When I was a young girl, I loved to talk…
probably too much. My Grandpa is not a big talker. One of my all-time favorite memories is when my Grandpa H. took me with him to pick up some furniture half an hour away. I chattered on the entire drive to Fond du Lac and back. Grandpa just listened, with the occasional “Ach!” thrown in for good measure.
That’s how I think about sharing thoughts- expression is good, but may need to be tempered. Hopefully, I’ve matured some over the last 30 years to weigh my words before I say my words. This little blurb helps me practice that.
1. My neighbors are long-suffering folk.
I mean, I am almost the old woman who lives in the shoe. I live in a small house with lots of kids, which means lots of loud, lots of mayhem, lots of runaway toddlers. For the past 11 years, my neighbors have patiently put up with all the nonsense. They don’t even chide me for the number of little ones around.
Good neighbors are a blessing. Some of them are family. Some of them are almost family. No one tells you when you grow up that being a neighbor is an important relationship to maintain, but it really is. I guess Jesus did tell us to love our neighbor. That’s a good place to start.
2. Another childhood memory…
The first time I watched Anne of Green Gables was at my Grandma J’s house as a girl no more than 8. (Hi Grandma!!) We got dressed up. She had the best dress up clothes, partly due to all my aunts and their formal events, but also my Grandma’s penchant for delighting her grandkids. We even had tea and a special guest- my Grandma’s friend, Mrs. S., whose attire for the event matched my own albeit we are generations apart. It was a delightful time.
Mrs. S. is a special part of my life. We have shared many precious memories together. Have you ever met someone whose entire lifestyle so perfectly matched their personality? She is that lady- exquisitely charming with a side of humor. I want to be her when I grow up. I’m pretty sure I’ll never get there…
And today, my own kids get the privilege of spending the afternoon with her and her grandson. I am excited and a little sentimental- who knew that a tea party would turn into a life long friendship? God did.
It is so important that we get out of our generational bubbles and get into the lives of those who are older and younger. The perspective and understanding you gain is beyond measure. I could definitely use more of that.
3. The times are achanging…
There is some upheaval in our little sphere as of late. Friends moving on, childhood homes being sold, children reaching bittersweet milestones. These events always chafe, but they also bless.
Change means growth. Change means life is being lived, and lived well. And these changes show a life filled with love, lessons, and good memories. Christ promised us abundant life not just in heaven but on earth as well. And honestly, the situations for each of these changes came about from following the Lord.
So I can look change in the face, unsure of the future, but thankful for the past and it’s lessons. Then I can move forward looking at the next thing the Lord has for me and those I love.
4. Realistic expectations.
Ugh! This is such a struggle! I want my kids to behave perfectly, a clean house, a cohesive meal plan, a doting husband and no mama pooch.
All these things are unrealistic. I mean, they would be if our primary focus in life is outward appearances. I’ve find that outward focus breeds resentment and only temporary change. Building relationships, or even restoring them, is messy and imperfect and hard work. But if you want a real life with eternal results, not focused on you but on Christ? It’s worth it.
So that may mean turning down the expectation dial… lower… lower… juuuusst a little more… there. Expectations are great- it’s good to have goals. I believe we need to push ourselves into uncomfortable places and get things accomplished. But setting goals for others and believing we’ve “arrived”? That has relationship destruction written all over it.
And no one fully shares their struggles. Nor should they feel the need to divulge every detail. But the reality is no one has a perfect life. Each person has their cross to bear- just be thankful yours is not theirs.
Water your own garden. Stop believing tv=truth. Throw comparison in the trash. Stop putting sinners on pedestals.
5. Mystery markers.
We don’t keep markers in the house. They find us, so we don’t go looking for them. And for good reason- my son looks like a smurf right now. Except, I didn’t really notice until church last night when a deacon asked me how much did Owen’s tats cost. 🤦🏼♀️ Where did this blue pen of humiliation come from? I still am unsure….
Have a colorful weekend everyone!