Signs

What if people had signs hanging around their necks that said what was going on in their lives or saying what had happened in their past?

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes I am wrapped up in my little world … okay, a lot of the time. I focus on how people treat me or make me feel, and treat them accordingly. However, that isn’t how Christ interacted with the public. He focused on the people who surrounded him instead of himself. Lately, I’ve noticed just how far a small act of kindness can go when dealing with others. In February, every year, our church has “Kindness Month.” We are encouraged to do acts of kindness all throughout the month and write the deeds (with no name) on little hearts and stick them up on the church wall. The goal is to focus on others; however, what is amazing is how much people respond to even the smallest acts of kindness.

People remember kindness. If you do something kind for someone, they are more apt to remember you and respond positively the next time they see you. People want to be noticed, in fact, they long for it. That is what made me ponder this thought at the beginning of this post. What if people wore signs around their necks that said what was going on in their lives, or saying what had happened in their past? Would I treat them with more respect and compassion? Sometimes after I get to know someone and find out stuff about them it makes it much easier to interact with them – it makes me more understanding… and kind.

For instance, think of the cashier who seemed sullen and wouldn’t converse with you. What if her sign said:
“Waiting on test results to see if my Mom has cancer.”

Maybe your waiter didn’t meet your scale of attentiveness. What if she had a sign that said:
“Working two jobs.
Single Mom.
My kid has the flu.
The person who was supposed to relieve me is an hour late.”

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What if the nurse who was gruff and unkind had a sign saying:
“My Husband served me with divorce papers today.
My kids are moving away.”

What about the coworkers we are around each day that irritates us? What if one of them had a sign saying:
“I was repeatedly molested as a child.”
Or another maybe:
“My Dad was a mean drunk who used me for his punching bag.”
I know people with signs that would say:
“My child has Autism.”
“My spouse has cancer.”
“My Parents did drugs. I was raised by a family member.”
“My husband cheated on me.”
“Nothing I ever did was good enough for my Dad.”
“My baby is teething and won’t sleep or quit crying.”
“My husband is a soldier stationed overseas, and we haven’t seen him in 5 months.”

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If we saw signs like this, would we be more understanding? Would it make a difference in the amount of grace we give them?

Instead of leaving a small tip, would we leave a larger one? Maybe instead of complaining we might smile at them, say their name, look them in the eyes, and ask how their day is going. Furthermore, would we ask questions to show we care about them? Maybe even give them a candy bar with a smile and say, “Everyone can use a bit of chocolate in their lives!” (Isn’t that the truth?!)

Kindness, it truly shows God’s love to people. Jesus really saw people … their past, their struggles, their burdens, their trials. Some signs we would condemn, but Christ saw them all and still loved these people. He also spent a massive amount of time in prayer so he could stay attuned to the Father and needs of others. Oh, to have eyes of compassion like Jesus: He listened… He cared… He helped… He was kind. The people could tell, and it drew them like moths to a flame. Everyone is drawn to kindness. Possibly, the element missing today in spreading the gospel is the added touch of kindness.

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32

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How about you? Have you ever wondered the same thing? How do you show compassion to others?

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Chore Boot Camp: Phase 2: Day 3 & 4

Chore Boot Camp: Phase 2: Day 3 & 4

Due to Thursday being our “Errand/Town” day we did 2 days worth of chores in one day today. Callie Swept and Swiffered the Livingroom and Kitchen and she also cleaned the Bathroom. Kenzie Dusted, Windexed, and Vacuumed. They also both put away their laundry and cleaned their room. Lincoln folded washcloths and helped Callie clean their bathroom and me clean mine. Attitudes were just so-so, but For me just watching they did pretty well. The lists I made of each step per chore really helped. I have allowed the kids to answer the phone a lot more with me standing there making sure they do it correctly this week. I plan on trying to do all the chores in one day with Levi to get him caught up and on the same phase next week since he was gone camping during the day.

Chore Boot Camp: Phase 2: Day 2

Chore Boot Camp: Phase 2/ Day 2.
I am ashamed to admit that the kids and I did very little chores. I took them to the summer reading program, taught piano, and then went to church. To be totally honest, I did have about 2 hours I could have done it, but chose to read my book instead while they were playing so well. (Totally why I don’t read fiction as much anymore…nothing gets done around here) I am hoping to make up for it tomorrow.

Chore Boot Camp: Phase 2: Day 1

Chore Boot Camp: Phase 2: Day 1
Kenzie did the bathroom and swept and mopped. Callie did Windex and Vacuuming. Lincoln helped Windex. Levi was at camp and is a little grumpy tonight from being so tired so I don’t know if I’ll fight that battle till next week. We had more issues with attitudes today so no one earned tablet time. I’m not sure if it was because we missed yesterday and our vibe for the week got thrown off, if it’s because their brother was having fun at camp and we were not, or if it was because I made them do 2 chores each since we missed yesterday. It also may be because I made step by step instructions and they wanted to do things their way. I digress. Anyhow, a blog post I found on Pinterest (see below) inspired me to make my own step by step chore lists and to put them where they do the chore. The lady on the post bought lanyards to hang around the child’s neck with the chore they were supposed to complete. Her children couldn’t take it off till the chore was complete. I am pondering doing this. I don’t know if I would actually do it, or if it’s just a cool thought and I’d waste the $8 buying lanyards on Amazon. However, I DID like her step by step approach. She has some you can print off, but our chores were different since we have different rooms. It only took me about 30 minutes to make these. If you’re interested in being able to print them off I can share my Word document with you. Just let me know.
Link: http://www.fivelittlechefs.com/craft/easy-crafts/free-printable-chore-charts.html

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Chore Boot Camp: Phase 1: Day 4

Chore Boot Camp: Phase 1: Day 4 Phase 1: Successful

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We didn’t make eggs this morning since we had omelets for supper last night. Lincoln did a great job folding washcloths and with a great attitude. Levi learned to clean the sink and toilet. Callie learned to sweep and Swiffer the living room and kitchen. She had a little bit of trouble not taking forever and getting all the spots, but otherwise she did well. Kenzie for some reason had an attitude about dusting and her younger siblings did a better job than her, but Windexing went fine. I also showed the girls how to clean my bathroom in case they ever want to clean mine to make some money. The boys washed dishes and the girls put them all away. Lunch was leftovers. Overall I count this week as a success and have allowed them to pass Phase 1. Next week Levi is going to go to camp so I’m going to have to figure out how to complete Phase 2 with him next week.

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Chore Boot Camp: Phase 1: Day 3

Chore Boot Camp: Phase 1: Day 3: Successful.

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We still didn’t do a page of math and I’ve pretty much figured out it isn’t going to happen while we do Chore Boot Camp. Teaching chores takes a lot longer than I figured because we get sidetracked with things like … cleaning out their ::shudder:: purses and bags while cleaning their room.

We completed all assigned chores plus Kenzie learned to mop the Kitchen and playroom. Lincoln learned to wipe the sink and toilet. Levi actually vacuumed really well and Callie only needed to be reminded of a few spots she forgot to dust and windex. Callie made Mac and cheese and chicken nuggets for lunch. We still practiced answering the phone.

The thing that has surprised me the most is how much they actually seem to be enjoying this and look forward to it. Kenzie even had the muffins made when I woke up and was showing off the list to piano students. (I’m sure they were thrilled.). They actually have had great attitudes and act excited to learn them.

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Chore Boot Camp: Phase 1: Day 2

Chore Boot Camp: Phase 1: Day 2: Successful.

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Keeping it real we didn’t do a math page and we didn’t play outside since it was so hot.

However, they each completed their assigned chore with happy attitudes and thoroughly. We also worked on tidying their closets (with instructions on how I want them to put clothes in the closet) and cleaned rooms thoroughly. The boys also washed dishes again and Levi learned how to load the washer and dryer. Kenzie proved that she can totally pass all 3 phases of vacuuming. Levi is awesome at Windex. He insists on Windexing EVERYTHING. Every single window, door, and mirror from top to bottom. Which is great…I normally just hit what needs it. He also is amazing at dusting since, without me telling him, he lifted everything and dusted underneath. He even was showing Lincoln how…better than me (since I hate dusting). I did still have to remind him of all the places to dust. Callie did a great job too in the bathroom. 

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They each made their lunch and Lincoln helped make breakfast.

Lastly, we worked on answering the phone. We practiced during lunch and then I let them answer the phone the rest of the day. I even asked people to call so they could practice. They still rush through the words when they get so excited, but are already doing better. We will continue to have pop quizzes on this.