Save like Nana did. Cheer and goodness.
Nan and Pa were full of cheer and goodness. Considering all the world events that hit them from the moment they were born this is pretty remarkable. You always came away from spending time with them happier than before. They were a rock you could depend on and they offered love, comfort, company, nourishment, patience and encouragement. They took the time to teach you things. Let's face it, it takes time to teach a child to sew, crochet, knit etc but they invested the time into me.
Nan and Pa's friends were cut from the same cloth. When I had babies Nana's friends treated me as family and made me the most beautiful baby clothes. One friend sewed me little baby nighties in the softest fabrics (for Chloe) and another knitted her little dresses. I still have most of them.
Then there are people that ensure they add the subtle put down, the caustic remark, the genuine and complete distain for everything you do or say! They leave a trail of destruction wherever they go. Dad always told us it is better to say NOTHING if you cannot say something nice! Narcissistic behaviour seems to be on the rise... the world of "selfies" and "your truth" and putting yourself ahead of others has led to a lot of pretty poor behaviour. It is bad enough to observe this from a distance let alone from up close.
The contrast is stark. We spent a few hours with friends on Friday and their love of God and serving Him is an example and inspiration to us. We come away from time with them so joyful, uplifted, encouraged and REFRESHED. So the difference is mind blowing! We have to decide which camp we want to live in. Do we refresh, build up and encourage others or do we suck the life (and will to live) from them at every encounter!!?
Nan and Pa had this nailed down. They had a lot of friends and were great friends with all their neighbours so I know it wasn't just us they loved. They just treated everyone with respect and kindness. If they could help a person they did. They were full of encouragement and general pleasantness! They treated everyone the same. Any one who came to the house was given a cup of tea and cake (or scones) and a chat. None of this was fancy but it was lovely and very welcoming. Somehow we got the idea that things have to be fancy and "stylish" and the humble wouldn't do. But the humble will do! In a world of pain mashed potatoes and gravy offer a warmth and comfort.
We were discussing with friends... that in the last few years there has been a change and it's very noticeable. People are more stressed, less trusting, less friendly.... apparently it is routine now for people in service jobs to be abused and treated rudely. In my opinion it feels like where once we thought the government, at least kind of or sometimes, cared about the people now they do not. And people know it.
We can be be dragged down by all of this pretty easily. But Nan and Pa went through a lot worse and they held on to family, faith/God and remained in good cheer and full of goodness. As we head into December and Christmas I want to think how can we lift each other up. For this reason I think Christmas is more important than ever! We need the morale boost. Next week my post will be on ways to make Christmas special that are completely, or almost, free. xxx
"In the same way,
let your light shine before others,
that they maybe see your good
deeds and glorify your
Father in Heaven."