A Simple Act of Kindness

A simple act of kindness can mean a lot.  I was blessed to be the recipient of an act of kindness that made me understand how true that statement is.

I had gone to Walmart to deliver my husband’s lab coat to him in the Vision Center.  I was thinking about trading cars with him for the afternoon,  so I parked in the employee parking area – a long way from the store entrance.  After dropping off the lab coat and meandering through the store for awhile, I decided to leave.  Unfortunately, a storm front had moved in and brought with it pouring rain and gusty winds.  The location of my parking spot seemed extra far away as I glanced out into increasingly wet lot.

My sweet husband loaned me a small umbrella and I made my way through the downpour, sloshing through puddle after puddle, to my car.  By the time the umbrella and I were both in the car, I was drenched.  I drove to a nearby convenience store to get a drink before heading home.  I was already soaked, so I didn’t think a quick run into the store would do much harm. Boy, was I wrong!

After purchasing my drink and dashing back to my car, I discovered that the engine wouldn’t turn over.  It was pouring, I was cold and wet, and my car wouldn’t start.  This was not what I had planned for my afternoon.

After trying several times to start the engine, and hearing it click in defiance, I called my son and asked him to rescue me.  I had to wait  awhile for him to get there, and after 20 minutes or so, I tried to start the car again.  It worked!  The engine sputtered to life.  I called my son to tell him my car was running.  Since he was only a couple of minutes away, I told him to come anyway so I could put gas in his truck.

My car also needed gas, so I when my son arrived, I pulled up to the pump.  I got out, swiped my credit card for both of us, and got ready to dispense my gas.  There was a small cover overhead, but it was not keeping the wind and rain away from me as I began to fill the gas tank.

A very nice gentleman, carrying a big umbrella, climbed out of a nearby truck.  He walked up beside me and held the umbrella over me while I pumped my gas.  It was a small gesture of kindness, but it made a big difference to me.  His simple act kept the rain off my body and put some sunshine in my heart.  It alleviated some of the gloom of that rainy afternoon.

When you have the opportunity to do something nice for someone, remember that even very simple acts of kindness can mean more than you might imagine.

Pray and Pause

I recently purchased some prayer beads made of olive word.  These aren’t just any prayer beads.  These beautiful beads are called Pray and Pause beads.  What a wonderful idea!  In between each prayer bead is a smaller bead.  The idea is that when my fingers move from the larger bead to the smaller bead, it’s time to pause to listen and reflect.

Wouldn’t it be great if I approached my prayer life that way on a regular basis?  What would happen if, when I stopped to pray about a situation, I also paused to allow God to speak into my heart or take action in my life?

Here are some thoughts about how I can do this:

  • I can pray for peace, and then pause to allow God to fill me with His calming presence.
  • I can pray for wisdom, and then pause to allow God to give me the right words to say, or show me the right actions to take.
  • I can pray for guidance, and then pause to allow God to show me where He is leading.
  • I can pray for patience and compassion for difficult people, and then pause to allow God to equip me with the right attitude.
  • I can pray for courage, and then pause for God to clothe me in His armor.

Whatever I pray for, I need to pause and wait patiently for God to do His will in His time.
  Do you need to had some pauses to your prayers?

But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
~Isaiah 40:31 NRSV

God’s Call

In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
~Proverbs 3:6 (NRSV)
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take.
~Proverbs 3:6 (NLT)
Have you ever felt like God was calling you to do something?  I have felt like that many times through the years.  I believe He has called me to lead Bible studies, to write this blog, to help people find creative expression, and to start and grow a women’s ministry. Sometimes His call has taken me outside my comfort zone, but not always.
Recently, I have been trying to discern what God is calling me to do now.  Is my ministry dream the same as His?  Do my plans line up with HIs plans?  Am I using my gifts to further His Kingdom?  Am I growing into the person He created me to be?  You may be seeking the answers to these questions, or questions of your own.
How do we discern God’s will for our lives?  How do know we are hearing His call correctly?  We have to ask Him.  I believe that, if we seek His guidance, he will show us the way to go. When I have paid attention to God’s direction, He has given me signs that point the way. When I have needed confirmation that I am moving in the right direction, it has been provided.
These signs and confirmations have come in many forms: in a passage of Scripture, in a book I’ve read, in an email from a church member, in a word of encouragement from a friend, in a thought placed upon my heart, in a sermon on Sunday morning, during a conversation with a mentor, etc. 
Are you paying attention to the ways God is calling you? He will lead the way.  We just need to seek the path He has for us and then be willing to walk that path with Him.