) However, I didn’t go out of my way to do something special for someone else.

When my daughter and I were driving in the car recently, she happened to comment on my daily posts on this blog. She wondered out loud how effective it was for me to look for kind things to do each day. I mean, praying for God to send intentional acts of service into my life. “How ‘intentional’ is that, anyway?” she asked. Great question, I responded! I told her that I really and truly tried to have these acts of service come from the heart. Not out of obligation! No!

I tried my darnedest! Never that. I was earnest when I said that kind of attitude was self-defeating. That attitude would also negate any positive, genuine, loving expression of kindness I showed. She wrinkled her nose and looked at me sideways. (Maybe it was the position she was in, riding in the passenger’s seat next to me, but still . . . ) I affirmed the fact that these acts of kindness and service are getting more and more natural. (Easier?? Um, sometimes. Maybe once in a while.)

I think I am starting to really get the hang of this kindness thing! At least, I hope so. I pray so. God, how am I doing with this intentional act of service thing, anyhow? If you could , I pray that you will allow me to find out. That would be great, God! Affirmation and confirmation for me, and continued acts of service for everyone else!

Thanks, God!

@chaplaineliza

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Day One–A Snowy Day

A Year of Being Kind blog post – Wednesday, January 1, 2014

snowy landscape

Day One – A Snowy Day

When I woke up this gray morning, I saw snow. Light, fluffy snow. A brisk, chilly day. I brushed off the car and got ready to leave. As I drove to my friend’s house, I observed the beauty of the parkway along McCormick Road. White, almost pristine. Faint sparkles caught my eye as I looked at the snowy landscape. I thought of my fresh, new year, spread out before me. Like a wide, snowy expanse that hasn’t been walked on yet.

Since this is New Year’s Day, a holiday, my car was one of the very few cars on the road. Strange to be out after eight o’clock in the morning in suburban Chicago and to see the streets almost deserted. I could have just stayed home too, but I chose to be out and about. One of my friends had asked me to take her on several errands this morning. It was so good to see her! We had a wonderful time together. And, I was very glad to be of service, be available for my friend.

As a matter of course, I often focus on acts of service from time to time during any particular week. But 2014 is slightly different. I will be intentionally pursuing (looking for?) acts of service for each day. That’s every day this year. Moreover, I am choosing a verse from the Bible to use as a background for each month of service in 2014. Another way of thinking about my choice of verse is as subtext to my month’s service, as well as for my month’s blogs. For January, the verse I have chosen is Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.”

I’ve planned each month to focus on a different aspect of service. I wanted to concentrate on being kind this month. (As long as my blog is titled “A Year of Being Kind,” I did wish to start the year in that way.)  I’ve been told a number of times that I often act in a naturally kind and tenderhearted manner. When the idea for this whole concept came to me earlier in December, I felt that it was so natural for me! Helping one of my friends was natural, too. A joy, in fact.

I don’t want this year of service to devolve into “shoulds” and “obligations.” That’s the last thing I want, to be forced to do something simply because I said I would. I have a feeling I will need to be reminded about this, but that’s okay. (I hereby give anyone the permission to remind me, whenever I gripe.) I want this Year of Being Kind to be a year of opportunity for me. I have asked God-as-I-understand-God for opportunities to help others and be of service, but also to be gifted with opportunities for me. For my personal growth and development, too.

Yes, it will be a journey. A daunting, exciting, up-and-down journey. Will you come along with me? I have no idea what lies ahead. Oh, right. A year of service!