Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Give it up

Giving did not come to me as a natural gift.  It's something I've prayed about for years.  I've always had this natural desire to keep and save.  Save and keep.  I would save my halloween candy for a year and only eat one piece at a time.  What a strange thing for a child to do.  I couldn't give up clothing, toys, old notebooks, or work books for anything.  I hauled stuffed animals around with me for until I was 21 years old and I met my husband.  He gave me a huge television box and told me to throw all the stuff I don't need into it.  I gasped and felt a twist in my gut.  What if throwing all that away made me forget what it was like when I was younger?  He gave me a much smaller box and said, "choose carefully".  What ended up happening was he went to work and then came home several hours later to me surrounded by a pile of nastalgia.  I was reminiscing over toys and pictures and shoes.  Oh, how I love shoes.  Below, you'll see my love of shoes looks like a taiwanese shoe store at the night market.  It's GLORIOUS!  Hahaha!

I eventually threw out, gave away, consigned several things and felt lighter.  I don't regret it, I don't look back and think about that thing I don't remember because I didn't need it if I don't remember it.  Make sense?  Anyways, I since have prayed about having a more generous heart with things, money, my talents, and time.  I don't mean spreading myself thin but I mean having a heart for people and investing in human hearts.  That of course, is what it's all about right?  What's the point of living on this beautiful earth if you are only going to take take take.  NOTHING.  If we aren't investing in relationships, what are we investing in?

I knew when God told Scott and I to open a salon, that he meant not to make us rich in money but rich in community.  He has led us in various ways to give and I'm so thankful God has transformed my heart from a scrooge to someone who loves to give.  We are humbled all the time by His perfect plan.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Human shield

Every year there is life and death.  Last year my baby was brought to life through some crazy miracle of a sperm meeting an egg, then I grew this person inside of me for quite some time, then I pushed this person out of my twa-twa (as my mom use to call it) and THEN i fed this person all the nutrition she could possibly need.  WHOA!  One whole year flew by and as I like to say, everything that's good goes fast except for the last 8 weeks of pregnancy.  As I've watched the miracle of life, I have also experienced the fragility of life and relationships.  As of maybe 7 years ago, I wasn't personally in touch with how life and death worked.  My grandpa passed away in 2006 of old age.  He was a fantastic grandpa with a sense of humor that he made work for him up until his last breath.  I witnessed his death and it was life altering because I literally felt the presence of his spirit leave.  I tear up thinking about him basking in the sun in our front yard with his shirt sleeves rolled up and his face tilted up towards the sun.  I always knew, as a kid, that on any given day I would see him either in our yard or in the blue la-z-boy chair in the living room.  Years have passed and there hasn't been a death that impacted me so much.  Or at least that I let impact me.

Cancer...we're all f'ed.  Isn't that how it feels when every week/month/year someone close to you or you work with is cursed with the word cancer.  I remember I had a client who was 24 years old when he told me he had cancer.  I was shocked because I was 24.  Probably, much to his annoyance, I questioned him about his first symptoms, his diagnosis, his prognosis, his treatments and his emotions.  He kept coming back to me for haircuts so somehow, I must have not chased him off with my naive questions.  This young man was fortunate enough to see the cancer move on.  That's what cancer does, even though not contagious, it just seems to move on and next thing you know, you're hearing the next person's story of cancer.

Our world doesn't have an outbreak of cancer but a deficiency of love.  We are in a drought of love.  I'm not talking about a feeling, I'm not talking about reality tv love, I'm talking about the real gritty love that God calls us to.  The selfless love that spreads steady and with a foundation so firm it can not be ripped away from you.  What was meant for evil, turns to good and turns to love.

Through this evil, I've seen families run together that were once parted by selfishness and hurt.  I've seen the immense strength and determination to fight for somebody's life.  Friends who forget to keep in touch suddenly step in and take action to act as a shield.  People are literally using themselves as weapons against this damn cancer.  Where there was no money, there's money to help with bills.  Where there was no hope, there is suddenly a new sunny day.  Where the prognosis was 6 months, the patient lives an extra two years.  Where there is death, there is a people left behind praising God for the time they had together.  Where a life had no meaning, damn it, people find meaning.  Where people couldn't find time, they make new priorities.  We are reduced down to what we are made from, LOVE.  Some people get scared and run but most of the time you will observe a human fortress of love overcome the sick.

I sent this verse to a friend yesterday

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.     JAMES 1:2-4

Remember there is work being done in us that we can not see until it has been done.

My heart goes out to you that suffer and are sick.  I cry because I know that I'm not immune to evil touching my life but I rejoice always because I know that I will have a human fortress putting up their shields and pointing their swords outward ready to slay evil.  Thank God for the strength He gives us to battle for love.  It's not always about life but it is always about LOVE.