Love hearts “labors”…of love

by Craig on January 20, 2012

source

What if Mother Teresa working tirelessly in the streets of Calcutta was no big deal?

I mean it was a very big deal, but what if it wasn’t to her?

What if it was a “labor” of love and it made her happy?

And did you know that this is what Mother Teresa looked like…

source

me neither!

Anyway…what if all she did, as exhausting as it was, brought her some “happy”?

I never much thought about that…but then I had a little bloggy giveaway.

And then there were a gazillion winners – because everybody won.

I emailed every one of the gazillion winners to get mailing addresses – and I smiled.
I read all the nice email responses – not so hard, but time consuming – and I smiled.

With a gazillion mailings to do…
my mailing department felt overloaded…
so the mailing department procrastinated.

I’m the mailing department…

…sorry.

But on Tuesday, which began really horribly, I ran to the store to get envelopes and stamps – and I smiled.

Then,  pen in hand, started handwriting the gazillion addresses on the envelopes. Some addressees were more work than others…

and yes, I smiled…

and my hand cramped a little.

Then I put my return address on each one…
and I don’t have those little sticky labels.

Funny…my address seems longer now than it used to. ツ

Then came an easy part…
stamps on each envelope…
not all crooked and crazy…

but. just. so.

Then there was this…

grab envelope…
rotate…
open flippy part…
grab the little love devotional…
insert it in said envelope…
throw on pile…

oh, and yes…

smile.

Then came pulling these things off of the envelopes…


I don’t think I smiled while I was doing it. But I did when I saw this…

Then it was off to the post office…
it’s one I’d never been to before…

and………

I got lost.

That didn’t make me smile.

Then I was fourth in line, behind the four slowest postal customers in the history of postage…
And I looked up to You Know Who
it was kinda funny…

so I smiled at Him.

At the counter I found that I needed to buy more stamps…
but not for you international friends…
Canada, Australia, New Zealand (you know who you are)…
you got special postage – and a smile.

I gave the pile to the postal clerk, and she smiled…
which made me – well – you know.

I had some bread in the backseat of the car. I threw it on the ground.

The birds at the post office seemed to like it but they didn’t smile…they just ate.

And I missed my exit on the way home, in rush hour…
oh, and a police detour too – I didn’t miss that. Gah!.

But neither seemed so bad.

So for everyone who has their little love devo…
and the ones who will be getting them today or tomorrow…
or probably next week “down under” … and up north…

know this…

I haven’t had much “happy” in life lately…

but all the writing, and stuffing, and mailing, and wrong turns, and detours, and birds, they brought me some “happy”!

It wasn’t saving destitute people in Calcutta…
but it was a “labor

of love

and in the giveaway…

in the middle of a very heavy and dark week…

I…

got…

the gift.

Thank you.

I’m smiling.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Cora January 20, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I personally think those birds ARE smiling. They look VERY thankful to me.

What is it, anyways, about doing stuff for others that is just so satisfying and makes us smile??!!! It’s almost . . . selfish. Kind of like the two steps forward, 3 steps back thing. We do something sacrificially, we like what we do and feel so good about it, we smile, and somehow, the “sacrifice” thing seems to be not much of a big deal and WE are the ones who come away with the blessing. One piece of advice that was given to me was, when you feel down and depressed, get up and go do something for someone else. That can be the hardest thing to do, but it IS the best medicine for the “poor little old me” syndrome. There is always someone who has needs greater than me, that’s for sure. And I’m glad you are smiling, at least for the moment! And I wanna know how I can get one of these things!

Reply

Craig January 21, 2012 at 8:29 am

you know, I’ve often thought about how there’s always someone with more – that it’s a peculiar trick of the Evil One to get us involved in his game where the winner is the one who has the most and there is no second place.and only one person can ever have the most – and then not for very long. But what you say is true as well – as always someone in more need than me – no matter how much need I’m in. Good point Cora! And just e-mail me your mailing addy and I’ll get a copy up to you – it’s just a little tiny love devotional that’s all. And how are things going with that friend spiritually – I never got back to you on that – e-mail me about that too. God bless you Cora.

Reply

Dawn January 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Craig, Craig, Craig,

I am smiling from ear to ear because that is MY envelope there…right there in your blog. I am so happy. I was just looking at the calendar and thinking about when I should get my Cradle to Cross extension out for the Lenten season. The Love devotional is to be a part of it all (kinda the preamble) so I am SO happy it is coming. When it comes I will try to remember to take a picture of us getting it so you can see the fruition of your labor of love.

I showed my husband the picture of our envelope on your blog. HE smiled, but he said, “Muttlies? Two of them are purebreds.” Just reporting! In all seriousness, Craig, you are such a blessing. We will proudly display your booklet on our table and read a devotional every day during February at morning devotions. Some of your wisdom may even end up sparking a blog over at my site. I’ll let you know when to check.

I understand how laboring for others can help you heal. I have been working a free medical clinic since losing my job. It’s kept me sane-that, and my cyber-support, muttlies, husband, church and friends who call and write without fail.

Thank you, Dear Friend,
Dawn

Reply

Craig January 21, 2012 at 8:36 am

first of all, let your hubs know that the nickname was invented by a cat – that should make him feel better. I hope you enjoy the devotional. My writing has grown up little since then – and it had editors who changed things a little– I was not all me – they took out some of my favorite parts. Anyway, the muttlies never get enough attention online – so I figured I’d throw them a bone ツ. and I’ve been praying for your job search – Godspeed with that my friend.

Reply

Katie January 20, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I am smiling and looking foward to it! There is something about giving to others as a labor of love that blesses the person doing it so much even with all the little trials like detours.

Reply

Katie January 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm

And it came tonight, when my husband went to check the mail!!! Living just across from the state from you it got here really fast. :)

Reply

Craig January 21, 2012 at 8:39 am

Yay! I noticed when I wrote your envelope how close you live – it made me smile – Missouri friends!! And something makes me think Mother Teresa smiled a lot! And I really had no idea what she looked like when she was young – look at her! Anyway, God bless you Katie.

Reply

Caddo Veil January 20, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Hey, Craig–just stopped by to say I nominated you for the “Genuine Blogger Award”. Not sure if you “do” these–no obligation, just be blessed. You can read my post for further entertainment….God bless you (hope you’re feeling better)

Reply

Craig January 21, 2012 at 8:41 am

thank you Caddo, I’m not a big award person – you know – the humility thing and all – but I appreciate that – thank you. I’ll take the “just be blessed” option ツ thank you for the well wishes too – God bless you my friend.

Reply

Stacy January 20, 2012 at 10:38 pm

This made me smile. :)

Reply

Craig January 21, 2012 at 8:41 am

and THAT ……………………………… made me smile ツ God bless you Stacy!

Reply

Debbie January 21, 2012 at 3:11 am

Loved this labor of love. Praying you get to do it a lot more, with more smiling and blessing. :)
God bless you and all that He has planned for you.

Reply

Craig January 21, 2012 at 8:43 am

Debbie – I’ll take the smiles part – not so much the cramping of the hands. It felt like when I had to write all of those repeat sentences as a kid – you know – “I will not…” over and over. Yeah. That.

God bless you Debbie

Reply

Lisa Maria January 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Just catching up on all my mail since I was having problems with my computer the last couple of days….Mother Teresa…she epitomizes the whole do everything for love thing. I’m so glad that you got some happy out of being unselfish and generous.

I’m happiest myself when I’m doing for others (when I remember to keep Him close enough so that its less of me and more of Him, that is) Its hard, just like it was hard for you to go out there and all the troubles that you encountered, but that’s why I like St Therese of Lisieux so much…every little thing for love of Jesus. That was Mother Teresa’s motto too. Trust me, that whole ‘give and it will come back to you’ is TRUE! God was smiling on you that day Craig…that’s for sure and the blessings will flow!

Reply

Craig January 23, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I too heart St. Theresa of Lixieux – I read of her once because I was looking for stuff on mother Theresa – with almost the same name – I picked up her stuff instead. Little things for Jesus – amen! I didn’t know that was Mother Teresa’s motto as well – figures though. and I do believe you’re right – the “give and it will come back” thing is true – though not maybe in THIS life. Here’s hoping though! thank you Lisa Maria – and God bless you.

Reply

Victoria January 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm

J O Y
Jesus first Others second Yourself third

lots of smiles going around. it’s contagious. :)
see??

Reply

Craig January 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Victoria, that’s the way I pray, the way I’m trying to live more and more each day – I did enjoy the smiles in this little season of dark. God bless you Victoria!

Reply

Nacole January 22, 2012 at 1:36 pm

i loved this post…so good of you to let us know how much you got from it! im glad we could bless you that way…so happy that it uplifted you during a hard time–i just knew it would. and you need to know…i got mine…and guess what…standing at the mailbox in my pajamas and seeing your name in the return address…..i smiled. and when i ripped it open and pulled out the little devo, imagining you stuffing it in, stuffing all of them in and mailing them off,….i smiled again. joy IS contagious.

bless you and prayers–i mean it (oh, and i just love, idolize if im allowed to say that, Mother Teresa),

Nacole

Reply

Craig January 23, 2012 at 1:30 pm

of course, first of all – sorry for this late response too Nacole. the thing this post is centered on is that moment in the post office where I had that little inside joke with God – that little smile – and then the inspiration to feed the birds – all the rest are just details to add to that story – and of course the “smiles” theme. I’m glad you got your little love devotional – remember – my writing has come along way since then – it’s come a long way in just this one year. And I think it’s okay to idolize Mother Teresa – I think (ツ) God bless you Nacole!

Reply

Layla Payton January 22, 2012 at 6:57 pm

This made me all teary-eyed. What a sweet thing you have done for your friends (Yay, me for being among those friends!). And, “Yay, you!” You just wrote an entire post on my favorite verb: LOVE!

Thank you, Craig. Not just for the FANTASTIC booklet, but for your insight, transparency, wise words, hard lessons, funny stories, and most of all…

Your friendship. :)

Reply

Craig January 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I’ve never been one for lots of friends – I think though, I’m adding to them day by day. I consider you one (ツ) God bless you Layla – and I’m sorry this reply is so late.

Reply

Michelle January 23, 2012 at 1:01 am

As a ‘Down-Under-er’, I can’t wait. But guess I have to. :)

And as an aside, I thought I would update you on something. I wrote (waffled on) about my church and bible study group experiences……and am now no longer a part of that group. My choice. Or rather, God’s decision. After spending an hour listening to a friend I felt that God was telling me to spend my Wed arvos with her instead of going somewhere I felt wasn’t quite right for me. So, with the blessing of my pastoral care pastor I am no longer in the Bible study group, but one-on-one with someone who needs someone to walk alongside her at this time in her fragility. I will take any prayers you choose to offer on my behalf – that I continue to trust the Lord with her and our relationship and I don’t try to fix things, just love and gently guide if needed. Many thanks in advance.

Reply

Craig January 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Yup, you’re one of the special ones Michelle – one of a handful (ツ) first – sorry this is so late – second, I heart that you sought your pastor’s advice first – it seems like a wise choice. Third – I have already prayed (ツ) God bless you Michelle!

Reply

A. January 25, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Craig, this was a heartwarming post! Thank you!!!!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: