Monday, March 11, 2013

Burnt Cookies are Sweet Reminders

This weekend was a big to do at our house. Saturday we took the family to the local zoo. I had planned everything out to make it a painless adventure. I knew the tight budget delegated I would have to pack snacks, so I made popcorn and cookies that morning. I packed up a bag with extra clothes (in case of a potty emergency), my camera and accessories, and even my friendship making kit to do on the ride there (Thank you to hubby for driving!). The kids had a blast.

We spent about four hours at the zoo, and also stopped on the way home to do an errand. We were gone for a total of six hours, about..... Relieved to be home, I stepped over the threshold, dropping the items in my arms. The room smelled a very awkward smell, and my eyes watered. Immediately my stomach knotted, as I looked at my husband  who already bound his way to action and turned the oven off.. 

Here's the thing. I'm not laughing about this. I could have burnt the entire place down. I'm surprised the neighbors didn't hear the smoke detectors go off and smell the smoke. I feel incredibly guilty, and upset. I also feel as though I've been given a bit of grace. The only thing I'm left with is a lingering burnt cookie smell and guilt.

 I know that sharing this with you puts me open to be criticized and judged by many (and, yes, I am not looking forward to that). Still, I wanted to share this, specifically because I feel as though we often forget to share with each other that we are human. We're not perfect. Even with our best intentions at heart, we can still do wrong.

Please remember that you human, and you are lovable. That is why I'm sharing this with you.....because I believe that we need to remember to forgive ourselves....(and perhaps, to double check the oven before we leave).

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Working for Satan:

A few days ago, someone accused me of working for Satan. It doesn't matter what the sub-context is, because in essence, this person is accusing me of doing evil. I would like to state that I whole heartily respect Christianity (This person is a Christian) ; and the good is what I try to focus on. I will even go as far to say that there is no 'bad' in Christianity; but there is 'bad' in humanity, and it often leaks into many things (including but not limited to Christianity) and masks itself with those names. I do not count myself as Christian, and we won't go into my beliefs in this post, but I wanted to throw a few thoughts out there about this.

I have it in my mind that most people on this earth have at one time or another been accused of working for Satan or any respective evil persona, regardless of whether they know it or not. Regardless of what kind of a person they are. The individuals who concern themselves with defining who is and isn't working for God or Satan, need to know something: You are not making the judgements, or the rules. Actually, I'd like to clarify; you're not even invited to the hearing.

I would prefer to focus on being a good person, rather than concern myself with who works for Satan, or for that matter who thinks I work for him.  When we start labeling each other, we divide ourselves. When we start calling each other out for our 'evil' actions, we are not growing our numbers in a force for good. Think about it, would you join someone in a good cause you have in common after they said your approach is evil? Would you be willing to tolerate working with someone who accuses you of working with Satan?

So many people I know claim the end of times is near. They see how much evil has taken over the world and Satan is winning. Hence I ask; do you want him to win? Or do you want to grow God's army? You certainly aren't going to be successful by separating yourself from others who are trying to do the same thing in a different way.

Now what I am suggesting is NOT that you start bending your values on what you will or won't support. I am not suggesting that you start supporting questionable paths of causes. What I am suggesting is that we start trying to understand each other and find common goals. Find compromises to achieve those goals. We need to stop shaming people, companies, and organizations, and start building rapport with them. No more hating. No more separating. No more labeling.

While we may not like that someone volunteers for an organization that we don't like, that doesn't mean that we should shame them for it. When someone stands on the opposite side of you position, please, don't start pointing your pitch fork at them. Ask them why. Understand why they feel it's good. And don't challenge it. Instead, show them (don't tell them) why your motives behind your side are good. Then walk together and find a common goal. It might mean making compromises on the way, but they only way we are growing God's army is by banding together, and then praying to God that we do good together.

Maybe we need to start leaving the rule making, and the judgements to God. Maybe we need to start using a different strategy...... Working together in a godly way. At least... That's what I believe.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Kindness Project

The Kindness Project

No doubt most blog readers have heard about random acts of kindness. It’s when the blogger takes it upon themselves to spread a little kindness in unexpected places. Suggestions float around everywhere from little to big things you can do. Giving your time, gifts, and service. I love surprising my friends and people I've come into with little acts of kindness. It's just, nothing has ever made me want to blog about it.

Just a little over a month ago, I saw a woman at the grocery store. She had balanced her carry basket on the footrests of her scooter. When she turned the corner, her basket hit a table, and soup cans scattered like tiny mice looking for the nearest hole in the wall. I jumped to her aide, ushering her groceries back into basket, and set it back on her footrests. She was too proud to say thank-you, but it didn’t jar me. 

Recently, while returning my cart at a local grocery store, a man, stopped in his tracks to let me push the cart into the return cage. He gave a genuine dashing smile, and motioned he open hands towards the return area. “Please” He provoked, in a good will, appreciative manner. I thanked him, and we parted.

Chances are if the little old lady or the man ever cross my path again, I won't know it. It is enough to get me thinking. Spontaneous acts of kindness from strangers gets me more excited than planning random acts of kindness. It makes our unknown community friendly, and a great place to live.  How great would it be if people did this more often?

Then it hit me last week while watching the Ellen DeGeneres Show, what would prompt me to write about it. The show has a segment called "Cash for Kindness". It's a courageous little endeavour where Ellen sends out one of her reporters, puts them in an awkward situation, and see who spontaneously comes to help. In the end, the person who shows kindness toward the 'undercover' person in need is rewarded with cash. The last segment made me so surprised how very little amount of people came to help. I wanted to do something, even though I knew it was a ruse... Finally I received my inspiration! What if, instead of performing acts of kindness....we provoke and reward them? What if we started encouraging kindness, everywhere!!!

I’ll be going out into my community trying to catch people in the act, or provoke people to be kind--and reward them for it. I realize that I'll probably never be able to reward them like they do on Ellen, but my hope would be that we'd encourage kindness just by returning it. I am super excited to let you know, that you will be included on this too! You’ll have chances to write in, win prizes, and grow in a kinder community, because;

I believe we could all use a little more kindness.

Yours Kindly,

Whimsical Mai