Being Kind, on an Anniversary!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Wednesday, August 13, 2014

LOVE 1 Cor 13-7

Being Kind, on an Anniversary!

Today is my anniversary. Or, to be completely correct, today is my wedding anniversary. (My husband’s, too.) I remember the day of our wedding. A downright hot day in Chicago. The church wasn’t air-conditioned. Neither was my sister’s Victorian-era house, which was several doors down from the church. At least the wedding was at eleven o’clock in the morning, so it hadn’t gotten too hot yet. A small, modest affair. Just what my husband and I wanted.

But that was twenty years ago. Fast forward to today. Back to the workaday world. The earlier part of the day was filled with regular work-stuff. I mean, telephone calls made, emails sent, the fall schedule firmed up. I checked two fliers/bulletin inserts from last year and updated them with proper information and new dates. (Important!)

I also made a visit to a care center to visit a senior. Good visit! All the way around. I enjoy these visits where people are feeling pretty perky. (I mean, generally. Of course, the visit was to a care center, so people are not feeling their best. But, still.) Visiting people who are getting healthy and going to leave the hospital or care center soon is certainly much more heartening than visiting in an ICU or emergency department.

I realize, as a chaplain, I had a responsibility to do my best to come alongside of people in serious or traumatic health care situations. But I have shifted my care. Shifted my priorities. I am not working with people who are so seriously ill. I don’t deal with their loved ones on a regular basis, trying to come alongside of them as they reframe the patients’ life situations. Instead, my work is now a local parish. A small, intimate congregation.

But after I finished at the care center today, I ran several errands and ended up at the grocery store. I decided to buy my husband a small cake for our anniversary. As long as he is very fond of yellow cake with chocolate icing, I knew the store nearby would be sure to have one. And, sure enough. They even had a one-layer cake available, so I didn’t have to get a big two-layer cake. (too much!)

My husband was happy to see the cake. Plus, my son (senior in high school) and his two friends were even more pleased to see it, and to eat some, too. (The chocolate icing was superb, as well!) So, I fed some hungry stomachs today. Another way of thinking about it is, I was kind to four hungry guys.

Good memories. Good cake. All in all, a good anniversary.

@chaplaineliza

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Feeling Sad—but Helping Anyway!

A Year of Being Kind blog – Saturday, July 26, 2014

striped cat

Feeling Sad—but Helping Anyway!

Today was my niece Josie’s wedding day, in Tacoma, Washington. (I’ve already seen a photo from the occasion. Lovely! She looked so happy. As all brides ought to.) The wedding took place outside in a beautiful park. Many of my family members attended the wedding, including my two older daughters. But, alas, I was not able to attend. (For a number of reasons, not least of which was that I really needed to go to the two conferences I attended last weekend.)

I felt badly that I was unable to go to Washington, and regretfully told my niece so about a month ago. I did send my best wishes, good thoughts and prayers with my oldest daughter. Plus, I’ll be sending a card next week. A little extra wedding good-wishing, after the fact.

However, this circumstance frees me up to take care of my daughter’s cat. My oldest daughter and her roommate have an apartment not far from where I live. I can easily run over there and pop in on the cat. Give her food and water. A friendly, sometimes attentive cat! While I sat at the dining room table with my laptop, the cat jumped onto my lap a number of times. Rubbed her head and shoulders against my hands and arms, and was insistent about being petted. Accordingly, I petted her willingly enough.

This cat likes people! That is, usually. She does have her moods, and sometimes goes off to hide or to be on her own. But even so soon after my daughter left (early yesterday morning), the cat came running to see me as soon as I came in the back door. Eager to be with company, desiring attention and praise.

Reminds me a little bit of . . . me. Me as I used to be, as a teenager. I wanted attention. I craved praise and admiration. (Strokes, perhaps?) When I was a teenager, and afterwards for a number of years, I had a sad case of low self-esteem. Due to a number of factors, I would strive for attention, help out at school, church, neighbors’ homes, and also my own home. Also, I would go after praise and strokes from others. I seldom heard these compliments at home, so I listened hard whenever anyone sent a compliment my way. I valued them, so very much!

Now, of course, I have gained greatly in self-esteem. Plus, I have a faithful prayer team that lifts me up in supportive prayer on a regular basis. I regularly encourage and support younger and more tentative people. (But enough about me.)

Yesterday and today, I gladly went to take care of my daughter’s cat! I know the cat was very pleased to see me. Moreover, I am pleased to help my daughter, and to be of service when and where I can. Plus, I got to pet a friendly cat! A win-win-win situation.

@chaplaineliza

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