This afternoon I saw a couple of little girls in my front yard with their dog. The dog was squatting. I was considering going outside to visit with them about what their dog most likely was doing while squatting in my yard. But then they left. And I forgot about it. Until . . .
I took the trash out to the curb around 9:45 pm. It was dark. I had flip flops on. As I neared the curb, I suddenly felt something wet on my left foot. I thought, "Hmm.. I don’t remember it raining. Is there dew on the grass?" On my return, I picked up a scent. Not a pleasant scent. A bad scent. And it stayed with me.
You know you are a truly laid-back person when you step in dog poo, it makes direct contact with your flesh and you aren’t really phased by it. Into everyone’s life a little poo must fall. It’s how you handle it that makes all the difference.
Tomorrow (later today!) I officiate my first wedding. I’m very excited about it and a little anxious. Just want to make sure I do the best job at making their very special day a very special day. I’m very honored that they have allowed me to be a part of this journey. As a female in ministry who often faces people questioning/criticizing my pastoral role, I really appreciate people and moments that allow me to be pastoral. I don’t take that lightly at all. So tomorrow is very significant to me. It will be incredibly memorable for this couple as they join their lives together. And it will be incredibly memorable for me as my first marriage ceremony – with many more to hopefully come.
This week has been really, really busy. Non-stop busy. And not work busy. Life busy. And its been great. I’ve learned some new things about myself this week. And I like what I’ve learned. Some of it is good reminders. Some of it is hard truths. I like it when I become aware of areas that I struggle with. I think because I feel like as long as I know something in my personality, life, etc. that I have to work on then I feel that I haven’t lost touch with reality or with my humanness. I don’t know if that makes sense. I guess sometimes you come across people in your life who appear to not be aware of their own issues or idiosyncracies. And it makes you (or me at least) think … if they can be oblivious to such things, perhaps I am oblivious to such things as well. So, when I become aware of "issues" in my life, I find good in the fact that I apparently am not numb yet to my imperfections. Or perhaps I am just masochistic. But hey … either way, I have something to work on, right? 🙂 So – win/win for me.
Although this isn’t scientific or anything, I’d say probably 90% of our issues are mental. Mind games/self-defeating thoughts/etc. that tend to color our perspective, emotions, behaviors, outlook, etc. If you can understand this and actively work to gain control of your self-talk, then you have a chance. And I think faith is a VITAL resource in doing this. So, I’m not just talking a bunch of new age/Dr. Phil mumbo-jumbo.
I have a thing with trust. I’ll just put it out there. It is naturally difficult for me to trust. Then add a few bad experiences over life where trust was violated, intuition failed and you have hyper-mistrust. I have been aware of it for a long time but am having to face it again. So much of it is forcing yourself to do rational thinking. When all the facts say its okay to trust and when your gut says its okay to trust, there is still that irrational, self-preservation cry in the back of your mind that screams "Don’t do it! How many times do you have to be hurt in order to learn your lesson? Are you an idiot?" You know the voice is irrational and you don’t want to listen to it but on some level you also know that you’ve been at this fork in the road before and you didn’t listen. And once again, you stand at the fork in the road but with another scar or two and a heavier load of baggage then the last time. There is a bad taste in your mouth and as you look to the left and then to the right, you secretly wonder if you even have the strength within to try this one more time.
But somehow you do. Not because you receive some 100% guarantee that you are taking the right road and you will be hurt-free. But because you hope. You hope that this time is different. You hope that this choice will be better because you learned from the first one or the second one or all previous ones. You hope that you might still experience the blessings that you’ve dreamed about whereas if you don’t hope, you are guaranteed not to. You simply hope . . . and so far, hope is still enough to take the first step one more time. It is still scary as hell but you hope nevertheless.
It is time to sleep. Let me just leave you with this plea – please be careful with one another. We are all fragile no matter how thick the walls that we each build up around ourselves. We need to handle each other with care and compassion and tenderness. This is what community looks like in the kingdom of God and this type of community is possible when each of us commits to living and loving in the way of Christ. Is it really possible? Well, no guarantees but we can hope . . .
Peace – Melissa