Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Messy, messy, messy

Life for most of us, it perpetual cleaning.  Laundry, dishes, toys, paperwork, trash, mowing... you name it.  It seems like a disaster is always brewing and we've just finished decontamination or flood control.  One of my favorite shows is Monk.  It's unending OCD and a laugh a minute.  Today I watched Wall-E.  I found out that I'm not too different from Mo.  (Not that you could tell from how my house looks.)  But I get so bent out of shape because there is a pair of socks that I just found that didn't make it to the laundry.  Or perhaps because not e v e r y   s i n g l e  cup fit in the dishwasher!  Or because males stand when they pee... and miss!   AAAAARRRGGGHHHH!

However, don't the most beautiful things rise from dirt, filth, ashes; flowers, children, the phoenix?  Aren't the most beautiful moments of life a result of imperfect people doing imperfect things?  Like an attempt at cooking burnt cookies, cleaning noisy toys, or creating lopsided artwork.  I love finding rocks in pockets, cars in shoes, tiny socks on the living room floor.  I enjoy reminders of the invaluable and eternal work I have undertaken, and my fleeting influence upon and, quite frankly, from, those that mean the most to me.  Keeping an orderly and clean home creates peace, but if cleaning a home destroys the joy and growth I have forgotten why I do it in the first place.

I am certain our Father in Heaven rejoices in our failed attempts or striving to achieve the impossible.  He pats us on the head and, if we play nicely with others, we receive the praise we all crave, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant.  Enter into my rest."  (Now, does that mean someone else will do the vacuuming?)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Great expectations

There is no doubt in my mind that God has great expectations for us, even the best.  I believe and even know that he wants me to become like him, like any parent.  And also as a perfect father He doesn't expect it all at once.

I have always been considered a perfectionist.  I thought, well, what's wrong with that, He commands us to be perfect.  Now No. 1. I understand that it is through His Son.  No. 2.  Not all at once.  So, still what's wrong with that?  Well it's a matter of expectation.

What do I expect of myself?  How do I know if it's reasonable?  I expect that I'll always fall short and so I don't try; I give up before I've begun.  I think in the theoretical and proclaim that there's no reason that I shouldn't be able to accomplish a goal that I've set.  I can imagine it, and I believe we're only limited by our imagination...

Better yet, what expectations do I have for my children.  I want them to do and be their best.  Just because I see their potential doesn't mean they are ready to achieve it today.  Do I put the same unrealistic expectations on them.  How about teachers, community leaders, corporations, the government.  Am I fair in their capacity today or do I expect immediate perfection of them too?  Do I assume that collectively, these imperfect people are somehow more perfect.  Perhaps they are more balanced, but eventually some imperfect person is making a decision.

Allow others a safe place to try.  Encourage, uplift, help them be successful.  Motivate, laugh, love them on their difficult journey to perfection.  Support, be kind, be understanding during times of failure.  It's no easier for them.  Give them the gentleness I desire.  So...the golden rule still works.  If I see a vision of what can be and am patient in achieving it, others will afford me the same generosity.  We all need elbow room in growth, and a soul ready to heal us from a long day fighting our battles.

New theory.  I can't tie my shoes today.  But I won't get better if I don't try.  Dream for the stars.  Have an expectation that I can achieve.  He wants me to be and feel successful and when I don't know how ask Him.  Keep that object in view and set a more reasonable absolutely ridiculously easy task and then another easy one.  Bunny ear.  Bunny ear.  I can do this.  Okay.  So to most of you likely figured it out in 2nd grade, but I'm grateful for God's revelations to each of us.  I can become like Him by becoming like a child.  I am His child.  Goal:  today I'll begin by tying my shoes.
* I guess I was asking for perfection on this blog... it's been sitting in the cue for months now.  Just hand in your homework, imperfect and get credit for it, even if it's only partial.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

An Egging

Eggs were my least favorite food as a child (apparently I just don't like them unless the yolk and white are integrated.)  We recently had to wash our car mid-winter because someone egged it... and it froze.  But nothing could keep their happiness from me.  Their simple hope and joy from watching chicks hatch in the Hamilton Elementary School.  Or scrumptious Cheesy eggs on raisin toast or Mom-lets.
My favorite memory with my family at Easter time was dying and decorating eggs together.  Some were in far better condition when we were children; at least that's how I remember it.  My brothers, mother, and I did our best and spent hours on them.  I was graciously given them by my eldest brother, Jay.  I try to make a new one every year... but most don't get finished.  Here are a few egg-xamples of what others have done.

Here are a few ideas if you're interested at trying your hand at it:  Bunny Eggs10 ideas & helpful hints, Leaf imprints, Egg planters, A collection of ideas, Bean mosaic eggs

Sunday, April 3, 2011

compromise (ˈkɒmprəˌmaɪz)

Thanks to Dictionary.com

At my house I think the more accurate definition would go something like this...
1.  settling a dispute by making both parties unhappy.
     ex.:  "If you can't share, neither of you will have it."
2.  having one's way 50% of the time
     ex.:   "Give it to him, we're not interested in justice [compromise], we just want peace."  &  "You can't have it you'll break it!  Here, you can have it."

I have a friend with mad skills at finding common ground for her family member.  She would be a great ambassador to families like mine; bringing peace and contentment to the feuding peoples.  It's a great feat to be able to be objective in times of stress; to be an advocate to all and bully of none... I've yet to develop that skill for myself, let alone teach it to my children.  How much better and happier we would be if we could be a little less selfish, and a little more gentle in the daily approach to the boxing ring.