Rebecca Duvall

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AppleThe Fruit of the Spirit this week is Kindness. I’ve chosen an apple to represent kindness because students often give teachers an apple as a way of saying thank you, or at least they use to. When a student gives a teacher an apple, it’s an act of kindness.

Kindness is a state of being. It’s when you choose to be friendly, generous or considerate of others. I think kindness is contagious. When we act this way toward others, it inspires them to respond kindly to those they encounter, which causes a ripple affect.

You are acting with kindness when you behave in a gentle, caring and helpful way toward others. When you make an effort to help clean up a mess, even when you didn’t take part in making it. Kindness is shown when we check in on someone that we know is going through a difficult time. Who in your life is God calling you to check in on?

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

Kindness is not causing disruption or preventing something from happening, as it should. I have a hard time with this one. I tend to argue with God and His plan and timing of things. I get excited, then impatient, and try to make things happen in my way when I think it should happen.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

We are not being an example of kindness when we behave in a mean, harsh or cruel manner, showing ill will or hostility toward someone or something. This means that when you don’t get what you wanted (when eating out or going to a movie) having a bad attitude is not an acceptable behavior. It’s seen as being rude and unappreciative. I know I’m guilty of being one of the first to point out when someone else has a bad attitude but am usually blind to my own bad behavior.

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 1 Peter 3:8-9

As it says in 1 Peter, we are to be a blessing, show kindness, even when kindness is not being shown to you. Who in your life can use a dose of kindness?

My prayer to us today ~ Father God, You lavish us with your kindness daily, even when we do not deserve it. I pray the Holy Spirit would open our eyes and heart to see how we may lavish others with kindness, Amen.


Sales Clerks

22 shopping bagsHave you been out shopping lately? Of course you have, it’s Christmas time! It’s crazy out there! Last weekend, I made the mistake of going to a mall on a Sunday afternoon. All I had to do was return something. I thought it would be a quick in and out. Wow, was I wrong!

First, we circled the parking lot, for what felt like forever. When I was about to give up and head home, someone pulled out in front of me. Of course I was on the far side of the mall, needing to walk, what felt like miles, to enter. The store we had a return in was on the other side of the mall, so we had to slowly squeeze our way through the crowds of people. I think Disneyland would have been less busy.

We finally made it into the store and immediately got in line. There were two lines leading to four cashiers. I watched as each customer made it to the cashier and the interaction they had with them. It seemed that no matter what the customer’s demands, they always had a smile on their face and bent over backwards to meet their demands. Yes, I do realize this is the way a cashier should be, but the attitude and expectations of some of the customers was a little much.

22 Luke 6-35

I’m thankful for the sales clerks who remain helpful and friendly, regardless of what crazy things I might need. I hope these sales clerks know they help make my holiday merry and bright. The kindness they show me fills me with the desire to help another.

22 Proverbs 3-3

Doesn’t it make you feel good when a cashier tells you to have a nice day? It always brings a smile to my face. Unfortunately, I don’t always respond to their kindness the way I should, which is “thanks, I hope you have a nice day too!” My mind gets stuck on the next errand or thing I need to do and I miss out on the opportunity to bring a smile to their face. How do you respond when a sales clerk says something nice to you? If they don’t tell you to have a nice day, do you tell them to?

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the kindness you offer us through your Son, Jesus. I pray we would, under all circumstances, offer kindness to those we encounter throughout our days, Amen.


Public Open Space SFHave I every told you my favorite season is summer? Well, if I haven’t, it is. I love, love, love the hot, hot, hot days. The hotter the day, the bigger my smile and happier I feel. The warm air of summer makes me want to get out and move around to explore the world.

A few days ago, with my dad as our tour guide, my girls and I went to San Francisco to explore. I don’t visit the city often. The hustle and bustle of the city usually stresses me out. This time, with my dad leading the way, I was determined to enjoy the wonderful sites the city had in store for us.

Our day started off with a ferry ride. I have to say, it’s so much nicer than driving. If you haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying a ferry ride, I strongly recommend you find time to. That is unless you get motion sickness. Then I think diving is the best bet for you.

Once we arrived at the Ferry Building we headed out for our first destination, the rooftop of the Crocker Galleria. Did you know there are privately owned buildings and spaces that have public access? I never knew. If you’re ever walking around San Francisco, keep a lookout for a small sticker in the front window that says Public Open Space. Or you can Google it online before you head out.   I found several different maps, lists and articles written about the differnt hidden public spots to check out while visiting the city.

Before heading up to the rooftop to take in the beautiful views, we stopped to get a bite at Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches. They’re known for their speedy service, and I have to say, they were pretty fast at getting us our order. The food was delicious too.

The views from the rooftop were breathtaking. It was before the usual lunch rush so the space was quiet. We enjoyed our lunch on a partially shaded bench surrounded by shrubbery. It was hard to believe we were sitting on a rooftop in the middle of the city. It felt like we were sitting in a park in the middle of no where. Well, except for the noise. The sounds of the city echoed up the sides of the buildings.San Francisco Rooftop

With full tummies we ventured on our way to the next stop, the rooftop of the Westfield San Francisco Centre Mall. Again, the views were beautiful and the weather was a perfect 79 degrees for the city. So jackets were not needed. However, we did bring them since it’s usually cold and foggy. This rooftop wasn’t as nice as the first, but the views made up for it.

After a quick stroll through the mall we were back outside soaking up the warmth of the city and looking toward our next adventure, the rooftop of an office building at One Kearney Place. But before we could head that way, we needed a sweet treat. There were so many places to choose from. How in the world were we to decide. With a peak at the map and seeing what we were so close to, the choice was obvious……Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop. We sat along the window seats so we could inhale our sweet treat, chat and people watch. It was a nice rest for our feet too! Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shop SF

Our stomachs are full and we’re loaded with sugar. We’re now ready to take on the rest of our day. The rooftop at One Kearney Place was small, but nice. It’s a building surrounded by many other tall buildings so it was cool to see the details of the building tops. Something you would never notice while walking around at ground level in the city.

We’re now done exploring rooftops and heading to China Town. This is my first visit there. I wish I wasn’t still full from the ice cream. I would love to have tried some of the food. It all smelled so delicious. We wandered into a few of the shops while walking through. I saw a few interesting items and lovely jewelry. Although I didn’t buy anything, because this was a trip for exploring, not shopping.

We now had one last area to explore before heading back to the ferry. Telegraph Hill. This is another place I had never been in San Francisco. The way my dad described it, I thought there were many more stairs to climb than there actually were. It was nothing compared to the walk Ashley and I go on back home, which I mention in an earlier post, ‘I Prayed For That?’. But I must confess, this was exhausting after walking all over the city. The homes on Telegraph Hill were small, but the scenery and views were amazing. I couldn’t imagine walking up and down those stairs everyday, sometimes several times a day. If I lived there, I would make it a point to only leave and return once everyday.rooftop view of San Francisco

Oh, I must tell you about the amazing family we had a brief encounter with. At the second highest point of Telegraph Hill we stopped to catch our breath. We were also deciding whether or not we would continue to the top or head down. During this time, my daughter Amy took out her iPod Touch to see if she had WIFI. Typical teenager. Always needs to be connected. As soon as I realized the staircase in front of us was the last one, I decided we had to finish the walk up to the top. Just as we were arriving to the top of the staircase a gentleman yelled out “Is this yours? Did you leave this behind?”. We turned back to look at the man and see what he was yelling about and saw that he was holding Amy’s iPod Touch. When we thanked him he said to thank his family, because they were the ones who noticed it sitting on the ledge where she had left it. I was filled with an amazing feeling. A feeling of love and happiness. I don’t know if that family were tourists or they lived there, but to know that whoever they were, they cared about the people around them and chose to do what was right. It brought a smile to my face and filled me with gratitude.

My prayer for us today ~ Father God, I thank you for the kindness and love you show us each and every day. I pray we share this love and kindness and demonstrate it with those around us.

San Francisco Public Open Spaces

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