Tonight I had dinner with most of Steve’s family. His mom made a delicious supper and Steve’s brother and his sister, brother-in-law and nephew were there as well. It was a wonderful evening and I really enjoyed my visit with all of them. I had met all of them through church already except for Will who is 16 months. He wasn’t quite sure of me. I got the stare-down pretty good which just shows how wise the little guy is. It was a very relaxed evening and I felt very welcomed by all of them. Just so all of you girls can be oober jealous – Steve helped his mom a lot and even cleaned up all the dishes while she and I visited. Man – a cute AND thoughtful boyfriend?? Color me happy. 🙂 (cute and thoughtful are just two of the many, many adjectives I could throw out here but I’ll spare you the excessive sugary comments tonight).
So I’m getting good feedback on the new look to my site. Thanks! It is growing on me. I like the simplicity of it. Now, I’ll work on a new, simplistic look to my life and I’ll be set. With web design, it was just a few clicks of the mouse and the new site was created. With my life it will definitely take a lot more effort than a few clicks. There are simplicity-clicks needed for my house/possessions; for my finances; for my ministry; for my leisure time. For a while I have been trying to simplify my home and have done a fairly decent job at it. Purge, purge, purge – the word of the day. Don’t it feel good? 🙂 There is an amazingly euphoric feeling taking bag after bag of "stuff" to Salvation Army or to the dump. Possessions – some can regain value by giving them over to serve the needs of others; some deserve nothing more than the dump. Same thing with most non-materialistic things in our life. My life would be much better if much of my time/thoughts/emotions would be given to serve the needs of others and at the same time, some of my time/thoughts/emotions should go directly to the dump. Seems to be where they originate from anyway. The past couple of days I have had some of these "dump" thoughts. It is incredibly easy to become self-absorbed and to view situations completely from your own biased perspectives. And once you get in that mind-set, it is entirely possible to have such selfish thoughts consume your emotions and thus, dictate your behaviors. I guess you could call it a version of "trash self-talk". And just like trash, the odor from such thoughts can cause your attitude to stink. If you bathe in such thoughts for too long, you begin to get use to the stinch. But not those who have the misfortune of sharing some space with you.
After my freshmen year of college, I went with some youth from our church on a week-long hiking adventure to Colorado. It was grueling. 50-lb packs; major climbs; excess weight (on me – not my pack!) 🙂 The whole trip was about 6 days and the only bathing we really did was rinsing off in frigid mountain streams. We stank – individually and collectively. However, it wasn’t really apparent to me how horrific my odor was until we returned to town, took a shower and THEN gathered up my dirty clothes. It was only after I had rinsed (ok – scrubbed) the filth off of me and was reminded of what clean smelled like that I realized how nasty I had been and how rank my clothes were.
Tonight, I realized how rank some of my selfish emotions had been lately. I prayed and I listened and God told me I stank with selfishness. I was reminded of what clean smells like. It has the pure scent of selflessness.
I have a few bags of clothes to take to Salvation Army tomorrow.
I have a few attitudes to take to the dump tonight.
And I’m sure I’ll make return trips to both places on a regular basis.
Peace – Melissa