December 16, 2014

Kindness notes


This is my bedside table this morning. The magazine is the lovely bella Grace I mentioned before. I haven't finished reading it because I'm slowly savoring each article. Last night I read "It Only Take a Moment" by Kyeli Smith, and it finished with the quote above and the two page spread challenging readers to do something kind for the next seven days.

"There is a moment for you in every interaction - from the smallest encounter at the grocery store to the involved interactions with your lover, from the most casual to the most intimate - to bring kindness. Kindness brings connections. And connection will heal the world." ~ Kyeli Smith

I admit to trying to be kind to others, but sometimes I forget. It's not just this season either. Every day, whether during the holidays or not, can bring it's own level of hustle and stress which we can get enveloped in if we aren't careful. What we are trying to do becomes the most important and everything (and everyone) else can take a back seat.

But is that the way we really want to live?

Me either. But being kind doesn't have to mean huge extravagant exercises in giving, though I do wish it always could. I'm a giver, but must stay within the constraints of time, talents, and pocketbook. Sometimes it's the kind word spoken, the extra dozen cookies made, or the smile of assurance that another isn't alone which makes the most difference. So as we go about our every day life we can take time to reach out to someone we know or don't know and be kind. Because kindness does matter, and we can see the results when we decide to take the chance to do it.

Are you willing to take bella Grace's challenge to do something kind for the next seven days?

If you are looking for a ways to actively be kind, rather than in the flow of your day, please check my friend Jennifer Peterson out! She has a lovely ebook you can get for free titled "31 Ways to Brighten Someone's Day." Just sign up for her blog and you will receive it! How kind is she??

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December 15, 2014

Being brutally honest...

If I were to be brutally honest with you, I would let you know that last week I was a mess. Oh, don't get me wrong, I generally am some type of mess, but last week it was a messy mess.

You see, on Saturday I tested for second brown at KICS, and the week leading up to it my body stopped working properly. Without going into details no one really wants to read, and isn't the focus of this writing anyway, let me say from my brain to my toes I was not functioning smoothly in any way.

I was totally stressed over the test. I was panicked. I was worried. I struggled with what to say about Exodus 3-14, how to do the Japanese low sudo, and if I even had to do the jump side kick. Why this test freaked me out more than any of the others, I'm simply not sure. I get nervous when I test, and I'm used to that, but this was... more.

But here's the thing, I never had a moment of revelation. I had friends and family supporting me and encouraging me. I had instructors reminding me that I already knew the material and I was only there to show them what I already knew. I told others the same thing, because I knew they were right. But I never had a moment where I thought, "Okay. It's all going to be okay." Not until the test was nearly over.

jump side kick Stacey Spar 1

I was a nervous, messed up a few times, slightly panicky, working hard to stay calm person. But I tested anyway.

Being brutally honest, sometimes when we go through things we are a mess. But we need to push through, and keep going anyway. We need to remember that what we know and what we feel aren't always the same thing. We need to keep our feelings from controlling us, while still acknowledging them. Peace doesn't always come first. Sometimes we push through the storm to get to peace on the other side.

So, I want to let you know that if you are struggling right now, it's okay. If you are a mess, I so understand. If you are a little panicked, worried, and stressed you are not the only one. But don't stop doing what you know you can or should do. Yes, sometimes we do things messy, but that doesn't mean we lose. We only lose when we keep those feelings from doing what we know we should do.

And, being brutally honest, I've been there before as well so I know that's when we lose.

Let's keep going and moving forward, friends. Even if it means we have to do so in the messiest craziest of ways.


Pictures thanks to CaptRon Photography

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December 9, 2014

Remember those last minute Christmas gifts?

I know a lot of people wait until Christmas Eve to finish buying Christmas gifts. I have in the past been done with purchasing gifts by Thanksgiving. This year I am still waiting for the last of the presents to come in so that I can wrap them. Sometimes the gifts I give hit the mark and sometimes they don't.

What mark? The one where the gift is the perfect one, makes a difference, was longed for, looked forward to, and will not be forgotten. I heard on the radio yesterday that most times we don't remember what we get for Christmas. I believe that to be true.

So, do you want to give a gift that you know without a doubt would make a difference in the life of another? Maybe it would be a sewing machine for a young girl? Do you wonder why that would make the difference in her life?

Hansini had been outcast, beaten, and condemned because of her belief in Jesus. That may be hard to fully understand, but in other parts of the world this is a regular occurrence for many. She refused to do anything but stand for what Christ taught, however, and held on to the belief that He would take care of her. Then one Christmas she received a sewing machine for Christmas through her church's gift distribution program. Her life changed drastically. She was able to earn money sewing and pay her families debts and bills. Then the other villagers asked if she would teach their children how to sew as well. She teaches these not only the machine but also the love of Christ who helped her when she needed it.

Would you consider giving to the Gospel of Asia catalog and praying for the gifts that are going out? Your gift sent could be the one long prayed for.

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