selfishness


Sharing is a part of humanity;  we learn how to share in preschool, get married and re-learn how to share, and then teach our kids to share!  We are occasionally tested on our real understanding of this verb, however.  After all, it does translate to “to give a part of something“.

A Clean Kitchen!

I point to this in the context of taking family members (or anyone else, for that matter) into your home.  When you do this, you have to think of every way that it will affect you…and them.  As you know, my in-laws have been living with us for the past 10 months now.  Here’s what sharing has meant to us:

 

  • They’ve pretty much turned their car over (“shared”) to our son, who gets to drive it to his senior year of h.s.;  they no longer drive, but handing over the keys is always traumatic.
  • We share the laundry room.  Doesn’t always work well….usually its fine, thanks to designated days…but I can no longer leave clothes in the washer or dryer “until I get to them”.
  • We share the kitchen.  (Do you have any idea how much emotion was just packed into that sentence?) Women don’t share kitchens very well.  Do men share their work benches with other men?  Do artists share their paints with other artists? Do teenage girls share their makeup drawer with other teenage girls?  Very personal…..enough said.
  • We share space.  That means often small spaces shared by large people, walkers, an occasional cane, 6 pets, etc.  and sometimes differing views on housekeeping and even decor.
  •  And air…we share different smells, different temperatures…adjustments constantly are being made on both sides….we are “giving away a part” of even the air.

There are many things you should be prepared for when you move in with family members, or have them move in with you.  Sharing is a very big part of it!  Sometimes I revert back to my 2-year old self and feel “I don’t want to share any more!”.  That’s when its time for a nice walk or a movie 🙂

Well, that’s the plan anyway…365 days to read the Bible.  I’ve never necessarily wanted to do this, because it frankly sounded really boring….but have been otherwise convinced that perhaps this is how God speaks to us;  through His word.  A friend and I discussed it during a long car ride home from women’s retreat this weekend and I pulled the Bible out and opened to the verse of the day (this Bible happens to feature a 365-day reading plan).  Well, coincidentally, that day’s verse related exactly to what we’d just learned over the weekend at the retreat! 

Acts 8:26-40 was the passage.   The very first explanation, in my study Bible, said “Follow God’s leading, even if it seems like a demotion.  At first you may not understand his plans, but the results will prove that God’s way is right.”  One of the things I remember most from the speaker this weekend was her showing a fist and explaining  how God sometimes has to pry our little fingers off of something we hold on to….. so that He can hand us something better.  Her illustration was so good, as she pryed each finger off individually. 

Today’s verse?  Acts 9:32-42….explained thusly:  Rather than wishing you had other gifts, make good use of the gifts God has given you.

Amen.

Hubby and I have had more than our share of “downs” the past 5 years;  my job position was eliminated 4 times in 4 years, we had to foreclose on a sinking home that insurance wouldn’t cover, and now hubby’s job position has been elimiated….a “reduction in force”.  I can’t even begin to tell you what all that has done to our finances, retirement (what retirement), etc.

But along with that, we have been constantly reminded of the rich blessings we’ve also received.  I”ve had a very depressing week, but in the midst of it all, am grateful for a church women’s retreat weekend spent at Das Essenhaus with awesome food and friends. And today, I “had to attend” a meeting at Conner Prairie Interactive History Center, amidst 800+ acres of gorgeous autumn-colored trees.  It certainly put me in a better frame of mind!  (The chocolate cake I ate didn’t hurt, either :-0 )

Conner Prairie

Conner Prairie

What’s next for us?  Who knows?!  Hubby has a 3rd and 4th interview with a major company next week….but has also won 2 contracts for his business Neal Moore Communications…its getting complicated.   I can only hope that his next job will help us to once-and-for-all catch up on finances so we can begin to live without being in constant fear of losing everything.

That is, don’t have kids if you value your belongings…and your own money. Why just tonight I got $40. from the bank machine. Suddenly $20. went to one teenager, headed out of town with the youth group….and the other $20. to my other, who didn’t have any gas money to drive his brother to tennis camp.

Now the things…here’s a list of just last week’s casualities:

1. My “vintage” Schwinn LaTour, which I ride very occasionally and chose to ride on Sunday; deep scratches! and a broken odometer! K3 likes to ride it and apparently doesn’t use the kickstand. Grrrrrr…..devalued for sure. Helmet also missing (“oh, I think we threw it out because it was all messed up”)

2. My gardening watering can; hubby used it to refill the car’s antifreeze!! and then forgot he did it, so when I asked ‘what’s in this watering can?’, everyone claimed innocence. Hubby thought it might be leftover fertilizer he’d used on the hydrangeas or the roses, so I used it to water in some transplanted Russian sage and another hydrangea (that was a gift from a friend). Within exactly one day, all 3 plants were DEAD! and hubby said ‘Oh! I know what that was in the can….anti freeze!’ Duh!!!! 3 dead plants, one dead watering can, and even the soil apparently has to be removed, since its now contaminated. (How can you not remember mixing bright green anti-freeze in a bright green watering can???)

3. My hair gel; missing! when I needed to use it….again! Does son think to put “hair gel” on the shopping list when he’s out? No! its much easier to just go get Mom’s….

4. Gas tank: empty again! when I go to leave for work….teenager is unemployed, due partly to accident earlier in the summer, so “doesn’t have gas money”.

5. Clean sheets, lying on the bedroom chair. Had to be cleaned because puppy pee-ed on my bed – Again! – because boys didn’t watch her or take her out during the day while they were home. Anyway, clean sheets…..dumped on the dog-hairy floor by K3, who wanted to sleep in Mom/Dad’s room, in our chair! Ick.

*sigh* don’t have kids….they never respect your things. they think everything’s disposable. they think everything is available to them, free of charge. and Heaven forbid you ever want to use any of THEIR stuff! I surely thought I’d trained them better than this. Oh wait! I did….they’re really nice AROUND OTHER PEOPLE!

Topic of conversation today; generosity.  Some people feel they’re being generous because they write a check to a charity once in awhile.  But is that really generosity?  Or is someone who gives of themselves and their time more generous?  Or the lowest income person who still tithes? 

I was somewhat sickened today to watch a cable show about lottery winners.  All showed off the “stuff” that their new riches had allowed;  $1400.per place setting dishes from Russia, carved elephant tusks (isn’t that illegal?), swimming pools, collector cars, etc.  Not one mentioned donating even a penny to charity.  That’s sick, people, just sick.  That is the most self-centered form of existence and about as UN-Christian as you can be…aren’t we supposed to be loving and giving? Isn’t that what is the most fulfilling part of our Earthly lives?