Monday, November 21, 2011

I.A.K. week 4

It is my prayer that during this challenge each of you have searched out ways to be intentionally kind yourselves and to use these actions as teachable moments with your children.  Like Jenae, I do not share what we are doing in an attempt to gain any recognition or glory.  I am not better than you.  I can be rude at times, unintentionally blind to the needs or hurts of others, and selfish.  Not one of us on this big green and blue planet are perfect.  But like Jenae, I want to instill in my children the importance of being conscience of others.  We live in a world where we have so much opportunity to help one another and yet we act as if it all revolves around us. 

My generation (Generation X) is often described as the "me first" generation which is scary when you think about the fact that we are raising the next.  I want to break the cycle of thinking that what I want should be most important.  This isn't what my Bible teaches me and it doesn't make for a very good society either.  It is only when we consider others that we can truly find a place of happiness.  It is my hope that by sharing some of my thoughts and actions this past month, and that in your efforts to participate, something has changed, a seed has been planted.  I know that I view thing differently and I am beginning to see that tiny little seed sprout in my own children at times.  When Princess A is offered a sucker after story hour and she asks to bring one home to each of her siblings as well I see that little seed of kindness growing.  When Little Man invites his youngest sister into his room to watch a movie he doesn't particularly like so that I can cook dinner without a little one under foot I see that seed sprouting.  When Lady H offers to take everyone out for ice cream knowing she doesn't have enough to buy her a cone too, I see that seed sprouting.

Here are the things I am focusing on this week:

food for the community cupboard.  With it being so close to the holiday season I wanted to get holiday type foods.  However I talked to a few of the workers and realized where the need really is.  Flour, sugar and canned meats.  I highly recommend talking to the people who work where you plan to donate.  These places tend to get lots of canned veggies and such, but not a lot of meat.  They can't take fresh obviously but there are canned hams, tuna, chicken etc.  My community cupboard takes the large bags of flour and sugar and repackages them in smaller portions so they can help more families.

Start making hats for the hat drive at my children's school.  Even Lady H who is a beginner crocheter can help with this one.  Make a rectangle approximately 19-21 inches by 7-8 inches.  Seam the short edge and gather one end for a very basic hat for adults.

We are cleaning out our closets and donating coats to the local union mission which passes them out to the homeless.

Hubby is a hunter and there are a lot of organizations that will accept the meat, process it and then give it to needy families.  Here in WV it is called Hunters Helping the Hungry, but most states have a similar program. 

SMILE at everyone you see.  Sounds really simple but until I actually thought about it I didn't do it.  I was walking around with a neutral expression on my face.  This came to me when hubby was getting a prescription filled at our local pharmacy and the pharmacist was not just smiling, but radiating kindness and goodwill.  When I told my sister about it she immediately knew who I was talking about and said this woman was ALWAYS in a good mood and that she always walked away feeling better.  Another friend posted about this pharmacist on Facebook and everyone who has their scripts filled at this pharmacy pretty much said the same thing, just interacting with her made them feel better.  Now I am not going to pretend that I am some bright, bubbly, always happy person cuz I tend to have my dark, grumpy, get away from me moments.  But a smile?  I can manage a smile even when I want to throttle the person that jumped in front of me in the express 10 item only line with 25 items while I have an unhappy, nap deprived toddler in my buggy and I have put back all non essentials just so I can get out of the store before said toddler has a total meltdown.  Yeah, I can smile.  For all I know that person may have a sick and grumpy husband at home who swears he needs all 25 ingredients for the get better soup his mom always made and that he just can't feel better without it while he watches that show on TV she totally hates to watch and her kids are hiding in their rooms texting their friends rather than run to the store and get the ingredients she is missing forcing her to venture out despite the fact she feels just as bad as her husband does.  She may really need that smile today.  And if not, well, at least I smiled.

Don't let the end of this challenge be the end of your intentional acts of kindness.  Who knows, your act of kindness may become the talk of Facebook and that could spark others to do something too!  Wouldn't it be great if kindness went viral?

Until next time,


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