Jan 3, 2013

Thursday SHINE...

Today's Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:16-9:15

Happy Serve Day Thursday, sweet SHINE girls!

Oh my goodness. Where to start?

This post may have to be comprised of several different posts. Seriously. So much has been laid upon my heart this past month. It's hard to know where to start. Let me take a deep breath and say another prayer.

This past year has been one doozie of a year. So many blessings, and so many heartaches laid out in one little 12 month, 365 day, year.

I feel like I have aged 10 years this past year. Let's pray my face doesn't show it too much. ;)

Haven't we all aged? Not just physically, but spiritually, this past year? Maybe you are new to your Christian faith, and you are still a precious little baby in your walk. God bless you, sweet girl. You are swaddled up tight in His arms. Soon you will be toddling around and then full on running. What a beautiful sight that will be.

One of the million things I love about SHINE is that we are comprised of many different faces. Young girls, middle aged girls, older girls, even older girls....all beautiful little faces that make up His SHINE girls. I can only imagine what He sees when He sees you. It's too much for mere words.

Wherever you are on your journey, you are the apple of His omniscient eye. Keep seeking Him, sweet girl. He loves you, and He loves pursuing you.

If you have been with SHINE since the beginning, exactly one year ago on January 1st, you know the theme for this year has been Love. Undoubtedly, God has been showing us how to shine up our love walk, beginning with David and Solomon way back in the beginning of our bible reading.

We learned from David how to love. How to love others, even when they did not deserve it. Not even an ounce.

We then did our Saul boxes. Remember those? If not, I will link the post. You need to visit it. Good stuff. Many of you girls still have those boxes. Keep them going girls, God is changing lives!

So, I feel like the Lord is still taking us on this Love journey. Every day of our lives, actually, is a Love journey.

Now, however, I feel like He is bringing a new teaching to us.

Kindness.

I thought it was just for me. For my family to focus on. I even had a long, teary, cry-my-green/blue-eyes out conversation with my husband about this word. Kindness.

We then sat our children down and talked to them about this word. We told them how we wanted to embrace kindness in the new year more than ever. Week by week. Day by day. Hour by hour. Person by person.

Kindness.

It's funny how the Lord uses my children to point out things to me. Joseph immediately said: "Mom, that's one of the fruits of the Spirits, right? Kindness?"

Ummm, YES! It is!

Of course, it is. How could it not be.

Girls, kindness is considered weakness in today's society. It is.

We are taught in society to look out for ourselves, first. Then, if we have some time, or some extra, we can maybe throw a little bone at someone else. To make us feel better.

What does the Bible say?

"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, 
but also to the interests of others."
Phil. 2:4

"Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. 
Honor one another above yourselves."
Romans 12:10

 Okay, kind of blows the "me first" philosophy out of the water, doesn't it?

Here's what the Lord has been showing me:

Kindness is:

  • doing something kind, whether the person deserves it or not.
  • doing something kind, when I derive NO benefit from it.
  • doing something kind, when I am not feeling it. at all.
  • doing something kind, when I know the person cannot or will not return the favor. And never will.
  • doing something kind, when I am upset or hurt.
  • doing something kind, because He (the Lord) is kind to me. every single day.


Can I just be honest and tell you that kindness is not cool in our everyday world. It's not. Not many people cheer on the kind people of the world. Seriously, think about it.

If a friend is rude to you, the "cool" thing to do is to put her back in her place. Say something twice as hurtful and get your point across loud and clear. 

It's not cool to be turn the other cheek. It's not cool to be kind to her even as she insults you. 

You will get cheered on if you strike back, right? Others will say: "OOOH, what did you say when she said that? Did you tell her off?"

What would they say if you said: "No, I was kind. I told her I was sorry that she felt that way and that I loved her anyway."

We have this misconception, especially as women, that kindness is weakness. We think that if we are kind, we put ourselves in danger of being taken advantage of, or naive. Right?

Girls, it's just not true. Kindness takes strength. Kindness takes boldness. Kindness takes the Power of the Lord working through us. Hence, kindness being a fruit of the spirit. 

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Galatians 5:22-23

I don't want to lose you with many more of my words, so I will stop here. Be sure though, that the Lord is going to be working on this in our lives. He will present opportunities to you to help you grow in your kindness towards others.

Get ready, girls.

God can use us, SHINE girls, to change the world with His kindness. Yes, it also takes Love to be kind. 

Hand in hand, they are a dynamic duo of His Power!

I'm committed to this. My family is committed to this.

Will you join me? Will you make this New Year, 2013, the year of Kindness?


here we come kindness,

jill