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Once upon a time we lived with another family…well sort of.  We moved to their city to join them in business, and while we got our house in order they graciously invited us to stay with them.  We had 4 jet lagged kids and were overwhelmed with all the newness so we were probably not the best house guests.  We made our hosts’ lives miserable it seemed.  We tried hard to make sure we were quiet, and we made sure to express our appreciation for everything they were doing for us.  It didn’t seem to matter.  We were stressing them out.  We put a rush on our stuff, and finally, after 2 weeks, we were able to move into our own place.  I know they were glad to see us go.

We made a decision that day.  Because of the nature of our business we knew there would be other people coming to our city to live.  We knew that they would need to have a place to stay while they set up their own houses.  We decided that our house would be that place.  We were laid back and knew that we could handle the company.  We didn’t want our business partners to stress out nor did we want others to feel what we felt while staying with them.

That experience had an impact on me.  It challenged me.  And because of it I have a life goal.

I want to be refreshing.  I want to show kindness to others so that they walk away from any encounter with me feeling refreshed.  The goal is based on a bible verse, but I do think it is achievable no matter what you believe.  The verse is Philemon 1:7.  Here it is in several different translations.

New International Version  Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.

New American Standard  For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.

King James For we have great joy and consolation in thy love, because the hearts of the saints are refreshed by thee, brother.

New Living Translation Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God’s people.

My favorite is the version in blue.  For me it has been a life-changing experience.  Consciously treating others with respect and love.  It doesn’t matter if you are in line with me at the grocery store, my server at a restaurant, or a friend.  I will be kind.  I will show you love.  I will.  And if I fail to do that, which I will do at times, I will feel sorrow over the encounter, and I’ll hope that someone else made you feel good that day.

Goals like this are interesting.  I set out to make sure I am kind to others and that they walk away feeling refreshed, but I am the one who always feels better.



2 responses »

  1. Aw, Nat. This is beautiful.

    I always try to be the kindness in someone’s day, as well. When I encounter someone (barista, cashier at the grocery store, etc) who doesn’t return the kindness/smile, I always hope that what I delivered to them will soften them up a bit.

    Kudos to you!

  2. Just lovely. I’ve missed your posts! So glad to see you back.

    We had a similar experience in moving in with friends in a new city for a month and a half. It was terrible. So terrible, in fact, that we’re not friends anymore. You find out who people are when you see them first thing in the morning and at bedtime, and sometimes it’s a real eye-opener. Your goal should be universal! Thank you for your poignant words.

    Again, so glad to see you blogging again! xoxo


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