"What to worry about..." was a good title for my last post. It helped when I pulled up this lonely page and thought about posting something today. I've been spinning in circles thinking about how I should write one thing or another and what I need to have a picture of and when will I have time to do it and then I saw that title and thought..."What am I worrying about?" I'm just going to sit here and talk with you and we'll see what comes up.
Last week was quite a week. A death (my great-aunt). A 2-day road trip (to Idaho - 16 hours of driving, 100 degree weather, my grandma and three kids.) A new baby (5 weeks early!) A visit from my brother (who is mentally handicapped and stays with us every few weeks.) And sending my youngest off to his first ever church camp. Last night I came home and put on my pjs, curled up on the couch and only moved when I transferred my tired self to bed.
There's so much in my mind to say, things I saw and felt and learned over those days. Births and deaths will do that to you. Things like:
~The importance of sharing your true self, your feelings and love and mistakes and dreams with the people you do real life with. I wonder how many of us find it easier to tell the internet what the Lord is doing in us than it is to tell our children or our spouse or our brothers or our parents?
Being open, honest, true, vulnerable - where it is appropriate, for of course sometimes the people we do life with are not safe or trustworthy, but to be as open and real as we can so that we are not hiding who we are from the ones who need us the most.
~The importance of lavishing thoughtfulness and love on the people we do real life with. Affirming, noticing, giving gifts, taking time, stopping by to visit, calling, serving, remembering, celebrating. All the way home from Idaho I listened to the New Testament (the Message) on my iPod. Paul says over and over to love each other, to take time for each other and serve each other, to care for the ones who are right next to you. I'd never heard it in quite that way before, but listening to large portions in one sitting made me hear new things in the texts.
~Our new nephew was born 5 weeks early, healthy and beautiful. When I held him in the hospital and heard the birth story and all the possible dire complications that never happened, I remembered all the weeks I had routinely come across his little name in my prayer book and asked the Lord to watch over him and deliver him safely. It was such a sweet reminder of the kindness of God to answer prayer.
I really believe it is a special responsibility to pray for nieces and nephews. They are connected to us in a way that other children are not and we can have real influence in their lives. I have all my nieces and nephews listed in my prayer book throughout the week and I earnestly pray for their protection and their spiritual lives. (During my noon prayer time, I often use this prayer calendar for mothers to pray for my own kids and whichever family members are on the list that day.) I believe God wants us to be a blessing in our families, all the way through every branch and every boundary. Isn't it a wonderful thought to imagine God's love rippling out of our homes and strengthening and transforming our entire families?
And on that thought, what if we approached every holiday, every birthday party, every phone call with the desire to be a blessing? What might happen in our families if we refused to be quickly offended? If we were more interested in the other person's growth than our own gain or recognition or approval? What if we showed up to serve rather than be served? Might that begin to ripple out too and bring God-life to a family?
I've always thought our ministry should begin - and be best - towards those whom God has given to us first.
~ Now that life is a little calmer, I am determined to attend to the stack of letters waiting for my reply. I confess...I am paralyzed by procrastin-itis. I look at the stack. I think about a pen. I lean towards the paper. I freeze. This is hard to admit, seeing as I am the founder and president of a letter writing consortium, but it is true.
~(OK, on a side note, I just looked in my sidebar and found a link to Marvel comics for kids. A certain twelve year old is going to face the evil eye of Blogger-Mom (ka-pow!) when he arrives home from camp. I hope that's the only thing he's bookmarked for me.)
Well, I think that's enough rambling for today...someone needs to go eat the orange cream cupcakes that Meagan made today. Sigh. I know. But what are you going to do?
Much love to you.
Be a blessing.