This subject of growing up has not left my thoughts. There seems to be such a difference between living life with childlike wonder and enthusiasm and then being some always serious minded stick in the mud person.
I kept hearing the verse running through my mind that talks about putting away childish things....
1 Cor 13:11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
and then it came to me, after thinking about the way we are told to be like a child...
Matthew18: 3 And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." yet then this verse in 1 Cor.. You see, I think in finding the difference between putting away childish things and having the heart of a child we find a good place to be. Childish things might be summed up by saying, wanting our own way. Being self centered, children are that way. We have to teach them to share and to be giving. Childish things might be in owning toys, yes we all know about how we want the latest and best toys. Cars, houses, decorating items, sewing machines, cell phones, computers, and on and on. We don't often equate wanting those things as perhaps pursuing childish things. But we all know children want more and more dolls, more and more legos etc. We keep telling them they have enough, they don't really need more, but what do our actions show them. We as a society remind me of Veruca on Willy Wonka, " I want it now !" Its not a matter of what you can afford even, you very well might have enough money to purchase whatever you want, but its a matter of taming your wants and being mature and learning its better to help those in need than to fill your own coffers.
It might even be that you justify buying more than you need by purchasing things you are sure you must have in order to have a simple life.
Children are to be admired for their open and honest approach to life and that we should never grow out of. Also, think of how a child can be amused for hours with a pile of leaves, a cardboard box, or a stick.
We should also try to maintain as much health and vigor of our youth as we can. My grandmother and even my mother, never sat on the floor to play with us. First in their thinking it didn't seem the proper thing to do, they were far too grown up for that, and then in no time at all they no doubt could not physically do that. You loose what you don't use !
Maybe we are mixing things up in our mind a bit, seeing sophistication, which always seems to involve a great deal of self centeredness, as being the sign of being grown up. Its just hard to imagine the most chic older woman, playing in the dirt with a grandchild. Too bad as both loose out.Being grown up is maybe more about knowing which battles to pick in life, what to fight for.
Maybe being grown up is knowing how to use your life experience. Share sympathy, share what you learned from something very difficult. Be strong in the face of hardship because you know you have the strength to do it. Know how to control yourself, ouch, here is the tough one, being grown up means being able to distinguish between want and need and know when its ok to want something yet not be totally over board with it.
Being grown up means working through the problems, hardships that hold you back from being real. Being grown up means knowing what your purpose is and living it.
Being grown up, means putting away the childhood truths that no longer serve you. It means seeking to become whole. I suspect God is a good director of that path. Looking other places just seems to keep us on the road of confusion.
Simple living may be the thing that takes some of the childish ways from us. My life in the way we have chosen to live has given me more hours in my day to think, to work out the kinks of finding where I need to be. My goal is to be more than just a person that did this or that around the house, I want my heart to be receptive. I want my actions to show without ever preaching a sermon that I make loving God and His children my goal .
Having lots of things takes time away from helping others and for Emery and I, helping our family and others is number one. How we choose to live is not the way everyone has to live but it works for us.
I thought about my old car, it runs wonderful, so why get a new one and spend money on something we don't need. Its a 1991, but it works. We could have purchased a new car at any time, but instead we opted to put a bid on a house for Melanie and Casi to purchase from us, no down payment from them, giving them a beginning, a hope and a future. Simple isn't it. And all those years of being home to teach the children right from wrong, compassion, control of themselves, to have a good work ethics from all those farm chores etc has made it so they appreciate how we have chosen to help them and how we chose to live. We are not perfect, but we are content, and I guess if I think about it, I am grown up, just still enjoy having fun.
It comes down to so many choices in our life, this way we live.
We could have put in central heat but we like not having to ever worry about maintaining and paying for high utility bills and all that chopping and hauling wood keeps us fit and healthy. It keeps us basic, in touch with simplicity. Same as no clothes dryer, no dish washer, no bread maker, no garbage disposal. The alternatives of doing things by hand keep us in touch with our desires for simplicity. Fewer things to break down, no cost of purchasing such items and without them, I have time to pray while I knead bread, and the satisfaction of knowing my hands are staying strong. Hanging clothes gives me time to see the birds fluttering about me and watch the clouds while getting good aerobic exercise and do some weight lifting (clothes baskets of wet clothes are heavy). I get to throw the scraps of food to the chickens and see that there is little waste in the home. Washing dishes is another time to think, to dream and to pray while having hands that are busy with a task so simple and yet so connected with generations and generations.
Being grown up in this modern world, is not the same type of being grown up in past generations. We are different people and our health is different, we are more vigorous, but maybe its time to put some of the Veruca attitude away
this mornings fire, chasing away the chill
eggs for breakfast
our new rooster, that hatched out late summer
door to the milk house
a woodpecker waiting his turn at the feeder