Tag: kindness

Encouragement During The Storm.

WOW!  There is so much going on in this world.  Yesterday was a special day of remembrance on the anniversary of one of the worst tragedies in our country.  I saw firefighters and police officers standing on decorated overpasses as I drove home from Indianapolis with signs that said “Remember 911” and “Honk for Remembrance of 911”.

We have the storms and hurricanes in Texas  and Florida that have gone up into the Carolinas and Georgia and still causing devastation as they move into other states.

There are wildfires blazing in Montana and spreading to surrounding states with the smoke and ash damages traveling hundreds of miles to wreak havoc on other locations.

There are many other “storms” going on in our land and around this world today that need our prayer and many people who need our encouragement.  Today is National Day of Encouragement and I urge you to find someone who needs a word or a note of encouragement today.  Cards, text messages, emails, phone calls, flowers, prayers and gifts are all good outlets to show encouragement.

In Matthew 14:22-33 we see the story of Jesus walking on the water.  What a great story of encouragement!  Jesus was praying on a mountainside and the disciples were out in a boat sailing farther away from his location.  A storm had brewed up on the water and the wind and waves were slamming against the boat causing fear for the disciples.  Verse 25 says “during the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them walking on the lake.”

Now obviously, they were scared.  But verse 27 says that Jesus encouraged them.  He yelled out, “Take courage!  It is I.  Don’t be afraid.”

Jesus is saying that to us today.  We are in the midst of all of these storms of rain, flood, and fire but also in the midst of discouragement, anger, fear, murder, war, adultery, bitterness, rage and backstabbing.  The wars of the evil one are worse than we can even imagine.  But Jesus is coming right at us, arm extended saying, “Take courage.  It is I.  Don’t be afraid.”

Be encouraged today on National Day of Encouragement that Jesus is in control.  And then share that encouragement with those who are struggling.  We can’t fix everything but we can encourage people to know the One who can!

Picture courtesy of a friend from outside her house.

 

If You Could Live Anywhere In The World….

The question of the day:  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Some people may choose a beautiful place they have visited such as Ireland or Australia.
Other people may choose some place that they have always dreamed of visiting.  Maybe a setting in a book they read or a place they saw on television.
Some people may be very happy and content right where they are and would choose their current location.

Me?  I would choose Chick-Fil-A.

Yes, you heard me right.  Chick-Fil-A.  I love so many things about that place.  Just pulling in the parking lot makes me smile.

They value their employees by being closed on Sundays and holidays to give people time to be with their families and worship if they choose.  They stand up for Christian values.  And they are still the 8th most successful fast food restaurant in America according to QSR Magazine.

Why would I like to live at Chick-Fil-A you may ask?

*They have awesome food and many healthy choices. Not to mention those awesome waffle fries!
*I can get all the Sprite I want.
*People are sooooo nice to me.
*It is so clean and I wouldn’t have to run the sweeper myself.
*I love the way they have decorated the place.
*I get my own personal server who continues to tell me how much of a “pleasure” it is for him to serve me.
*I love their taste in music.
*I get my ketchup in those cute little containers that are shaped like a mini bottle of ketchup!
*I get all of the extras in a cute little popcorn-box-shaped container to take to my table that has a number where they can find me instead of yelling out my name across the masses.
*It’s very peaceful and I can hear myself talk but yet I never feel lonely because there are always people around.
*They have the best indoor playground ever.
*And they rest on Sundays.

Yes, today if I could live anywhere in the world, I  would choose Chick-Fil-A.

Four Months Til Christmas!

Yes it is only four months, from today, until Christmas!  I love Christmas and, in my secret way, I celebrate it all year long.  I know some of you are reading this right now and rolling your eyes and telling me to zip my mouth!

Some people think of Christmas as busy, not enough hours in the day, HAVING to shop for gifts, spending way too much money and having to “perform” or keep up with the expectations of others.

Well what if this year we started now?  WHAT!!!  No seriously.  What if we started now thinking of things we can do this far in advance to help minimize the stress?  Here are a few suggestions:

  1.  Start making a list of people you want to send Christmas cards to.  Minimize it.  Maybe you send electronic Christmas wishes to those you see frequently and cards to those you don’t.  Or don’t send cards at all.  Say What????!!!   Yes, hours saved and I bet you might just take some pressure off of others who wish they could do the same thing.
  2. Start putting money back now for Christmas shopping.  You can start a savings account at your local bank or find a safe place to keep $20 a week.  It adds up and by the first of December you will have saved a couple hundred extra dollars.
  3. Start your list for those you wish to buy for and start looking for gifts now.  Then take a box and place it in the corner of your closet or basement and keep your gifts there.  Look for sales and be sure to keep your list with you at all times so you don’t “double purchase” when your normal Christmas shopping time comes around.
  4. Start showing acts of kindness NOW.  It seems like around Christmas time is when everyone gets the kindness gene in full gear.  We can do that all year long.  Kindness matters and you can give your donations and random acts of kindness right now!
  5. Consider minimizing your decorating to be just what you and your family want and not try to meet the large expectations that you THINK others want.  And if you have an Elf visit your Shelf…….start pinning some Pinterest ideas now! haha

But with all this being said, we really need to remember that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus.  We get so caught up in all of the fun things of the season that sometimes we forget the real meaning.  I love all the decorations, baking, lights, gift giving and gatherings, too.  But since we are still four months out from the big day of celebration, maybe we start now to create the perfect Christmas.  The one fit for our King!

Merry Christmas in August!  🙂

What’s Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander.

Most of us want to be there for people when they are hurting.  One of the first things we say is “I will pray for you” or “Hang in there.  It’s going to all work out.”  Sometimes we quote comforting scriptures (that we can remember) and put our arm around them and give them a hug.  But do we believe it?  Do we mean it deep down?

We mean that we will pray for them and we believe that God will take care of their situation.

We may quote Romans 8;28a:  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.”

We use James 4:7 a lot when praying for addictions or temptations:  “Submit yourselves then to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

When comforting someone who is struggling with something they have done, a popular scripture we may quote is Psalm 103:12:  “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our sins from us.”

If someone is worrying about a child, a parent, a work situation, we use scriptures that encourage them to turn it all over to the Lord.  Matthew 6:34:  “do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.”  Or Romans 8:31 – “If God is for us, who can be against us.”  Or Matthew 19:26 – “Jesus looked at them said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.””

We encourage people to put on the full armor of God and fight the wicked devil with everything in them – scripture, prayer, voice, Holy Spirit.

But let’s not forget that it’s not just for others; it’s for us, too.  It’s easy for us to dish out this advice and encourage others and quote scriptures to let them know God’s got this.  It’s the same for us.  We have to believe it when we are going through these difficult and trying times, too.

Remember to use all this encouragement, prayer, scripture and belief on YOURSELF, too.  Because God loves us ALL just as we are but He loves us too much to allow us to stay that way.  He’s got this.  Because what’s good for the goose, is good for the gander.

 

The Key To Joy

Alarm clock buzzes.  Feet hit the floor.  Foggy thinking slowly clears to reveal the day’s list of activities.  The mind steadily hits second gear and all of yesterdays worries pop up again like a whack-o-mole game!

That’s how my days start most of the time – sometimes to where I just want to turn around, get back in bed,  put the covers over my head and go back to sleep.  I think, “is there ever a day where I don’t need an alarm clock and a list of things that has to be done?”

I heard Pastor Chris Hodges speak at She Speaks conference in April and he suggested to make a “not to do list”.  I like it!!

But in the rat race of life we’re not sure how to slow down.  And then we just become hateful and angry because we want to have the peace and joy that rest brings.

We can.  We can have that joy even if we have crazy lives just by being grateful.   The key to joy is gratitude.  When we start being thankful for all the things we have we can’t help but find joy.  Our brains trigger some chemical that brings this peace.  A smile automatically comes to our face.  Our physical demeanor relaxes and something inside of us twinges with excitement.

That’s joy.  What are you grateful for today?  Start with the little things like a house to protect you from the rain.  A fan or air conditioner on a hot day.  Food to eat.  Chocolate!  Freedom to come and go as you please in this country.  A job that, although is sometimes filled with annoying attitudes, provides money for expenses.  Family.  Physical health to get up each day.  A Bible to read. A church to go to.  A God who is in control of every last bit of everything!  Salvation to know Him and a promise of eternity in heaven when you do.

That is gratitude.  And that, my friend, is the key to JOY.

I pray you find the key to open the door to experience your JOY today.

A Card, A Canvas and A Celebrity.

I had several things weighing heavy on my mind and I just said out loud to God, “please show me something that will take this burden off of me.  Please.”  I walked into my office and honestly, had very little hope that the Lord was going to be so bold.

But then the picture on my desk of Jennifer Hudson’s Weight Watcher ad (which I keep on my desk for motivation) caught my eye.  “BELIEVE. Because it works.”  Of course it was referring to the tagline for Weight Watchers but God whispered to me, “I mean it.  Believe. Because it works.”  And He wasn’t referring to Weight Watchers!

I smiled and then my eye drifted to this little sign on my desk that said “when in doubt, pray”.  I smiled again.  Then God used this canvas print that I look at everyday (but have basically become immune to) to smack me right in the face.  Not literally but figuratively.  It said “The Lord has promised good to me.”

Then I laughed out loud and said, “OK, Lord.  I get it.  Believe that you’ve got it all under control.  I need to let it go and let you handle everything.  You will bring YOUR good to me.”

So I did.  And I am.  And hopefully I won’t take it back again….. or you’ll get to read another post about how I let it go and took it back and let it go again and took it back again! hahahaha

Share with me when the Lord showed up in a bold way in your life.

 

What A Great Day To Give!

I have always loved making a difference to people.
I have always loved buckets of all kinds.
I have always had a broken heart for children who suffer from cancer.

So what do you get when you put it all together?

BUCKET BUDDIES MISSION!

Bucket Buddies is a 501(c)3 tax-deductible corporation created in honor of my sister who passed away from ovarian cancer in 2014. It provides gift buckets to children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses who are patients in hospitals and other settings.  The buckets may include items such as coloring books, crayons, small toys, playing cards, journal, pen, fingernail polish, toy cars, word search books, etc.

Winston Churchill said,  “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”.

Today is National Non-Profit Day.  Won’t you consider “making a life” by touching another through your giving.  Be a part of bringing a smile to the face of a child and make a difference one bucket at a time!  Support Bucket Buddies Mission with your donation today!

Thank you and Happy #NationalNonProfitDay!!

 

The Butcher, The Baker, And The Candlestick Maker.

Sometimes it’s hard to be at work all day when you have other things you would rather be doing.  Sometimes it’s hard to be at work when it’s nice and warm outside.  Sometimes it’s hard to be at work when your friends are teachers and have the summers off; when you would rather be anywhere doing anything else.

But here’s the deal.  If you work outside of the home, you were hired to do a job.  If you are a stay-at-home worker, you have responsibilities as well.  It’s important to fulfill that responsibility no matter if you want to be there or not.  So we need to find some way to make the most of the work day and have some fun while doing it.

So let’s take “The Butcher, The Baker and The Candlestick Maker” approach.

Some days we can enter our day as The Butcher.  The Butcher is someone who can chop up and cut the negativity.  Sometimes we need to be The Butcher. We can be the positive one and try to counteract the negative attitudes of others with our positive attitude.

Some days we may wish to be The Baker – the one who brings a smile to a mundane workplace.   Think about how you feel going into a bakery.  Usually just the display cases of bright icing on sugar cookies and cupcakes alone can bring a smile to one’s face.  What if you were The Baker for your workplace bringing smiles to everyone’s face?  Bringing cupcakes in couldn’t hurt either!

Other days you may choose to be The Candlestick Maker; someone who brings light.  The Candlestick Maker lights up a room when they walk into a boring meeting.  You could be that person who smiles all day and is in such a good mood that your positive light and attitude become infectious.

We have a responsibility to get our work done but no one said it has to be boring.  Let’s put a little nursery rhyme into the boring work day.  Choose which one you’ll be today – The Butcher, The Baker or The Candlestick Maker!  People can’t help but smile when they eat sugar cookies by candlelight!

 

Have A Funshine Day!

How many of you remember the Care Bears from the 1980’s?

 

This cheery bear was known as Funshine Bear.  He was one of the ten original Care Bears who first appeared on greeting cards by American Greetings.  On the cartoon series, Funshine Bear was known for always looking on the bright side of life.  He was happy, always in a good mood and ready to help others every day.  He was known to use his sunshine tummy symbol to light up the darkness and radiate sunshine everywhere he went.

I want to be a Funshine Bear!  In all the darkness and hatred in this world, we need a whole nation of Funshine bears!!

I encourage you today to put on the Funshine Bear characteristics of happiness and passion to make a difference to someone and light up your world.  Go out and make a difference all day to others!  Just please refrain from showing your tummy!  🙂

Have a Funshiney Day!!

 

 

Smack In The Head Or Spring In My Step?

At our Weight Watchers® meeting this week, a gal was sharing that a waiter hurt her feelings when he questioned her decision to order a smaller portion from the children’s menu.  It wasn’t that he didn’t ALLOW it but rather he took it upon himself to question her as to whether or not the portion size would be enough food for her.  It has really bothered me all week.  I felt so sorry for the gal but then I shared one of my very favorite quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt….

“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”

She was doing what was  best for her and her weight loss journey.  It wasn’t up to the waiter to decide what or how much she should consume.  Hence, the quote – “no one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”

But then I thought about the waiter.  We look at him as being insensitive.  Maybe he didn’t mean to be insensitive or maybe he did!  But think about how many times we have done or said something that came across insensitive or rude (maybe we meant it or maybe we didn’t).  A lot of times hurting people hurt people.  But we must always go back to the scriptures.  Ephesians 4:32 says “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

We need to always be kind and act with a tender heart.  Then remember that those we are interacting with also have tender hearts.  And when others are insensitive to us, we must forgive and move on because every day we find ourselves insensitive to God and He continues to forgive us.

Does it still hurt?  Yes!  Do you still want to smack someone in the head?  Absolutely.  But when we merge the quote, “no one can make you feel inferior without your permission” along with the scripture, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” we can move forward in our everyday life with kindness in our heart and a spring in our step.

(Watch out scales…. the numbers are comin’ down!!)