Feb 072017
 

I was humbled this morning.  And it’s not the blatant humbling process I undergo on a regular basis when literally fall on my face and must somehow regain composure with a laugh to let others know the ER run is not needed this time.  You see, my klutziness is a given.  My defensiveness and inability to “let IT go for the sake of relationship” seems to “trip me up” and my deep, inner self-righteous self is left out there for all to see.  And it is in this “pride fall” I lay today, causing me to wish there were golf mulligans (or do over’s) in real life.

Of course we were at the happiest place on earth, oh I just realized you might be thinking of something different, to clarify we were at McDonalds play place.  I recognize my Mom points just went down the tube, but when the only other option on this rainy, no school day is cabin fever, there is no shame here to claim, “I’m lovin’ it”.

I walked in with my girl crew-one on the hip, and the school aged ones sporting an eclectic ensemble from Fancy Nancy Easter dresses to soccer socks with stars and patterns galore.  My look was somewhere in the middle of these and so we were representing fashion at its finest people!

As the older girls ran to check out the tubes, the little one and I were on our way up to order my “lovin’ it” coffee.  A haphazard looking man (finally someone on my same page) greeted us quickly with a, “If you could let me order first that would be great because I am late for a dentist appointment and I am only going to order an Egg McMuffin.”  (I thought in my mind in response, “I am sure he thinks at the looks of our girl crew that we are going to buy out the place with happy meals, but little does he know the reality of my “one coffee please” order.  He thinks he knows me and is judging me, but he has no idea.  My mental defensives was on a roll in these couple seconds.)

I wish I didn’t have to use the “hind sight is 20/20” phrase so often.  I wish the Spirit would speak with a little louder voice to overwhelm my flesh nature instincts.  Ah but my pride.  Gets.  In.  The.  Way. 

And so my response was the jaded, “I guess you can go, but all I was going to get was a coffee,” and my tone and walking away nonverbal language only lovingly complimented my words.  Gotta love how I am the poster child for this verse in this moment-“let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” Col 4:6.  J   Even as the words left my mouth I thought about the THINK analogy I use with my girls to check to make sure their conversation is, “True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind”.  Talk about a Mom of the Year award for hypocrisy at its finest.

I have to say I felt bad but it was too late to do anything about it.  But what happened next made me feel like the scumb of the earth.  As I went to pay for my “1 coffee” order, the gal at the register said, “Oh, actually it’s free.  The guy before you said he would pay for your “1 coffee”.  Ouch.  I was just killed with kindness-when what I really deserved was a consequence for my pride filled, defensive driven, grace lacking attitude and actions.

I could barely drink the coffee.  I once again had been “tripped up” and humbled by my inability to respond out of the Holy Spirit’s fruit of “self-control, patience, kindness, gentleness”-I mean, just pick one and we would have been good to go.

But in our times when we trip up, mess up and fall is when we most need to look at the kind filled, grace filled face of Jesus.  And understand “His grace is sufficient”.  And He still desires to use us for His good purposes, in spite of our “falls”.  So I picked my “shot to the ego” self up and went to the place I know I can always find Truth.  Grace.  And hope.  God’s Word.  Because at this pivotal point when I fail, shame is right there to suck me in.  And take me down, down.  But just like when sin and failure hit Adam and Eve in the garden and their response was to hide from God in shame, so this is where we still go today when we sin and fail.  But we must fight this desire to hide in shame and look up to the opposite of shame, which is glory.  Jesus came and died so we no longer have to live in shame, so why are we still “shaming it up when we should be glorying it up”!

When you are thinking shame, instead think, my God has given me glory!  We are forgiven.  Given grace in all the weakness.  And sent out to continue on in glory, and giving glory to His Name!

And in that very moment we are running away to hide, God grabs our hand to stop the motion, and grabs us with two hands on our face, looks at us in the eyes, and says, my beautiful daughter,

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.  Isaiah 60:1

And it is sitting in this true purpose and hope, with this book in my lap, that my heart, mind and spirit finds rest.

I wonder if a past “failure” or possible future “failure” is on your mind today.  Will you bring it to Jesus, the grace giver, and receive His “always coming” grace?  Will you sit with the “grace filled book”/the Bible today to enrich your heart, mind and spirit?

How can you extend grace and forgiveness, like Jesus extends to us, to someone around you who is more than “on the naughty list” in your book?

Talk with the Lord about someone you can “kill with kindness” this week as we contemplate on the kindness our Savior extended to us on the cross and continues to extend to us when we mess up?

 

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Aug 262015
 

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.  John 13:35

It was a typical summer morning.  Dishes in the sink.  Doing some breakfast improvising due to no milk and no oatmeal.  Asking then re asking the kiddo’s to get dressed and clean up last nights fort.  And trying to do and say it all without feeling or sounding like the Wicked Witch from the West.  (“Love is not easily angered….love is not easily angered….love is not easily angered….”) Being on time without being unkind to your family sometimes seems like the impossible feat in our household.

We made it.  To the car.  Late, but moving in a forward motion.  At this point many would skip the Dutch Bros coffee run, but this was the part of the morning which was not a negotiation.  It was a necessity if you will, anyone with me?  We pulled into the drive through and the cheery barista took our order.  The girls yelled from the backseat, “Can we please get a steamer Mom?”  Feeling giving I gave in to their request.  As I continued with our order my youngest daughter rolled down her window to get a closer look at things.  The cheery barista didn’t miss a beat, said “Hi girls!  What are you going to do today?”  My youngest daughter (the spokesperson/designated representative for the sister’s) gave not only our plans for the park play date, but also both girls’ soccer practice times, soccer team names, and soccer team shirt colors.  The cheery barista listened intently, smiled and responded with an excited, “Wow!  So great!  So fun!”

As we pulled away from the drive through with drinks in hand my oldest daughter asked, “Why are these people so nice, Mom?”  I thought about her question for a moment, and said, “Well, they must like making people feel special.”  I followed it up by asking her if she liked it when they were so friendly (this is my introverted child in which I was unsure as to if the friendliness would be unappealing).  She replied, “Yes, I like it a lot when they smile and talk to me.”

I so agreed with my oldest daughter.  Dutch Bros had some serious “pros”.  There has not been one time (and we go atleast once a week) in which I didn’t drive away from Dutch Bros feeling loved, cared for, and with a smile on my face (and this is not just because I love their Creme de Mint Decaf Mochas).  Every employee smiles.  Every employee is somehow a master of conversation.  Every employee makes you somehow feel like you are “the best thing sense sliced bread” for that 3 minute interaction at their window.

As I pondered the “Dutch Bros Pros”, I couldn’t help but evaluate how I measured up in the “niceness towards others” category.  My “Wicked Witch of the West” attitude/verbal commands earlier this morning were definitely not a shining moment of kindness.  The scripture above, By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another, was my next brain thought.  Shouldn’t people be leaving our church on Sunday mornings with the very same question my daughter asked as we drove away from Dutch Bros, “Why are these people so nice?”  Shouldn’t my kids, husband, co-worker’s, friend’s and stranger’s walk away from interactions with me thinking, “Why is she so nice?”

Because the love of Jesus in me and in you should make a difference.  Other’s should questions why we care about them so much.  Why we listen without judgement.  Why we give of ourselves and our resources with no strings attached.  Why we have genuine interest in our questions to them.  Why our words speak life, encouragement, and kindness always.  Why we rely on the Holy Spirit to turn the “Wicked Witch of the West” morning attitudes into “Glinda, the Good Witch of the South” marked by patience and love.  Other’s should be able to tell we are believer’s by the care, concern and love we give.  It’s time for the church and for ourselves to take on the “Dutch Bros Pros” relationship strategy and be.  known.  by.  love.

How can you change your morning routine to better reflect the love of Jesus to your family?

What times of the day or specific activities make you more prone to quick, harsh words?

In what way can you facilitate a “Dutch Bros Pros” welcoming, caring, nice environment for people who walk into your church?

Think and act on the saying, “if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say it at all”.

 

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Mar 112015
 

Thank goodness for the kindness of Jesus to me this week as I became aware of more than I would like to admit times when my kindness towards others fell short.  Real short.

Love Attribute #2:  Kindness=Care/consideration/selflessness versus Unkindness=disconcern for another, rude, selfishness-  “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted…” Ephesians 4:32a

Kindness versus unkindness situation #1:  My husband and I took our kids to Awana’s (A Bible memory/game filled night for kids) as we typically do.  The beauty of this is they love it and our learning God’s Word, PLUS my hubby and I get a quick date night after we drop them off.  A win, win if I have ever seen one.

I saw a friend I hadn’t seen in awhile and thought I should probably not go talk to her because there is a possibility it could be a long conversation and I don’t want to cut into our already short date night time.  I couldn’t help myself.  I jumped in with both feet and ended up talking to her while my husband is patiently waiting for me.

The problem here is I didn’t consider my husband’s needs.  I knew he would wait.  I was more concerned with my in the moment conversation than protecting our scheduled time together.  I see this now.  But in the moment all I wanted to do was justify my actions to my husband.  I didn’t want to listen to how my actions had been unkind to him.  Quarreling was on the tip of my “to do list”, if you know what I mean.  Then this scripture I had read only that morning came to mind, “”And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone,” (2 Timothy 2:24a).  Timely.  So, the Jesus kindness within me led me to hold my ever wanting to spew my rights, disagreements, and justifications, I pressed down the “quarrel in me”.  And apologised to my husband with a, “I’m sorry, honey, I won’t do that again”.

Kindness versus unkindness situation #2:  I was doing my routine dishes and dancin to the Christian radio station after dinner.  (Christian music plays more often than not in our house-for my sanity and overall need for the Jesus perspective/attitude in my heart and mind.)  My daughter said, “Mommy, I want Jazz music to do my dancing to.  Can you turn on some Jazz music?”  (First off, not sure where my four year old has even heard of Jazz music, but the main point is, the Christian music was my life blood and she was asking to change it??  Oh the depravity!)  I matter of factly replied, “Honey, you can do your dancing to these songs.”  Her prompt and dagger in the heart teared response was, “Mom, you always get what you want.”  (Gotta love those, showing your yucky self moments.)  Immediately, “Love is kind”, ran through my mind and I recognized kindness is about not getting what I want.  Being humbled by her statement I excitedly yelled, “You are right, so let’s get some Jazz on!”  She jumped up and down and said, “Mommy, do you know why I like Jazz music?”  “No, I don’t honey, why?”  I replied, intrigued now.  “Because it’s jazzy.”  She said.  (Well of course!  Isn’t that why anyone would love Jazz music?)

Kindness versus unkindness situation #3:  My last “kindness kick” story is about how the kindness of God brought me to tears this week.  I attended a worship conference at the end of the week and was hopeful to come away with encouragement, new ideas, grounding wisdom, and new friends.  What I was not hoping to come away with was smeared mascara from crying in the bathroom.  But unfortunately, the latter became my reality.  I felt God was asking me to hand out some of my “Sing Over Me” women’s devotional books.  My inner commentary is always my worst enemy as I considered following through with this, “The women will think you are prideful.  Why are you promoting yourself?  Who are you anyway to even have a book?”  As I sat in the restroom, the tears began to stream down my face as I felt bombarded with the “You are NOT” statements.  I felt so unworthy to be used by my God.  In that very moment the scripture, “I did not give you a spirit of timidity (or fear), but of power and love and self discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7) came to mind.  In my moment of fear and insecurity, the kindness of God gave me strength, courage and reassuring.  That He was with me.  And that I could do this with his help.  (Any fear of man and discouragement of who I am made to be in Christ is only from one fiery place!)

So I wiped all the mascara off my face and headed into the “women in ministry” session where I had been given permission to hand out my books.  I got the opportunity to share a little of my testimony and handed out the books to the women.  The Lord opened multiple doors through this to be able to pray for some women and encourage them in their faith journey’s.  But two woman’s words have stayed with me, “You are the reason I was supposed to come to this session”, and “Thank you for giving us these books, this was so kind, so very kind of you.”  I had not even thought about giving away these books as an act of love and specifically fulfilling this week’s focus of kindness.  But praise be to God that when we are obedient to His voice, His kindness comes out without us even being aware of it!  Oh how the kindness of God blesses me over.  And over.  And over again.

“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?”  Romans 2:4

“Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.”  Psalm 63:3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Mar 022015
 
I am pretty sure, “Now, be kind please”, comes out of my mouth everyday as my girls maneuver the challenges that “getting along with others” poses.  This week we take on the challenge to show others the love of Jesus by being kind to them.

Our #2 1 Corinthians 13 Love attribute this week is:  “LOVE IS KIND”.

Webster’s defines the word, “Kind or Kindness”, for us:
  • the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate
  • an act of kind assistance

Friends, here are some like minded words for kindness to further expand our mission this week:

affection, warmth,gentleness, concern, care;

consideration, helpfulness, thoughtfulness, unselfishness, selflessness,altruism, compassion, sympathy, understanding, big-heartedness, benevolence, benignity, friendliness, hospitality, neighborliness;
generosity, magnanimity, charitableness, mercy, service, grace
And to follow up with some words opposite to showing kindness.  (In other words, what NOT to do this week):
coldheartedness, hard-heartedness, inhumanity, inhumanness,mercilessness, pitilessness, rude, callousness, coldness, disinterest, indifference, unconcern;cruelty, harshness; animosity, antipathy, dislike, hatred, hostility

My heart tells me the love of Jesus for me, which spills out onto others in a kind way means action on my part.  The above definition says an “ACT” of kindness.  Kindness involves moving myself in such close proximity to another that there is a service performed for them.  If I shut myself and my love for Jesus in my room it is pretty hard to rub shoulders with friends, neighbors, the poor and needy.  And kindness requires reaching out to others-it may be nonverbally, verbally, or through an act of service that causes the individual to feel Seen.  Loved.  Cared for.  Listened to.  Provided for.  Considered.  Helped.  

Of all the opposite’s to kindness, the words, “unconcern and rude”, hit too close to home for me.  I say something in a defensive spirit to my husband and it comes out as a jabbing put down.  In fact it is a downright rude, manipulative, prideful thing to say.  Not kind.  I don’t make eye contact with the checker who always checks me out at the grocery store but only tend to putting items on the belt.  There is no excuse for my unconcern for them.  Not kind.

Of all the like minded words to kindness, the words “consideration and selflessness” were highlighted in my mind and spirit.  How much of my day do I consider self rather than consider another-unfortunately the “me monster” is priority more than I would like.  My needs, desires, comforts, schedule, frustrations, pain, good news are at the forefront of my mind.  This week, my prayer is that we would consider less of ourselves and more of others.  To be filled so much with the loving kindness of Jesus, our Lord, that we can’t help but extend His kindness to those we rub shoulders with.

Quotes/Verses to motivate us towards showing kindness this week:

  • “Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You.”  Psalm 63:3
  • “Don’t you realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?”  Romans 2:4
  • “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”  William Arthur Ward
  • “Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight.  Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward.  Your life will never be the same again.”  Og Mandino
  • “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”  Aesop
  • “Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything in life.”  Isaac Bashevis Singer
  • “Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.”  Joseph Joubert
  • “A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.”  John Ruskin

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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