THE NEW EWE

"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"

Luke 15:4-6

October 14, 2015

LIFE IN THE FOLD:

Quirks... habits.... characteristics.... traits.... eccentricities.... oddities....weirdness....

How many times have we seen such things in others, thinking/wishing they should/would change; yet,we don't acknowledge or recognize them in ourselves? For us, we think it's normal or "just the way we are", but don't accept that regarding others.

I have a nephew-in-law who has certain ways that he has to do things or wants things done. For instance, his closet is organized and arranged in a more orderly way than any other I've ever seen. He has all his t-shirts, all his long-sleeved shirts, all his short-sleeved button down the front shirts, all his polo shirts, all his sweaters all separated out and hung together in groups. Not only are they all separated, but they are hung in a particular order: they are hung by color, and the the shirts that he's worn the most recent is hung to the back of that section so that he will alternate which shirts he wears. He has his undergarments all separated in a particular order in his dresser drawers; and they are all folded a particular way. He also has a certain way that the bathroom towels have to be folded.

For a long time I used to think, "That's silly! He should just be happy that I help them out occasionally with laundry!" But finally I realized that this is how he is, he can't help it, and this laundry quirk is a characteristic that makes him unique. I've learned how to fold the towels like he wants them done, which is really no big deal. I fold the rest of the family's laundry and separate it out, which is fine. I've learned to just lay all his pants, shirts, undergarments on his side of the bed and he will put them away himself, the way that he wants them done. It's not a big deal! The thing is, he really is grateful for my help and has thanked me numerous times for helping out with laundry or cleaning the mornings that I'm there babysitting their baby daughter.

I make my and Jon's bed every morning. If we take a nap on weekends, especially when it's cold out and we sleep under the covers, I will straighten the sheets (on my side, at least, because Jon really doesn't care), before climbing into bed that night. The thing is, Jon doesn't mind whether or not I made the bed every day. Wrinkled sheets and a messy quilt don't bother him whatsoever. I could just put on clean sheets every few days, and never make the bed in between times, and that would be fine with my husband. But I hate sleeping in a bed with wrinkled, messy sheets and quilt! I generally make the bed first thing when I get up in the mornings, because that's the right thing to do; at least in my way of thinking!

I also have to have the toilet paper roll where the paper goes over; not under! It drives me bananas when it's not put on the holder the "right" way!! Several months ago, I went to a funeral at a church. When I arrived at the church, I went into the restroom. Whoever had cleaned had put the toilet paper on the holder the wrong way! I took it off and fixed it for them.

Several years ago, I worked with a man who was obsessed with keeping his car cleaned. There were mornings when I'd get to work and see him sitting inside his car wiping down the dash with some kind of special cloth. The outside was always spotless. I lived down a dirt road and keeping my car clean wasn't a priority for me. One time I was getting out of my car after my lunch hour and he was walking behind my car. I saw him eying my car, and knew the dirt was really bothering him. As he walked by, I heard him mumble under his breath, "Your car is dirty!!" My thought was, "Big deal! It's my car, and if it doesn't bother me, it shouldn't bother you!" But this was one of his quirks, and it really did bother him.

I have a nephew who may have 3-4 different foods on his plate, but will eat one food at a time. For instance, when we go out to eat at McAlisters he always gets the grilled chicken caesar wrap, steamed veggies, and a chocolate chips cookie. He will eat his cookie first, then the wrap, and lastly the veggies. He does the same at home. If he has a sandwich and chips, he will eat his sandwich first and then the chips. He never eats a bite of something, then a bite of something else......

Jon has a very corny sense of humor! His dad and siblings all lean towards that same sense of humor, and tend to find the same type of things funny. There were times when I didn't get their jokes or puns (especially when it was math or science or engineer related); and when I did, I didn't really think it was all that funny..... bless their hearts! But over the past ten years, Jon's geekiness and corniness has grown on me and he can make me laugh now -- at how geeky and corny he is being!

We've all been around people who have a certain way that they want things done; or are obsessed about something in particular; or like to eat food a certain way; or have an order of how they do things; or will redo something if it's not done to their liking; etc..... At times, it can be irritating or make us feel like they're just being nit-picky or even make us not want to help out or be around them.

I'm sure all of us have made a comment about someone along the lines of, "They're just really weird!" or "They are very different!" or "They're nice enough, but are kind of quirky!" or "They are an odd duck!" or "You just gotta love them; bless their heart!"

But what about the quirks or oddities that we have? Do we expect people to accept them or do we have the attitude, "If they don't like it, that's their problem and they need to just deal with it!"? Do we feel that others should accept us the way we are? Or do we think that "our" quirks aren't nearly as irritating or obnoxious or frustrating as other people's are?

We are all different, with different ways of doing things and different points of view. That's okay! Just because someone does something unlike we do doesn't mean that we're right and their wrong, or that they're right and we're wrong. We don't all have to like the same things, or do things the same way, or think the same way. God created us all different and unique, quirks and all!

What we do have to do is not get crazy or critical regarding others, but accept and love them, regardless of whether we do things like they do. We need to accept them and love them, and look for the good. And perhaps we all need to learn to laugh at ourselves a little more, and not get so carried away with focusing on our differences.

I would guess that some of the twelve disciples had quirks and probably drove each other crazy at times. Let us use our imagination for a few minutes (this is not scriptural -- just my imagination!!): Suppose James put himself in charge of building fires when the twelve and Jesus were traveling. He thought the wood all needed to be cut to the exact same length and laid in a certain way to make the best fire. But occasionally Bartholomew would build the fire and he could care less how long the wood was, and just threw it all haphazardly in a pile. That would drive James crazy! Peter was the great fisherman so thought he was the best at fileting the fish and frying them, so he put himself in charge of doing the cooking. But John had also grown up in a family full of fishermen, and had a different way of cleaning and cooking the fish and thought his way was best. The two men would probably drive each other, as well as the others, crazy arguing over who was the best fish fryer. Then there was Luke, the doctor. He was obsessed with cleanliness, and thought the men should all wash their hands before sitting down for a meal; and also thought they should clean their feet each evening before going to sleep. When the men got a cut on their hand or leg, he would clean it thoroughly and put some herbs on it. The other men all thought this cleanliness and doctoring was the craziest thing they'd ever heard; after all, they had grown up without doing that and their thinking was, "A little dirt never hurt anyone!". They'd made it to adulthood without all this persnickety cleanliness and had done just fine! They may have thought that Matthew was just weird, after all he had been a tax collector. Perhaps they rolled their eyes every time Philip told a joke, because of his corny sense of humor. This is all just pure imagination -- but my point is, I'm sure with twelve men, there were certain things that bugged them about one another.

Luke 6:31 tells us to, "Do to others as you would like them to do to you." We understand that to mean that we should treat others as we want to be treated; which is true. But perhaps it also means that we need to respect and honor others, as we would want them to respect and honor us -- quirks and all.

1 Corinthians 13:4 says, "Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude." Love is patient and kind, even when people act in a way that bugs us or when they do things that we think are silly or when they do things differently than we do. Love isn't rude; it doesn't condemn or criticize others when they act in a way that we don't understand or have oddities and traits that we think they need to change.

God created us all, unique and different; weirdness, oddness, quirkiness, and all!

JON'S PERSPECTIVE:

I'm glad I don't have any obnoxious quirks. My humor is, of course, a great quality, not annoying at all.

Loretta's insistence on making the bed is a pretty good habit. I agree that it looks nicer made up. But her reasoning seems odd. Her biggest reason for making the bed is so the sheets are free of wrinkles when she gets in. But the moment she tries to get in, it gets wrinkles. Loretta's sister agrees with her, no matter how much I try to convince them of logic. But it really doesn't matter. The bed looks fine, and she's happy.

We can let the quirks of others get to us, or let them go. We can let them eat at us until a minor annoyance turns into anger, or even wrath. That seems to be the cause of a lot of divorces. I have a co-worker who complains about his ex-wife all the time. And most of his complaints don't seem like they are very valid. He must agree, since they are considering re-marrying. It's bad enough that he obsesses about the quirks of his ex-wife, but he also encourages another co-worker to join in. I'm glad I have headphones and music to drown it out.

ON THE MENEWE:

Mama's Cocoa Gravy

Approximately 1-1/2 quarts of Milk

Pinch of Salt

1 cup Sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla

4 Tablespoons Cocoa

Butter

3 Tablespoons Flour

Pour milk into a 2 quart saucepan and begin to warm until milk steams. In a bowl mix sugar, cocoa, flour, and salt. Add enough warm milk from the saucepan into the dry mixture to make a pourable sauce. Stir well to make sure there are no lumps. When the milk in the pan begins to steam, pour in mixture from the bowl very slowly, stirring constantly. Cook until it bubbles and thickens. Remove from heat and add butter (1-2 Tablespoons) and vanilla. Serve over hot biscuits.

THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER:

My niece and her husband were having Bible devotions with their kids and asked if they had any prayer request.

Jax: "Pray Jemma doesn't hit me in the mouth with the Skip-It anymore." (This was an accident.)

Mom: "Well, didn't you punch Jemma yesterday? Let's pray that we all get along better."

Jax: "Do we HAVE to?!?"

THOUGHT TO PONDER:

"We shouldn't fear dying;

we should fear not fully living the life God has designed for us to live." - Christine Caine

OUR HEARTFELT THANKS TO YOU:

We love you!

Loretta & Jon

http://www.graysheep.org