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March 24, 2021 2:00 am
When a bad mood starts creeps into your mind, consider doing an act of kindness. Join hosts Dave and Ann Wilson on FamilyLife Today as they talk with author, Nicole Phillips, about the secret to chasing the clouds away!
Nicole Phillips remembers having a conversation with a friend and Nicole was venting about her husband. I was letting my husband. He wasn't there, but I was saying to her, can't believe it. He came in expected me to have the kids all bathed and I just went on. I don't know all these things and then he travels for work on the timing. He never even acknowledges that I put a note in his suitcase every week and Andrea since there she lets me go and then she says, and he cheats on you.
Yeah he gambles all of your money away and when he has any free time at all. He always likes to spend it with his buddies and then all of a sudden the light went on and I said I get it.
This is family life to her hosts are David and Wilson prime Bob pain confined or some other family life to the.com it's a choice for us the things we decide to allow our minds and hearts to focus on to dwell on goal. Phillips says we should choose kindness talk more about that than welcome to family life to. Thanks for joining us at something happened to me when I was a junior in high school that really marked me to remember that long. My days so now tell you the truth I was standing by my locker and I was talking to Becky boss and Becky was a senior and I was a junior.
So the fact I was talking to a senior girl was renewal rights of work were just chatting about stuff and somebody there was a group like three girls who walked down the hall and saw Becky and said something about her not to her butt about her loud enough so that she could hear it.
I don't remember what it was but it was something obnoxious something mean yeah girls never do that in high school I heard it and I look first of all to see. Who are those girls and what are they saying and then the next thought was how's Becky got a response she had to have heard this I looked at her and I'm thinking is this gonna be like roller derby to break out a good fight between girls in high school hall is something we all look forward to maybe get into a and I looked at Becky and there was at first there was this look on her face that was kind of like shock she just gotten slapped verbally and then she took a breath she looked at me and she said you know she's probably having a really bad day and I thought you're not four-wheel right how iterations that would be your response to this act of unkindness and I've never forgotten that because she modeled kindness in the face of adversity or talk about kindness this week and it's such a powerful quality in relationships in our own lives. When we become intentionally focused on being kind people God does a transforming work in the midst of that and what they were talking about that with our friend Nicole Phillips was joining us. Welcome back.
I love all of you.
I'm just really tempted to say something mean about you right now. Nicole just kind of together is all right and part of it is because you have the experience of going from inner meaning which he talks about term meaning, which is that chapter title the intermediate it was going to be the title of the whole listener got a hold of how you deal with your inner meaning.
Yes, I think that we both used to be inner meanies and we've learned like and it doesn't get you anywhere. So you had this experience now for 10 years of looking for and proactively seeking to be kind, not just your husband into your kids but to strangers absolutely, and I'd love to say that it's because I want to spread light to everyone in the world, but there are days when I have to do an act of kindness to get out of my life out of my own mind because I have struggled with depression in the past and you know I can feel when that dark cloud wants to come rolling in now and I know instantly that I have to be proactive about rerouting that doing an act of kindness are being kind to somebody get you out of the darkness yes and it's based on God's great works but it's also based on physiological principles. So for instance, there was one day when I woke up and I was feeling terrible and just really crabby and and upset about a few things and I went to the gas station and I bought a 2 L of Mountain Dew bagel bottle Mountain Dew that or do it yet and I didn't get my ticket to my neighbor who lived down the hill.
She lived in a very shabby chic only. There was no chic about this little cabin and and she's a grandmother and she's raising four kids, all of the grandkids parents are in prison and so the only thing I really knew about this woman was that she would stand on her front porch and drink a 2 L Mountain Dew so I stopped at a gas station, bought the 2 L Mountain Dew parked in front of this woman's house, walked up, knocked on her door. When she answered the door. I was like hi I'm Nicole Mountain Dew shoved it at her and she looked at me and she was like I said, I just might have this and I was still grumpy at that moment, but I turned around and I got back in my car and as I was driving home I couldn't help but get myself like that was kind of fun. I wonder what she's thinking right now, and in that moment, like the rest of the day.
I was just thinking about me being so obnoxious with his Mountain Dew, but a joy to you about about heard the driver.
Yes, she and I became very good friends after that really yes you are Mountain Dew supplier where her grandkids became friends with my kids and then I actually had the privilege of taking one of her grandsons to the women's prison an hour and 1/2 away where his mom was incarcerated and it was a really big deal because when I was a young child. My mom found love the prison inmate and I spent every other weekend at the prison with my mom's husband because she ended up marrying them. So being able to go back into the prison as an adult and being able to get over any shame or fear or judgment I might have had about that time in my life and instead know that I was allowing this mother this great privilege of being able to see her son. Only God can do that is crazy that it started with a 2 L Mountain Dew and it started with SAR kindness. I know that I meet on the telly and with the tell.
But as we write in our parenting book. She would write a chapter I write and sometimes read chapter didn't know what she wrote and she thought about how to communicate with teenagers.
Your faith and talk about the time sitting at the table time at the woman you picked up the drunk woman in Detroit because she does this all the time you picked up who where before, okay friend so you know you have teenagers with teenagers sometimes you're talking about Jesus.
They can be like whatever mom you know here you go again. Yeah. And I realize instead of just sharing God's word and I just need to share the overflow of my life. This is what God's teaching me this is what happened today and so I'm like okay guys I have to tell you what happened today and at this point there kinda used to like okay she's got the craziest stories and so they perk up their ears a little bit off sons and I said so today I was in another city and I was driving and I noticed out of the corner of my eye.
There is a lady that fell down on the sidewalk.
She was probably in her 50s and I went by just thinking half poor lady and I realize like I had gotten edge of the Holy Spirit like go back and get her help her, and I'm thinking this is a new city. I don't know if it's safe, you know, I can see is the safe for me to pick her up and so I went back I turned back around and you know that not like is this God is this me if this guy does this mean that well.
I just cannot do it so I go and I realize she is so drunk and it's probably 1 o'clock in the afternoon and so I pull into a driveway that she's can it be coming up Taylor and I get out of my car and this is so bad like all the things I like to keep my car clean and I'm thinking she comes up in my car and I feel like I'm talking to Jesus.
It's like she says what you think I can earn I would get her and so I say hey how are you doing today because I'm having a great day and I said I'm wondering it seems like it's kinda hot today. Would you like a ride home and she's like yeah and so I help her. She's staggering. She's has this huge bag with her and I put her in the car and I start driving I said I'm where QAD live and she said and thinking now and I said I want you earnings Mary Mike Mary felt like Jesus loves you so much and I felt like he pointed you out to me like she pick her up and tell her how much I love her and I told her that just I just love Jesus and so we start talking a little more and she finds her way home she gets to her apartment building and she has to sit down on the sidewalk because she can't find her keys. She starts taking things out of her purse and down. She finally finds her keys and I hunker real tight and I hold her and I just said don't forget how much Jesus loves you.
Don't forget how much he sees you sees you every day and whatever you're going through. He wants to carry with you and she hugs me back that is exactly what you're talking about a call I feel the sense of like felt so good, so good to do that. So I'm telling our boys at the table and there I just like taking you out beat you up about it. I thought I looked at her like she was drunk enough that I thought I would take her the kind of stories it started becoming just a normal conversation yes because as God's children were God's hands and his feet were his mouth and so why when we do something that Jesus said you writing your book why we don't. I love that in your book you say, why wouldn't we do kind things for people.
And you say fear fear. But I will say that not every commission is mine.
You know God doesn't always place on my heart to give money somebody sang corner not always see somebody you know who might need a ride or hitchhiker that God doesn't always lay on my heart to do that. But when he does, and when we follow we find out that yes it was indeed the Holy Spirit wasn't talking to herself. Her and talking to her like that all the time either. I don't just pick up Brandon from for us and we will buy you about whomever the same said Lou Baxter.
We were at a staff training with crew in the early 80s. So were just newly married Anders on 05 6000 of staff with the crew ministry for every two years, national staff training, long story short, great speakers, every sessions on believable and that I'll never forget I'm sitting the balcony of Moby Jim at Fort Collins Colorado in the back and they start introducing the guys can speak next and they said the cities like 90 years old. I think her late 80s Jason low Baxter is written book: explore the book about commenter in the Bible in my Comcast guy go East 90 tipping the guy approves 90 etc. like we do. If we stay for the 25th the time they were young and I'm just judge in right away you and this guy walks on stage and he is ball of energy and he a memory goes over and jumps on the piano and search Jim and like Jerry Lee Lewis something I'm like a musician. I'm in a band, Mike he's got me is awesome that he gets up and I can't tell you what he talked about but I remember one thing he said and I've never forgotten that this is 40 some years ago. He said Lily doing when you're stuck in your spiritual life you know you're just lukewarm and nothing's happened in your disorders dry he was, you know you need to do it up sooner they can get in the Bible, goaded sure you know I'm just that he's going to go where we all going to goes, here's what you need to get your coat on, walk out that door and walked down the street and find somebody needs help, and help up something for somebody else and Cheryl of the Jesus was some guy you don't even know and I'm telling you there's to be a fire come back your spiritual walk unit even see coming, really, we both sat there all that he's right. He is so right. You think I can pray more and of course all those things are great spiritual disciplines are awesome but when you it's what you said in your book when you just take the love of Jesus is in you say give it away at this my youngest son's senior year instead of saying you're going on a senior trip, with all your friends were going to go on some go so grab your best buddy.
We end up in Florida on a little vacation. That's a big deal when you're from Michigan right I can't tell you one thing about the trip except this moment were driving around in a rental car and were late to something grumpy and there in the back. Cody and Matt and there'd just be an ornery, I'm negative. I'm not have a good time and were on vacation my son senior my last son is like I should be bacon is good.
I'm just a bad mood. Somehow I get lost in there I am when I'm a car and people are driving slow and I'm lost. I'm not a happy camper meanie turned into this little cul-de-sac and got a turnaround. It is been there a million dives when she sees me with in the car so I turned in the schools second were just about to turn around and go to go the other way in. We see this car stock, not a Michigan snow in Florida saying oh I am not kidding. I didn't know that was a thing they can't get this car out of the sand.
The wheels are spinning and we look over there were like hey we should stop and help them I'll never get this older woman was just she couldn't get out. She was almost in tears. Like she couldn't. It was like a real deal. You can't get up and so we got behind there and we push and we push and we push and finally a thing came out, and when we got back in the car. My whole negative attitude was gone. It was like bam we help somebody we did a good deed. I don't remember a single thing of that trip. But that moment saying that was the right thing to do and I feel better.
Yes, that's what you've said this whole book really does do that and you get some helps like okay here's where we can go. You say how do we say no to the negatives and you have six things that I think are super helpful. One is make his decision to stop saying negative words Morris up with the first 100 steps in words because I want to stop him, but I make a decision is yes back in first Peter three sure word says keep your tongue from evil. If you have to grab your tongue grab it, grab if if you, the words coming out and you go I should throw the thug notes stop and were discipling our kids by our words, if were always negative were just breeding that in our homes number to get an accountability partner. Sometimes we can't hear ourselves a point someone to point out now that's tricky. That is tricky. You have to find somebody who is very gentle with you. I'm also very truthful with you. If you have that I didn't have that and it's my very best friend Andrea who lives in Fargo North Dakota and I will remember always the day that I was sitting on her couch and I was just letting my husband how that he wasn't there, but I was saying to her. I can't believe it. He came home and expected me to have the kids all bathed and I just went on. I don't know all these things and and he travels for work all the time and he's never home and I even do his laundry for him and I put notes in his suitcase every week and he never even acknowledges that I put a note in his suitcase every week and Andrea since there she lets me go and then she says, and he cheats on you because yeah but he gambles all of your money away and she does yeah and when he has any free time at all. He always likes to spend it with his buddies and I just looked at her and then all of a sudden the light went on and I said I get it. She said neck, your husband is a good man and I were yes and I needed her to say that to me because in that moment I knew my words mattered.
Even if my husband was nowhere to hear them. I was hearing them and again that changes my focus on things. So yes, that's a good friend that is good. We all need that Franken number three snap that rubber band yet, so if you want to wear a rubber band around your wrist and these are things I would say do all of them simultaneously. You see drastic change in the way that you look at the world you know within a month, but you are a rubber band and when you can feel yourself thinking and negative thought before words even come out your mouth when you feel that negative thought pulled that rubber band and let go and it'll pick which right and so that is a physical reminder to your mind that were not to do that anymore. When you move away from that behavior. I read a book and did a Bible study with alliance wives called what it's like to be married to me is a great look that was an exercise in her book to wear rubber band when you start thinking negative about your husband.
You snap these women came to the Bible say next week and there for use a predetermined exit plan when someone starts complaining about someone so yes for everyone who is listening to this you have decided right you made that decision.
I'm not going to say negative words.
I'm not even going to entertain negative thoughts in my head. Will the problem is no one else around you knows that this is how you have decided to change so let's say you're a teacher you going to the teachers lounge and all the gossip starts up.
That always starts up, you need to know what you're going to do in that moment when that happens. To maintain the integrity of the decision is made, so that might mean saying to somebody who asks your opinion or wants to gossip like you know what I have decided I'm in a work on having my positive mindset so I'm trying to keep my opinions to myself today. Yes, you can be honest. That way if you feel like this isn't an area in which you want to be so blatantly honest get up if you're sitting in a restaurant. If you're sitting in it.
Teachers lounge or you know what the nurses station get up go to the bathroom take a moment to regroup or go find some napkins or you know whatever you need to do to be able to step away from that conversation allow it to line down and then rejoin you know where this is done just happened teachers lounge.
Obviously, it often happens at the Bible study you know all that we do it at the Bible study. We don't act like were complaining or speaking negatively offered as a prayer request to pray for my wife really and then to milestones and their wives are doing is nice but it's usually it could be the other way. The why some of the residence and it can become a thing that I actually feel spiritual but when really God's ability. Speaking negative well I was in a Bible study and they made a rule that you weren't allowed to pray for other people and I was why are we here and they said no it has to be a prayer for you so you got help me to see differently. Help me to love differently.
Help me to be a support to this person who's having a hard time about a friend to your point of who quit her job because every day at work. The other women in the office were having toxic conversations about their spouse and she began to recognize the impact that was having how she viewed her spouse and she said my marriage is more important than this job will find another job.
That was a big step for her but she was fighting for my reaction call. I want to hear your favorite random act of kindness that you experienced it ended up being random because I didn't know that it was gonna happen this way. But five years ago I had breast cancer and I really had learned how to renew my mind. I've really learned how to stay close to God, I really learned that I knew I needed to act with kindness when I was fearful or worried about it so on one particular day I woke up at 430 in the morning and it was raining and storming outside. It was also raining and storming in my mind on this particular day like it was too early in the morning. Didn't have time to renew my mind yet right so I'm laying there. I'm thinking about this breast cancer and what else it's gonna take from us and as I'm laying there looking out the window at the storm.
I think about my neighbor down the street. Now this is the same woman that we've talked about earlier that I gave the 2 L Mountain Dew to the grandmother who is taking care of her grandkids and on her lawn was a tense and there was a woman living in that tent who had just got out of the drug treatment program and she woke up every morning every morning at 430 in the morning and she would walk to her job across town at the dry cleaners she was saving up to be able to find housing, but she had to be able to prove through the treatment program that she was able to sustain an income so it's 430 in the morning it's raining.
I know that this woman is getting up and walking in this and I'm laying in bed and I think to myself, you should really go help her, you should give her a ride or call a taxi or Huber or something there something that you need to do and I felt that Holy Spirit say that to me and I said no you like an angry conversation with the Holy Spirit this point I might know this cancer is trying to deplete us financially, physically, mentally, emotionally, everything like I got nothing left to go. Need to wallow in my own pain. Yes, I'm here for 30 morning while my own pain I so I had this heated conversation with the Holy Spirit and then I rolled over and went back to sleep.
So then, of course, when I woke up later in the day. I didn't feel any better about myself. I didn't feel any better about my battle with breast cancer but about 2 o'clock that afternoon I was driving downtown and I saw this woman walking on the side of the remote and Don don't talk on the side of the road. I pull over my minivan. I say hey Don how you doing just thinking I said you want a ride home. Now it's beautiful day walk and I said Don did you want to work this morning in the rain and she said yes I did. No problem though you know I'm in a be able to save up for a bite. By the time I get my next paycheck will be able to buy the bike and I just stopped in that moment because I knew it I knew what came next.
The Holy Spirit was never asking me to get up at 430 in the morning and drive this woman. The Holy Spirit was asked me to give her a bike. So I looked at Don and I said Don you need about Hank.
I have a bike in my garage come and take a look at it and so she came and swept my driveway and I walked down my driveway. I pull out the bike and I said what you think it she said this is really great that they'll be great and you know I'll be sure to get back to you right away when when I can save up for a bike and I said no, no, I want you to have it.
This is a gift. Please keep she looked at me really skeptically and she said why would you do that for me and I thought how little kindness, have you been shown how few breaks have you gotten in your life that this would seem so foreign to you and I just said you know Don I see you I see how hard you're working to make the decision to stay clean every day and I bet it's not easy even bigger than me seeing you. God sees you and I just want you to have this, but the big thing that that taught me to this random act of kindness is that kindness will never ask for more than you have. To give God is not can ask for more than you have to give. You can trust him. You can trust that even when it looks like he's going to ask you to go out on a limb and do something that really feels uncomfortable. He knows what's on the other side of that class like he know he knew that I could not get up at 430 in the morning, but he knew that Don needed that bike and so he allowed me to be the connector. There you know you say kindness is about the giver receiver and the witness saw the witness were witnesses were now yeah is in the giver and Don be in the receiver and I'm teared up. Simple kindness is powerful and I thought boil boy if the church was known as kind people you would have enough seats. People be running in our doors if our neighbors saw us as kind neighbors you one but I have to leave in the lead him to Christ they become to you and send what you have because I don't see that if our spouse felt that we were that kind to them when they didn't deserve it.
I think they'd be interested in why in the why is Jesus well and ending I'll take a step farther you give somebody a bike ride. Just watch your words.
Everyone around us is listening in. They can sense whether were complaining about someone or something like you know your chicken tenders are are burned like are you really gonna throw a fit in the middle, and end make somebody who's earning minimum wage field. You can do that you don't walk in the Holy Spirit and allow the Holy Spirit to say hey this time to get our words or have so much power and then if you can't think of any acts of kindness you can get your book and you have 365 kindness ideas in the back that we can follow Freitag McCall thanks like you for being here, but I'm not leaving okay will will see you back tomorrow. We are making your book. The goal available to our listeners this week any of our posters. You can help support the ongoing work of family life today with the donation we are a list or supported ministry family life today is on the air today because blisters like you said this is important for me. It's important for community it's important in our world we want to see this kind of thing grow and expand and so you went online or you called and made a donation. Thank you to those of you who made today's program possible.
Let me encourage the rest of you were regular blisters make tomorrow's program possible by making a donation today, you're helping to effectively develop godly marriages and families. When you do that and will say thank you by sending you a copy of the negativity remedy unlocking more joy, less stress and better relationships through kindness by Nicole Phillips go to family life to the.com to make your online donation or call one 800 FL today to donate by phone again the website to donate his family life to the.com or you can call to donate one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today what we talked about today I think is is vital really for every marriage for every family to have a mindset shift where were focused on positivity were focused on kindness.
David Robbins was the person family life is here with us, you agree that this is foundational, you know, I've loved listening today because it it really lifts my eyes above my current realities into having hope and joy beyond current situations. It reminds me of a friend who went skydiving them as she was facing the ground, going through the air. The person that she was in tandem with forced her head up and looked to the West where he was making her see the sunset and I think that's what we desire to do FM life is lifting our eyes to the eternal perspective, lifting her eyes to the hope we have in Christ. Lifting her eyes to what's possible in our relationships in the grander horizon that God has called us to the joy that is offered us hope that's what you encounter when you listen the family life to the and that's why I'm so grateful for legacy partners generous partners who give monthly to family life in order for us to keep bringing that hope to keep lifting people's heads to keep pointing people to Jesus in the grander narrative that he's invited us into. Thank you so much legacy partners for being a part of what we do. We are grateful for your ongoing support and we hope all of you can join us again tomorrow when I hear a conversation about what it's like to be a second wife to have the shadow of a first marriage and her first wife hanging over your current marriage to a fascinating conversation. Hope you can join us for that think our engineer today.
Keith Lynch got some extra help today from Bruce Goff and our entire broadcast production team on behalf of our host Steven M Wilson on Bob Payne so you back next time for another edition of family life today.
Family life to the production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas crew ministry help for today hope for tomorrow