I miss writing. I miss it a lot. Which is why since my mind is incapable of coming up with anything profound or thought-provoking, I'm going to just tell you about what's been going on around here the last couple of days. Basically it's going to bore the life out of you. So proceed with a huge cup of coffee.
You know what the thing is? The thing is that when suddenly you have some pretty time-pressing and important new tasks on your list (like, perhaps moving an entire family of five out of the house they've lived in for 17 years) it seems that you still have your regular list. Like, you know, the list that has food and mouthwash and stuff on it. Anyway, in the midst of looking at all my lists trying to cross stuff off, I feel like my mind is racing a million miles a minute with what I need to do next before I'm even finished with what I'm doing now.
Are you still there? Just fill up your coffee cup.
You know that whole concept of how we should strive to be present and mindful and fully engaged in the moment? I win last place in that contest. Dead last.
So, the other day I knew that among all the tasks on my list the most important thing I needed to do was to still my mind and attend my Bible study meeting, so I ran into the church like my hair was on fire at least 10 minutes late, huffing and puffing, and sliding into my seat, thinking, "WELL, HOP TO IT AND BRING ON THE JESUS."
We had a great discussion about 1 John 4 and 5. We talked specifically about 1 John 4:7-8 which tells us to "love one another because love is from God and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God because God is love."
Easy peasy, right? I was reminded during that study that I have in the past fancied myself pretty good at love. I love a whole mess of people. But I was having coffee with a friend recently and we chatted a lot about loving people that are hard to love. And we talked even more about forgiveness. And then even more about forgiveness when there is no acknowledgement of wrongdoing. She and I were both having a heckuva time of it.
Because the Lord is not asking us to only love those who are easy to love. He's asking us to love the difficult, the selfish, and the arrogant. He's asking us to love the serial disappointers and the people who have hurt us to our core. For me, He's asking me to forgive people who haven't even directly hurt me, but have hurt the people I love. I don't think He requires us to remain in close relationship with each and every one of those people, but he makes no bones about forgiveness and love. And THEN, He goes on to ask us to take a look at the log in our own eye before pointing out the speck in another's and He's asking us to remember that He loved us FIRST. Log and all.
Well, dadgum it. That is not easy.
At one point, the question asked by the study was "Do you find God's commandments to be burdensome at times?" to which I thought YES. YEP. YES, SIRREE. WHY, YES. I SURE DO.
Apparently I did not just think that answer, but blurted that right on out. And do you know that every last woman in there laughed and nodded her head that she had answered the same way? Do you know what that made me think about Christians? Not the Christians that we read about in the papers or hear about on the news, but the Christians that I actually know in real life? This is what it made me think:
We are all just fumbling around trying to do our best. We are not even close to perfect. And there is not one true believer with whom I've had a real, deep conversation about faith, that feels like she is superior to anyone. The Christians that I know are pretty darn clear that we are followers of Jesus, not Jesus Himself. We know that we are sinful and messed up and confused. We know that we don't have all the answers. But this is what we do know and it was written in my study guide:
"God's love is substantive. It is often uncomfortably demanding, unpleasantly truthful, painfully sacrificial, and at times, distressingly hard to bear. [AND YET} God does not expect us to be suddenly filled with a perfect love toward everyone in every situation. But as we grow in our assurance of His love for us, He perfects His love in our thoughts, words and actions. . . We love, John concluded, because God first loved us. Our ability to love others comes from Him, not from any feeling of compassion or affection that begins with us."
So, after the good Lord and my precious Bible Study girls reminded me that it is Him abiding in me that makes nothing impossible I was ready to get on with it. So Jesus and I hopped in the car and turned on the radio to get after the loving of all the people and the crossing off of all the tasks and the moving of all the mountains.
This is where I keep it real and point out that as I was pulling through the church parking lot with Jesus at the wheel, I was jamming to "Everybody in 'da club gettin' tipsy".
Ahem. Thank you Sirius XM.
Ok, so then I ran to the dry cleaners. And then I went to the pet store where I bought Mack a new leash and food and a new toy. And I just want to say that I still hold my breath in the PetSmart. They need to invest in some candles in that joint.
And then I went to the grocery store to buy more food and more milk because they WILL NOT STOP EATING. We must go through 2 gallons of milk a day around here. So, my favorite clerk, Rita, and I discussed the fact that it might be time for me to buy a cow.
Next, I got my eyebrows waxed. And while I was there we just went ahead and waxed other parts of my countenance because "Hey, 47 year old Face: WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM?" Geez.
Also, by the way, do you want to know how you know you're really tired? If you almost fall asleep while someone is ripping tape off of your face.
You're welcome for that image.
After that fun activity, I raced back home to get back to packing. If you're keeping count of the randomness I have found when packing up, here's some stuff to add.
In the dining room, I found a beautiful Waterford Crystal Wine Decanter. And there has not been one time in my life that I thought about pouring my wine out of the bottle and into the crystal decanter before pouring it into my glass. Is this really a thing people do? Have those folks ever heard of cutting out the middle man?
Also, on the tails of hearing that a gazillionaire just donated $250 million to cancer research, I wondered how I could change the world. I found that the Skinner family could quite possibly clothe an entire generation of children with baseball tournament tshirts. I would like to thank Time Magazine's Person of the Year committee for their consideration.
Under my bed I found a Mother's Day card from Kyle. He'd drawn a picture of him and me on a piece of computer paper and taped a dollar to it. Because who needs flowers or breakfast in bed when you can have a whole American dollar? Dear Future Daughter-in-Law: I have some work to do.
Way back in a kitchen cabinet, I found this. And I laughed out loud really hard. I have never used this in my entire life. I did keep it, however, because a girl's gotta have goals.
Well, if you found your way down to the end of this mess of words, you've earned yourself another cup of coffee or maybe a glass of wine that was poured directly from the actual bottle.
I have to go now. It's time for packing up more memories and perhaps looking into buying a cow.
Have a fabulous weekend, Friends!