Have you been peppy and productive the first month of the New Year? Joyful January gave gifts of extended family time, pruning from my heart and home, quiet time in front of the fireplace to read and reflect, snow days to savor and shiver (even inside), extra time to clean and cook (hot, homemade soup), and birthday celebrations for my son, brother, two nieces, and a nephew. January was jam packed with places to go and much to do, but chilling at home on short days and long winter nights is my favorite thing… yoo-who! Anyone with me?
Reflecting on the state of affairs in God’s creation causes concern as we wonder where in the world love and kindness can be found. Answers came as I cleaned shelves on my bookcase on a frigid January morning. Rearranging follows pruning and cleaning at my house. So, imagine me clad in two layers of clothing with visions of cleaning out, dusting, reading notes in old cards and tattered books before they bite the dust, writing, planning, editing stories for a book, making snow cream, doing work schedules, reading my new books I received at Christmas, rearranging furniture, writing in my new journal, and a never ending list of things I would love to do the first month of the year. Finally, I made a list of ‘to do’s’ in my new planner and checked each one off when completed. Writing this story made the first cut of my favorite things to do. I pray you completed your January ‘to do’s’ and this story blesses you.
Cleaning my bookshelves that are home to my gas logs, television, precious pictures, bunches of books, whatnots from four generations, and baskets filled with things that need to be stored or tossed, took more time than expected. Moving my treasured books, given to us in happy or heartbreaking times, (signed with messages noting the occasion) to another shelf brought emotional blessings.
A small book, The Wisdom of the Heart, hit the floor as I tried to maneuver a stack of paperbacks. Realizing a whole chapter was missing, I knelt to pick up the loose pages and received a divine lesson on what our nation needs. Sitting cross legged in front of my gas logs, I opened the book and saw it was from Brenda and David Nordin.
I read the message she wrote to Tim and me on April 1, 2000 and wept. Brenda’s discernment to write ‘right’ words of comfort, encouragement, congratulations, or whatever is needed ‘for the time at hand’ is a divine gift. Her cards and letters have delivered joy and comfort to people far and near for decades. She has penned words of kindness since 2008 to many people through the card ministry at Tim’s Gift. More times than I can recount, I have been blessed by Brenda and David’s gifts: great books, tons of encouraging cards, and a loving, loyal friendship. Loving and looking after their children at The Learning Station was a gift I’ll forever cherish.
My little wisdom book opens to a page about the rewards of love. Several quotes seem fitting to share, with many families in our communities still healing from broken hearts. May these little bits of wisdom help lighten loads of grief and bring joy on this January day.
“Love cures people – both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.” “Love is a mutual self-giving which ends in self-recovery.” “One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love.”
What can we do to help those who are hurting? Take a good look around and if you see someone looking down…put a little love in your heart! Follow the stirring inside to give a helping hand, share a hug, handshake, or write words of encouragement and comfort in a card. Then, sign, seal, and deliver it with love!
What if they do not receive it in love? Why should I do this act of love? Will it make a difference…you might ask? When we follow our heartstrings to do and give whatever God puts on our hearts to do and give…we have done our part to uplift our fellow man by spreading kindness, being nice, and helping others wherever we can.
Love is God’s greatest command. It can change the state of affairs in our land. When we give in love and do our best…God will take care of the rest! We need not wonder or fret; the giver and the receiver will be blessed!
Next week, I will share about the chapter that fell from my little wisdom book and Edie Carr’s passion for people to ‘be nice’! These are a few of God’s favorite things that can change the state of affairs in America and around the world!
Until next Friday, take a good look around, help people who are looking down, and put a little love in your heart!
Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.