cup of kindness

IMG_0525As we turn the corner on Christmas and approach the New Year, I realize that, once again, I didn’t get to Christmas cards. It shouldn’t be a surprise, given my sporadic track record. This year perhaps more than any other I’ve realized that our holidays are overloaded. By Christmas night I was exhausted and dispirited. I am sure that is not God’s intent for the season. Next year I resolve to streamline and simplify all things holiday, including and especially Christmas.

But I am getting ahead of myself, eh? We’ve yet to finish this year. I hoped 2014 would finish more smoothly than 2013, when a barn fell to ice and other calamaties beset us and our extended family. Weeks of unfortunate events occurred from early December and into January. It was a long, slow slog to recovery on farm and home fronts in 2014. We were more than half-way through the year before it felt like we had lift-off.

SONY DSCThe brightest moments of 2014 were in the double blessings of new grandgirls, the first arriving in late February and the second early August. This brought the grandchids count to four: Oliver, Henry, Sadie and Rosie. I cannot express how much these wee ones matter. Just a moment in their presence lifts my heart and fills me with joy.

The next best thing about 2014 was turning fifty. I never thought I would be able to talk about that milestone in those terms! I enjoyed a series of small celebrations with family and friends over the course of a month or more that made for a most pleasant summer. Then a joint fiftieth birthday sailabration, starting and ending in Quebec City, sailing to Saint Pierre & Miquelon, St. Johns, Newfoundland, Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island provided wonderful memories and invaluable time together. A few weeks after we returned, I threw a surprise party to close out on fifty.

Soon thereafter, we were into the holiday season. But not before my mom suddenly landed the perfect opportunity to relocate nearby. This has been a big but happy transition for her and another 2014 blessing for my family.

All of those wonderful events notwithstanding, the past few days I’ve been struggling with a very difficult situation and resultant emotions; working toward healing has been hard work. I really didn’t want 2014 to end on a down-note but wasn’t sure how to pull it back up.

If it was entirely up to me, I might hang on to my ugly feelings. On the face of it, that sometimes seems easier if not justified. But in the big scheme, it is neither. Yesterday afternoon I took yet another long, brisk walk to wrestle with my inner spirit.  In that hour, Matthew West’s powerful lyrics in Forgiveness (listen in) spoke deep into my heart and sealed my resolve.

Its the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don’t deserve

Its the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have just to say the word


It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It’s always anger’s own worst enemy

Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
Its the whisper in your ear saying Set It Free


Finally, with God’s help, I began to set it free. And then I received the most amazing gift in an email from another continent from a young woman who I haven’t seen in a few years. Her home country is Zimbabwe, her current home is England, and our paths crossed while she attended the local university. I became her host mother and we became friends. Her loving message and fond remembrance was a balm to my wounded spirit and a gift of grace to treasure.

This morning, I was thinking on the past year, with all of its trials and tribulations when the song Auld Lang Syne (i.e. for old time’s sake) came to mind. That phrase, cup of kindness, struck a chord with me. To share a cup of kindness is to extend goodwill and the most generous fare-thee-well sentiments. A cup of kindness is the essence of right living.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne
And surely (you’ll buy your pint)
And surely I’ll (buy) mine
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne

I wish I had opportunity to share such a cup with each and every one who has impacted my life for good this past year. To you who have honored me with good will and generosity of spirit, I offer a virtual cup. Cheers! Happy, happy New Year. May all of God’s best be extended to you and to yours in 2015.

~ René Morley

P.S. The chids collaborated on a family photo shoot. Sweetness.


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