Driving by the beach at sunset last night my husband and I shared how each of us had become so tired of the evening news on the television and it's focus on negativity and fear. Rarely was there a positive, bright or inspiring story to be told.
Our town has the highest unemployment rate in the state, and the highest youth crime in the state. We've had major loss of jobs in the mining sector, a nickel refinery closure, and the flow on to local businesses which seem to be closing their doors at an alarming rate.
I thank God we have an income, but I feel great sorrow for those families and individuals who are struggling through such difficult economic times and find themselves bombarded with hopeless negativity from the media, a vocal and visual paintbrush of 'what's wrong in the world'.
It's awful to be without hope, to have all the world's woes paraded before your eyes day after day when your own life is in so much turmoil.
Wouldn't it do a heart greater good to balance the world's crises with stories of inspiration, goodness, hope and courage? Perhaps we need to share our own stories of kindness, answered prayer, perseverance and hope, when we sit with family and friends or chat with the checkout girl at our local supermarket? Changing from complaints about the election, weather or price of fuel might mean we need to think about what uplifting things we could talk about but it would be so worth it to put a smile on another's weary and tired face.
You may know a friend or neighbour currently facing serious hardships, perhaps it's a member of your own family?
Consider what kindness you can offer them.
A fresh baked cake; an outing to the park with sandwiches and a flask of soup shared on a blanket in the sunshine; an ear to hear without offering advice - just listening (don't we all want that sometimes?); babysitting for a day; mowing the lawn; turning up at the door with ice-cream and a pot of daisies for their garden; or even a simple invite to come stitch at your place.
Simple things are often the best as they are more easily accepted, but also because there's less pressure on you (and me) so we're more likely to reach out.
I designed this blessing stitchery a few years back and today I'd like you to have it as a free gift. You could stitch it for someone who needs a blessing (visual reminders like this have saved me from falling apart some days), or print it up and make a kit to give a sewing friend who's fallen on difficult times.
Pray about it, God will show you what to do.
Click the Pinterest button at the top left of the photo too. Let's share this free stitchery far and wide and hopefully bless many hurting souls.
Designing by His grace alone,