I’m putting the Open for Business sign back in the window. Two weeks ago, I left Internet Land in hopes of clearing out some of the negativity that was threatening to suffocate me. You know that boa constrictor song from music class? I’m being swallowed by a boa constrictor… oh no, he swallowed my toe… oh gee, he’s up to my knee… oh fiddle, he’s reached my middle…oh heck, he’s up to my neck…

That was me. The urge to be kind was being squeezed right out of me. I was in need of an attitude adjustment and watching the news about terrorist attacks in Paris and seeing people fight on Facebook over whether or not to post the French flag was throwing me over the edge of a very steep cliff.

Apparently God knew that I would hit the wall in mid-November of 2015, because the Divine Scheduler had planned a beach vacation to St. Thomas for the kids and me. Actually, Saul got to go, too. And so did his whole basketball team. That’s right, just my husband, the kids, an airplane full of 6’10” guys ducking to get in the door, a slew of Bobcat fans dressed in green and white and me. All heading to the beach. IMG_4429

For me, the time away was less about a basketball tournament and more about actively searching out the good in the world. When I looked for kindness I found it… In the restaurant manager who totally decked out my five year old when he told her he loves pirates… IMG_4514 in the aviary expert who taught Jordan how to hold the Lorikeets… IMG_4489 2 in my husband, who held practice on the beach, because he knew it would be a long time before many of his players ever got to see the ocean again… IMG_4524

My kindness revelation didn’t come, though, until after we got home. I still hadn’t figured out how my energy got so depleted in the first place. And then it hit me. I had changed jobs. I have been put on this earth to be an encourager. I know that. But I had somehow crawled up into the judge’s chair. I wielded a gavel that is much too heavy for my heart. Instead of looking at social media for info on how I can fill a need or come alongside someone in celebration, I was passing judgement. Like. Don’t Like. Worthy of a comment. Not worthy of a comment. Cute kittens. Not cute kittens. Okay… I just threw that last one in there for fun. Everyone knows there’s no such thing as not cute kittens.

My point is this, if you are feeling drained, down, depleted, depressed, or in need of a drink, maybe you need to adjust your goggles. We don’t need to carry the heavy gavel of judgment. God’s got that. Take a break for a day or two. Shut off the computer. Go to the Virgin Islands if you need to. And then use your fresh perspective to fill someone else’s cup. I promise, you’ll be filling your own at the same time.