Friday, May 9, 2014

A good hair and kind words combo moment

Yesterday kid 3 had a friend over after school.  And first thing he showed him in our home is our ant colony in the kitchen.  Then they studied the dirty potato salad bowl soaking in the sink.  Then they both agreed to wash their hands in the bathroom instead.  But Sam made his friend feel right at home.  He's good at that. 

And this past weekend 2 kids and a husband went camping.  The cub scout and dad pair got robbed by a band of hungry raccoons that left them only a jar of peanut butter and a can of spam to eat the rest of the trip.  

The big kid  - in order to earn a super honorary level in boy scouts  - spent his entire weekend living on 3 crackers and a box of raisins for each meal, doing manual labor and sleeping in the woods with no tent.  Now he has poison ivy extraordinaire.   And has been put on a 5 day steroid regimen from the pediatrician.  Adding that to the list of reasons I don't go camping.  He also fell off his skateboard and has a terribly painful tailbone.  But that happened later. 

So that left me with a couple of days and a 12 year old....  here's a recap. 

9pm Friday night , home alone with my hero, someone knocked on the front door and was looking around the porch with a flash light.  We didn't answer because Christopher suspected a robbery in progress.  Double checked all locks, confirmed dog ready to protect, and Chris got an old walking cane we found in our hall closet when we moved in here 11 years ago.  His plan, and I saw him rehearse, was to just shy of kill any intruder with it. Turned out to be the UPS man trying to pick up a package that husband totally forgot to leave out there.  A great example of a man risking his life for his job. 

Next day, we skipped baseball practice because we wanted to. Because it's only once in a lifetime, or almost, that brothers are gone and a kid gets the TV and couch all to himself.

We did a few home improvement jobs.... paint a little, paint a little more, go to Target at least three times. Then we figured we deserved a mexican food dinner as reward for all our hard work. 

Saturday afternoon, answered door to a stranger on porch selling magazines.  And probably checking out anything he might want to come back for later.  Stranger tells me my hair looks nice.  Somehow he knew that flattery will get you lots of places with me.  He also told me he was an Eagle Scout when he was younger and that he is raising money for a trip to London with his communication class - or Toastmasters International - he was confused about which.  So after all his unsure came out, I also doubted if he was sincere about my hair.

And not believing a single word stranger said to me out on the porch, I had to deny a magazine purchase.  That, and he smelled of cigarettes - so I figured if he can afford those things, he should start directing some of his smoking habit dollars toward his make believe trip to London.  

But here's the thing....  I still talked to him, and I was obviously not mean to him.  Because he offered to help us paint that dresser we were working on - and leaving, he said, why can't everyone be as nice as you? Said by a man that may or may not be a crazy serial killer by night. 

Why can't everyone be as nice as you?  Well I'm flattered, and now I'm thinking that maybe he really DID like my hair.  But truthfully, maybe he just caught me at a good time.  A good hair and kind words combo moment.  Because it wasn't long ago that a lady at work asked me to settle down and use my gentle voice

And you know, I wish I could help everyone, but I can't.  And I get really confused about when to and when not to.  And wonder what kind of example I'm setting for the kids each time I give help or deny.  Gosh I just don't know.  Maybe I should just keep them all from trying to sell at my house in the first place?  I'd still be confused, though.  Flash back to the sweet young man who tried to sell us electricity service and we ended up sitting in the front yard chairs filling up on ice water and encouragement. 

And I had to tell mister magazine sales that as much as I wish I could help him with his trip to wherever... I'm trying to send my own 3 kids to summer camps and activities.  And they're also doing their part.  Yard work, odd jobs, selling things for Boy Scout fundraisers.  And I hope that all the people that my kids run into along the way will help them - either help them get to camp - or help them be encouraged to keep trying to get to camp.  Both parts are big and important. 

One thing I've learned of late - wisdom of my age I suppose - is that it always seems that the most timely and appropriate words of scripture find their way into meaning through the goings on of my days.  And this magazine guy?  .. and the electricity sales guy?  and some of the frustrating people out and about?  I am NOT talking about YOU.  Let's be clear.  Today I learned a verse that just seems to yell kindness and love and encouragement for everyone we meet.  Not just the ones we choose. 

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.   Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.  Romans 12:9-10,12 -13

I tend to think about hospitality being all the adorable decorating and entertaining ideas that I wish I could copy and call my own off Pinterest and other creative blogs I read.  But y'all it's not.  Hospitality isn't just loving the lovable - the friends, and people we choose.  It's not about providing the best things and atmosphere.  And it's not about choosing the time or place to share our good - maybe even our best - with others.   

Even in the smallest of ways, it's all about loving the unlovable. 

And that's all of us sometimes. 

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