Saturday, March 31, 2018

Kindness Challenge Wrap Up ~ Days 23-31

March passed so quickly I can hardly believe it. I completed 31 days of the 30 day kindness challenge and, for the vast majority of the time, enjoyed the process. The saying kind things to my husband and doing kind things for my husband were the easy parts. The challenging part was not saying anything negative to him (or about him, but that was easier than the to him part).

Yes, every now and then I still want to complain to my husband, but he's so much happier with me not complaining at all that I think I'll keep it going. I can't claim to be complaint free but I've narrowed my complaining audience to the Lord and a few close friends (though this has made me more aware of complaining and I 'm making efforts at complaining less with them too).

There's a difference between stating facts and complaining. I do have to sometimes state negative facts. But I try to do so compassionately. It takes effort but I think it's worth it.

I learned some surprising things about kindness (and unkindness) from Shaunti Feldhahn's The Kindness Challenge book and highly recommend both it and her challenge.

Thank you for visiting! May God bless you and all you do!

Related posts:
Kindness challenge intro: https://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2018/03/march-kindness-challenge-invitation.html
Kindness challenge week 1:  https://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2018/03/kindness-challenge-days-1-6.html
Kindness challenge week 2: https://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2018/03/kindness-challenge-days-7-13.html
Kindness challenge week 3: https://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2018/03/kindness-challenge-days-14-22.html

Note / Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored or affiliate post. I was not asked or paid to write it or do the challenge. It was my own personal choice. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Kindness Challenge Days 14 - 22

March is just flying by and as each day passes I feel like the kindness challenge activities become more ingrained and habitual. I think I'll continue this as a way of life with my husband after the challenge ends.

My favorite ongoing result of the challenge so far is that I think my husband is whistling more often. I think that means he's happier, at least a little. He's always been a whistler. It just seems more frequent.When I hear him whistling I know he's content and that makes me happy too.

Related posts:
Kindness challenge intro: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2018/03/march-kindness-challenge-invitation.html
Week 1: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2018/03/kindness-challenge-days-1-6.html
Week 2: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2018/03/kindness-challenge-days-7-13.html

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Kindness Challenge Days 7-13




Hello, friends! Thankfully this week wasn't as dramatic as last week. My husband loves being the recipient of my kindness challenge activities.... so much that he seems to see it as free reign to add to my to do list!  I guess he figures that because I'm supposed to perform an act of kindness for him every day anyway, he gets to pick what the act will be. At first I thought... hey, it wasn't supposed to be on demand! But it is making him happy and he's not being unreasonable so I'm glad to help. 

This means that I've doubled my activity commitment because I still feel like doing something to surprise him each day too. But he's worth the effort and I'm 100% glad I'm doing this challenge.

I hope you have a day filled with kindness!

May God bless you and all you do!

Related posts:
Overview: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2018/03/march-kindness-challenge-invitation.html

Week one: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2018/03/kindness-challenge-days-1-6.html
Creating a loving environment: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/01/creating-loving-atmosphere.html

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Kindness Challenge Days 1-6

In my last post, I mentioned that March started with a bang. It sure did! I had planned a nice calm morning to ease into the challenge. Unfortunately, my kindness intention was tested before I even got out of bed.

First I woke with a migraine headache. Pain is not conducive to kindness, but neither is it an excuse to be unkind. I determined to stick to my commitment to the kindness challenge despite the pain.

Then, as soon as I got out of bed, a cold breeze blew over me, leading me to quickly identify a major security violation. I wanted to reprimand the perpetrator but instead determined to pray first and discuss the issue in the kindest way possible.

A few minutes later, Braveheart the cat started getting sick. And she got sick all over the place, in at least three different rooms and nine different places. My poor cat clearly suffered as she made pitiful cries between heaves and I thought I'd have to take her to the emergency vet. Only I couldn't drive because my migraine also caused visual disturbances.

So I had to call my husband. And be kind. And not say anything unkind to him. The way I interpreted this challenge meant I could present the facts, but not complain. I guess there's a reason it's called a "challenge." My husband reacted compassionately and even offered to come right home, fix the security violation (I couldn't reach the source), determine whether Braveheart really needed an emergency veterinarian appointment and help clean up the cat messes (wow!).

By the time he got home, my migraine medicine had kicked in and Braveheart was drinking water, keeping it down and enjoying my attention. She got up and walked over to him with her tail up so we decided she was going to be ok. We both agreed to pay extra attention to her and be extra alert to her eating habits. He did everything he'd promised to do on the phone and went back to work. And as I type this, I am filled with gratitude and thankful to God for leading me to this Kindness Challenge.

If I had reacted differently, my husband probably would have too and the day might have kept spiraling downward. Instead, I felt like he really listened and cared and that reinforced my determination to reward him with kindness.  

Days two through six were easy compared to day one but they weren't challenge free. I've been meditating on Bible verses about kindness and praying even more than usual. I haven't been perfect at this but when I slip I apologize and I think it's going very well. 

I hope you have a day filled with kindness, love, joy and peace! May God bless you and all you do!

Related posts:
Kindness Challenge Invitation: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2018/03/march-kindness-challenge-invitation.html
Braveheart and the Sandman wrestling: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2016/08/cute-kittens-wrestle-and-surrender.html
Loving atmosphere: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/01/creating-loving-atmosphere.html

Thursday, March 1, 2018

March Kindness Challenge Invitation



Happy March! Today I signed up for Shaunti Feldhahn's Kindness Challenge. If you'd like to join me you can sign up here: https://www.jointhekindnesschallenge.com/ or just follow along with the basic three commitments of the challenge (outlined below). If you do join, I'd love to hear about your experience! Feel free to comment below or email me at lovejoypeas@gmail.com.

Kindness Challenge Summary
Choose a person to focus your kindness on this month and, every day, do each of these three things.
  1. Say nothing unkind to or about your selected person
  2. Say something kind to your selected person
  3. Do something kind for your selected person
Her research shows that 89% of participants experienced improvement in their relationships!


I chose to do the challenge for my husband. Not because of any problem but because he's awesome and deserves even more kindness in his life. Depending on how it goes, I might repeat the challenge in future months, focusing on a different person each month.

I used January and February as informal practice months to get in the spirit of things and it's a good thing I did because March opened with a bang ... I'll tell you more in my next post so be sure to come back soon. I aim to post about my Kindness Challenge experiences at least once a week in March 2018.

May God bless you and every kind thing you do!

Related posts:
Create a loving atmosphere: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/01/creating-loving-atmosphere.html
Life Lessons for Women: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/04/life-lessons-for-women-7-essential.html
Authentic Relationships: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/03/authentic-relationships-book-review-and.html

Note: This isn't a paid or affiliate post of any kind. I'm just a fan of Shaunti Feldhahn's and personally wanted to do the challenge. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day with Cute Bird Card

Photo of one of the Valentines we sent to core family members
Happy Valentine's Day! You are loved by our Lord! More than words could ever say but the story is in the Bible and there are wonderful volunteers working 24/7 to answer questions and pray with people at www.peacewithgod.net 

Today, on this day we celebrate love, I just wanted to take moment and say I love you too! Thank you to my dear, patient readers. I'm still not 100% sure where God is leading me with my writing but unless I feel led otherwise, I'm aiming to share more frequently here.

My heart goes out to all for whom this is a tough, sad holiday. May God comfort those who mourn and those who feel lonely or need comfort in any form.

I am supremely thankful for God's love, for my husband's love, for the love of my family, friends and readers. I am blessed. God is good!

May God bless you and those you love!

Related posts:
Our 2012 cute valentine cats: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/02/happy-valentines-day-funny-monkey-cat.html
2013 valentine cats: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/02/happy-valentines-day-funny-cat-photos.html
Valentine crafts from my mom plus cats: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/02/cute-valentine-cats.html

Friday, December 29, 2017

Overtaken by Grace by Debbie Milam - Book Review

Of all the books available on Bookcrash, this was the one I most wanted to read, and the main reason I signed up for the program. More grace is always a good thing. 

As the saying goes, God works in mysterious ways. Little did I know that by the time the book arrived, a core family member would be in the intensive care unit (ICU) and I would be too sick to be able to travel, even though there was a good chance my beloved family member might not survive. Debbie Milam's Overtaken by Grace: How Intimacy with God Brings Hope, Healing, and Miracles provided exactly the support I needed during that difficult time. I loved her liberal use of scripture and her heartfelt prayers.

It's a very slim book, totaling 115 pages, and it didn't have any big original thoughts that I noticed. But what it did deliver is Debbie's beautiful way of speaking about core Biblical truths and life lessons in touching, heartfelt ways. Debbie's love for the Lord and her readers was evident and I felt like she was a friend helping me through this difficult time.

Some of the sections, such as coping with teenagers, didn't apply to my life but I read the whole book and do feel like I got something out of each part.

God did grant a miracle and my family member, while not completely healed, is still alive and able to live independently, something some of his doctors did not think would be possible. I'm still not up for travel but the need is less urgent.

Normally, once I finish a Christian book, I pass it on to my mother, who runs an informal free Christian lending library. But I'm going to keep Overtaken by Grace. I love the personal inscription she so kindly wrote for me and I know I'm going to want to reference it in the future, especially for the prayers.

My only criticism of the book is that Debbie only vaguely alludes to her challenges and doesn't get deeply personal and specific until more than halfway through the book (if I remember correctly, around page 65). I would have liked to know what kind of things she had dealt with much earlier in the book. But, even before she got specific, I could tell that she was someone I'd certainly like to get to know. I love her heart for God and her unique way of expressing His truths.

I would definitely recommend this book for any Christian or anyone open to Christianity. 

May God continue to bless Debbie Milam, and may He bless you too!

Related posts:
Refocus book review: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2013/08/refocus-living-life-that-reflects-gods.html
Life Lessons book review: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2014/04/life-lessons-for-women-7-essential.html
Disciplines of a godly woman: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/07/disciplines-of-godly-woman-book-review.html
Authentic relationships: http://lovejoyandpeas.blogspot.com/2012/07/disciplines-of-godly-woman-book-review.html

Disclosure:
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through the BookCrash.com book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am not currently nor have I been in the past, an Amazon affiliate. I am considering applying to be an affiliate in the future and will post a notice when/if that happens. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”