Thursday, February 11, 2010


"I can make a difference...I can make a change"'s nothing new. I've had that thought on my mind for months (and months) and I try to do just that every day.
I was thinking about how I try to make a difference in at least one person's life every day and thought that it was worth sharing with y'all because if I can make a difference then,
"YOU can make a difference.....YOU can make a change" and that equals,
This thought of making a deliberate effort to make a change in at least one person's life every single day came from brainstorming with my dear friend and pastor, Jay, one day at lunch. The idea was originally the brain child of one of our Sunday School classes and the list that we came up with was to be one used while AT church.

But, in thinking about it I decided that there was every reason for me to use this list in my every day life.
Wanna hear some ideas how you can change someone's life?
It's really simple!
It just takes a concious effort on your part to remember to it every day.
Now, that's really hard for old people like me - the remembering part - that's why I put God into every part of my day and ask Him to remind me.
And, while I'm confessing...I also ask Him to put His hand over my mouth and His arm around my shoulders.
Sometimes I move too fast and His just misses my mouth and I say something that is hurtful (I'm always teasing when this happens, but like my mother is so fond of reminding me, "some people don't know when you're teasing..." Oh, yeah. Thanks, mom.) So, even when I'm trying to be a blessing every day I, too, make mistakes and that really hurts my heart - it bleeds when I find out I've hurt someone's feelings because my goal in life is to simply be "the Jesus people see" (Jesus when he's teasing, usually).
And we all have "issues" from our upbringing that makes it hard to do some things.
The behavior we possess that is a direct result of how we were treated as a youngster is hard, very hard, to change, even with therapy (I'm here to tell ya), but, if we keep our eyes on God and ask Him to help us, miracles can happen.
I'm a miracle *but that's another post*.
So, if you find that you're having problems making a difference by implementing these ideas I'm going to share with you, just keep it slow....slow and steady.....and make yourself step outside of the box. You will be the one who is blessed!
Which is exactly what I did when I was visiting with the two nurses that were taking care of my mom after her fall (and before her brain surgery because of that fall). I was so thankful for the loving care they gave to my mother that I couldn't compliment and thank them enough.
But, you know what?
I even try to find a reason to give a sincere compliment to the checker at Wal-Mart who is a wee bit surly.
Okay, she's a lot surly.
It goes along with my daily mantra which is, "Always be kinder than necessary because everyone is fighting some kind of battle."
I make myself realize that "she" may be frantic about how she's going to pay the rent or her husband mistreats her or she has a teenager.

A lot of these pictures that I am using to depict certain attributes of Making a Difference are of my family, not random shots at Wal-Mart or the park, etc. Just bare with me - if I waited until I got all random shots this post would never come to fruition.
It's so easy to make someone smile.
Smile at them while making eye contact.
That is one of the most basic of human instincts - to smile back at someone that smiles at you. So, try it. Just make eye contact and smile. Maybe even throw in a, "Good morning!" or, "Hi!" or, "Howdy!" if you live in Texas:)
We all  have our own special personalities.
I certainly have mine and on most days you don't see Psycho Jan, you see She's Funny Jan.
And that is often my way of greeting someone, in a teasing way, even if I don't know them. (That can bite you in the butt)
At a recent estate sale I was standing next to a girl, okay a woman obviously younger than me, and she had her treasures piled up on the counter and I was leaning over checkin' out just what she had found. I wasn't going to snatch anything.....she turns to me and I say somethin' like, "I'm just lookin'!!" and she has some like and kind retort and guess what...we are now friends. We have emailed each other several times and tomorrow mom and I are meeting up with her (Anne) at an estate sale down the highway.
See?? Just open your mouth and greet someone and who knows what will happen! You might make a connection with someone (and it won't be until later that you'll realize that God orchestrated the whole thing and you'll laugh out loud when it dawns on you!)
But, even if you spend the day greeting people and that's all it is, remember that you might be the only person that speaks *kindly* to "that" person.
One of the things that I firmly believe in is that a day without laughter is a wasted day.
And my boys know're looking at one of the many pictures I had to take Christmas '08 to get a decent picture of the three of them for family and friends. Every time I went to take the picture one of them would do something that would crack them up and lay me on the ground because I would be laughing so hard I couldn't breathe.
I think it's a definate gift from God, the ability to make others laugh.
And I think it's one of the healthiest things you can do for your body.....LAUGH.
If you don't think you have anything in your life to laugh about then watch a funny movie; there are a lot out there! Read the comics in the paper or better yet, read up on Obama's health plan - it's laughable. (Oh, hush, I'm just kidding.)
Think about it. Do you realize that there are people that go through an entire day with no physical human contact? No touch from another person?
A hand on someone's shoulder, a hug, a handshake, a rub on the upper arm?
The elderly make up a huge part of the population that go through an entire day (week, month) with no one touching them.
And children and all of the rest of us - we all need, we all hunger for GOOD touches.
GOOD touching and you could be the person to change someone's day (week, month).
Oh, I hear ya, you can't sing.
You know what? God doesn't hear your voice when you're singing to Him, He hears your heart. And I understand that if you're sitting in the back of the sanctuary or worship hall or around the campfire away from others, that you might be self concious if you don't think you can sing; and when you try to utter those first words all you can hear is your voice *shocking*, it's because you're not sitting with the "family". Move up and squeeze in, then you can just blend your voice with the others all around you and you can forget that you're supposed to be self concious *Satan* and sing your HEART out to God.
End of sermon. Point made.

That's it, my list of Joy Points, though there could be many more.
If you can think of something that is noteworthy, please tell us about it in your comment.
And I hope that this post has been taken in the spirit I intend it to be taken - with sincerity and my love for people.

And included in those "people" are you, my precious readers!
. . .jan


Kathy said...

OK, so I am feeling crappy, can't sleep and decided to drink hot tea for my throat and wait for the headache to fade, after the Advil. Decided to blog surf and I come upon this post. Jan, you really made me think this morning. I see myself as a funny gal and do try to laugh often, ok, very often... but your words are profound and I will try to do the same thing... an amazing post, and thank you!

Julie Ann said...

What a beautiful post from a beautiful lady, inside and out!!! I Love You, Jan!!!! :)

Shannon (Faith and Chocolate) said...

It was quite the surprise this morn, scrolling through the current posts on Facebook on my iPhone and I run across this picture from your page that appears (as tiny as it was on the screen) that looks like me! I click and it IS ME!
You are such a sweet spirit, Jan. :) And you are so right! ALL of us CAN make a difference in someone's life. All we have to do it take the time & do it!
I didnt realize that picture of Lisa and I even exsisted! I love it! (I hope I can "steal" it from ya) Love all you pictures for
this post, girl- good job. And GREAT job on the post. I hope millions read it, and DO it!

Bettyann said...

Jan, you have the biggest heart I know...Yes,you are right about giving out kindness and smiles..I am trying to be more pleasant and kind...your post gives me much to think about..we can change, no matter our age, if we want/need it bad keep on going and flowing the love and goodness..take care...

Lynn Richards said...

Jan, you have given me more smiles than anyone knows and I thank you for each and every one of them. I will turn around and do the same for others.
much love, lynn

Meri Wiley said...

Hi Jan,

I haven't stopped by in a while (I'm sorry) but just look at the post I decide to visit.....whoooweee, it's a grand on girl. You hit almost every nail on the head, and then some. God Bless you and keep you.


Anne at Fiona and Twig said...

What a wonderful post!
And I can say firsthand that you do indeed make a difference, and you have indeed brought joy to my life.

I look forward to many more days just like today!


My Grama's Soul said...

Jan.......I just found you this morning. Boy, oh boy, did I need this post. I've been feeling a little down in blog land because I don't seem to be connecting with any older ladies out there, and the few I thought I had
connected with are just a little overwhelmed now with the pressure they put on themselves to blog. And then......I found your blog. Thank you for this wonderful post. I will be back often to visit.



Terri said...

Thank you Jan for sharing such a conscious thought about making a difference.
I agree with you "slow and steady" wins the race....
Over the past 50 years I have realized that I treat others best when I am at peace with myself. So I have had to do my own soul searching and learning to love who I am.
Thank you for such a great reminder that we can all make a difference every day in someones life. You are so right.
Thank you for being you.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Debra@Common Ground said...

Hey Jan, you are such a wonderful Gal. How could anyone be around you and not just feel happy!? It was so so great getting to chat with you today! I wish I could have just been zapped down there with you all. Have a wonderful Valentine weekend!
hugs and love,

Tracy Suzanne said...

Hi Jan. I just found out about your wonderful blog while I was visiting over at Anne's, don't you just love her friendly smile! I see we have a few of the best friends in common. Don't you just love Jan and Debra?

I really liked your post! You're totally right everyone has bad days some just don't show it as much as others. Some get really crabby. You just never know what two minutes of kindness might mean to them. I can tell now, that you're never short of friends.

I'm looking forward to visiting you again and following along. I hope we'll also become frinds. And I just love your new baby. Yorkies are so adorable.

Happy Valentine's Day.

phlezk said...


Bev said...

Oh my, I embroider and I do believe I will embroider your quote: "Please keep Your arm around my shoulder and Your hand over my mouth."

I have a lot of trouble with my mouth. And wouldn't you know it? I ended up with having to present James 3 (all about the mouth) to my team this week. I'm going to put a roll of duct tape on the table and start by taping my own mouth.

Great post. Happy I found you through Fiona and Twig!


Jan, this is a lovely, lovely post. Thanks for sharing. It is quite inspiring. I know that you will be so very blessed. I hope this idea spreads like wildfire!

God bless,

Jamie said...

Jan what an incredible post!!!! I loved every word and and each one rings so true. Thank you for reminding us, for challenging us to make a difference in how we meet the day. Can't wait to hug ya! Love, Jamie


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