We can do no great things, only small things with great love. – Mother Teresa
People that know me are probably tired of hearing about how difficult 2017 was for me. I’ll spare everyone the details, but trust that it was BAD. The word horrible would be an accurate description. Worst. Year. Ever. You get the idea.
But when I take the time to reflect honestly, I can choose to accept the fact that there were some incredible moments as well.
These moments are what I immediately thought of when I consider how I should continue our simple acts of kindness series.
None of the incredible moments from last year were real extravagant or extraordinary, mind you. But when I sincerely contemplate, I see that there were countless simple things that touched my soul. To my core. Nurses bending the rules; strangers buying us coffee; hugs out of nowhere at just the perfect moment. Only through God, and family, friends and strangers doing simple things, did I make it through last year.
Hearing one of my favorite Christmas songs, Little Drummer Boy, last month, I was reminded how beautiful simple can be. The story of a little boy who hears about the baby king. “The finest gifts we bring/PaRumPumPum.” This precious boy so desperately wants to do something for the baby king, but can only offer his skills on the drum. And he doesn’t just play the drum for the baby king, but he does so to the very best of his ability. “I played my best for Him…”
This makes me wonder how many times I’ve talked myself out of a simple act of kindness because it didn’t seem elaborate enough? What in the world?? I Googled the history of this song, but never discovered why it was created. I wonder if it might have been inspired by Mark 10:45: For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.
When I consider how gifts or acts affect me, I must say it is the simple things that so often seem to sit high on my feel-good list. Those things that contain – and come from – the heart.
So why do I so often talk myself out of simple not being enough? Surely, I’m not the only one this happens to. How did we get here that we think “what I’m doing is only (fill in the blank) so I’ll do nothing instead?”
I feel it starts young when we are trying to become independent, but our insecurities (translation: devil) get(s) in the way. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. I’ve even seen this in even my 6-year-old who just last week told me the paper egg that he colored and cut out wasn’t very good. When I asked why, he told me because he left a (tiny, miniscule) extra edge around one of the corners.
We are enough! David speaks of this in the Bible: “…I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works and my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14 (NASB)
Society, Hollywood and social media are often not kind to us. There are some amazing things about each of them, but they can also be detrimental on our psyches. The mind is such a powerful thing. One speck of doubt can wreak havoc on self-worth.
Women are especially harsh on themselves. There can be a myriad of reasons for this, but it doesn’t change our reality. Remember ladies, when we are mentally weak and full of doubt about our self-worth, we give the devil a lot of room to work.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT)
Stay strong mentally. Be hopeful. Always remember you are amazing just how you are. We are enough. Know that God loves us, even when we doubt. Let us stop allowing our doubts to paralyze us from doing. Let’s start embracing the fact that we are wonderful, and we can make a difference.
Think less, do more. Getting out of my head certainly simplifies my life and becomes crucial to my self-care. So does doing for others. Do more. Do simple. Drop a note in the mail. Send a text or pick up the phone when you’re thinking of someone. Make eye contact with strangers. Smile for others. Pray with and for them. Let us not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 1 John 3:18
Even something as simple as putting our phone down to be fully present when someone is with us can be a huge act of kindness. Be there for people.
In massage school, much time was spent learning about intention and its importance. Once I began practicing this, I (and my clients) could see a big difference in my work. When my mind was completely focused on the person in front of me and what I was doing, instead of what I need to do at home or my grocery list, my massages saw big results. I’ve experimented outside of work and the results were the same. Intention changes things. It’s like the drummer boy playing his best. The simple, kind act of Intention makes things more powerful.
Simple can have such a huge impact. It can mean the world to someone.