The Color of September::just be helpful, graceful and full of cheer...


{Introduction - you are welcome to use my living in yellow list, but please know that I wrote it for me. I share a few truths and thoughts not that I think you need them, but that I need them, and writing about them helps me do just that. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6}

With September coming to a close and October on the horizon, I'm bringing the series to a conclusion with brief thoughts on the last three goals in my living in yellow list of priorities. 

Look for ways to be helpful.

In a message to women a couple of years ago, Andrée Seu Peterson made a comment that spoke directly to me:

You don't have to win the Pulitzer Prize, just be helpful....
Similar to be available, being helpful paints a broader stroke. It applies to my speech, my writing, my photography, my ministry and most certainly to my relationships, and for me - an air-head who can be too much Mary and not enough Martha - it means being intentionally helpful. 

Extend truck loads of grace to everyone.

I'm probably forgiving to a fault, but I honestly try to understand and excuse the behavior of others, because I'm well aware of the forgiveness and grace that has been extended to me - and the longer I live and the Holy Spirit uncovers my sins, the more I realize just how much grace that is - and how dare I withhold it from others. 

Approach each day with joyful laughter.

Proverbs 17.22 is one of my favorite scriptures...
A joyful heart is good medicine,

but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
My mother lived with the pain of rheumatoid arthritis for most of her adult life. Her legacy to me in that was that she did so with much grace and humor. She would often remind me that growing older isn't for sissies, but she said so with a chuckle and always made light of her disabilities. 
By the time I cared for her in our home, her memory had faded and her disabilities were many, but her ability to laugh at herself and others remained.

I remember trying to dress her before I figured out that she needed special clothing. I'd get one arm into a shirt sleeve, but not the other, and we'd both laugh at our predicament. 
Even those years ago, it was painful and difficult for me to turn or reposition her in her bed, and mother would laugh at my groans. So  would I, and the laughter was always good medicine for us both. 

{gently edited from here}
When I first memorized that verse it was in the KJV...

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:
but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

Over ten years after my mother's passing and living with the same disability that threatened to steal my mother's joy, I'm determined to not complain, but to approach each day with the merry heart that's good like a medicine.