According to Webster the word Balance means, “Mental and emotional steadiness.” Yeesh! Mental and emotional steadiness I could use some of that! But, what is it about balance that seems so elusive and unreachable…especially as busy wives and moms? How do we find balance as a wife and mom?
Do you strive for balance but forever fall short of your goal? I do all the time!
I once asked this question on Facebook , “What area of your life would you most like to receive help in?” with a few different options to choose from. The answers shocked me! 100% of the women answered with this option- “Balance and learning how to be a fabulous life and mother.” I was stunned that so many women felt at a loss for how to balance their lives as moms!
Well, actually I was horrified. The first thing that popped into my head is how it the WORLD am I going to help these ladies find balance when I can’t seem to find it myself? After I got over my panic, I started to think about what the word balance means to most moms. When you think of the word balance do you think of mental and emotional steadiness? I bet not!
I’m sure this definition is not the one that pops into your head. If I was a betting woman I would say your definition goes something like this… “My life will be balanced when I give 100% of myself to my husband, my children, my work, my home, my church, and my hobbies, while still fitting in the laundry and making sure no one feels neglected or forgotten.”
Am I close? Forget about even adding yourself to the list…who has the time? No wonder you never find that fantasy land! Not even Super Women could accomplish all that! Maybe you compare your life to that super mom down the street. Or, that crafty woman who house looks like your “someday” Pinterest board. You are looking for balance in YOUR life-not someone else’s. The truth is what balance is for one woman might be chaos for you.
Maybe you believe the lie that if you just better manage your time you will someday find balance. That might be true to an extent. But, that is not what balance means! Problems happen when you assume balance has to do with your circumstances, your to-do list, and your current situation, but it doesn’t! They are all outward extensions. Balance has to do with your inner self- your emotions and your mental stability.
Whether you like it or not you have complete control over your behaviors, your choices, and your attitudes. You even have control for how you will express your emotions. The excuse “That is just the way I am” doesn’t cut it. Balance is about your emotions and your mental state. Your focus should be on your emotional and mental well-being not your stuff, your environment, your to-do list, your agenda, or your circumstances.
Until you change your mindset you cannot change your behavior. Until you can shift your focus you will forever be unbalanced and unsteady. Your emotional and mental health has to become a priority if you ever want to live a balanced life as a mom. You have to learn to say “No” to things that seem good but don’t fit into your life right now. You have to take things off the to-do list and add self-care to it. You have to find balance for YOU not for HER.
If you have not figured out how to be content, stable, and balanced in your current circumstances you are not likely to find it in a different set of circumstances. The “If Only” game will not help you find your balance; and, I for one am sick of riding this train. How about you?
Before you can set out to that elusive fantasy land called “Balance” armed with your to-do list and your books on time-management, you need to look at what you are really striving for. Balance is not a state you finally reach. It is the choices you make on a daily basis to be mental and emotionally stable despite your circumstances.
You can’t be put together and on top of your game when you are falling apart on the inside. Your outside reflects your inside. Balance is not an elusive land that only the polished Pinterest mom’s and wives get to, every woman can find balance in her life. Balance is a reflection of what is going on inside your heart and spirit. Balance is that calm inner spirit that is reflected in your choices, your thoughts, and your behaviors. This is what you should be striving for. This is balance as a wife and mom.
“Image courtesy of franky242 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”
Do you want a sweet and sexy way to spice up your marriage? Starting kissing your husband like you mean it! It’s the small stuff that speaks volumes to your spouse…including kissing! Kiss him like you mean it and spice up your marriage very quickly.
How you kiss your husband, and how often you kiss your husband, speaks volumes about your relationship. The way you greet each other after you have been apart for a while is very important. When your spouse walks in the door are they greeted with an “I’m so glad you’re here” attitude or are they bombarded with demands, requests, impatience…or even ignored?
Greet one another with a loving kiss. (1 Pet. 5:14)
Does your greeting say “I’m happy your home!” and make him feel important and valued? Even when your relationship is going through a rocky period, a sweet and simple kiss can dissolve defenses and lesson the tension between the two of you. My husband loves to make me kiss him when I’m upset about something (especially when it’s stupid and I just don’t want to give in) because he knows I will melt and give up…it drives me crazy. In a good way
It’s the little things that make or break a marriage-kissing included! You show love and respect to your husband by being aware of your behavior. Do you kiss your man like you mean it? Do you kiss him often? Most men need physical contact to feel close to their wife. Women need emotional connection to feel close to their husbands. Kissing is an easy way to stay physically and emotionally connected to your spouse. Kissing is a sweet and sexy way to spice up your marriage.
Your challenge… If your kissing is more so-so than sizzling, think of a new way to greet your spouse today. Do it with a little enthusiasm and a smile. It will probably throw him completely off guard-that’s ok! Determine to change your greeting to reflect your love for him. Share in the comments your thoughts
“Image courtesy of photostock/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net”
Fear is paralyzing. It will keep you stuck and cause you to give up on your dreams. Fear is the opposite of faith. You were not given a spirit of fear. You were born to be a conqueror. So, what do you do when overwhelming fears leave you paralyzed and afraid? You feed your faith and conquer your fear.
You have a choice when fear rears it’s ugly head. You can feed your fear or you can feed your faith. What you feed will flourish and what you neglect will die. How do you feed your faith? You feed your faith with action! You change your focus from fear to faith with choices, repetition, and action.
Here are 3 ways you can conquer your fear:
- Change your mindset- Recognize the voices for what they are…BIG, FAT LIES! A fear is a lie that needs to be confronted with truth. You cannot just ignore fear and hope it goes away. It won’t. Fear will continue to grow until do something about it. You need to feed your mind with truth. Put quotes and Bible verses on your bathroom mirror that feed your faith and speak the truth of who you are. Write out your fears and write out the truth on note-cards, or on your phone, so when the fear starts to take over you can combat it with truth, immediately. The more truth you stuff into your brain the better prepared you are to defeat the lies.
- Do something- Get out of your own head- When fears overwhelm you, it’s easy to get stuck in your own head and create all kinds of unnecessary drama. Channel your energy elsewhere! Physical activity and exercise is a great way to do this! When your energy is channeled on another activity like exercise, you won’t have time to listen to the lies in your head. Another great way to channel your energy is by doing activities that relax you. It could be knitting or artwork, listening to an inspirational podcast, reading a good book, talking with a good friend. The point is to find something to do that get’s your mind off your fear.
- Take ACTION-Did you know procrastination is caused by fear? Think about it! There is nothing like fear to keep you from doing something you KNOW you are supposed to do. If there is something you know you need to do, even if it causes some fear, do it quickly! Don’t let the fear take over. Action and faith help you conquer fear! Surround yourself with people who build you up, believe in you, and spur your towards action when fear is overwhelming. Cut out the ones who cause you to doubt yourself and be afraid. Find the people, the activities, and the things that feed your faith and immerse yourself in them.
Dealing with fear can be overwhelming and can cause you to do crazy things! I know because I’ve dealt with fear over and over again in my own life. I use these same steps to conquer fear and feed my faith. You are not weak because you deal with fear. You are not a failure because you deal with fear. Everyone deals with fear! But, the truth is you can conquer your fear. The truth is you have the choice to either starve your fear or feed your faith. You don’t have to be a slave to fear. You were born a conqueror! I believe in you. You can do it.
In the comments below please tell us how you can conquer your fear
and feed your faith this week.
We love to hear from you… Raychel
“Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”.
Ladies, there are plenty of ways to kill a marriage. This post is going to be touchy. It’s going to be rough. It might even hurt a little. But if you don’t change it…they will kill your marriage.
Your husband needs to know that you value, respect, and love him. You show him this through your words, your actions, and your behavior. This is good! On the flip side. You show him you despise, reject, and hate him through your words, your actions, and your behaviors. This is bad. This kind of behavior is called is called invalidations. Invalidations are bad! Invalidations will kill your marriage.
Invalidation’s are behaviors that take value away from other people. They can be what you do, what you say, what you don’t do and what you don’t say.They can be big or they can be little. Some may be obvious and others are more hidden. However they play out, when you reach the point of invalidating your husband you are on dangerous ground. It’s time to take a hard look at your behavior.
Here are some common Invalidations:
- Rolling your eyes, name-calling, or being sarcastic.
- Ridiculing your spouse’s friends, family, gender, or occupation.
- Using insults and comparisons “You’re just like your father.” (mother, sister, brother, friend, ect.)
- Slamming your first, kicking a wall, throwing things, or slamming doors.
- Expecting or assuming the worse from your spouse in any given situation.
- Using “You always” or “You never” in an argument.
- Bringing up old arguments or mistakes.
- Refusing to listen to your spouse when they are speaking.
- Isolating yourself from your spouse physically.
- Disconnecting from your spouse emotionally or sexually for punishment..
Think back over the last month and ask yourself these questions:
What behaviors have you displayed from this list?
How often did it happened?
Under what circumstances?
How did your spouse respond?
Did it happen more than you realized?
I know you want to defend yourself with, “He hurt me first,” or, “It’s the only way to make him listen,” or, “I was upset,” or even “I got caught up in the moment-I didn’t mean it.” I don’t want to play the blame game with you. It’s not time for pointing the finger and digging in your heals. It’s time for a wake up call.
I want to say this with as much love and respect as I can…I don’t care about your excuses. I don’t care who started it. I don’t care that you want him to change first. You need you to open your eyes and take responsibility for your actions. I know it’s not nice to talk about the “ugly” parts of your relationship with your spouse; but, you can’t change what you won’t acknowledge. These behaviors are disgusting and childish and will kill your marriage if you don’t stop it.
Invalidations, whatever they are, have one thing in common- they all show that you do not value your spouse. Every role of your eye, every refusal, every moment of ridicule, every unkind comparison, and every negative assumption comes from the same ugly dark place. Whether you mean it or not you are telling our husband “I don’t value you, I don’t respect you, and I don’t love you.”
I know this is true because for many years invalidations were common in my marriage. The first few years of my marriage were ugly. I was broken and deeply hurting and the only way I knew how to deal with the pain was to isolate myself or lash out. My husband’s behavior wasn’t any better. We hurt each other so deeply and we didn’t know how to forgive and heal so instead we worked very hard at destroying each other. We nearly killed our marriage.
Thanks be to God that is not the end of our story. We’ve walked the messy beautiful road of forgiveness and restoration. We’ve learned how to love and respect each other. We are still a work in progress but invalidations are no longer a part of our relationship. Sure we still have arguments, bad days, and miscommunication but that behavior is not longer an acceptable way to communicate with each other.
If this subject is hitting too close to home…don’t despair. Every journey starts with a single step. Your first step is to make the choice to no longer allow these actions to be a part of your relationship. If you are walking through emotional trauma in your marriage (affair, illness, job loss, etc.) you might need to get some help. Find a counselor who can help you walk through the process of forgiveness, learn healthy ways to deal with negative emotions, and can teach you new communication skills.
Your spouse needs to know they are valued. You need to know your spouse values you! Invalidations are behaviors that you don’t want anywhere near your marriage! Make the choice today to take that first step towards a happy, healthy, vibrant marriage. If I can do it…so can you
Invalidations like the one’s listed can easily cross the line into emotional, psychological, or physical abuse. If this is where you find yourself I urge you to get help. Please contact your local shelter or police station. Or you can call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici/www.freedigitalphotos.net
It’s the little things that turn your good marriage into a great marriage! Finding your soul mate is no guarantee that you will have a lifetime of happiness as you ride off together into the sunset. It takes hard work and intentionality to have a great marriage. Why? Because you forget that it is the little things that make a marriage great! It is the foundational things that make your marriage strong. It is the little things that make your marriage worth fighting for.
This is a lesson I’ve learned in my own marriage. My marriage was incredibly hard in the first years. I didn’t always want to fight to to have a great marriage. We went through some incredible struggles and it was the little things that kept me going some days. It was the little things that built a strong foundation from a crumbling one.
Awhile ago, I was unpacking boxes and came across a letter from my grandma written to my parents before their wedding day. The gift of writing is strong on my momma’s side! I so cherish my Grandma’s and Mother’s letters. In a few short paragraphs she wrote out a list of things that would help them have a great marriage. While it was bittersweet for me to read, my parents divorced after 19 years of marriage, I couldn’t help but think how wonderful her advice was to anyone who wanted to have a good, strong marriage. Here are her 7 little things that make a good marriage great:
1. The best advice I can give you is make Christ the head of your home. Put Him first in all things and everything else will fall in place. Also, read his Word each day, you need to be spiritually fed in order to grow in the Lord…
2. Work at maintaining your marriage relationship. A marriage is just like anything else that’s worthwhile. You have to work at it because it can’t succeed by itself.
3. Set aside time together- this is much more important in marriage than courtship because courtship is always spiced with romance…marriage is not.
4. Be honest and open- if you’re not being honest about who you are, what you like, what you dislike, and what your desires and needs are, your marriage won’t last very long. Share your innermost feelings- all humans need an outlet for their inner most feelings and sharing these feelings with your mate shows you have confidence in him or her.
5. Be willing to compromise- when you compromise your own pleasure to please your mate you get the pleasure of knowing you are making them happier. Then what started out as a sacrifice turns into a source of pleasure.
6. Affirm your mate- When you affirm your mate they will get satisfaction and fulfillment and feel like reciprocating. This will draw the two of you closer.Never throw digs at each other to get a point across; it hurts feelings and leaves scars that never heal.
7. Seek and respect your mate’s opinion. Asking your mate for advice creates greater intimacy because of the positive feelings it generates. You can gain greater happiness in life by learning how to be more intimate in your marriage.
Her advice on marriage is over 33 years old but it is still relevant for you today. Her 7 tips are not earth-shattering or brand new. But, without them your marriage will never go from good to great. So, you have a choice. You can do the things that make your marriage great. Or you can ignore them. I’m going to choose to remember the little things. What will you choose?
It’s January 2nd, 2014. It’s the time when people all over the world are wiping the slate clean, cherishing the memories of 2013 and looking forward to 2014. Its the time of year when people make New Years resolutions, goals, and things they want to accomplish during the next 12 months.I am doing the same. I’m sure you are too!
Last year, instead of creating a list of resolutions, I would probably never keep, I did something a little different. I took the 3 Word Challenge. My words for 2013 were: Brave, Authentic, and Consistent.
Have you heard of the 3 Word Challenge? The idea is credited to writer Chris Brogan. Since 2006, Chris has challenged people to join him by choosing three words that help you focus your goals and efforts for the new year. These go beyond a resolution to bring inspiration and hope. It’s a challenge to make your vision for the new year bigger than accomplishing a few goals- it’s to tell a bigger story!
Sounds awesome doesn’t it! So much better than a bunch a goals you probably won’t accomplish anyway. It’s a way to thoughtfully plan what you want your life to look like at the end of 12 months that is creative and doesn’t induce guilt.
Today I want to share with you my 3 words for 2014: Create, New Beginnings, and Focus.
I did a lot of praying in December for God to reveal my 3 words. Let me tell you they are kind of shocking to me; but, absolutely relevant at the same time. During 2013 I spent a lot of time finding my voice, healing the scars of depression and postpartum, and sharing my story in a more authentic way. It was a growing year. I feel like I pushed my roots down deeper into the soil in 2013. It was a year of huge victories, small failures, and consistent baby steps.
I think 2014 is the year the real me comes alive. I know it sounds silly, but if you’ve dealt with depression or an other mental health issue you will understand what I mean. I tried for so long to stuff the creative side of my personality because this was the side that felt to much. This was the side that was vulnerable and sensitive. This was the side that loved to play piano, write, paint, sing, laugh, and take risks. I nearly lost her or a season. I think 2014 is the year my creative side comes out from the shadows and takes center stage.
It’s only the 2nd day of January and God is already showing me new beginnings and things to come for 2014. It’s amazing what is going to unfold in the next 12 months…I think that’s why He gave me the next word. Focus. If I want to be creative and foster an environment where new beginnings can grow, I will have to be intentional. I will have to have focus. I can’t chase shiny objects and explore every bunny trail. I need to focus on what God has called me to do in 2014.
So, those I my 3 Words for 2014. I would love to hear yours! Please leave me a comment below and let me know what your 2014 is going to look like with the 3 Word Challenge.
Your emotions and your health are connected. In fact, your bad mood could be making you sick! Your body is designed in such a unique way that when one element is sick the rest of the body suffers. Your emotions affect your health! Whether you like it or not, what is happening emotionally and spiritually will affect you physically. In fact, research has confirmed over and over again that unhealthy and negative emotions have serious physical consequences. That’s why it is so important to understand the connection between your emotions and your health.
As I write this article we have only 3 days left of 2013 and we are well into cold and flu season with some of the worst days ahead. I know you, like me, want to guard yourself against all those nasty bugs and germs and viruses floating around. What you may not know is that your emotions will affect your immune system! You need to take care of negative emotions so that you can be your best physically, emotionally, and spiritually. You are coming into a bright and shiny New Year…it’s the perfect time to purge those bad moods and negative emotions and mindsets and set yourself on a beautiful and healthy course for 2014.
Earlier I was researching some of the studies on emotional and physical well-being and I came across a few interesting statistics about negative emotions. One article said, “Research has proven that negative emotions such as fear, bitterness, anxiety, anger, trying to get ‘even ‘, depression, and un-forgiveness can cause the release of chemical agents that lead to poor digestion and absorption of nutrients, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, and inflammation throughout the body, a key factor in cancer, heart disease, and many other debilitating conditions.” (This quote was taken from an article called Negative Emotions and Your Health written by Dr. Lorretta Lanphier)
WOW! It is time to take your emotions seriously, don’t you think?
The Power of Positive Emotions
Positive emotions can do wonders for your physical health. But what does it mean to be emotionally healthy? In an article called Improving Emotional Health by authors Melinda Smith, M.A., Robert Segal, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., emotional health is defined as having:
A sense of contentment. A zest for living and the ability to laugh and have fun. The ability to deal with stress and bounce back from adversity. A sense of meaning and purpose, in both their activities and their relationships. The flexibility to learn new things and adapt to change. A balance between work and play, rest and activity, etc. The ability to build and maintain fulfilling relationships. Self-confidence and high self-esteem. (2011, www.healthguide.org)
I want that! Don’t you?
How to Manage Negative Emotions
Now that you know how important you emotions are to your physical health, let’s discuss three ways you can gain control and manage your negative emotions. You will experience negative and damaging emotions in your life so you need to know how to effectively handle them in advance!
- Practice Forgiveness- Like business coach Dani Johnson says, “We are all born with the ability to get over it!” Seriously, you are. When you were a child and you fell down you didn’t stay mad at the pavement for days or harbor ill feelings towards your shoes. You got over it. The same needs to happen when bad things happen in your life as an adult! No, what happened to you wasn’t fair. Yes, it hurt you very badly. No, forgiveness does not mean you have to forget. But, you do have to extend forgiveness and get over it. Not for the sake of the other person-but for your own emotional and physical well-being. Easy…no. Worth it…absolutely! To see how forgiveness changed my life click here.
- Take care of yourself- You have to take care of yourself mind, body, and spirit so that when bad things happen you are better able to deal with them. Rest, exercise, journal, pray, eat well-balanced meals, and spend time with others. These are all small simple steps you can take towards greater emotional health.
- Have fun- You’ve all heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Now you know the truth behind it! Have some fun, laugh, be silly! Doing things for no other reason than because they bring you joy and are fun is not an indulgence, it is a necessity.
Your bad mood might be making you sick! There is a connection between our physical health and our emotional well-being. That’s why it is so important to understand the connection between your emotions and your health. Its time to practice forgiveness, take care of yourself, and have more fun! This is a challenge I am taking very seriously over the next year (especially the part about having fun J) and I would love to have you along! Please leave your comments below. I love to hear from you!
2013 was quite the year! I learned a lot this year. I grew a lot. Made mistakes a lot. Met challenges. Faced fears. Took the plunge. I made brave choices. I was vulnerable and authentic. I learned a lot of life lessons. I bet you did too!
In January, I picked 3 words to define the year I wanted to have. The words I picked were Brave, Authentic, and Consistent. I learned a lot and grew a lot but was I brave, authentic, and consistent? That’s a good question. Come with me on a little journey as I explore the life lessons of 2013.
- I learned that I like to have fun and be silly. (Once in a while This might sound kind of crazy if you haven’t followed me for long. But, after having baby #3 in August of 2012, I dealt with a serious bout of postpartum depression and anxiety in the early months of 2013. I will always be more on the reserved side but I learned that I love to be silly and have fun, too. It helps having friends in your life who are silly and spontaneous to bring you along for the ride.
- I am not 22. I cannot function on 2.5 hours of sleep. I cannot stay up until dawn talking and laughing and crying with my best friends and still attend a women’s conference a few hours later. I learned this lesson the hard way. If someone had been videotaping me and my 2 friends that day it would have made for some award winning reality TV complete with hangry (See picture below for official definition) fights, stoney silences, and a hilarious 3 minutes when I got stuck in my own seat belt. Oh man. I won’t make this horrible mistake again. I’m fully embracing my nearly 32 year old self and giving her all the sleep she needs
- I don’t have to plan everything. In 2013 God asked me to do a lot of things that I couldn’t plan ahead for. This is not my normal MO. I like to plan something to death before I make a move. In all honesty, I can use the planning to avoid the moving. I learned that about myself this year. I went on vacations without definite plans, I began a counseling and care ministry without a detailed business plan, and we will start homeschooling in January without a color-coded schedule or curriculum in place. I’ve learned that some things in my life need a plan; and, some things I can just let go and enjoy the moments as the come.
- My husband likes to hear me laugh. Now I know this sounds crazy! I’ve been with my husband since I was 15 years old. I should’ve known before now that he likes to hear me laugh. If I’m being honest, this is not the only “fact” I learned about my husband this year. I swear with all of the episodes of depression and anxiety I experienced during and after my three pregnancies I became very self-centered and totally missed a lot of years of friendship with my husband. 2013 brought a lot of healing and restoration to my husband and my friendship…and obviously a lot more laughter. This is probably my favorite lesson of 2013.
- I LOVE being a coach. Sharing my personal struggles and my battles with depression and anxiety is never easy. But, I love that sharing my story not only makes me stronger but gives hope to other women who may be walking through a season of darkness. This was HUGE for me to learn this year.
- I still get the timing wrong. This year taught me that when God asks me to do something BIG I still can run ahead in the excitement and get HIS timing wrong. But, 2013 also taught me that I’m recognizing my mistakes, repenting, and inquiring of the Lord for direction much more quickly than I had in the past.
- I was brave and took the plunge…a lot. I grew personally and professional in 2013. I realized I was braver than I thought. This is not pride talking; in fact, most of these things still have me shaking in my boots! That is not the point the point is to be scared and do it anyway. Here are some of the brave things I did in 2013:
- I accepted that “leader” was a title God had given me when I came on staff at New Song church in April 2013 and started the Counseling and Care Team ministry there.
- I learned that reaching 1 million women with a message of hope and redemption was something God had made me passionate about. This is my personal mission. It’s enormously huge! But, I realized I was willing to do the work, learn from the failures, celebrate the successes, and be a transparent and authentic leader. Because that is what these women need.
- I got over my fear and put the first Redemption Conference: Rising Up and Taking Back event on the calendar for March 22, 2014. This is a coaching event for women that I am extremely proud of! The planning is in the works, the key people are in place, and this event is going to be amazing.
- I shook with fear, but mustered all my courage, to create and co-host the Girls on the Big Blue Couch radio show this year. I found out I love talking and coaching on the radio and I’m excited to see where God takes this show in 2014.
- I accepted that “leader” was a title God had given me when I came on staff at New Song church in April 2013 and started the Counseling and Care Team ministry there.
So did I do it? Was I brave, authentic, and consistent in 2013? Did I stretch myself to go outside of my comfort zone? I think so! Really. I do!
I’m proud of myself for digging my roots in a little deeper and growing my faith. I’m thrilled I gathered all my courage in spite of my fear and took the plunge in so many areas of my life. I’m amazed I showed the good, the bad, and the ugly of my life and marriage and managed to inspire and motivate other wives along the way.
2013 was a great year. I know you accomplished some amazing things in 2013, too! I know you were brave in the face of fear. I know you stood strong when your world crumbled around you. I know you faced seemingly insurmountable challenges with faith and grace. I know you overcame challenges and difficulties many of us could never dream of. Can I just tell you how proud of you I am?
Your courage astounds me.
Your faith inspires me.
Your stories move me.
Your marriages motivate me.
Thank you for sharing your life with me this year. I couldn’t be more grateful. If you wouldn’t mind. I would love for you to leave me a quick comment about a life lesson 2013 taught you. Please leave your thoughts below!
Part five of the Fruit of the Spirit Bible Study is on kindness. According to Webster, Kindness means, “The practice or quality of being kind.” It also means “A kind, considerate, or helpful act.” Kindness is a verb. It requires action. There is an entire movement dedicated to practicing kindness called “Random Acts of Kindness.”
You’ve probably heard of random acts of kindness; and, maybe you’ve done some of your own. I happen to be married to an extremely kind and generous man who LOVES to do random acts of kindness. Just last week we were out for breakfast and my husband asked the waitress for the check of the family sitting next to us so he could pay their bill. He told her not to tell them it was us just that God loves them and Merry Christmas.
Her face was literally beaming as she served their table and we walked out with both checks. I hope she paid it forward. Kindness requires action on your part. The crazy thing is that kindness is contagious. One simple act of kindness can start a domino effect and profoundly impact the people around you.
I want to challenge you to grow kindness in your life. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or flashy. The point is to change someone’s day with a simple, kind, and caring act. I want to help you and give you some ideas for simple random acts of kindness.
- At the drive-through your favorite coffee shop, pay for the drink of the person behind you. (This is an awesome one that starts a crazy ripple effect through the line! So much fun to be a part of!)
- Shovel your neighbor’s side walk while they are at work.
- Make cards to drop off at your local nursing home.
- Pay for the meal of the family sitting beside you at your favorite restaurant.
- Donate Christmas gifts to a family in need through a local church or charity.
- Give care packets filled with toiletries and everyday essentials to the homeless.
- Give a new mom the ultimate gift and clean her house while she rests.
- SMILE! Seriously, make eye contact and smile at a stranger instead of looking away.
- Hold the door open for someone.
- See a random cart in the parking lot? Return it. This is a great way to serve someone who serves others every day.
- When you get asked at the checkout lane, “Would you like to donate a $1 to…” actually do it.
- Say “Thank You” to someone who has impacted your life in a positive way. Write a letter, pick up the phone, or stop for a visit and thank them for their influence.
- Give someone at your office a sincere compliment.
It’s exciting to think about the impact you can have on someone just by being kind. Make the world a little brighter because you are in it.
The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion and compassion and humor and style and generosity and kindness. Maya Angelou