Sunday, June 5, 2016

Live Kindly

About a year ago, Curtis, my missionary son, was speaking in church just before he left on his mission.  Curtis has never seemed the least bit interested in my enthusiasm for a newly painted red or pumpkin pie colored walls or anything remotely related to how the home is decorated.  But, this time, out of the blue, Curtis talked about the picture hanging on my wall.  Then later Curtis said, "You know something I've always liked about our home, Mom?"  I was shocked by the question, I was even more so by his answer, "You always have little lessons" on the wall to teach us and you never push or say things about them.  They were just always there".  The overly-used and tired word, Cha-Ching! came to mind!  The little subliminal messages that I had hoped to instill for twenty-some years had not gone unnoticed!  Oh happy day!!!  

Right now, the popular trend in Arizona is reclaimed wood with painted, thought provoking printed messages on them.  The cross-stitched days are over.  I now have a few of these printed signs in my home.  One in my dining room, above the table that says, Lead Me, Guide Me, Walk Beside Me.  It too is outdated and I need to change it to something more trendy.   I recently saw one that simply stated, "Live Kindly".  I love this statement!  I want that sign.  I may have to order it for myself someday just because.  I've added it to my "I want" list for a future date when finances aren't so discombobulated.  Not sure where I'll put it, but I love the message that it offers.  It brings so many meanings to my mind and I've been thinking  about that for days now. 

In our world today we hear horrific, sad stories every single day, even so, there is much good to be found as well.  I often notice that at the end of all the bad news, most news broadcasts try to restore our belief and hope in mankind with one refreshing 90 second story of kindness.  Do we really need the evening news to find kindness for us?  It happens every day in our own lives.  I worry that I sometimes let it go unnoticed and forget to appreciate the little things.  From Lexi's hugs and kisses to being invited to step in front of the lady with the cart full of groceries, to major kindnesses like the one I saw on TV where Martina McBride came to sing with a little girl to her mother who is suffering with stage 4 cancer, or people like Oprah who I remember announcing that she donated ten million dollars to the victims of hurricane Katrina.  I certainly do not have ten million to hand out to others and I'm sure that I'll never receive a home from Oprah in my lifetime.  BUT, every day the most simple kindnesses brighten my day, lift my load a bit, or simply make my whole day!  I know that when I get down or beat myself up for silly mistakes or even big ones, one simple kindness can reach down and pull me up out of that mire.  

Each evening, never in a formal setting, we ask the kids about their day and their favorite parts of the day.  The kids answers are rarely anything huge.  Most of the time, it's simple things like, "I liked it when my teacher gave me a good review" or when my supervisor took the time to tell me, "I did a good job".  Simple things brighten all of our days.  Things like hand made thank you cards, simple and sweet, with sweet thank yous.  My friend Bev has a way of saying things quite poetically I might add, and when she delivers one of her sweet cards to my it always includes a little money inside the card.  While I appreciate the money because that does really does.  BUT, I enjoy the cards even more.  I have never told her this, but on days when I am having a really rough day, I tuck all of her cards into my tote bag and re-read them while I am at work to cheer me up.  Don't these kinds of things brighten your day too??!!

Anyway, to conclude today's entry, with "live kindly" on my brain, I decided to list ten kindnesses that have brightened my past couple of weeks and I thought I'd present a challenge for others to do so too!  Follow along and do the same.  Include your list on your blog or simply write it down in a journal or even a piece of paper for all to see.  So here's my list.  

Ten kindnesses shown to me these past few weeks:

  • Danielle sent me a quick, "Hi, Mom" text.
  • A friend LaNae thanked me for helping her with something and called me her inspiration.  
  • Another blog friend sent me a private message regarding an entry I'd made last week that had touched her heart.  
  • Lexi said, "Mom, you look really good today!"  when she didn't even know that I thought I was having a bad hair and make-up day.  
  • Curtis said, "Mom, I love you, I really do!"
  • Kyle offering to help me with something that has had me super stressed.  
  • My friend wrote me a special note of appreciation about my blog and I didn't even know she read it!
  • My oldest daughter for dropping everything she was doing, hanging out with a friend, to come help me yesterday.  Then spending more time with us than I expected.  And for Danielle's friend for not getting upset at Danielle for dropping everything to come help me and then being so very sweet to me.  Thanks Brittney!
  • My friend Joy for offering to help me get Kevin set up with the care and services he needs.  I've pretty much known Joy most of my life.  In fact, she use to babysit me and my younger brother when we were little.  Now, after losing her dear husband just a few months ago, she is offering to help me with a lot of the things she worked so hard to set up for her sweet husband.  That is truly amazing!  Thank you Joy!
  • My dear friend Bev for all her kind words of encouragement through the cards she makes, to her comments on Facebook, and her words of encouragement in person too.  Thank you. 
The most amazing thing to me is that each of these little kind acts took very little sacrifice on the giver's part.  Maybe my future new sign should say, "Live's simple, it's painless, it's good!"

This morning I ran Kyle to work and the sun was super bright and bigger than life!  In fact, when I first saw it it was bright red.  I was on the freeway and couldn't stop to take a picture.  As I got closer to my exit I decided to try and snap a photo while driving.  Not something I recommend.  This first photo is that picture while driving.  As you can see the sun changed from red to orange and then to yellow very quickly.  

This was the sun on the freeway exit before mine.  I pulled off early thinking I was going to miss it if I didn't hurry and snap a photo now.  I hate that the fence had to be in the picture too.  Bummer!  

This next photo was what I could see as I got back on the freeway from the on ramp.  

Once I finally got off the freeway and got closer to my home I decided to pull into our church parking lot to snap a couple pics.  I love how pretty the sky looks.

Another shot over the houses from the parking lot.

This next photo was the view from my front porch once I got home this morning at 5:30 a.m.

And last but not least, a photo again from my front porch of the sun.  You can even see the light pole right outside my house and to the right.  It's basically the same photo above just a little further away.  

Lexi came home from Girl's Camp and shortly after walking through the door she said this was the best year ever!  So see, I knew she would really enjoy herself even though she kept saying she didn't want to go.  She tried hard to talk me into letting her stay home.  I just kept refusing.  She also wanted this to be her last year to go too.  Until she came home yesterday.  Now she wants to go again next year.  I love that!  She said everything was much more organized and everyone seemed to get along better, even though there was some kind of drama, she said.  She was just glad to not be a part of it and not have to hear about it.  All in all, she came home happy and smiling!  That was my favorite part.  She also came home tired and complaining that her throat and ear were bothering her.  I gave her a big cold drink of Gatorade, made her take two Tylenol, and headed to the store to pick up pop-sickles as she requested.  When I returned home from the store Lexi had just woke up and was crying and in pain.  I made her take two of an antibiotic we had here at the house for her and go back to bed.   I sure hope she didn't come home with strep throat.  That means someone at camp was contagious.  Arg!  Not cool! (please do not let the rest of us get sick, especially Kevin.)  Anyway, it's now 11 a.m.  I thought Lexi would be coming with me to church, but she has been sleeping all morning.  She woke up long enough to take two more Tylenol and fall back to sleep.  I think she might be staying home today.  Poor thing.  I hate it when she is sick.  I'm hoping she is better by this afternoon.  

Well, I should get going.  Take care my friends and we will talk again soon.
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