Improving relationships topic at meeting of Grace Willing Workers


Nancy Rosen presented the program, “Getting Our Hearts Right” at the recent meeting of the Grace Willing Workers Extension Homemakers.

The meeting and potluck luncheon were held at the Centennial Fellowship Church in White Hall.

Rosen said the purpose of the program was to show individuals the importance of “getting your heart right” so that they can have better relationships with people. Dealing with conflict requires more than just knowledge and skills. We are creatures of habit. Unless we truly work on changing our hearts, we fall back into our old patterns of behavior.

Personal biases (opinions before there is a reason for it) make it difficult to evaluate conflicts fairly. The big problem is that we hardly see our own biases. Bad experiences take up a lot of space in our minds and heart. We focus on our own needs and can be blind to the needs and pain of people around us. We tend to accept only information that supports what we already believe.

At the root of our problem is our focus on our own thoughts. When we feel distant or uncaring towards someone, we are not open to their feelings.

When combined with knowledge and skills, three things can turn differences and conflicts into harmony and growth.

• Humility is the recognition that while our needs matter, so do the needs of other people.

• Compassion involves feelings of tenderness for the struggles and hopes of all people.

• Positivity is the practice of seeing the good in people. Focus on the way a relationship enriches your life.

Rosen concluded the program by stating that if you want to improve relationships, you must learn to be more sensitive to other people’s concerns and more appreciative of their efforts.

Debbie James, club president, welcomed everyone and conducted the business session. Grace Willing Workers recently had a Ruffled Scarf Workshop taught by James, Liz Crosby and Mary Smith. Participants learned to make either a crocheted or knitted scarf. Those attending in addition to James, Crosby and Smith were Tamieka Shelby, Juanita Cook, Marjorie Zuber, Barbara Stone, Brenda Robinson, Delores Kelley, Gerry Crutchfield, Rosen, Betty Lacy, Patsy Brown, Connie Herrin, Carolyn Harness, Linda Murray, Joyce Johnson, Lynda Toler, Geneva Gray, Vester Grandy, and one guest.

The following people from Grace Willing Workers attended the Hot Tamale and Thread Art Workshop held at the Cooperative Extension Service — Dixie Fritz, Cathy Lewis, Herrin, Zuber, Kaye Richardson, Robinson, Toler, Lacy, Patsy Brown, Rosen, Marynell Cardin, Bettye Johnson, Harness, Helen Majewski and James.

Community Service was discussed. Delores Kelley urged everyone to bring a small package of diapers, as well as, cereal for the Transformation Project to the next meeting. Coke tabs for Children’s Hospital are also being collected.

Two upcoming Grace Willing Workers Fellowship tours were discussed — a trip to the Camden Daffodil Festival in March and a three-day, two-night trip to Branson will be held in late April.

Other upcoming events are an Easter/Spring Wreath Workshop (Grace Willing Workers), a Bird Feeders Workshop (Jefferson County EHC), officer training at the 4-H Center in Ferndale, and Walk Across Arkansas.

After the luncheon, hosted by Fritz, Harness and Doris Turbeville, the group exchanged candy for Valentine’s Day. Shelby showed scarfs that she had made since the workshop. Patsy Brown showed several Christmas ornaments that she had made.

Special guests at the meeting were Melissa Poe, daughter of Zuber, and Mary Ann Kizer, family and consumer science agent for Jefferson County. Vester Grandy was welcomed as a new member.