Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘smile’

img_2272

On my desk as a reminder – not a selfie 🙂

I am a receptionist. And very proud of it. I provide the first impression of the company and I take that responsibility very seriously. Answering phones and greeting visitors – with a smile – every day – is not as easy as some would assume.

I’ve given directions to random people who walk in off the street. They have no address, just the name of whatever business they are looking for. Thanks to Google they leave happy. Had a semi truck driver ask me where the post office is (it’s the next block over from my office). Our side streets are narrow and crowded with parked cars, but I was able to help him decide what would be the best route to drive to deliver the mail. You’re welcome.

I had a co-worker who shared this job with me for a number of years. We used to laugh about incidents, phone calls, visitors we would handle. We called it “receptionist humor.” Such as…

I’ve had people come into our lobby assuming we ARE the post office (both addresses start with 615)…one person even insisted. No – I think I would know. I really wanted to be snarky, but remembering I am the face of my company (at least in the office lobby), I kept the snark on the down low.

I always answer the phone with “Good Morning” and the name of my company. Then I pause to hear what the caller wants. One time, the voice on the other end waited a beat and then asked, “Are you a real person?” Sometimes, sir, sometimes.

I’m glad we don’t have an automatic phone service…not just because I’d be out of a job, but because people are so relieved when they can deal with an actual person…someone they can ask questions of…and I feel good about solving their problem or directing them to the person who can.

My side gig is to pass out smiles and encouragement…not just to visitors but also to our own employees. People have enough stress in their lives, they don’t need it from the first person they see in the office.

I love interacting with the delivery people who enter the front door. Jimmy John’s drivers; Lee-Ann, our mail lady; Aaron and Dave from a local printing shop; Don, our dry cleaner driver – they have tough jobs out in the weather year round. Smiles don’t cost me anything and can be priceless to someone else.

img_2273

More reminders to keep it positive

Please realize that I am not perfect and don’t claim to be. I have stressful days and often catch myself whining about something insignificant. I have callers who get on my last nerve. (BTW – if you have a problem and need to call a company to resolve it, the person who answers the phone probably didn’t cause whatever is freaking you out. Be polite or I’ll tell your mother.)

I’ve caught myself venting to my supervisor. I often have to apologize for my poor attitude to her and to the Lord. Because, ultimately, I’m not just the face or voice of my company, I’m the face of Jesus, His hands and feet to this world. I need to remember to represent Him well.

So…how may I help you? :)))

 

Read Full Post »

It random-act-of-kindnesswas a saying my mom used to tell me when I complained in junior high about people being mean to me. Looking back, I cannot remember anyone’s actual actions or words toward me that I would consider mean…but I certainly do remember my mom’s advice, “Just be nice to them, Kris. Kill them with kindness.”

Most of the time, I think I’m a kind person, but I also realize that plenty of times I’ve chosen what felt good to me over what may have been kindness extended toward someone else. The times I could have allowed someone in front of me at the WalMart check out lane, held a door open during a walk instead of hurrying on myself, or getting Don a cup of coffee while I was up getting my own…I could go on. So could you.

Today I’m grateful for kindness. I’m also grateful for the POWER of kindness, because I believe if we, all of us, make the intentional choice to be kind to others, we’ll help inch our society in the opposite direction of where it is currently heading.

“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NLT)

Here’s my intentional kindness action plan for this week:

Day 1 – Baby steps: smile at everyone I meet, even if they are grouchy or frowning. This includes while I’m driving (my biggest challenge) and when I answer the phone. I don’t know about you, but I can tell when the person on the other end of the phone says “hello” with a smile. I’m weird that way.

Day 2 – Everything from Day 1 PLUS…within the course of the day, choosing kindness in the little things. This could include holding doors, making coffee, running errands, doing a favor, extending grace, being generous, laughing at dumb jokes.

Day 3 – Day 1 + Day 2 + taking note of my body language and tone of voice so I exude kindness with more than just words. Walking the walk, not just talking the talk, as they say.

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud.” 1 Corinthians 13:4

Day 4 – Everything from the past three days PLUS adding in kindness to those who don’t like me.

NOOOO!

This one is the hardest, of course. Who likes doing nice things, being nice, showing kindness to people who do not deserve it? Not me.

But…

That’s what God has asked us to do…and in fact, it is what He did (and keeps doing) for us. We don’t deserve God’s love…we never deserved Jesus’ sacrifice for us, but He did it anyway. Because He loves us more than we can imagine. And if we really want to show the world a better way…the BEST way…we must demonstrate God’s love through our actions. Kill them with kindness.

“Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.” Romans 12:20-21 (The Message)

I once heard a message from a guest speaker about kindness. A person sitting near to me scoffed about it afterwards – “What a stupid topic for a sermon!” I guess they thought it wasn’t spiritual enough. But in actuality, showing kindness is one of the most spiritual disciplines you can aspire to reach. By showing kindness, you are showing an unbelieving world the unconditional love of our Father God. We are proving His love for them, and using us as instruments of that love. What is more spiritual than being a tool in the hands of the Master?

“We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us,[a] and by our sincere love.” 2 Corinthians 6:6

Read Full Post »

Kris_aging_gracefully

As much as we fight and complain, all of us want to get older. Because the alternative is obvious and no one really wants that road. But the path of aging is fraught with potholes and deer crossings and railroad tracks. Some places are well-paved, four-lane highways and others are one curve away from a two-lane dirt track made by migrating yaks. Aging isn’t pretty. But it is necessary and that means it’s my attitude that’ll make the difference between facing it with dignity and grace or petulance and irritability. We’ve all known those cantankerous old people…and I don’t want to be one.

I’ve never been too worried about getting older. My hair began it’s elegant slide toward silver back in my mid-30s. I was too cheap (and lazy) to purchase stock in Clairol so I’ve been au naturale for quite some time. And I’m perfectly fine about it. Oh, once in a while I’d make a joke about being the only gray-haired mother with preschoolers, but in reality, I am comfortable in my skin (or hair, as the case may be). (Side note: I’ve noticed the recent trend of young women coloring their hair gray – I wonder if that makes them cool or me cool?) I’ve been blessed with good health and with my recent weight loss and healthy life style changes, I’m looking forward to many more years to love and live. But I am on the back side  of my 50s and my body has given me a few signs that it’s not as young and agile as it once was. I’ve recently had to start taking a medication just because I’m now an “older woman.” Pretty much hate that.

So what’s necessary to age gracefully without succumbing to society’s marketing of youthfulness forever? First – admit it. Second – accept it. Third – Get past it.

Admit it – say this after me – “Yes, I’m getting older. Yes, my body is changing. No, I don’t have to look 15 (or 25, or 35 or even 45 for some of us) anymore. I am beautiful, inside and out, just as I am.”

Accept it – ok, we can talk the talk, but can we walk it out? Accepting the reality of our aging means acting it out in all we do. No more putting ourselves down as “the old lady” in the group (hey – I’m preaching to myself here). Take advantage of the wisdom that comes from living life. Feel free to buy clothes you like wearing and add some color. Everyone looks better in color. And remember, beauty comes from the inside so work on that inner beauty thing. It’s way more valuable than any lift, tuck or injection.

cartwheel

Lastly, get past it. No more fixating on our age. It’s really just a number. “You’re only as young as you feel.” Nope – because somedays I feel 80 and somedays I feel 16…and that’s when I do something stupid. Like a cartwheel. More accurately, you are only as young as you determine in your heart you are. So, if you’d like to attend a concert with all 20-somethings, go for it. (I do it all the time – with the intention to never embarrass my children in attendance.) If you want to go rock climbing and have the ability, do it. If you want to learn a language, take a cooking class, run a 5k, get a dog, change your hair color, join a gym, buy a motorcycle, teach a class, write a book, volunteer at a homeless shelter, get a job, travel the world…go for it!

God has given us a number of days – He has a purpose for you and me. I want to live in such a way that God’s purpose is being fulfilled everyday. I don’t want to be one of those old ladies who look like they suck on lemons every morning. I want to embrace children and the elderly. I want to smile at strangers. I want to give love out of the abundance that Christ has put in my heart. As my husband often says, “I want to be saltier salt and brighter light.” It’s my choice and I choose to have a wise heart and youthful spirit, even while my body ages, gracefully.

 

Read Full Post »

Today has been a glorious day! After what has seemed like a never ending winter, spring appears to be in sight. With temps in the 40s and 50s, it was wonderful to be able to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Even with melting snow and slush covering sidewalks and streets, I couldn’t wait to get on a trail and get out for a run. While doing a few walking/running intervals I realized I had a perfect analogy for today’s “giving up for Lent” blog.

Sometimes I get in a routine and don’t really pay attention to what is going on around me. I’m going through the motions but not truly investing myself in the experience. It’s like running on a treadmill versus running outside on a trail. The treadmill gets the job done – you’re doing what you need to do – but it gets boring. Unless you’re moving the treadmill every morning, you’re looking at the same wall each time. Maybe you have a fancy one and you can program it for hills and valleys. Maybe you can watch TV or read a book while you’re running. I don’t think it matters. You aren’t fully invested in the total experience that running can give you.

No matter how many bells and whistles, your treadmill cannot give you what a good outdoor run can. You cannot imitate the sounds of the cardinals in the trees, the sight of deer and bunnies along the trail, the apprehension each time you jump over puddles, the smiles you give and receive to fellow runners or dog walkers. There’s no way to duplicate the sunshine reflecting off the melting snow or the feeling of damp, cold air on your face.

woman-running-outdoors

Let’s shake off the winter doldrums and become fully invested in spring. No more going through the motions of living. Instead, decide to be fully present in the moment.

Give the people near you your complete attention.

Listen to their stories.

Laugh at their jokes.

Smile at each person you encounter today.

Notice things.

Study something new.

Observe nature.

Take an adventure.

Discover treasures.

Live big!

Read Full Post »