A Tiring Day. A Day to Be Kind, Too?

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, October 12, 2014

What autumn is supposed to look like.  (Photo credit - Kevin Jones)

What autumn is supposed to look like.
(Photo credit – Kevin Jones)

A Tiring Day. A Day to Be Kind, Too?

Today was a good day. Enjoyable, busy, filled with hustle bustle. Greeting friends, acquaintances, and fellow congregation members. This was also the end of a hectic, week-long time of preparation. I did an enjoyable presentation yesterday morning, which was quite satisfying. But in terms of preparation and planning? I was running, running all week, doing both pastoral care and pastor-things, as well as preparation, planning and group facilitator things (for yesterday).

When I finally got home in the early afternoon, I was tired. Done in. Blitzed. Tuckered out. Even though everything I’ve been involved in for over a week has been enjoyable, worthwhile and rewarding, now that I am at the end of it, I still felt extremely tired. (Still am.) I put up my feet for a bit. That felt wonderful, to finally slow down and to relax.

Since the weather was so beautiful today (and it was! Simply gorgeous autumn day!), my husband and I went out later in the afternoon. We traveled to a park along the lake, and walked. Windswept, yet temperate day for mid-October. I enjoyed everything about our walk. The bright sun on the sand, the variegated color of the leaves. We even saw a newer park bench overlooking the lake under the trees with a plaque on it. The plaque read: “Honey, let’s go down to the lake” and the two names of the couple who gave that bench.

As we gazed at that plaque, I felt a whisper of sorrow, loss, yearning. My husband nodded when I communicated that feeling. “I think one or the other of that couple put that bench here with the plaque attached,” he thought out loud. “One of the couple passed on, and the remaining half donated that bench to the park district. That’s what I’m guessing.” I paused, next to the bench. I felt sorrow and emptiness for this couple. I truly did. And then, ran to catch up with my husband.

I smiled and nodded to a number of people who lived nearby that park. Including dogs, and their human companions. I looked forward to a low key evening, and decided then and there to strive to be kind as much as possible. Being particularly tired, I knew I would not be able to do much.

I wonder—do I still act in a kind manner, even when I’m tired to pieces? Interesting question. I wouldn’t like to find out anytime soon, though. God, help me to be kind, no matter what is going on all around me. No matter how exhausted I may be. Thanks for God’s help!

@chaplaineliza

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In Which I Can Encourage Others

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, August 30, 2014

God faith and hope 1 Peter

In Which I Can Encourage Others

It sure feels good to be encouraged!

I fielded some telephone calls today—and a few were significant, for several reasons. Plus—I think I was able to help and encourage others as I responded to them.

One call, in particular, made me a little less anxious. Caused me to breathe a little more easily. And, I tried to encourage the person on the other end of the line, too. I think the call was mutually beneficial. That always makes me feel great!

There was some aftermath from the memorial service yesterday, too. Today, I strove to encourage people I met who attended the service with me yesterday afternoon. Yes, memorial services are almost always sad, and yes, I know many people who are coming to terms with their grief, their loss, their sadness and sorrow. It’s not only a gift to be able to encourage and comfort individuals who were (and are) affected, but it’s also a gift to give groups of people an opportunity to come together and support each other.

This goes for any one of a number of situations or experiences. Whether I’m speaking to a group of people, a few others in conversation, or one on one. It also makes me think of something very natural for me when I was working as a chaplain. My wonderful mentor in pastoral care told me it was so important to journey with hurting, troubled people. Claude-Marie was superb at doing exactly this, and I always felt so listened-to, so understood when I spent some time with her. Well—that’s what I strive to do for others. Now, in the past, and into the future as well.

Just as much as I honestly, earnestly tried to be an encouragement to others today, I was encouraged, too. A friend of mine sent me an email, and he said such encouraging, kind and affirming things to me in that letter, I told him that I wanted to print out that specific email and carry it around with me. That way, I would be able to pull out his email when I felt down, discouraged and blue.

God, thanks for friends who help me to feel better, feel good, or just plain feel positive about myself, my situation, and my relationships. I hope that I will continue to be able to encourage others, give them a hand, or say a kind word to them. After all, that is what A Year of Being Kind is all about: 365 Days of Service.

@chaplaineliza

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