Show Kindness and Love? To My Family!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Sunday, September 28, 2014


Show Kindness and Love? To My Family!

I love my family. My sisters and brothers. My children. My husband. My in-laws. My cousins. I love them all!

Sadly, most of them are far away. And I mean, far away. A plane ride away. Much further away than the other side of the Chicago metropolitan area. Yes, my parents were native Chicagoans, and my oldest sister and I still live in the area. But my other siblings have scattered, all over the country. One of my children is now on the east coast (because of work). It is becoming more and more difficult to gather everyone (or, even most of us) together in one place, at the same time.

Yet, I do try to communicate, from time to time. Social media is great! Several long-distance family members have Facebook accounts, and it’s great to keep in touch that way. Then, of course, I also use the older technology—like tonight, with the telephone. I used my land line, and I talked with one of my sisters, also on her land line.

I love talking with my sister Sue. She is such an interesting person, in her own right. Fascinating. Sue and I talked about my upcoming breakfast with Leslie (my oldest sister), tomorrow morning. Two days, and two experiences with family. (Besides my son and husband, of course. They live with me. Or, I live with them.) Leslie always has something going on, including travel, in the near future.

Hmm. I wonder whether my relationship with my earthly family (my family of origin) is at all similar to my relationship with those in my congregation. I love my congregation. I really and truly do. And I love hearing about various members going out of town. It doesn’t matter whether they were traveling or just staying at home. Wonderful experiences. I hope I will be able to show love, caring, encouragement and support to my friends, the flock. And those beyond the church, too!

That’s what this experience of being kind has taught me. Since I have been concentrating so hard on being kind or helpful, or showing too much stress, or worrying about circumstances, I can miss prayer, and meditation. Sometimes. Thank God I have a great church! And, a great family, to boot. God bless me, and bless everyone else in my extended family, too.


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Being of Service on the Telephone

A Year of Being Kind blog – Monday, August 4, 2014

PRAY healing prayer

Being of Service on the Telephone

I made a number of telephone calls today. I talked with a number of people, some of them extended conversations. The most important, most significant part of several of these conversations? I joined in prayer with the person on the other end of the line. Feeling the fellowship that prayer brings.

Prayer is supposed to be a natural, everyday thing. For some people, it certainly is! I can tell, just from the ease, the confidence, the eagerness that some people bring to prayer. For these people, it is truly a conversation between them and their Best Friend. Between them and their Heavenly Parent. And, amen to that! I wish things could always be that way between God and me.

Today, I know that several people appreciated my prayers over the phone. And, I visited one person in the middle of the day, who even said my prayers hit the spot! I am glad. I used to pray much more often, as a chaplain working in an urban hospital (in Chicago). It seemed like I was doing much the same thing today. Many of the calls I made today ended with prayer. I hope I was an encouragement and support to several of these friends I talked with on the phone today.

Now, I am going to switch gears for a few moments. I went to yoga class this evening, and had a great time. I am progressing in core strength, and am feeling better and better as the weeks go by. When I came back to the locker room, I took the lock off my locker and started to shuffle through my stuff. I had the urge to go to the bathroom, so I did. Without putting the lock back on my locker. The locker room was almost empty. Only four other women, three in other areas. One young woman, about twenty, was halfway dressed and about twenty feet down the way at the lockers facing me.

I hurried to the bathroom around the corner, came back, and met my yoga instructor. She and I had a brief conversation. The young woman had left the locker room by the time I opened my locker again.

I pulled on my street clothes. For some reason, I pulled out my wallet from my pants pocket. I checked it again, to make certain. Sure enough, there was a twenty dollar bill missing. Earlier, I had gone to the cash station and taken out forty dollars. I stopped for lunch this afternoon, and spent a few dollars. So, the ten, five, and one dollar bills were in my wallet, true. But the twenty was gone. I did not fly off the handle. I did not get all upset. However, I did feel badly for that young woman. I don’t know for sure, but I strongly suspect she did take the twenty.

I found myself praying for that young woman. As I remembered her standing by her locker—I had just a glimpse of her—I remember thinking that she seemed sad. Possibly with low self-esteem. It was how she held herself and the sad, almost pinched expression on her face. All this registered with me in a flash as I turned and busied myself at my own locker.

God, I do pray for whoever took that twenty dollar bill. I hope and pray that they are blessed—nurtured by whatever they buy with it.


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Interrupted—to Help Out

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, May 31, 2014

direct line to heaven

Interrupted—to Help Out

Ever get interrupted by the telephone? Unexpected call? Need to rush to pick someone up?

That was me, later this evening.

Don’t get me wrong: today was great. Beautiful weather. And the last of my relatives spent their last day in Chicago today. This evening, my husband, daughter and I went to dinner with my brother and his wife before they prepare to fly back to the west coast tomorrow. Lovely time together, with awesome food (deep dish pizza, yum!!). I think I can say all five of us had a fine dinner. Or should I say, “dining experience?”

My son couldn’t go with us. He works at a downtown restaurant in our town. He needed to work later this afternoon, and this evening. Everything here was settling down. Getting quiet. My daughter had left to spend the night with a good friend (also to chat, and have some girl-talk). My husband had turned in—already sleeping. I took advantage of the opportunity (and the quiet) to get some computer work accomplished.

The telephone rang, breaking the silence. “Good evening.”

“Hi, Mom.” Deep, chesty cough. Several more coughs. “Could you come pick me up from work? Like, now?” More coughing. I thought he sounded sad, almost forlorn. So, off I went. Of course, I picked him up! I needed to switch gears, put on my Mom/practical nurse hat, and tend to his cough and his respiratory difficulty. I gave him some medication, and suggested that he get in the warm shower. Breathe in the warm steam. Gratefully, he did that, for a good long while.

What did parents do before easy access to medication? Pray, pray, and pray. (It’s still a good idea.)

God, thank You for my son. I pray for him, for his respiratory difficulty, and for his cough. God, please alleviate his discomfort. Give me wisdom and understanding to know what to do and when to do it. In Your mercy, Lord, hear my prayer.


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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!


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