My tendency to turtle.

 

I’ll quit being grateful for Delores snail mail letters that make my whole day…

I’ll quit being grateful for little boys who say in their toddler manhood, “Thas’ whut I’m talkin’ ‘bout!”…

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I’ll quit being grateful for memories of performing “This little piggy went to market” on my high school daughters’ toes first thing in the morning when it was time to wake up, or last week in the van with the three most beautiful grandchildren in Texas…

I’ll quit being grateful for tart apples, starbursts, sweet tarts…

 I’ll quit being grateful for the summertime pleasure of a hot dog paired with a baseball game…

I’ll quit being grateful for moments of working with Sam in the kitchen to get ready for company…

…when fingernails fly.

Not on MY watch, chickadees.

I sent my nephew a card this morning, and I included a few gratefuls, because after a card-a-day to a soldier from his aunt, the aunt runs out of things to tell him. My last grateful was for people who cut their fingernails in the privacy of the bathroom, (because I KNOW he doesn’t read my daily gratefuls, so it was a new one to him), and I reminded him of the times Grandma would cut hers in the car, no matter how short the trip. We could be going two blocks away, but it was plenty of time to trim. And I would silently gag as the fingernails flew through the air. Oh, Mom. We do miss your quirkiness…  Anyway, that is the story behind the above format.

Moving on to something that matters to me:

Love is a gift you give someone for their benefit, not so that they will love, respect, accept you back in return. Codependency is doing good deeds to fill our own emotional needs. The love Jesus described requires that we review the motivations behind our act. One way we can review our motivations is by noticing if any bitterness creeps in when the other person fails to respond the way we wanted.

 Love is an action. Jesus did not say, “Go and feel warm feelings about thy neighbor and about God.” The love Jesus described requires that we “do.”

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about these quotes from Steven Blair today, because I’ve also been thinking about my tendency to turtle. It’s comfortable for me to put my head down and shut out the world. It’s difficult (I know some of you will find this hard to believe) for me to actively communicate. I want the world to come to ME. I want strangers to be friendly to ME. I want macaroni and cheese and Mexican food and ice cream sandwiches and Cheezits and peanut butter M&M’s and a bag of chips for every meal, too, but that ain’t happenin’.

 

In order to have friends, I have to BE a friend. In order to make the world a better place everywhere I go, I must DO love. I must communicate. I must stick my wrinkly neck out of my invisible shell and speak first. Communication. What a concept.  Start a conversation with a waiter, or a store clerk, or the high school checker or bagger at the grocery store, leave cookies and a nice note on top of the dumpster for the trash guys, say hello to the “turtle” neighbor taking their dog for a walk, or better yet, meet them at the sidewalk and invite them over for dessert some evening.  Inquire. Inspire. Perspire. Retire. Ha. I just amused myself.

Finally, I am grateful for the way the Holy Spirit challenges and teaches little concepts like this. I am grateful that I have begun to recognize these moments of connection. Moments of doing love that don’t take any more time out of a day but can be the beginning of something pretty cool. And besides that, my neck gets cramped and can use some stretching.

 

 

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