Years ago my sisters-in-law and I had a little rotation going. Each week we’d take turns meeting at one of our homes and doing whatever little project that person needed. It was a great way to get together and also get things done as our little toddler cousins wrecked havoc in a different area of the house 😉 One day we helped one sister-in-law hang up a collage in her kitchen. One of the things we hung was a sign that said, “Be Kind.”
Our little “helping” rotation didn’t last for too long because life got in the way. All those baby cousins grew up and went off to school as our schedules filled with different obligations. But I’ve thought of that sign often since then.
Kindness is a magical thing. Not only does it make a difference to the person receiving it, but it fills up the heart of the kindness-giver as well. It is manifest in countless different ways, but today I want to concentrate on my gratitude for the kindness of blog readers.
Last week I got the kindest letter from a blog reader as I do from time to time. Not only did she share gratitude to me for sharing what I have shared over the years, but also some advice on the side as I get ready to send Max out into the mission field.
As that little note filled up my heart it made me ponder on kindness. For the way it can change a dark day to light. For the way we can build one another in a world that is sometimes infiltrated with sadness and sorrows. Even so much as a little smile or quick comment can make all the difference.
That little note filled me up with so much gratitude for blog readers as a whole. I mean, I feel that quite regularly, but that note spurred such a love for all that I learn from keeping this little blog here on the world wide web. For this community of people from all walks of life who come here, whether daily or occasionally, to learn and to teach. For the ones who write comments or emails and the ones who don’t. For the ones who build me up give me the benefit of the doubt when I haven’t taken the time to think through what I say and yes, even for the ones who make me think when they are upset with what I share.
Through the years this blog has become so much more than a family journal.
It is, and will always be first and foremost just that. It has become such a great way for me to express my thoughts and feelings. Things I want to remember and I want my children and their children and their children to have some day.
But it’s become so much more because of blog readers.
I have loved having a venue to share parenting ideas. The ones passed down to me from my extraordinary parents. The ones I’ve learned through the years from Dave’s wise and wonderful mom and dad. The ones I’ve collected from friends and relatives through the years of trying to be deliberate in how Dave and I try to raise these children entrusted in our care. I’ve loved being able to vent when I’m frustrated and to be built up by people I don’t even know on those days when I’ve reached the end of my rope. We have felt the love from thousands who love Lucy and have sent her things and donated to the BBS cause and have shared their love even when they don’t personally know her. People I don’t know have mourned with our family, traveled with us on adventures, shared their own advice and stories, and comforted us through the tough times. We have received so many kind gifts and have become acquainted with so many lovely people who are trying to make a difference in the world. My children have benefitted so much YOU, the readers of this blog. They come home and read it after school practically every day. They have learned from feisty commenters and from glowing kind ones as well.
It’s become a sort of laboratory to make me think more deeply about human emotions in my own little corner of the world. I don’t often get a chance to reach out and share the kindness I receive here back individually but I want to say right here right now that it matters.
It matters in every aspect of life. At the grocery store, stuck in traffic, in a family, with strangers. Kindness makes the world go around. Thank you for those who exhibit it so graciously here on this blog. I am truly grateful for you.