More thoughtful in 2011

I‘m going to be more thoughtful in 2011. Not that I’m not. I just haven’t really tried very hard to be thoughtful. But I used to be. This year I have every hope to be thoughtful without my previous boundary bending co-dependent motives. 

By thoughtful I mean remembering to send birthday cards on time, making phone calls, praying, and doing nice things for those I love, just because. I want to be a better encourager. That’s just for starters.

In the words of my friend Bruce, I’m going to “be a sweet girl.”

You’re laughing aren’t you? You don’t think I can do this do you? Seriously, I am going to be more thoughtful. I’ve already started.

What was the last thoughtful thing someone did for you?


About Robin Arnold

Reader, writer, gardener, geek, maker of homes in several states, now settled in Virginia with husband Bob, and Hazel and Wilson the tabby cats.
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4 Responses to More thoughtful in 2011

  1. Kristina says:

    I’m usually the encourager. Last night I dropped an anonymous note and sparkling cider on the porch of someone having a bad day. I send cards and make phone calls, and usually no one ever does it for me, so oddly enough I end up feeling bad no one likes me as much as I like them.

    • Kristina,

      I saw your comment while responding to Robin’s question. Perhaps no one does these things for you because you are more thoughtful than they are. The problem with BEING the encourager is that people don’t think of you as NEEDING their support. I suggest either embracing the role of “Encourager” (knowing that you will always give more than you get), or being more vulnerable with people and letting them know that you have needs too.

      It has nothing to do with them not LIKING you as much as you like them. They just think you don’t NEED them as much as they need you. You sound like a very caring person to me.

  2. Robin,

    I’m glad you asked! I’m sure this isn’t the LAST thoughtful thing someone did for my wife and me, but it stands out as the most incredible thing in 2010. This past summer my wife and I (in our early 60s) drove into the countryside to visit an elderly friend, and when we were done we decided to drive even DEEPER into the countryside to see the damage from a couple of recent tornadoes (which are extremely rare in our part of Ohio).

    We were on a rutted, unpaved road when we had a flat tire. We drove on the rim a few hundred yards to reach a paved road and pulled off to the side. There was almost no berm at that spot, so the driver side tires (the side with the flat) were still on the pavement, and we were located around a sharp bend, so it would have been dangerous to be crouched IN the lane while changing the tire.

    This is the point where all of my coping mechanisms kick in: panic, worry, despair, etc. It would have taken the auto-club tow truck an hour to find us (and both of us needed a bathroom with ever-increasing urgency).

    Before I had TIME to panic, worry, despair, or even get out of the car (or have a clothing accident), a fellow pulled up across the road and said, “Can I change that tire for you?” He didn’t say, “Can I help you change that tire?” No sooner had he opened our trunk to get out the jack than ANOTHER fellow pulled up. These two knew each other and caught up on family news in the 15 minutes it took them to change our tire and send us on our way.

    I’m stingy about giving God the credit for blessings, but I had to admit that we owed him a HUGE “Thank You” for this one. We didn’t get the names of those two men, but EVERY DAY that week I prayed, “God, please give each of them a TREMENDOUS BLESSING TODAY!” Even now, when the incident comes to mind, I repeat that request.

    P.S. I try to brighten the world though my daily, family-friendly photo blog with “punny” captions:

  3. Robin Arnold says:

    Kristina, I think J.A. Robinson is right. I know it’s true for me. But you might find out being the receiver isn’t what you think. I also think if your gift is encouragement you should use it not expecting a return, although you should get at least a thank you. For me, I grew into it, I think maturity helps. I also took a Boundaries class at my church where I realized giving to get is the wrong motivation for giving.

    What a marvelous story Mr. Robinson! It made me tear up and send up a little prayer for blessing for those two guys too!

    Thanks for stopping by and most especially for your comments. Be blessed!

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