Since Donny has been out of town this week on/at/in (not really too sure what the right word is...) an oil rig, I haven't been able to post pictures. It"s a computer-camera thing... It has led me to post more, since I have no one at home with me late at night, but it has also led to deeper posts rather than just "this is what we did today."
My topic for today???? STUFF. Do we really need all of it?? You may wonder what made me think about this. I guess it originated months ago at church when Jon talked about all that we have and all that we don't need. He even challenged us to not buy Christmas presents this year but to, instead, give money to those who REALLY need things. That is a challenge, alright. Just not sure if I could actually skip the whole present thing. I LOVE to give gifts BUT how many of the gifts I give actually are needed or really used? That's the point, I think...
So, we are in a two bedroom apartment and have been living here for nearly 6 weeks now with what we could pack into a little U-haul trailer and the back of my car. Everything else that we own is sitting in KY in an empty house, unused. Our furniture consists of a love seat, a yard sale recliner, a video game chair, two IKEA couches made primarily of foam that turn into beds, a few little end tables from IKEA, a bed from craigslist, and a patio set from Big Lots! Guess what? We are fine!! Yeah, at night, when I am trying to "relax on the couch" I get a crook in my neck cuz I don't really fit and when we are sleeping it is a battle to not fall into the "cave" that is the middle of the mattress but really, we are doing just fine. I brought 2 pots, 2 pans, some silverware, plastic dishes and cups from the dollar store, 2 pizza pans, a cookie sheet, and some tupperware. It works! Sometimes I have to heat things up in empty Cool-Whip containers if other pans are filled or I have to use a pizza sheet as a cookie tray, but who really cares? No one is complaining about the taste of the cookies! It hit me the other day that I really haven't missed any OBJECT. The kids were allowed to bring one tub that included toys and clothes. Sure, they have mentioned different toys they left behind but they are finding things to do and asking about their things back at home less and less. I miss PEOPLE like crazy, but THINGS??? Nope. Now, does that mean I plan on selling everything and moving into a two-bedroom apartment. Not sure. What I do know is that we don't NEED all the THINGS that we think we do. I hear people talk about "downsizing." I never really got it until I did it. I guess the more space you have, the more things you need to fill it.
It just is heavy on my heart to be sure that we use what we are given to serve and help others. Once, Donny and I were out to dinner, years ago, and the waiter came and told us someone had bought our dinner AND paid for us to have dessert. I have never forgotten the feeling that I had that night. Yes, I was appreciative, but most of all, I couldn't wait to be in the position to do that for someone else, regularly.
This year, Liv and I started "Friday Blessings." On Fridays, if she had been able to get up on time and with a happy heart all week, I would take her through the drive-through of McDonalds for a cinnamon bun on the way to school. We decided, after hearing many stories from Jon, to start paying for the people behind us in line. The excitement we both felt as we drove into the line and peeked in the rearview mirror to see if a car was coming behind us wasn't because we felt good about ourselves. It was because we wanted to start someone else's day off "with a happy heart" so they could, in turn, pass that on. Friday Blessings caught on in my classroom, not with money, but with acts of kindness. You see, one little act spurred on lots of little acts. Lots of little acts are no longer too little.
Since we have been here in TX, I am sad to say we have let Friday Blessings slip away. Tomorrow is Friday. What better time to start again? Bos needs a haircut. Perhaps we can find someone to bless there. We have to go to the grocery. What kind act could be done there? We drive in heavy traffic every day. Could I drive in way that will bless someone? Is there someone here that needs cookies? So many possibilities...
What can YOU do today?