Sunday, June 26, 2011

How Can I Help?

Another friend stricken with cancer. I've honestly lost count. The first response for so many of us is, "What can I do to help?"

Which might just be the exact wrong thing to say. When you're sick, do you really want to be making TO DO lists?

Here's a list of other suggestions of things that might be better to say (and do). What do you think? What do you do to help friends with serious illnesses?

1. Instead of asking what you can do, look for what is needed. Garbage overflowing in the bathroom? Take it out. Dust rhinos frolicking in the corners? Clean them up.

2. Fix a meal. I try to take something that is freezable so even if they don't need food tonight, there's something in the freezer for when they're having a bad night.

3. Offer to take the kids for a while.

4. Water the plants, mow the lawn, bring a live plant. Life breeds hope.

5. Be sensitive about family time. Stay for a short visit rather than lingering.

6. Don't focus only on the illness. Feel free to talk about good news.

7. Think of something you can offer that no one else can. When I was on bedrest during my first pregnancy, a friend who was a massage therapist came once a week to give me a massage. What a blessing!

8. Be sure to include the person in the bed in the conversation. It always feels so awkward when a crowd is gathered around the hospital bed, laughing and talking, and ignoring the person who should be the center of attention.

9. Saying you're praying for someone is fine. Actually doing it is much better.

10. You can never go wrong with a heartfelt, hand-written note or card.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer Snow

I had plans to spend my first afternoon of summer outside, but I was foiled by a freak summer "snowstorm."

In Africa, the kapok trees would shed their fluff every January. We'd go outside and let it fall on us, pretending it was 90 degrees and snowing.

Oh, joy. Even here in the states, we get to experience hot weather storms. It was 82 degrees today and the cotton from our neighbor's poplar trees hit us like a slow motion blizzard. My plans to paint a dresser were cut short. It may take a week for the accumulation to melt away.

Unless you have any suggestions for shoveling air?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Heard Any Good News Lately?

National news is full of grim economic forecasts, natural disasters, and way-too-detailed accounts of what idiots men in power can be. International news is worse--nations toppling, people dying, corruption and economic collapse.

Where's the good news?

There was good news in in my town this week when Jones, a boy we've been praying for since his llymph nodes started swelling, turned out not to have cancer but a severe food allergy.

Good news at my house is that neither I nor the hubby are working this weekend. We're going to spend a whole day together as a family.

My nephew's chicken pox were not chicken pox after all so he got to go on the plane to see his grandma. (Good news for his mommy who needed the trip!)

There's a full group of potential church planters heading to Kairos Discovery Lab next month. That means more new churches for more new people.

The older kids are heading to summer camp and the younger is going camping with her Memaw and Papa which means a whole quiet day for me and the hubby!

A group of special ladies is going to help paint a bedroom this week! Yay!

The best good news I've heard this week, though, is in Romans 8. Here's just a taste from The Message.

The resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It's adventurously expectant, greeting God with a child-like "What's next, Papa?" God's Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are: Father and children.

How's that for good news? The whole chapter is brimming with encouragement and excitement. Read it! You won't be disappointed.

What's the good news around your place?