Wednesday, June 20, 2012

TKP, Faith & the Farm

So when bloggy friend Carol Miller (link) invited me to join The Kindness Project, naturally I declined. "I don't post on Wednesdays," I said.

Then I got to thinking about it, and I decided I'm not that old. I can be a little more flexible. And here I am.

I'm a week late because I wanted to see what everybody else did before I posted. But I'm still a little stumped about what to say... Kindness is one of those things I feel like I should do.

The Kindness Project is supposed to be inspirational. It's to remind us that even when we're feeling unkind, still be kind. That alone can make a significant difference in the world both for us and for others.

That's really cool. And really hard.

Last week, members posted about all sorts of things, and they were all good. The most meaningful to me, however, was by our fearless leader. Carol took the day to quote from Mother Teresa. Here's the part I liked best: 

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. 
Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. 
It was never between you and them anyway.

Powerful stuff.

It's a good day for me to try TKP. I've had an interesting thing come my way recently, and I can't wait to tell you all about it. I have to wait, but you'll understand soon.

So it's cool, but at the same time, I'm still feeling weighed down and Anxious.

I'm second-guessing my decisions, and I feel like I'm always looking over my shoulder. The old timers tell us not to be suckers. Don't be so eager to get published that you give away the farm.

At the same time, I wonder, "Didn't those old timers have to give away part of the farm to get to the point of being able to say things like 'Don't give away the farm'?" Is it possible to get where you want to be without sacrificing anything?

I've never been very good at leaps of faith. I'm super Type A. I like all my ducks behaving just like I expect them to behave, and if I tell you I'll have something for you tomorrow, well, you'll probably get it today.

I'm rambling, but my point is I do have faith. And I do make thoughtful decisions and not foolish ones, and when I'm at that point where I've done all I can do, I... struggle very hard with letting it go. So I try to remind myself of that faith part again. 

Perhaps I've drifted from the kindness, but in the final analysis, it is between you and God.

Are you doing your best? Doing good work? Keeping in touch... (Wait, that's Garrison Keillor--!)

I'm sorry, Carol. I'm screwing this all up. Somebody make a goofy sound effect or talk in a funny voice...

Maybe we can just keep on encouraging each other. I know you do that for me all the time. Thank you~

Have a great week, reader- and writer-friends. I'll do better next time. <3


Sarah said...

No such thing as screwing this up--we're all kind of fumbling our way through it. For those of us who are people of faith, I think this makes a lot of sense, and for those of us who aren't, I still think it makes sense. I don't know how many times I've told someone, after another person has been UNkind--"It's more about them than it is about you." And ... honestly, I think kindness can be that way, too. I mean, mostly, kindness is about stepping out of oneself, but if we're honest, it's about us figuring out ourselves, and being kind often does as much to nurture our spirits as it does to help others. It is entirely possible that I'm not making much sense this morning :/

I can't wait to hear your news!!

Natalie Aguirre said...

This is fine Leigh. Not a screw up at all. Can't wait to hear the news you have to share.

I'm like you, a type A person. I want all my ducks in order. I do think you have to sacrifice something to get published. Many authors have to change their stories some, I know. so don't feel bad if you do. And take that leap of faith. I need to as well.

Stina said...

I do believe we have to make sacrifices for the things we want. But that just shows how much we want them. However, what we're willing to sacrifice shows what kind of person we are, and it might not be the kind of person we want to be. There are good sacrifices and there are bad ones.

I think we can all guess your news based on your teaser. :)

Karen Jones Gowen said...

We can never have too many reminders to be kind.

Pat Hatt said...

Yeah there are always choices we have to make, just have to hope they are the right ones I guess and we don't get buried on the farm behind the barn haha

Old Kitty said...

Lovely LTM!!! Keep the faith!!! Especially one with yourself. Only you know when to leap, when not to!

Take care

Anonymous said...

You are so right. Man may judge me but the Ultimate Judge is what counts on that day when when we give an account of our lives.

RaShelle Workman said...

Yay for being nice to people. LOL. I'm all for it, and try to do at least one selfless thing a day.

And, yeah, you're def not too old. Way to be flexible.

Unknown said...

You are awesome. And so is God. :)

Laurel Garver said...

The battle between faith and fear can look very different from person to person. When it comes to making decisions and there just isn't enough information to get a black and white answer, the "leap of faith" required to move forward will be bigger for a type A than a type B. But I've found that God is often kind in our weakness and provides extra nudges and confirmations to help us "ducks in a row" types be able to trust him for the results.

Hang in there, friend!

Patti said...

I think encouragement is one of the best things you can do for a person. As for sacrifice, I think everyone has to sacrifice something to be a writer.

Can't wait to hear your news.

Matthew MacNish said...

Have you had a chance to meet Carol yet? She's the best!

AMOffenwanger said...

I think you've hit on the dirty little secret of the ones who say "don't give away the farm"- they've all done it, that's why they know.

And don't worry 'bout doing better, you're already doing good.

Summer Ross said...

I personally feel that in order to achieve something in your life that is worth something you have to sacrifice either some part of yourself or aspect of your life in order for it to work out. Sure I have faith, but that isn't the only thing i need. I need to believe in who I am, have faith, and be willing to take the good with the bad.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

No, I think you were right on target with the kindness! It is just between us and God. (Another reason not to judge others.)
And while you won't have sell the farm, you might have to part with a couple cows.

Unknown said...

I LOVED this post. It was genius and I found it inspiring and I know how kind you are so this is right up your alley!!!

Patience is something I struggle with. I've now learned that when I go back to not 'sell the farm' it's when I have the best ideas and great stories to tell.

Carolyn Abiad said...

<3 I can hear you bursting at the seams all the way over here. <3

Your quote is a good reminder. I should post it on the door to my office - wait - I don't have doors, or an office. Sigh. You know what I mean.

Unknown said...

What a wonderful idea--the kindness post. Love the quote. Gonna try to apply that in my life.

M Pax said...

I think we do have to give away to the farm to get on the farm. If that makes any sense. I'll let you know how my experiment with it works out.

I think this community is very kind that we've all created.

Theresa Milstein said...

I love the idea of being kind--to be thinking about being kind and spreading kindness.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Can't wait to hear about what's come your way and how you reach your decision! And yes, I think those old timers did give away the farm, or else they wouldn't be squawking so much about it!

walk2write said...

When the kids were little and someone was unkind to them, I would tell them that the unkind person had been badly mistreated in some way and had forgotten what kindness was. They only needed reminding by someone who would be kind to them. Remember the heaping of burning coals on someone's head in the Bible? It wasn't meant to be a painful punishment but a way to keep someone warm and mindful of the good deed.

Wendy Lu said...

Hi Leigh! It's nice to meet you. I found your blog through Elana Johnson. It certainly is never too late to post. :) This was an insightful piece. I mentioned this at another fellow blog: Being kind is easy. Being kind toward unkind people is hard. Really hard. I suppose all we can do is our very best. That's all we can give, right?

By the way, I'm hosting an awesome blogfest and critique giveaway at my blog from June 22-24 that you should totally come participate in if you're interested! :) Hope you have a great day.

~Wendy Lu

The Roarin' Twenties Poetry Blogfest + Chapter Critique Giveaway (hosted by The Red Angel)

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

lol, I don't believe you screwed up anything! Encouragement and kindness go a long way, as do small reminders.

PK HREZO said...

Oh I can't wait to hear your news!!!!

I actually have that entire Mother Teresa quote on my fridge--and have had it there for years. It's what gives me strength to treat some better than they sometimes deserve cuz it's not really their opinion that matters anyway. It really does purify the heart to keep that mindset... but it's also very easy to forget, which is why I keep it posted where I can be reminded of it daily.

Talli Roland said...

Ooh, you're a tease. :)

You need to do what's best for you... any big decision is always a bit of a leap of faith.

Unknown said...

I've been a kindness fanatic for a long time, so it is good to see more of the same around the web! Here's a quote for you:

Kindness is a beautiful human attribute. When we say, "She is a kind person" or "He surely was kind to me," we express a very warm feeling. In our competitive and often violent world, kindness is not the most frequent response. But when we encounter it we know that we are blessed. Is it possible to grow in kindness, to become a kind person? Yes, but it requires discipline. To be kind means to treat another person as your "kin," your intimate relative. We say, "We are kin" or "He is next of kin." To be kind is to reach out to someone as being of "kindred" spirit.

Here is the great challenge:
All people, whatever their color, religion, or sex, belong to humankind and are called to be kind to one another, treating one another as brothers and sisters. There is hardly a day in our lives in which we are not called to this.
Father Henri Nouwen

Melissa Sugar said...

There is no such thing as screwing up when you are participating in something as awesome and selfless as a kindness project. I hope to learn more about it. I participated last year in a "random act of kindness" project and I came away from it feeling very good about myself. I think it is terrific that you made the extra time to participate and I am certain you will feel good about yourself for contributing.

LTM said...

@Summer--That sounds like the winning formula to me! It's how I try to approach decisions... now if I could just shut off that inner nervous Nelly! ;o) <3

@CB--THAT is a wonderful quote, and I love the sentiment about "kin." I think that's the exact mindset Carol was hoping to inspire when she came up with TKP! Thanks for sharing, :o) <3

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I'm a bit late to this too...! But I love that quote, how it's between you and God. I have COMPLETE faith in you LT, because I know you're driven by the things that matter: family, faith, doing your best. Whatever you do, it will be the right decision for you.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Hmmm ... now I am more than a little curious about your leap of faith. But I know you made a good decision. The worst is doubting yourself, but you're absolutely right -- you make thoughtful decisions and wise decisions and now is the time to trust. <3

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

What a neat project!

I came to say thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting on my marketing e-book, I do hope their is a large "market" for it ;)