I am feeling revived after what unintentionally turned into a week long blogging break. I feel the creativity seeping back into my heart and soul, and am glad to return with a sense of renewal!
Today I want to talk about the kindness of strangers.
I don't think we realize how much we affect those we encounter throughout the days, weeks, and years of our lives. Most days many of us go about running out errands, trying to get the kids here or there, and trying to get back home, without taking much time to consider those who surround us. We don't know who they are or where they are going, we just encounter them in our "here 'n there's" and that's that.
You know what I'm saying, right?
Today, our family went to the Aquarium. We had a splendid time looking at all the fish, seals, and (my favorite) the sea otters. As we were walking down the hallway to another exhibit, my son wanted to stop at a felt board, where you could move felt ocean cut outs around. There was another little girl playing there, with her grandma. Her grandma smiled at us and started chatting away. Gushing even! She saw LaLa and started to tell us how beautiful she is. This wonderful lady went on and on about our beautiful child. She was full of kind words that she poured over me, and it felt like a blessing flowing from her lips. She asked how many kids we wanted, and if we wanted to have more. When I answered that we do want more, she beamed and told me that she grew up with 5 brothers and 2 sisters, and how it was the best thing in the world to be all together in their home growing up. When she saw our Dear Son, she told me how incredibly handsome he is (EVERY mom LOVES to hear this! We all think our kids are spectacular, but to have someone else rave over them? Divine.) and what a great job we did with them. (I am not sharing this to brag or strut! I actually shied away from getting too descriptive about our chat, but I felt the content would help illustrate my point.)
Of course her lavish praise over how lovely she thought our kids were was wonderful. But what really stirred me was that this lady took the time to really talk with me, and to speak words of kindness to a stranger. Without knowing it, she was investing in my life and the lives of my children. She was lifting my spirits. She gave me a blessing.
I want to do that! I want to invest into the lives of those whom I encounter, leaving them with gifts of words that they can ponder and be uplifted by. I always try to ask my checker at the store how they are doing, and try to have conversations with others to let them know I care. After this experience, I want to do more. This isn't the first time in my lifetime that I have been reminded of this, and I'm sure it wont be the last.
I want my eyes to be opened to those who surround me. I also want to take the time to consider what they might be going through if they have been rude or short with me. So often those ones are the people who need our understanding the most. They might be sick, losing their home, or even a family member. Or maybe its just been one of "those" days or weeks. Maybe my asking them how they are will encourage them.
Speaking blessings to others will also bless us. If we take the time to encourage and bless others, it will lift our own spirits. It can help us to get out of a funk, and re-focus on what is really important. We open our hearts and let the Lord work in our lives.
You might never see or hear the impact your words have on others. But words of blessing will always seep into even the hardest of souls, and make an impact in their lives.
Go forth, and bless!