My brain is mush. I’m wondering if I can get away with a swirly saturday post a day early. What am I saying? There are no rules here.
I’ve been thinking about people lately. This is part of my overwhelmed-ness. I want to be in community with people, to develop relationships, to be a shoulder to lean on. And sometimes, I feel like there’s so much that gets in the way. I want to be approachable and available and not self-important or overly busy. I want to reach out and encourage people–in person, through notes, online.
But I get overwhelmed.
I miss my extended family. And Gabe’s. It’s been a long time since we’ve all gotten together. I miss Stephi and Daniel in SC. I miss Josh and Jess and their kiddos. I miss Bethy and Stew and Izzy. I just saw Mom and Dad for an hour or so last week, but that wasn’t enough. I miss my mom- and dad-in-law. I miss Tug and Angie and their kids.
I hate that there are so many people who I’ve gotten together with once or twice but never since. I hate that when I take Nina outside to play with the neighbor boys, one of my neighbors always comments, “I never see you.” I hate it when certain people suggest that I’ve become “too important” for them. As if.
Oh, I’m getting a headache.
Today’s Stepping Up lesson was all about unity and getting along with people. Two sentences really stood out to me. God often uses other people as the chisel to carve true integrity into our rough personalities. And– Learning to endure hardship and inconvenience with people is critical to the process of becoming a whole person.
People are messy. I’m messy. I want to learn to appreciate the messy.
I spent lots of time in prayer today–for Amy and Billy, for Jess and Joel (Cora’s Mom and Dad), for Kara. And I heard of another family this afternoon. A young father (31) with a 5-year-old son and a daughter on the way died on March 1. He was diagnosed with cancer, and a week later he was gone. His name was David, and his wife is Emily. Oh, the suddenness. I can’t even fathom.
Life is so short, so unpredictable. I can’t tell you how much I want to spend it doing what matters. Being what matters. Most importantly, loving on people. I just finished reading Marley & Me, and while I can’t really be considered a dog lover, it was such a touching tale. Here’s one of my favorite paragraphs in the book:
Was it possible for a dog–any dog, but especially a nutty, uncontrollable one like ours–to point humans to the things that really mattered in life? I believed it was. Loyalty. Courage. Devotion. Simplicity. Joy. And the things that did not matter too. A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbols mean nothing to him. A water-logged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not.
Marley was a messy, messy dog. But his owners cleaned up after him, took care of him, loved him.
This is a lot to chew on. And I guess all this rambling is two separate, but related, issues. 1.) how do I make time for everyone and let them know I value them? and 2.) how can I do a better job of loving messy people?