Sunday, May 5

Showing Kindness During Unkind Circumstances.

Showing Kindness During Unkind Circumstances by BeckyCharms 2013
Cupcakes :: packaging generously donated by Clearbags.com!

I guess it's time for a recap of the past two weeks of my life.  Hold.  Let me perform some due diligence and get my own facts straight before I share and expose everything worldwide.

Two weeks ago:  I himmed and hawed about joining a bake sale for a great cause; America's hungry children.  I prayed about it, discussed it with my family, thought about it for a while, received some encouragement.  It made me nervous because I had neither participated in a bake sale before, nor participated in a local event.  People would learn my name.  My reputation was on the line.  Plus, I had to be on time, yikes!  {I tend to arrive after the ice-breakers.}

Final Decision:  I was ready to sign up and go for the gold...or at least the bronze.  I made a menu of what I would bake, giving myself leeway in case it had to be changed.  The organizer of our event also let us know that the menu was tentative, so that relieved a bunch of pressure.  But, there were only two weeks, and I had to get supplies, packaging, and make labels.

Once I signed up, the bake sale was only two weeks away.  I had never met the majority of participants, nor had I ever met the leader.  All correspondence was being made via social media.

Shocking Moments:  There is much to be said about having face-to-face conversations and interactions with people.  My tone fluctuates, and I make faces.  Those actions give life to what I'm saying.  Let it be known that while online chat is quick and easy, there is something lost in transcription.  My words, while I'm still alive, should not be left up to you to decide how they were meant to be interpreted.  But that's exactly what happened.  Another point to be made is if you don't know me and I don't know you, I do not know what is going on in your life unless you tell me, and vice versa.

When I was trying to cheer up the leader, she was having some life-altering moments with family members.  A member of her family was suffering, and a day or two later passed away.  Did I know that was happening?  No.  Did she snap at me for minimizing the situation?  Yes.  Did I know I was minimizing the situation when I didn't even know what the situation was?  No.

This made me question whether or not I should have even offered kind words {what I thought were "well-wishes"} in a situation I knew nothing about.  I think some people would say to keep my mouth shut if I didn't have all the facts.  I thought so too for a moment.  But then I wondered, if a person is publicly posting things on a social media platform, then those little blurps and snippets are automatically subject to replies and remarks.  By posting, you are subjecting yourself to any and all types of wanted/unwanted comments.  Besides, what would Jesus do? {#WWJD}

Knowing this, I wanted to cheer her up, and by trying to do so, I upset her.  A lot.  Like, a ton.  Which was shocking, and upsetting to me that I had upset her in such a way that she lashed out at me.  By way of her public posts, I found out that she was going through a very difficult time in life, and was grieving.  I prayed that I would be sympathetic to her situation.  I understood part of where she was coming from.  Her furry loved one was gone, and she was heartbroken.  OK.  I got that.  I understood that.  I forgave her for that.  I've experienced the loss of many pets/furry friends.  I was still bothered, but there was no way I was going to send an email back trying to explain my point, my purpose, my thoughts.  I replied via public forum with an apology and deleted the post-in-question {the misinterpreted one}, with which I received another email from the leader telling me more things that I did wrong and how wrong I was to be so wrong in such a wrong moment with the wrong words at the wrong time.  Umm, OK.

I said nothing.

I waited until she made the first move, until it was the right time for her to continue leading, and keep our interactions professional.  This bake sale was personal, yet on a professional level.

She started posting things online, so I thought it was okay to resume dialogue.  Wow, if she thought I was wrong before, I felt I was wrong now.

History: She mentioned that if anyone were interested in leading this sale for next year to let her know.  Then a girl I know and her friend said they thought I should lead the sale next year.  I thought they were serious, but maybe they were being sarcastic. 

I posted asking whether or not anyone had signed up to lead next year's sale.

She replied with a laundry list of.. you guessed it, things I did wrong.  But let me be a bit more specific.

She began her email with a subject line: "Look".  Hostile much?  Wow.  I was seriously considering bailing out of this sale, and not dealing with individuals that lead in such a manner.. or rather, without manners.  This sale was optional for me.  No one was forcing me to participate.  It was my first year.  These reactions were unsolicited and undeserving, yet all I kept receiving were negative comments.

At a time when encouragement should have been given, all I was receiving were reasons why I shouldn't continue, why I shouldn't even try.

She said that it was hurtful for me to even ask about who was leading next year's sale before this sale had even happened.  She took that question personal, and I was simply asking a fact, with no hidden meaning behind it.  She also included that she wasn't the only one who felt this way.  OK.  I was almost laughing here, because I couldn't believe she wrote that.  

At this point my mom, friends, and especially my husband were telling me to get out.  Don't do the sale.  "You don't need that".  I prayed some more.  I was searching, but not for an answer.  I had made my decision.  I was praying for strength, and the ability to brush that ___ off.  I was reminding myself why I wanted to participate.  It was for a great cause, Share Our Strength | No Kid Hungry.  How appropriate.  Share Our Strength was helping me gain strength to persevere and persist in my fight for their fight [against hunger].

I had to fight to stay in.

I seriously wanted to end this unnecessary drama that was happening.  I was reminded of why it's difficult to keep ladies as friends.  I hadn't experienced this kind of stuff since High School.  Yeah, I said it.  High School.  {sigh}

Welcome back to girls crying in the bathroom over this guy and that class, whining about why he doesn't like you or how come your mom won't let you go to the dance.

It was awkward, but I kept it professional by keeping my thoughts and words to myself.  {That like NEVER happens}

She was telling me how much work and effort she puts into this event, and so forth, and was mad at me for publicly criticizing her and her ideas.  What?  I mean, whaaaaaat?  I was asking who was leading next year's bake sale because I had some ideas that I wanted to share and collaborate with next year's organizer.  I was stepping out to help out, and was getting shot down and dismissed.  I was informed that I had no need to worry, that next year's sale was in good hands.  Then I was asked for my ideas, but hesitated because I knew that at just 2 or 3 days until the actual sale, it was too late to consider and implement my ideas, if they were even to be favored.  I was right.  I was met with opposition.    

I have been shaking my head for two weeks.. out of confusion.  At home, this is where I would normally open my mouth and not shut it until my head hit the pillow and my mind shut off my speech.  Not even the sun going down would stop me from making my point.  I had heard her point, but wasn't even going to explain my point.  That part didn't matter much.  I knew that no matter what I said, or wrote, or how I said it, or how many times I said it, she would not understand.  She would not accept my point of view.  

Yesterday:  I showed up to that bake sale, as promised, with my baked goods packaged and labeled appropriately {per leader's standards}.  I was up until 5am that morning boxing up the cupcakes and wrapping them with baker's twine and paper labels, and arrived on-site at 9am.  I set up my section, and stayed for the entire sale.  I brought my daughter's chalkboard easel that I promised I would bring.  I advertised the sale across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and my own personal webpage {this one} to get the word out.  I promoted, sold, charmed, and cheered on as many people as I could.  It's one of my proudest moments and accomplishments in my recent years.. possibly ever.

After all, this is the year of faith and fruition.  Thank you, God.  

I didn't just participate in a bake sale.  It was so much more.  I learned how to overcome criticism {with prayer, prayer, and more prayer!!!}, persist, and persevere!  I was going to do my best, and that was going to be good enough.  I wasn't seeking social acceptance.  I was not looking to be welcomed into the clique.  I was looking to bake and sell for the hungry children in America, and have the best time I could with the nice people I would meet.  Thank you to the leader for organizing the event, my fellow blogger bakers for participating, and the super nice folks that I had a chance to meet and learn a little bit about.  I had a nice time with you.   

What I never told her was that while she was writing me, giving me a hard time about sending her "well-wishes", I was waiting for my dad to get out of surgery from having cancer removed from his body.  Your dog was sick, and my dad has cancer.  I just never used it as an excuse. 

Like, Follow, and Share the charm..

Faith & Fruition,
BeckyCharms

2 comments:

  1. There are times in life when some people only use the terms I, Me and My..Sadly..they are so self absorbed for what ever weak reason. Just for the record I wouldn't call this person a "leader" by any stretch of the imagination. She was more than likely intimidated by your presence so rather than build you up as she would if she were a leader she chose the opposite. It is too bad for her. I am sure at some point she probably recognized her really poor behavior but would never admit it. You handled yourself appropriately with dignity and pride..that is what Jesus would do =) I hope that your daddy is doing okay.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Rennae. My dad is doing well, and my family is holding strong. Many blessings to you. -Faith & Fruition, Becky

    ReplyDelete

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