Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘volunteering’

Wonderful Wednesday


Good morning, my friends!

It’s a Wonderful Wednesday!

Find a way to give.

My friend, Steve, has no trouble finding neighbors who need
their driveways shoveled or blown out. What a gift that is!

Volunteering to help others is giving back … or paying it forward! Someday Steve won’t be able to do this anymore. Then, hopefully, someone will volunteer to shovel or blow out HIS driveway!

Look at the book my daughter sent me:

I bet you have a story to tell about some “giving” you have done.
I try to give daily, so when I received this book, I thought,
Why not write about it?

Sous-Cheffing

I love working at our Senior Center as a sous chef (that’s a fancy name for potato and carrot peeler. salad maker, and onion slicer). I can pretend I am at a fancy Paris Bistro… and my customers are the most precious children of God! (Actually, they are!)

Visiting Shut-ins

Another way to volunteer your gifts is to visit a friend who is in a nursing home or at the hospital. Anyone can do that! It doesn’t take lessons or months of practice. Just an open heart, and a wiilngness to treat yourself to the infectious smiles your visit will bring.

In our little town of Ennis, Montana, I introduced you day before yesterday to Artists on Main, the wonderful art gallery with its amazing variety of locally created art for sale. We are blessed to have that shop… and if I had the ability to paint or sculpt or whittle or create pottery, jewelry, or stained glass, I’d use that talent to provide items for my friend, Carol, to sell… or I’d visit a friend and bring a product of my creativity as a gift.

Share Your Writing

But, that kind of art is not my forte’… I love to write, so I share my blogs orally with friends in the hospital. I read “Art is Life” to one of my dear friends this morning.

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Play Your Instrument

Before going to the hospital, I shared another one of my gifts: the accordion. Do you play an instrument?

I started learning to play the “squeezebox” when I was about ten years old. (Every good little Italian girl or boy played the accordion in those days!) Now, it is a seldom seen (in person) whimsical, portable instrument that can bring joy wherever it goes!

This one is over a hundred years old.
I bought it from Frankie, my sorta cousin, about 70 years ago.
It still works, but with only 8 buttons, you are limited to songs in the key of  F, C, G or A.

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Many people today have never seen or heard an accordion played in person. They think of Lawrence Welk and expect me to play Flight of the Bumble Bees or The Beer Barrell Polka with bellow shakes.

Once upon a time, I actually could play those advanced pieces. But now, I am content to accompany the hymn singing at church when the piano or organist is ill or out of town… or accompany singing at the Lenten Breakfast where no other instrument is available. (I did that early this morning).

In the summer, I entertain  at our Art Festival in the park.
Sometimes I pull it out at home after dinner with friends
and we have a sing-along.
It makes for a memorable evening.

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If music is not your forte’, think of other ways you can give.

I belong to the Madison Valley Medical Center Auxuliary. Sitting at the desk a couple of Fridays each month is one way I can volunteer. Donating our home for the “Home Tour” fund-raiser is another way. Our auxiliary earns thousands with that fund-raiser every year and gives the benefits back to the hospital for new equipment, beds, sheets, and other needs. It’s gratifying to be a volunteer. I’m in the center, middle row here.

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I hope you will consider ways you can volunteer your talents
for the benefit of others.
Perhaps you already do – in ways different from mine.

Tell me about a way you volunteer
or give back.
Does it express your purpose and passion?

Your story may inspire others!

 

Purple “Ladies” Volunteer


Do you enjoy volunteering? I do!

“Whenever you’re giving, it’s like a gift to yourself.” This is a quote from Sanaa Latham, actress, as quoted in my December Guideposts devotional on The Upside page.

At our local medical center, the “Candy Stripers” are not young high schoolers dressed in red and white stripes or pink tunics  (as they were back in CA) who greet you from the reception desk. They are mature women with a heart for helping who wear purple jackets.

Look carefully at the last picture. I am third from the left in the back row. Notice the donation we made to the hospital. We gave $31,700 !! The money went to help pay for that diagnostic scanning machine that I used yesterday! Our big fund raiser each year is an Open House tour of six different homes (our house was on tour about 10 years ago shortly after we moved here to Ennis, MT). The fund raiser also includes a collection of silent auction items and donated events. God bless those dedicated workers and donors who make it all happen every year!

As I indicated, yesterday I had a scan … a CT scan… (a follow-up on the irregularities found in Wednesday’s ultrasound).

Yesterday also was my day to be a “Purple Lady” volunteering at the reception desk. So, since I couldn’t be two places at once, I needed a substitute for about an hour and a half.

But, Friday afternoons are not a good time to try to find subs … especially with that snowy, cold weather going on out there.

So, what did I do? I conned my husband, Bob, and grandson, Chris,
into covering for me. (Actually they volunteered – what nice guys!)

I wish you could have seen the expressions of staff and visitors
when they came in and saw these “Purple Ladies!”
Priceless!!

I don’t believe what I’m seeing!!

Hey, why not?

We take volunteers of all kinds! Come on over, guys!

Thanks, guys! Get off your ATVs and out of your fishing boats,
and perform a little community service!
It’s not just the Lion’s Club that needs you.

We’d be happy to add some men to
our Madison Valley Medical Center Auxiliary!

Remember, especially during this gift-giving time of year,
Whenever you’re giving, it’s like a gift to yourself.”

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


Happy December! Where are you called give?

F = Friends


Day #6 of the A-Z series on “What Makes Me Happy”

FRIENDS

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Friends who go fishing with my hubby (Thanks, Ray & Charley, CG & BW, Gerry & Steve)

Friends who are fabulous cooks, invite us over, and serve fabulous food, wine, and conversation

Friends at TOPS who reach their goal weight and inspire me

Friends who share their birthday happiness with us

Friends who worship with us at church, share their husband to fish with mine, make me smile, give great hugs and are just plain FABULOUS

Friends who are family – what a blessing when that happens!

Friends who are grown up former students and have kept in touch through the years

Friends who bake beautiful pies and who love the Lord as I do

Friends who serve the community, support FUND-raisers, and give generously to make our world a better place

Friends who donate zucchini to the Sr. Center – and the dear friend who plans, cooks, and serves our seniors with such grace and skill

Friends who live into their 80s and 90s and set a beautiful example of vitality and grace for the rest of us

Forever friends who are FAITHFUL forever and continue to love us in spite of our FLAWS (ah, don’t you love that F word?) … and who are as lovely inside as these FLOWERS are outside!

Friends who go FOUR-WHEELING with us

Friends who never forget us and who are FAITHFUL friends to our children

Here’s another one of those… our Friend who is our #2 daughter… Yes, FAMILY is more than blood relatives.

FAMILY is FRIENDS we choose, not just those we inherit. And if we’re truly blessed,

We have family who are friends in all parts of the world

We have grandchildren who are friends and are FUN to be with, and

We have children who keep in touch with love and gratitude daily, even if they move across the sea thousands of miles from us.

My prayer is that the ones who live close enough to see us daily will come by at least once a month, and let our great-grandson grow to know us as his FRIEND, too.

Ah, my blogging friends, I hope you are truly blessed with the FUN of FAMILY and FRIENDS who make you happy, too! I love making new blogging friends!

And never FORGET (that’s a troublesome F word) the Friend who is your constant companion. If you have this kind of a FRIEND you are blessed indeed

And don’t forget the faithful furry four-legged friends, too!

What’s the F word that makes you happiest?

Creating Hope in a Conflicted World


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Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

 

How to Create Hope in a World of Conflict

 

Today is the day Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed for a life-time appointment to the Supreme Court of the USA.  It is a day of deep national divide. Many are feeling relief that our right to be “innocent until proven guilty” has been affirmed. Others are feeling emotional despair. On this day of huge chasms, how can we create, maintain and foster a spirit of hope?

Here are three ideas for creating hope in this, our own personal, world of conflict:

1. Let Go

In a heartfelt article in this month’s Daily Word, a devotional published by Unity, I was encouraged today to “let go of trying to change things…, take some deep breaths, and rest in tranquility for a while.”

The devotional referred me to Matthew 11:29, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” I really need that gentle rest for my soul today!

I decided to look and see how that passage was translated in The Message by Eugene H. Peterson.  His Study Bible often gives me an insight that the King James or the NIV (New International Version) don’t. Sure enough, in our more modern vocabulary, The Message in Matt. 11:29-30 begins, “Are you tired? Worn out?”

Wow! Yes, after a few days of being drawn into conflicting testimonies, angry shouting, accusations and denials, and crowds protesting, I am tired. I am worn out. I am deeply troubled. I am looking for harmony!

The Message version goes on to say, “Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythm of grace… Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

That’s what we all need! We need to live freely and lightly. We need to enter each day in an unforced rhythm of grace. We need live each day with a renewed sense of hope. Let go!

2. Be Nuts!

This month’s National Geographic magazine had a timely, pertinent article by Anne Lamott titled, “Despite Perils, Decide to Hope.” Her beginning sentence reads, “You would almost have to be nuts to be filled with hope in a world so rife with hunger, hatred, climate change, pollution, and pestilence, let alone the self-destruction or severely annoying behavior of certain people.” But she goes on to tell us that she lives in a state of “boundless hope” most of the time. She must be nuts then, right? How does she do it? She says she lives in hope by being optimistic, trusting, and confident that those she loves will be okay, no matter what.

That’s what we all need! We need to be more optimistic. We need to be more trusting. We need to be more confident that everything is ultimately going to be okay. Let go of what we cannot control. Focus on what we have the ability to change. Start with our own attitudes.

3. Take Action

In this week’s Guideposts magazine there is an article titled, “Heartfelt.” It tells about a Salvation Army crafts project – sewing red hearts. Called “Others,” it began in Bangladesh in 1997 with the goal of helping single women become financially able to support themselves and their children without prostituting themselves. Since its onset, “Others” has helped 1600 women in Bangladesh come out of human trafficking and step into a brighter future. The article was so compelling that I went to the website: guideposts.org/hearts-for-others and donated to the cause. For $10. or more, OTHERS will send you two handmade hearts. My donation will help other women find hope where there is despair.

With the internet and its world-wide reach, there are literally millions of places we can reach out to take action for causes in which we believe – issues for which we feel a deep compassion. Additionally, within our own communities there are dozens of places we can volunteer to offer our services.

Volunteering was one of Ann Lamott’s thrusts in her National Geographic article. She said, “Create goodness in the world and that gives us hope… ” Her examples include helping with school labs, with building water wells, cleaning up estuaries and water sheds. She said by volunteering, we wake “to the momentousness of life – the power of loving hearts.”

In my little town of Ennis with less than a thousand people, I volunteer at our local Food Bank (distributing food to the less fortunate), our Senior Center (working as a sous chef to prepare meals for folks 55 and over who come for nourishment and camaraderie), and at the Madison Valley Medical Center (greeting, answering phones, guiding patients to needed services, fund raising for needed hospital equipment, etc.).  Volunteering does indeed give me the opportunity to make a difference where I can … and focus on the areas where I have the power to create goodness.

Creating Hope in a World of Despair

So, how can we adopt an attitude of hope, of optimism, trust, and confidence in a world of conflict? We don’t do it by pointing fingers. We don’t do it by accusations and finding someone else to blame. We don’t do it by closing ourselves in a closet and avoiding exposure. We don’t do it by looking out for #1 and to Hell with the rest of the world! We do it, I believe, by following the greatest commandment. It is the sub-title of my JanBeek blog: Love One Another.

Look for the good. Acknowledge it. Embrace it. Emulate it. Praise it. Tell people how much they matter. Treat others with respect. Listen. Value one another. Give others hope and encouragement. Serve with kindness. Focus on being compassionate. Find your niche. Let your cup overflow. Love One Another. Spill out HOPE!

Tell me one thing you can do this day or this week… just one thing…  to create HOPE in our desperate world. Let Go. Be Nuts. Take Action. How will you reach out?

Partners


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For fifty-six years we have been

Partners in this world

Jointly taking all the crap

And all the love unfurled.

 

Never when first we met

Would I have ever guessed

Our union would result in this

A true unbridled test

 

Do you love me – really love

Enough to join the crew

Of volunteers at the Sr. Center

If so, show me – show me true

 

Don the apron, do your part

Wash the dishes – scrub

I’ll be here soups-cheffing

Preparing all the grub

 

Did I hear you acquiesce

Did you really say you could

Oh, my dear, you passed the test

Of course, I knew you would!

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