Monday, December 12, 2011

Every Now and Again...

You are pleasantly surprised.

The kids and I dined at one of the fine local eateries near the mall (ok IHop) today.  We were there in the after-lunch-not-yet-dinner (Senior) time frame.

The nice young man serving us had long hair and a tattoo (or 3).  I admit - such appearance leads me to certain expectations - young, rowdy-ish, perhaps disconnected from my POV, did I mention young? (Gosh now I feel really old).

Today I GLADLY say I WAS SO VERY WRONG!  I listened to this young man speak with tenderness and care to each older customer he was serving.  He asked, in earnest, the man behind me about his time in the war - REALLY wanting to know; it was clear that the young man wanted to befriend the gentleman (who was dining alone).  To my shame (and his credit) I am deeply touched that this (or any) young man took time out of his serving to sit and make someone feel less alone.

I hope that my children grow to be as caring and kind as this man is.  I pray for myself to be less judgmental.  Until then - I hope we are all pleasantly surprised more often.

I'll keep you posted!


Sunday, December 04, 2011

Heaps of Grace

I am extraordinarily hard on myself.  It's only now that I realize (mostly) that my standards for myself (which I constantly fall short of) are, in fact, impossibly high. 

I begin to remedy this constant feeling of failure with much prayer and heaps of grace bestowed to myself.  It isn't easy after 38 years of constant practice, but I am beginning and you know what I find?  I find JOY.

So I encourage each of you to allow YOURSELF heaps of grace - especially during THIS season.  Please try and remember that Christmas is about Christ and love and hope and GRACE.  The rest of it - the gifts and the mall and the parties and the obligations are all contrived; not real.  In the long run the contrived bits are not even important and they certainly are not CRITICAL - regardless of what stores lead you to believe.

This Christmas and in life don't be fooled - love and grace for others and maybe most importantly for ourselves are the things that are critical.

I'll keep you posted!