Thursday, February 13, 2014

Afternoon Acts of Kindness

The last three weeks have been really (really really) rough on me. After my hubby and kids got sick, I came down with what I thought was whatever they had - the flu, a cold, whatever. Well … turns out I was wrong. It was pneumonia. It was bacterial. And it required a 4-day hospital stay.

To say I've been "discouraged" is a bit of an understatement.

As a result of this surprise illness, my family has had to:
- postpone our move.
- cancel our "tot ziens" ("going away" party).
- eat the costs of changing flights.
- disappoint several members of our family, who were looking forward to our visits in March.
- soothe the fears of two kiddos who'd never been away from Mommy for more than 1 night.
- reevaluate what our collective health means to us.

I've definitely struggled through all of this. I'm a prototypical "type-A" personality. I love being "on the go," I love "doing," I love "achieving," I love planning and controlling.

While going through all of this, I've been continuing on in my study of the book Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. It's an awesome book, and in chapter 12, the author shares the concept of blessing others, of filling afternoons with acts of kindness, instead of wallowing in the pit of despair over our struggles.

Let's just go ahead and clear the air. I've definitely been wallowing. I've been sad and I've cried "why me" and "it's not fair!"

But, as the days have gone by, I've started taking Lysa's advice.

When I feel completely sick and tired, instead of crying, I've started reading. Through the book of Psalms. I've used what I've learned to encourage others.

I've started focusing on my son's birthday party, coming up a week from Saturday. Every little detail of the party is taking me probably three times as long as normal. But, with every stitch that goes into a DIY stick horse for a little party attendee, I'm praying for that child. That we might show him/her and his/her family a little bit of Jesus.

During the late afternoons, when I just can't keep up with my kiddos, I'm letting them watch a video on TV. This is usually a huge "no-no" for me on weekdays and they're loving it! And, I'm learning (and teaching them) that we all need some grace.

At night, when I can't really do anything, because I'm so spent from the day, I'm checking in on Facebook to see who might need a little encouragement. Because, with 500 friends, 500 unique individuals, there's always someone who needs a little online blessing. And, it's something I can do right now, so I do it.

More than anything, this week I'm reminded of how much we all need acts of kindness in our lives. We need to give them, we need to receive them.

As Paul wrote to the churches in Galatia, "So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith."(Galatians 6:10)

Love and hugs to everyone from Holland!

17 comments:

  1. Oh Christa, I am so sorry for all the sickies that ended up turning your life upside down... I love that you are taking Lysa's advice !!!! I myself have been doing the very same thing. I am learning that NO, I cannot be in control of everything. I need to ask for help sometimes, and I need the fellowship of others. Love that verse, "household of faith". That is what I Strive for us ... HUGS to YOU ... and PLEASE enjoy HOLLAND for me! <3

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  2. Great post, thanks for sharing sweet sister!

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  3. Great post Christa, as always! I love reading your blogs! They are so uplifting! ♥

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  4. Christa- wow! What an inspiration! You are amazing and I love that you shared all of this with us. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the idea of praying over everything you are making for the birthday party. What a wonderful way to share God's love!!!

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  5. Great post! It is amazing to me that you took all that sickness and disappointment and turned it into something wonderful and encouraging for others! Thank you for a great pick me up today. :)

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    1. Thanks for your kind comment Kim! Keep smiling :)

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  6. Christa, love your online blessing - great inspiration today for your OBS sisters! Have a great day!
    Kim

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing! Praying for you.

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  8. Christa ~ WHAT A MONTH!!! I am so blessed (and proud) that you've managed such a trying time...not to mention sticking with this study through it all!! Way to go!! Here's my own "random-act-of-kindness" - blessing you with a little music ministry :) Your post made me think of the following songs. Enjoy and God bless! Miriam of http://cravingsconfidential.blogspot.com

    A message from God: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3EWHPp80EA
    A message from a friend: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQTCqWhaMC0

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    1. Wow, thank you so much Miriam! What a kind blessing these are!!! Virtual hugs from me to you :)

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  9. I am back from my3-weeks home country vacations.thanks for your sharings & great spiritual reflections => we are made to crave for God for He is great, gracious & good. Msy God bless you and keep you in peace, love, joy and good health....more important crave for Him more and more.

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