Monday, April 29, 2013

April Gavinisms

Trying to make his brother laugh:
Gavin: "I'm gonna confuse Bennett."
Me: "What do you mean?"
Gavin: "Momma, confuse is another word for joking."

Talking about Ryan's weekend at the farm:
Me: "Turn off the TV, please. You need to spend some quality time with Daddy because he's going to be gone all weekend."
Gavin: "Even if he ate beans?"

Talking about fear:
Gavin: "Mommy, I'm scared of thunder."
Me: "I know, buddy. What can we do when we're scared?"
Gavin: " Daniel did when he was with the lions."
Me: "That's a great thing to do when you're scared."
Gavin, in his poutiest, most disappointed voice: "I never get throwed in a lion's den. I'm just scared of thunder."

Monday, April 15, 2013

One Word, Five Voices: Contagious

On the radio this morning, I heard doctors have proven that, like yawning, smiles are also contagious.

It's so true, isn't it? Think about the last time a baby gave you a two-toothed grin. You can't help but return that smile. Even the hardest of hearts can be melted by a beaming baby.
So what happens to us by the time we reach adulthood? We smile for the camera when someone says, "say cheese," but in our daily interactions, how often do we insert a smile?

A couple of years ago, the security guards at work changed from internal employees to an outsourced group. One of the new guards was a woman who never smiled. She barely even looked up to acknowledge the presence of the hundreds of employees walking by her every day. It made me miss the old guards who knew me by name, and always had a story, or at the very least, a smile to share as I walked in every day. As time went on, I didn't even look in her direction as I entered the building, because I knew I wasn't going to be greeted in a friendly way.

But then I decided to do a little experiment. I started looking her in the eye every day and saying, "good morning" with a smile. I got head nods at first, followed by eye contact, then smiles, and now, she says "good morning" some days before I even get the chance.

Because smiles aren't the only things that are contagious. Attitudes are contagious, kindness is contagious, love is contagious. And wouldn't the world be a very different place if we were spreading smiles and kindness and love instead of all that other crap that's contagious, like selfishness, greed and hate?

Let your smile be contagious today. Give a few out at work, at the grocery store on the way home, to your neighbor across the street, and especially to the "crankies" in your life. In the end, it changes you more than them.

Check out my friends' thoughts on the word "contagious" on their blogs: Shawn, Heather, Steph and Brian.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Lenten Challenge: A Final Word

I hadn't planned to write a "closing" to this Lenten challenge, but I also hadn't planned to do a Lenten challenge blog marathon in the first place, so I guess consistency wins out. And also peer pressure.
Back in February, Rethink Church offered up a photo-a-day instagram challenge for Lent, and a friend told me she was going to up the ante by blogging every day with a couple other people. I thought it sounded great...for them. I was going to do my usual Lenten thing and give something up, because who's got time to add something in, am I right?! But then I read their posts from day one and got completely sucked in. Late on Ash Wednesday evening, I decided to join in what ended up being a Lenten experience like none I'd had before, and ironically, an experience that I needed, but didn't know how much.

Over 46 days (who knew Lent was FORTY-SIX days long?!), we each wrote a post inspired by a single word from the list above. I loved it. I hated it. I spent a lot of time on some posts and little time on others. It was good for my writing, good for my soul, good for my relationships, but as we neared the end, I was so ready for it to be over. The funny thing? Now that it is, I'm realizing what an amazing thing happened over those six weeks.  

This small little community of once-a-day bloggers grew into something much bigger. Sure, the five of us leaned on each other, commiserated together, and grew closer in our relationships with one another, but more importantly, the conversation started spreading to all of our readers. Simple "likes" on Facebook turned into hallway conversations at work, and comments on our posts led to new friendships.

Lent was no longer this thing we did in solidarity--it became something we shared as a community, something that brought us all closer together, something that was alive. And isn't that the point? We're supposed to share, and grow together, and love one another in this life. We're meant to be living in community.

Because of the community this crazy experiment created, not only for us, but for so many others, we're going to keep it going by posting once a month on a different word until Lent comes back around next year. I invite you to go check out what my friends had to say during this year's Lenten journey on their blogs:

Thanks for being a part of my community, readers!