Tag Archive | friendship

Counting Kindnesses

One day, I had gone to one of my favorite delis for lunch.  I placed my order; then stood back out of the way to wait for it.  When the server came back, she informed me that someone had paid for my lunch.  That person remained anonymous.  I felt quite special and pleased by this kindness.


My eldest  sister and I took care of our mother in her last two years of life.
One Monday, after Mom had come home from the hospital yet again, two women who went to my Church brought us dinner.  We had so much to do; a lot of visitors had come by, including service providers.  We were exhausted.
The dinner brought to us was simple, but it could have been a twelve course meal, we were so relieved by the gift.


Almost 10 years ago, I had a knee injury that required two surgeries.  I was in a wheelchair for 4 months.  The challenge with that is, I couldn’t go anywhere unless someone came with me.  A bunch of my friends stepped up to the plate:  They took me to work; then came and got me to go home; they took me out to lunch, to appointments, Church, stores and anywhere else I wanted to go.  I don’t know how I would have made it without their help.


Earlier this year, I went out of town to a conference.  I met a man by the name of Wes, from Wyoming.  He was very much the gentleman:  Greeting me, visiting; helping if I needed it.  I never felt “hit on” by him or in any way patronized.  His kindess was genuine.


A friend went with me to this same conference.  She was very respectful of me and sensitive to my needs.  She treats me like a real, whole person; not like a “handicap.”  I truly appreciate her regard.


Just today, a friend came over.  She moved two rose bushes and a hops plant for me:  Hard work.  How sweet is that!


I could go on, there are so many stories like these.  I might have to keep a list, just to remember them all.


How many stories might be in your own treasure chest?  Count them one by one and enjoy the warm, happy feeling that springs up from within.



The greatest wealth
Cannot be bought or sold.
It can’t be held in your hand
Or added to a financial plan.
It’s available to young and old.



The greatest wealth
Is only acquired
When we surrender to love;
All the goodness that comes from above;
As we are fed by llife’s inner fire.



The greatest wealth
Might possibly be found
In love for all that’s living;
By honoring, caring, forgiving;
By spreading every blessing around.


Several times if needed, until you
Know the real answer.


Said or thought, yet
Mostly built on
Expectations or projections.


Ask me questions;
Seek to know who I am,
Kindling true friendship.


People arrive with delicious treats,
Carefully prepared;
You’d think this is a famous cook off,
But it’s not;
It’s a neighborhood potluck.

Ah here comes Mrs. Smith with goulash
So tantalizing;
And here comes Jane with berry cobbler
It’s still hot
And delicious with ice cream.

Moms and dads, children and dogs all come,
Ready to indulge
In food, conversation and friendship
  They are taught
To treasure each other above all.


*As a matter of fact, my neighborhood has a potluck tomorrow night.  This was written with that in mind.



My love gave me a yellow rose
To say that we are friends;
To tell me of his loyalty
and care that never ends.


My love brought me a rose so white,
So fragrant and so pure,
My heart sang a new melody
About this love so sure.


A red rose gave my love to me,
That drew me to romance.
A flower dark and velvety
That caused my heart to dance.


My love brings me bouquets so fair
Of loving friendship sweet
And I give to him my heart,
Where friends and lovers meet.


Can you think of something or someone you have encountered that really impacted you because of excellence?

One for me was Guide Dog School. There was a high quality there that extended from the physical environment, to staff and students. The expectation that everyone would join in this standard was explicit and clearly demonstrated.

Two things that I came away with because of this experience were that I am worthy of care and I want to offer that same honor to others.

This is a rather stark contrast to much of life these days. “Good enough” seems to rule, from food products that are less than nutritious for us, yet convenient and deceptively tasty, to televisions and electronics that can simply be tossed a year or two after they are purchased.

We sometimes stop at “good enough” in relationships as well. We keep the peace or act in a friendly manner, but don’t allow others too close. The result is isolation, which breeds fear.

What would happen if we raised the bar? I am thinking that peace and confidence would begin to replace fear; that honor would be much easier to demonstrate.

Another thing that would happen is that we would be healthier, which would give us more energy and enthusiasm.

As we dared to offer true friendship, isolation would disappear. We might even find that we have time to help others as they reach out to us.

Excellence fosters joy and hope: We find beauty where we missed it before; we become more creative; therefore, we are more fulfilled.

All of this is like a positive snowball: One thing builds on another, until poverty of soul and spirit are gone.

If there is good news about “good enough,” it would be that we can build on it. Instead of settleing for “that will do,” we can ask, “Now, how could this be better?”

What seems excellent to you? How would you like to build on things that are not quite there yet?

“whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Philippians 4:8