We Were Made to Notice Others

Jan's (my ministry partner) dog. He's really not mean...but I think I've seen this face on people!

Jan’s (my ministry partner) dog. He’s really not mean…but I think I’ve seen this face on people!

Why are some women so mean?

Recently I was engaged in conversation with a group of women sharing how other women had been mean to them.
Why?
While listening, I heard real pain and saw raw emotion being expressed. I could relate because I’ve felt this way before. Mean may be too severe a word, though. Perhaps these are more appropriate words to use:
Oblivious. Rude. Distracted. Selfish. Busy. Worried. Jealous. Judgmental.

Regardless, it made me wonder if I have done the same thing to others. And having “meanness” done to me before, makes me more aware of how it hurts. I never intentionally want to do that. It deeply saddened me to see my friends hurt. I even cried for them.
What can we do as Christian women to show we care?

1. When there are several of you planning lunch in the presence of another person, invite them too. Don’t assume they have other plans. They may have. For most, just the thought of feeling included is enough.

2. A smile is powerful and will make a huge difference. If you make eye contact with another person, simply smile. A smile says, “I like you or I accept you.” When you turn away after making eye contact a person feels unworthy, unaccepted, or judged.

3. Don’t worry if she doesn’t smile back. You do your part. And don’t be offended. Some women are shy. If this woman is someone you see from time to time, keep smiling. I have a few close friends who are shy. If I had stopped after my first smile or attempt to get to know them, we wouldn’t have become friends. So don’t give up.
If it is possible as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Romans 12:18 (NKJV)

4. If you are a leader or teacher to a group be prepared to greet your participants. But don’t greet just a few or only your friends. Greet them all with a “hello” or a smile. Otherwise you appear to be in a click and may be named a snob. If you are not in the position to greet all of your students who make eye contact with you, don’t greet any of them. It is better to be perceived as being busy rather than to be a snob.

5. When you approach your friend and she’s engaged in another conversation, say hello and smile to the other person she’s talking with also. When you only talk to your one friend, the other person appears to go unnoticed.
Be Kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32 (NKJV)

Please forgive me if I made eye contact with you and made you feel unnoticed or judged. I, too, fall into the sin-trap of being too busy, easily distracted, and anxious. It helps me to remember these verses:
He who refreshes others will be refreshed himself.
Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)
An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.
Proverbs 12:25 (NIV)

Nana's Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake

Nana’s Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake- It tastes better than it looks…dripping in yummy butter cream frosting

Be-Nice-Cake (Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake)
Dr. Billy Cline, my dear former pastor of thirty years, once said, “When in a group with others that you work with or see on a regular basis, bake them a cake!” I heeded his advice and baked a cake for my colleagues my first year teaching. It’s just a delicious way to be kind, get to know one another, and open the lines of communication. The recipe I used was passed down to me from my sweet mother-in-law. Alma Presnell would have been 86 this month.

¾ cup butter                      1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 2/3 cups sugar                ¼ teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs                                   1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla                1 1/3 cups water
2 cups all-purpose flour      2/3 cup cocoa
Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour pans. Combine butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Blend together. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add alternately with water to butter mixture. Blend just until combined. Pour into pans. Bake 30-35 minutes.
Frost with butter cream frosting.
Butter Cream Frosting
Combine 3 TBLSP. Soft butter, 3 cups sifted powdered sugar, 3 TBLSP milk and 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix until smooth. Add more milk if necessary.

Addendum: Praise You
It’s been a couple of days since I wrote this blog post. Today, I was a victim of some other person’s road rage, and I was shot a bird.

Shocked me! Actually, crushed me…and no, I didn’t do anything wrong. So, sometimes people are mean because they don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Without Christ it is very hard to show loving kindness. But for the rest of us we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us to guide us, direct us, and give us strength. My bad experience  inspired me to include a song from the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir. The song, “Praise You” is my life song. Here’s the link from Youtube:

Enjoy today. Enjoy your week as your make a difference in other’s lives with your smile and kindness!
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another.
Romans 12:10 (NKJV)

 

 

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16 Responses to We Were Made to Notice Others

  1. Jill Pruett says:

    Debbie! What a great reminder for a rainy Monday morning. Just try to be KIND! You are so right about how a simple kind gesture or smile can make someone’s day…thanks for the recipe as well. It sounds yummy!!!
    Love, hugs, and blessings!!!!

  2. Thank you, Jill. And you would know… you are one of the kindest woman I know. 🙂

  3. Eleanor Wallen says:

    Wonderful reminder… Thank you Debbie 🙂

    • Glad you liked it, Eleanor. I pray the Holy Spirit lead us each today to respond in a manner worthy of Jesus Christ. So good to hear from an ‘ol friend.. not old, but from the past. Hehe

  4. Oh Debbie, loved your blog and hearing “Praise You”. Thank you! May you be blessed this week because you have just blessed so many!!

    • Oh how I love that song too! You too, precious one, have blessed so many but ME especially! Thank you for your faithfulness in reading my blogs and your encouraging words. I love you!! 🙂

  5. kelly williams says:

    OH HOW I LOVE YOU MY FRIEND!!!

  6. yvonne montgomery says:

    Deb, another wonderful helpful message! Thank you so much. Using Jan’s doggie as an example made me L O L !
    And, making beautiful cakes is just another of your many talents! Love you, Beautiful!

  7. Suzanne Bigham says:

    Thank you so much for that very applicable word today Debbie! We all need to be kind to one another!!! Love you!!

  8. Gerda says:

    Dear Debbie,
    Your observations always give me reason to pause and examine my life to see if it indeed reflects God’s calling to righteousness and love, especially of and for my sisters in Christ. Thank you for saying to us what you probably perceived in silence; you are indeed a jewel in our Father’s crown.
    Love and blessings,
    Gerda

    • Praising Jesus for His great love for us and constant attention. So many times I’ve missed it! But when God shows me something and I get it, I love to share it in hopes to inspire others. Also praising God that He doesn’t give up on me, forgives me and gives second chances! Love you!

  9. Michelle says:

    I’ve always said that women need to uplift one another instead of tear each other down. I try to tell my friends that I appreciate them ever so often. I believe it is important to scatter kindness wherever we go. Sometimes all we have is a smile to give and at times that is all someone else needs. So do it 🙂 We never know what others are going through and your smile could make them have a better day. I too struggle with being caught up in my own life sometimes that I go off grid for a while to regroup and reenergize myself as we are only human. But I always try to Leave people better than I found them 🙂 I so love reading your blogs as your words have inspired, consoled, and lifted me. Thank you Deb! I appreciate you always being there and sharing your wisdom, insight, Faith, prayers, and most of all your Love! Keep moving forward my friend, much Love Michelle.

  10. And isn’t that how our friendship started…with a smile! 🙂 You are so good at encouraging women…I’ve heard you! Keep spreading kindness!

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