This mornings first reading is one often spoken or referred to. I think it is one of the most beautiful readings, one that when lived, brings us both closer to God, and He further into our midst. Humility. Empathy, Love. Serving each other.
“If our life in Christ means anything to you, if love can persuade at all, or the Spirit that we have in common, or any tenderness and sympathy, then be united in your convictions and united in your love, with a common purpose and a common mind. That is the one thing which would make me completely happy. There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, So that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead.”
However, it can be challenging to find a healthy balance between serving others, giving of yourself and being true to the person God wants me to be. Huh? I know, Right – what did I throw in there?
I have been giving some serious thought to this of late. I’ve had some conversations with my Father and I am beginning to see that while I give great advice (ahem), I have to step back once in a while and say “Is this right for me?”, “How do I really feel about this?”, “Is this what God wants?”, “Spirit – where are you leading me?”.
There have been several times in the past few days that have given me pause. In truth I feel gratitude for having different experiences. My formative years were spent in a more formal environment than many of my peers (it seems). I remember dinning with my fathers business partners and being served a finger bowl and finger tip towel.
I’ve had the occasion to dine out with a younger mother who, though picked restaurants herself had no idea of the menu prices or etiquette at “finer” establishments. Because of my experience growing up, I felt confidant. I totally enjoyed her company and was able to keep her comfortable despite any faux paus. At the end of our meal I suggested a pizza place near her home for our next adventure out.
It was fun to share these new experiences with her – just as much as I will enjoy sharing a pizza at our next monthly moms out. I was also happy to learn after chatting with her over time (she is the housekeeper for my office) that after our last dinner out, she chose to take the big step and register her son for faith formation. It’s my understanding he has not been to church since he was baptized so it is a huge step for them in a new direction ♥
I have written bits and pieces here and there about Moma Little, at this point I am trying to write as little as possible. Being winter time, knowing she had no winter coat (and lost her state assistance until after the baby is born because she did not go to her job training, bus travel paid for…). I told her to pick out a winter coat and I bought it for her. Charged it more like. I’ll be paying bills off until I die at this rate – but she needed a coat so a coat, hat and gloves I bought. She is twenty one years old and I’ve been told she has never had a new coat of her own. My grandparents bought us a new winter coat every year!
I remember last year she talked about wishing for a wool pea coat and that’s what she now will own. If it’s really her first brand new coat, I am not sure but I tend to think it may be. If not it is the only new one she is old enough to realize she is getting. Growing up all of her clothes were hand me downs. During my early teen years mine were too, then I began working. She has yet to have had a job but that is another story.
I also have two gently worn, freshly dry cleaned wool coats in my closet. I am going to pass on to someone else who can use them. They no longer fit and were not a size for Miss Little.
What I am sharing is not anything great or good about me. It is realizing not everyone has the same advantages in life that others do. I know, at least I think I know many people in real life don’t know details of my life. Even the kids I grew up with. Though I have had challenges in life, I feel very blessed to be able to reflect on experiences that I had growing up. They have helped me grow into the woman that I am. Life is a journey for sure. My happiest times have been in giving to others.
I am in the midst of challenges and changes on two emotional fronts both very deep in my heart. While I am in this place I see past experience has brought me through to today, today I remember words a gal I used to work with would adamantly state “Laurie, God is preparing us for the right man”. I smile as I type that (this was ten years ago!) but the lesson in that is – “God is preparing me”. He is molding me. I look back and know my own life story and He has blessed me. I trust he will continue to bless me and know anything is possible in Him.
~ When is the last time you went through your closet? Did you donate items you can no longer use to someone less fortunate? How about other things you no longer need?
~ Love is a gift too ♥ ~ to give, to receive.