Small Acts of Kindness – A Child’s Prayer

By Betty Thomason Owens

My Dad died eleven years ago. It was unexpected. I was going to the hospital that morning to bring him home. Instead, I received a call that his procedure had not gone well, please come at once. By the time my mom and I arrived, he was gone.

The shock of the painful loss, and the fact that I hadn’t eaten all day, left me with a painful migraine. As my family gathered in the kitchen of my house to discuss Dad’s final arrangements, I lay in bed, too sick to move.

The door opened, letting in a sliver of light. My six-year-old granddaughter, Sophie, whispered to me. “Grandma, can I pray for you?”

Fresh tears filled my eyes. “Yes, of course you can.”

She stood beside me, laid her small hand on my forehead, and prayed. I don’t remember her exact words, but she prayed for my comfort, because I was “so sad,” then for my healing from the painful headache. “I love you, Grandma,” she said, as she left the room.

Now, I figured I had a problem. If I didn’t get up, she might think her prayer didn’t work. Or maybe God hadn’t heard. My head still hurt, and nausea still churned my stomach, but I got up slowly, went in and washed my face, then crept out to the kitchen.

Sophie and her sisters hugged me. Her daddy (my son), brought me ginger ale and crackers. Gradually, the pain subsided and I realized, it had gone. I was reminded of Peter’s mother-in-law in the Bible, the woman for whom Jesus had prayed (Matthew 8: 14-15). When I made the effort to rise and join my family, healing manifested.

Sophie never doubted. And though it seemed a small thing, her prayer of faith released me, and gave me the strength I needed to rise and join the living.

Click to tweet: Small acts of kindness. A child’s prayer makes the difference. #kindness #prayer


Betty Thomason Owens loves being outdoors. Her favorite season is spring, when she can work in the yard or take long walks, while thinking through a troublesome scene in one of her stories.

She is a multi-published, award-winning author of historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. An active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), she leads a critique group, and serves as vice-president/secretary of the Louisville Area group. She’s a mentor, assisting other writers, and a co-founder of Inspired Prompt, a blog dedicated to inspiring writers. She also serves on the planning committee of the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference.

Her works include the Legacy series and Kinsman Redeemer series, published by Write Integrity Press, and Jael of Rogan two-book fantasy series in a second edition, published by Sign of the Whale BooksTM, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell PressTM.

You can learn more about her at BettyThomasonOwens.com. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Advertisements

Small Acts of Kindness: Do Something Daily

I found this great prayer about kindness…

“Forgive me, most gracious Lord and Father, if this day I have done or said anything to increase the pain of the world. Pardon the unkind word, the impatient gesture, the hard and selfish deed, the failure to show sympathy and kindly help where I had the opportunity, but missed it; and enable me so to live that I may daily do something to lessen the tide of human sorrow, and add to the sum of human happiness.” F.B. Meyer [England, 1847-1929]

It Doesn’t Take Much To Make a Difference

Toward the end of 2015, Jennifer asked if I’d be interested in writing for Small Acts of Kindness. I agreed and have enjoyed it ever since. It makes me step back and take notice of positive things I see or experience that I might otherwise overlook and take for granted. It also challenges me to move out of my comfort zone to reach out toward someone offering a kindness to them in some way.

I met up with someone a while ago to talk about something that had been on my mind. As we talked, they told me they’d been struggling lately and felt alone in it. Even though I knew no details, it was clear this person needed someone to come alongside them. God put it on my heart to pray for them daily and to send them a message of encouragement about once a week for several months.

It was simply a note to let them know they weren’t alone and that I was praying for them. IMG_1980 Sometimes I’d include a Bible verse, sometimes not. It was a simple gesture, but I’ve since learned that it made a difference and helped them through a tough time. Several months later, this person gave me a big hug. No words were said, but none were needed. We both knew it was because the encouragement meant so much. It didn’t take much, yet it meant a lot.
It may not seem significant to us, but even a small act of kindness can make a difference to someone else.

Small Acts of Kindness: Closure

By Jennifer Hallmark

A New Year approaches and with it, a fresh start. In 2017, Ellen and I have enjoyed sharing small acts of kindness that affected us and also displaying kindness through the posts of guest bloggers. But there is one more act of kindness you can do for yourself before the New Year begins.

Several years ago, I was discussing the New Year with a friend and she told me how she was already praying about the New Year and setting goals.

“That’s always good to do. But I have one question for you,” I said. “Have you brought the year 2017 to a point of closure?”

Click to tweet: Finding closure before entering 2018. #NewYear #goals

She asked what I meant. I explained that in the thesaurus, the word closure compares to conclusion, end, close, and finalization. Had she brought this old year to a close? Have you? Below are several questions you can ask yourself so you can successfully end the year 2017.

(1)    Have I taken a moment to examine all the people in my life to make sure there is no bitterness or unforgiveness against any of them? The point is not whether they deserved to be forgiven even if they hurt you badly. When Jesus went to the Cross and suffered like He did so we could go to heaven, His love erased any excuse we might have to hold unforgiveness towards anyone for any reason. Reconciliation is not always possible, but with the help of God we can forgive.

(2)    Have I looked at all the events in my life and come to a place of peace/acceptance? Some things that happened to me this year were not good. Have I reached a place where I can move forward? It helps me to write my feelings down either in prayer form or a declaration. In a catastrophic event like the concert shooting in Las Vegas or the hurricanes that ravaged so many areas, I put into a prayer my thoughts and feelings of that day.

In an event, such as sickness or pain, I first write what the doctor said, then what God said in His Word. At the end, I write a declaration that I have chosen to believe God over man. I don’t deny the diagnosis. I simply believe God for healing, either in this lifetime or the next. During hard times, I can go back and read and remember, using these prayers and declarations to strengthen my faith and give me hope.

(3)    Have I examined my goals and dreams I had for 2017? Which goals did I reach? Which ones were probably unrealistic to begin with? As I look back at my accomplishments and the things I didn’t accomplish or finish, it will help me to set new goals, plans and dreams for 2018. I can also release my goals and dreams back to God and believe He has a purpose and plan within it all.

2018 offers a clean slate. Make sure and take a moment to bring 2017 to a point of closure. Then you’ll be free to start the New Year with faith and hope in the One who makes all things new.

Small Acts of Kindness: The Loving Heart of a Prayer Warrior

by Bonita Y. McCoy

phoneI wait for her to answer. I am upset, unsettled, and unsure.

I am reaching out, so I run to the person I think can help.

I hear her voice, “Hello?” And I begin.

Every family needs one, and my family has been blessed to have her, my Aunt Jeanne, the prayer warrior.

She is the one who diligently listens to those who seek her out, and then with patience and kindness, she points them to the Lord through his word and her prayers.

But she doesn’t just listen once; no, she walks the journey with you.

The year I graduated from college was a very lonely year. I watched as friends were pairing off, getting married. I longed for companionship but didn’t want just anyone. I wanted the right one, God’s best for me.

Over the course of that year, I visited Aunt Jean about once every two weeks. We would sit in her living room, her in the recliner rocker and me sprawled out on the carpeted floor. We would talk about life, and she would listen to my heart as it spilled out.

bible-bOnce I was done, she would bring out the Word of the Lord, and we would apply His truths to my situation.

One verse that we kept returning to was Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”

Then she would take all my anxiety, fears, and questions and gather them up, and we would go before the Lord in prayer.

I have been married now for twenty-seven years. I can attest to the fact that when the desire comes it is a tree of life.

And Aunt Jeanne is still praying, still leading us to God’s truth, still answering our calls.

She rejoices with us when we have succeeded, and she cries with us when we mourn. But she never, ever stops praying.

Her loving heart of a prayer warrior has been a bedrock in our family.

There is no scale to measure the extent of her reach because of her kindness shown through her diligence in prayer.


bonitaHello! I’m Bonita Y. McCoy. I hail from the Great State of Alabama where I live on a five-acre farm with three horses, two dogs, two cats, and one husband who I’ve had for over twenty-five years. I am a mother to three mostly grown sons and one beautiful daughter-in-law who joined us from Japan. I love God, and I love to write. My blog is an expression of both these passions. Drop by and visit. www.beautifulpiecesofgrace.blogspot.com 

Small Acts of Kindness—Extravagant Gifts

By Betty Thomason Owens

betty-hospital

In the hospital, after the crisis

Since I began my walk with the Lord, I’ve believed in the power of prayer. That’s because I’d seen the results time and time again. I know one way or another, God does answer.

But that isn’t all there is to prayer.

I found that out in a dramatic way this summer when my husband went through renal failure—a catastrophic illness. We rushed him to the hospital. According to the doctor, he was hours from death. The medical team went to work to save his life. I made calls and sent out texts, requesting prayer from everyone I knew.

Almost immediately, I had a sense of peace.

We were not afraid, once we made it through the initial shock of the diagnosis. We felt this amazing peace as if we were being carried. Borne by unseen arms.

We sat through four hours of dialysis, wondering what the outcome would be, wondering whether this was only the beginning of an ongoing situation. Would there be permanent damage? Peace reigned in our hearts. We were not afraid. The dialysis was successful—he wouldn’t need another. They located the root cause: large stones blocking both kidneys. As soon as he was stable, and the infection cleared, the doctors would deal with the stones.

I find it difficult to express the gratitude I feel for all those who took a moment out of their day to whisper a prayer. Some didn’t whisper—I know them—they shouted. That’s great. I love that. The prayers are heard, though you shout or whisper or only think. The important part is that you prayed.

Prayer for another’s need is an extreme act of kindness. It may seem a small thing to you. But it’s the shot heard around the world. It’s the mouse that roared.

So when you see that request on Facebook, how should you respond? Pass on by?  Comment with a sad face emoticon? Type the word, “Praying!” That’s often what I do, and I mean it, I really am praying. It may not be a complicated prayer, but it’s a heartfelt one. It only takes seconds, unless I feel I need to spend more time.

No matter how these calls come in, whether phonetexted or spoken—whether they’re coming from a family member, friend, acquaintance, or complete stranger—answer them. These small, very personal acts of kindness are laying a foundation, sowing seeds of faith, building relationships, and setting up a structure that you can draw on when you’re the one in need. Have you ever thought about that? I hadn’t, until I found myself in this situation.

During the times when we were too shocked to utter our own, I felt the strength of those prayers behind us, before us, and bearing us up. We weren’t alone. We had an army standing with us. We didn’t need to see them, we knew they were there. We felt their presence through prayer.

Small acts of kindness? No, extravagant gifts.



Betty Thomason OwensBetty Thomason Owens
writes romantic comedy, historical fiction, and fantasy-adventure. She has contributed hundreds of articles and interviews to various blogs around the internet and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group. She’s also a mentor, assisting other writers and a co-founder of a blog dedicated to inspiring writers.

On a personal note, Betty Thomason Owens was born in the Pacific Northwest,  grew up in Southern California and West Tennessee. The daughter of a self-proclaimed nomad, she attended eleven different schools by high school graduation in Kentucky. She and her husband, an EIT (electronics instrumentation technician), have three sons, a couple of beautiful daughters-in-law, five granddaughters and two grandsons (at last count).

An office manager/bookkeeper for 15 years, she is semi-retired and pursuing her other loves––gardening, cooking, spending time with the grands, and of course, writing.

You can find Betty’s books available here: amazon.com/author/btowens

You can connect with her on her webpage, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.