Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Funeral, A Wedding, and a Baby Shower

All week long I was yearning for some down time--time in which I might feel free to read a book or practice a new recipe of culinary magnitude. Alas, those leisurely moments were not in the cards for me.

If you know me, you know that I rarely have time to sit down, nor do I function well when I am forced to relax and sit still. My mind and body have become rather accustomed to the stress that accompanies adult life, rather--the stress that sometimes defines my adult life. I can't remember a time when I didn't have 20 things on my to-do list and I wallow in guilt when I can't check off every item on that list. Yes, I am horrible at relaxing. Even now I feel like I should be scrubbing a bathtub rather than writing. I generally do not allow myself any time to relax until I am so burnt out that I can't function without sobbing. I was looking forward to this past weekend for that very reason. I could feel the growing tension in my shoulders that led to horrendous headaches. Patience has never been my strong suit and my already short supply was rapidly dwindling. And so I entered the weekend with a bit of trepidation, anticipating that the arrival of Sunday evening would find me completely worn out and cantankerous.

Here I am on Sunday evening, shocked that I am cheerful and thankful to the Lord for giving me such an eye-opening weekend when I expected to be run to the ground and unprepared to face another week. The weekend began with the Memorial Service for our dear friend Cheryl DeLeo (I posted about her a couple of weeks ago). She was such an incredibly humble woman who loved our Lord with all of her heart. I was blown away at the size of the crowd that gathered to celebrate the life of this loving, soft-spoken woman. What an incredible testimony to her loving personality.

Saturday evening, we drove out to the Angeles National Golf Course to celebrate the marriage of my friend Laura who I worked with at Starbucks many moons ago. What a beautiful day, and what a gorgeous bride she was, exchanging vows with her now-husband David. The minister spoke honestly of love and the commitment they were making to each other. David, who boasts a sarcastic and wonderfully dry sense of humor, is a big softie when it comes to his bride. The smile that lights up his face when she enters the room is a breathtaking sight to behold. I was reminded of the spiritual parallel of Christ as the bridegroom and the Church as His bride. What a love to experience!

And lastly, today--this Sunday morning I attended a baby shower. The shower was for a girl I hardly know, but I grew up with her husband. I am thrilled for them, of course. I am always so excited to see a friend welcoming a new life into the world and into his/her family. It is such a precious thing to witness: the vast, unmeasurable love that is felt for this tiny new person balanced with the weight of tremendous responsibility in protecting and guiding the child safely to adulthood and beyond. I am so anxious for that moment in my life when I can celebrate a new life growing inside of me. What an awesome privilege to take part in.

As I was reflecting over my weekend, not only did I feel refreshed to have been surrounded by dear friends and family, but the Lord opened my eyes to something remarkable: I witnessed the progression of life, all in one weekend. Birth, marriage, and finally death. I was struck by the brevity of a lifetime. How quickly the moments in life pass by until the end of it. I do not mean to sound morbid; rather, I wish to bring attention to you, my dear friends, how precious and important each moment is. I have again been reminded to live life with purpose and passion and to serve my God with my whole heart. After all, if I am not living for a purpose, I am living an empty life void of the joy of glorifying the Lord. Each person on this earth has a purpose for which he/she was created. I beseech you to find that purpose and grasp hold of it. Life is too short to spend year after year simply drifting through the days.

And on a lighter note, I also realized that "A Funeral, A Wedding, and a Baby Shower" sounds like the title of a movie. Hmmmm, maybe my purpose is to write the screenplay for a movie.... Only kidding.

So, friends, I hope I have challenged you as the Lord challenged me this weekend. I thank God for each of you in my life and the purpose you have served in being my friends. I am so thankful for each of you.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Kitchen Cleanliness

Who doesn't love a clean kitchen? After this evening's vigorous scouring, there's not a dish in the sink, the floors have been swept and the counters scrubbed. *Sigh* I can rest a bit easier now that it's done. I feel like I should take a picture to preserve this lovely vision.

I've spent very little time at home over the past 2 months. 4 out of 5 weekends are spent transporting box upon box to San Luis Obispo. Our weeknights have been comprised of packing as much stuff as we can into our rapidly diminishing box supply. To make matters worse, my husband is back on the graveyard shift so I'm trying to do all this in addition to all of my household chores. The goal is to complete all of this as quietly as possible. What I've learned is that household chores cannot be accomplished quietly. But rather than making good use of my time to cook and clean quickly and efficiently, it's become extraordinarily easy to procrastinate and allow slothfulness to reign supreme. Laziness has become my companion in the kitchen especially. I have not cooked a meal for TWO WEEKS!! Ouch--that was painful to confess. I've been existing on Kashi cereal and bread with the occasional salad thrown in when guilt strikes for not having eaten a sufficient number of leafy greens. Instead of cleaning up after myself, I've allowed the dishes to pile up for the said TWO WEEKS. The aroma wafting from the general kitchen area was finally enough to pull me back in. However, I would be lying if I said it was merely the aroma. It was the one-two punch that truly forced me to confront the kitchen head on: I had no clean dishes. What kind of housekeeper have I become?? Oh the shame!

Step #2 to come: the purging of the refrigerator. I have been inspired by Kristen of "The Frugal Girl" blog to weekly take inventory of the food that's gone to waste. Every Friday she takes a picture of the food that's gone bad and is subsequently wasted by the end of each week. She posts the picture on her blog to keep herself accountable. I think I will start doing the same thing every week in order to keep track of what we actually eat in a seven day span along with aiding me in becoming a more efficient grocery shopper. I'm actually excited to see how much money I can save.

I will close for now with the hope of becoming a better housekeeper. I bid you all a lovely evening and hope that your kitchens are just as lovely as mine.