Act of Kindness…

On Monday, I assisted my soon-to-be stepson achieve his first grade assignment for Martin Luther King Day. He had to do an act of kindness of which he was adamant about not doing. His father and I, at separate times, told him that it was an important thing to do; not just because it was his assignment, but because kindness is important. I told My Love that his son has books that he’s outgrown for his reading level and should sort through them and I’d take him to find a place to donate them. The books were sorted through and we ventured out. On the ride, I explained that there are children who do not have the luxuries he has and that when kindness is extended, it makes one feel good knowing that they’ve helped another. I further explained that each day, whether we realize it or not, someone does something nice for us. He seemed to get it.

I pulled into the parking lot of a local church and we went in; books in tow. I explained why we were there and the ladies thought it was a lovely gesture and explained to my Stepson that his actions were greatly appreciated and the books would get good use at the church. The lady wrote a letter to my Stepson’s school explaining his act and how much it was appreciated. Lesson learned…at least I hope it was anyway.

Sadly, many children are no longer taught the importance of acts of kindness. So many are spoiled and overindulged to the point of hedonism and narcissism. They expect things to be given to them at will and without challenge. This is a sad state of affairs for them, their parents, and their future lives if this behaviour is not corrected.

When Lil Lady was small, I saw early on that she was blessed with a compassionate heart and I nurtured and encouraged it. On one of her first trips to New York City, she was fascinated by the many sights and sounds surrounding her, but the thing that stood out the most, was how she reacted to the people she saw. She sized them up, she inquired about their varied appearances, and was take aback by the homeless. She inquired and I explained that sometimes things happen to people and they have to live on the streets and beg for food or other items to make it through the day. I bought fruit from a street vendor as we passed a homeless person and we carried on our way. On the trip back to Port Authority, she asked if she could buy more fruit, but give it to the homeless person we saw. I explained that he might not be there, but on our next trip she could buy two pieces of fruit and give one away. She was quite happy with that and from henceforth, that’s something she did. A mother’s heart exploded with joy for her daughters compassion. This practice went on for many years and also carried on to helping with the Angel Tree at the church we were then attending. The requirement was to pick a name and then fill a shoe box with small items we thought a child would like. This, I was told, I was not allowed to help with. A little bit of her birthday money was saved and it went toward the shoe box. Of course, I contributed where necessary, but the selection and packing was all her. Again, lessons learned!

Suffice it to say, if we do not install these practices not just in ourselves, but in our children, we can’t expect them to take acts of kindness seriously. Personally, I strive to give back as much as I can be items donated, a small sum of money, or my time. My Love and I discussed ways we could volunteer as a family and individuals. I’ve found an organization that collects donated items for families in need and we’re going to aid once a month is sorting through donated items and prepare them for said families. I’ve decided I want to be a part of Girls Inc. in order to help young girls. I’m not sure what My Love will find to do, but I’ll help him find something.

As we look at our lives, let us not forget how we got to where we are. Let us recognize and realize, many acts of kindness was a part of that journey. And once you’ve looked back, I hope you’ll find ways to perform your acts of kindness whenever you can.

I came across this site and it warmed my heart greatly. May it serve as an inspiration to you also.

Faith in humanity/acts of kindness

Blu

A question of faith…

It has been my experience that when faced with a trial that obviously seems contrary to what we’d want for ourselves, people tend to blame God for things not going right. A once faithful person, suddenly questions their faith and their God and lately, I’ve been experiencing that with a friend facing a divorce. Out of respect for her, I won’t air her business; however, I will say, I felt God manifest Himself quite openly through words I read in my devotions and through quotes that others had posted. Naturally, I shared these with my friend in an effect to open her heart and mind back to a positive state, but I realize that she’s in a downward state of being and needs to work through this phase in order to better receive what was shared.

Through my own life’s experiences, I chose to further trust my faith and listen to words of comfort and wisdom shared with me be they solicited or otherwise. I found it easier to trust my faith than trust man because it was man who created the pain or trial I was experiencing in the first place. I opened myself up to receive that which I may not have even been able to fully comprehend at that time if for no other reason than to plant the seed for fertilization and growth. The seeds eventually grew; as did I.

Life is a series of challenges, joys, highs and lows, disappointments, hurts, love; etc. and in the words of Aldous Huxley, “Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you”; very true and very wise words. Without varied experiences we cannot grow. Our lives are like seasonal changes; essential to growth, sustenance, and progression. We must live to experience and experience to live or we remain stagnant, bored, and boring. We can’t and should not seek to control everything in our lives, but instead be flexible and learn to roll with that which we experience and encounter in order to be a part of the ever-moving life cycle.

We must further realize that God works in His own time and not ours. Oftentimes, we think because we are believers and follow doctrine, we are entitled to our prayer requests being met without first truthfully looking into ourselves to determine if we are in fact worthy or ready to receive what we’re praying for. Yes, according to The Word, God says He’ll give you the desires of your heart, but are our desires pure? Are they selfish? Has the requester done their part in seeking God’s invention or intercession? These are things many do not consider; hence, later questioning God and/or their faith. Delay does not mean denial!

Old folks always told me that the space or dash on our headstones should count for something and that we shouldn’t want someone to lie at our eulogy and say, “they had or lived life” if they hadn’t. It’s something that has remained with me for most of my life. Yes, I cursed many a bad day or experience, but I’ve learned that without them I would not be the woman I am today. I rode the rough seas, navigated through life’s detours and I have a tale to tell. I took leap of faith, celebrated my trails turned triumphs, and again, have tales to tell. I celebrate life. I celebrate my faith. And I celebrate being unafraid to face adversity.

The following links are what have been pulse points this week. I share them hoping they’ll inspire, encourage, and allow you to also grow or be a positive influence to someone you may encounter.

God bless!
Seeking Guidance

Can we Really Trust God?

God’s Sovereign Delays

How To Stay Strong In Disappointment

Resting in the Faithfulness of God

God Acts On Our Behalf

Yea, I said that!

Acts of kindness

be nice

I’m a firm believer that in spite of the negativity constantly being shown on TV, social media, and newspapers that there is good in the world.  I refuse to believe or accept that we are all so horrible, narcissistic, hedonistic, selfish, and self-indulged that we aren’t doing for those who can’t do for themselves.  I do accept that there are many that don’t want to be helped, but conversely, there is a large portion of the under privileged that do want help and will accept help if it’s offered without prejudice or duress.

I purge my house quarterly and donate unneeded items to charities that do dispense the items to those in need instead of taking said items to a donation center that in turn sell the items I’ve donated.  I don’t mind the resell per se, but I’d rather the items be given and not sold.  If that was the case, I’d have had a garage sale and kept the proceeds.  In addition to making donations, I like to give of my time when possible to help someone in need.  In fact, I’ve just given myself an idea of what I can do with some of my time.  Since I enjoy cooking and or entertaining others, I’m not only going to donate soups and complimenting food items to the local church that feeds people once or twice a month, I’m going to make soup to donate and serve it.  Simply cooking and donating does not complete the cycle of what I want to do for others.

I’m going to pay it forward whenever it’s possible for me to do so.  I’m going to fill out surveys and compliment the person who provided great customer service.  I’m going to pay for an ‘add-on’ item for someone while I’m dining out or buying coffee when financially able.  I want to ensure that I’m a positive reflection in someone’s day; especially for those service jobs where they’re rarely thanked for what they do; the gas station attendant (in NJ anyway) or the cashier in the supermarket for example.

If more of us dispensed a smile, a pleasant salutation, a thank you, or anything where a polite word or gesture can and would make a difference, I truly feel that we would make a difference in someone’s day and that extended act of kindness will return to us.  Not that there should be a reward for doing good, but there scientific and Biblical evidence of this to be true.

This weeks challenge is to do something nice for someone else without prompting for 7 days and let me know how it made you feel; whether you did it with or without someone’s knowledge of you being the giver.

Yea, I said that!

Quiet Is The New Noise…

I listening to a playlist I found on Spotify and decided to listen to one of the artists featured in the playlist; Kings of Convenience since I’d never heard of them before listening and liking one of their songs.

While perusing their discography, I came across the title of one of their albums; “Quiet Is The New Noise” and the title screamed at me like a restless newborn. I paused to reflect on the title, which was conveying a very powerful message…In spite of how much we may want quiet, there is always something creating noise. Well, that’s my interpretation! I think of all the times when I’m alone and all I want is to hear nothing, but there’s always something making noise and the distracting cacophony ruins the moment.

I have oddly keen hearing and hear sounds many don’t or simply are able to ignore like the sound of fluorescent lights, the odd sound that emanates in malls or stores; even the ticking of a watch in an otherwise quiet room. I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing; I’ve simply accepted it as being a part of who I am and again I’m brought back to the powerful title; “Quiet Is The New Noise”. It makes me wonder how those who meditate with ease are able to do it so well. I want to be like that. I want to be able to shut the voices of the world around me out and relish the moments of stillness and mindlessness.

The title also reminded me of when I used to consistently take moments of exile where I refused all electronic interaction and distraction and confine myself to my library where I create a space of serenity and tranquility to find the peace within and give in to the solitude. I miss those times. I feel like I’ve betrayed a part of myself and given it over to everything and everyone around me. I don’t want to have to schedule those moments, but I will need to in order to get back to that place again; that place where I belong and need to be. I want quiet to simply be that…Quiet!

I have Maya Angelou’s book, 40-day Journey, “Editor Henry French selects forty inspiring passages for readers to ponder while taking a spiritual journey with Maya Angelou. Such a journey may be made at any time but, as with other titles in the 40-Day Journey series, is especially inspiring to take in the seasons of Advent and Lent,” which I want to commit to working through; however, I don’t want to wait until a particular season to do it. I think the time is now.

I truly believe everything is appointed and purposed and the intercession of my listening to this particular artist was of no coincidence, so I’m going to do it. I’m going to start this journey and see where it takes me. There’s a revelation to be had and a lesson to be learned, so I’m going back to ‘school’.

Every five days, I’ll review what I’ve written and learned and I’ll make notes on it. At the end of the 40-day journey, I’ll compile all the notes and post about what was revealed and what I learned.

Live the life you love; love the life you live!

And the Word says…

TRANSFORMATION – I am transformed when I live from my highest self.

But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ. Eph. 4:15

Whatever your spiritual belief is, we’re told to live life fully and authentically.  We’re taught to speak the truth and speak it lovingly even when it may hurt the hearer.  We’re taught to live and grow into being fine examples for the Higher Power that has created us, suffered for us, and ultimately gave His life for us.  So, what better way for us to live, but to transform into something that is the absolute best of whom we can be. 

Go for it my lovelies!

Live the life you love; love the life you live!

 

 

 

The Plans…

“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” — Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

This is one of my favourite scriptures as it always reminds me that in spite of myself and/or what I’m going through there is still a Plan B if Plan A fall apart.  Since we’re human and it sometimes takes us a few times to get it right, God ensured that He said “plans” and not “plan”, we could and would have many chances to get it together.  It also shows that He will not easily tire of us.  

On Monday, I unexpectantly ran into a young lady whom I’d actually voted for when I was a judge for a pageant and we engaged in a wonderful conversation where she asked if I would be a speaker at a workshop she’s putting together.  I was humbled that she asked as mentoring and speaking to young women has been something I’ve wanted to do; now I have the opportunity.  I immediately thanked God as I see now the timing was all a part of His plan and it truly did renew my hope for the future.  

I heard the song that supports this scripture just yesterday and I immediately felt renewed, encouraged, and inspired.  After the past two years I’ve had, I know I need this scripture now more than ever and I truly trust and believe in His word to keep me going.  We make plans for our lives and when they fall apart, we’re often left wondering what to do next or what will happen next, but God always finds and makes a way.  Our ways are not His ways and sometimes we think we have it all taken care of and it’s not until things get out of sync that we realized, we don’t know it all.  I’m sure you’ve heard the adage, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans”, well, some of our choices/decisions, the scripture, song punctuate that we aren’t really in control.  

When things go south and we think we can’t go on, I recommend reading this scripture for some uplifting and also give this song a listen; nothing like a little spirit boosting to get back the hope you need to go on. The lyrics are as follows:

I Know The Plans – Martha Munizzi

I know the plans I have for you
I know just what you’re going through
So when you can’t see
what tomorrow holds
And yesterday is through,
Remember I know,
the plans I have for you (repeat)

To give you hope for tomorrow
Joy for your sorrow
Strength for everything you go through
Remember I know the plans I have for you

I know the plans I have for you
I know just what you’re going through
So when you can’t see
what tomorrow holds
And yesterday is through,
Remember I know,
the plans I have for you
(Repeat verses 1 & 2)

 That is all!