today on the ultimate of pi days, 3.14.15, i realized something about work.
recently, i was thinking about what it means to “work as unto the lord.” most of my life i’ve understood it as “work really hard and even if my boss doesn’t notice, God will…and somehow that will make up for it” or “work as if God is my boss & i can’t get away with anything…so don’t try it.”
so back to pi…
whenever i think of pi, i think of pie. i think most people do (either that or they have a flash back to a recurring nightmare where they forgot to study for a mid-term in school). when i think of pie, i think of nonnie.
nonnie is my wife’s grandmother. she is one of the most welcoming and easy to love people i’ve ever met. she accepted me as one of the family from the first “here’s my boyfriend” holiday. she loves to serve people & always makes you feel like a guest of honor.
and, she makes pies.
one year, my wife (girlfriend at the time) & her sister spent a week learning the craft. they stayed with nonnie & learned her methods…from scratch. nothing was purchased except in its most primal form. they spent days mixing, rolling, folding, fluffing & baking. the end result was a utopia of pies.
afterward my wife explained the painstaking, detailed, drawn-out process. i remember her saying, “you have to really love someone to make them a pie.”
soon after, we had a family gathering at nonnie’s. which everyone knows means pies. chocolate pie, coconut cream pie & my favorite, lemon meringue pie. there are always so many pies. too many pies. and the mind-boggling culture around theses pies…eat what you want, when you want. pie after dinner…pie after lunch…pie for lunch…pie for breakfast. it’s AMAZING!
i remember everyone kinda acting like the pies aren’t there. they are careful not to be the first one in. when my uncle-in-law says, “that’s it, i’m gonna have to get rid of some of that pie.” at this point, everyone dives in…it’s like a bunch of ants scurrying over each other.
at this moment i remember all the work my wife described. all the work that i know has gone into each of these pies. i catch sight of nonnie. she’s standing in the back corner of her kitchen, holding a 1/2 cup of coffee and grinning from ear to ear.
today, on pi day, it dawned on me…
no matter what i am doing, put in the hard work. produce quality. work hard to love people as much as a nonnie pie.
rex, my dad’s dalmatian, is a beautiful creature. dad has had rex for quite some time & rex has been my dad’s best friend thought a very rough stretch recently. my dad loves that creature. anytime we’d facetime or skype, we’d get to see rex & hear about him. i loved seeing this part of my dad…getting to share it with my kids. i think dad’s love of rex is the reason my kids came to love rex so much. even my son, who at times seems deathly afraid of any non-zoo animal being within eyeshot of him, fell in love with this dog.
there is a park by my dad’s place were he & rex would often visit. one day over thanksgiving, we decided to take a walk. rex walked beside us. though in the later years of his live, he loved being outdoors. he adored the people (especially the children) who came by to meet him & hopefully pet him. people would came from across the park to pet rex & talk to my dad. i remember looking at rex and thinking, “i’m not sure if rex enjoys this more or if dad does?”
there is a decent creek that winds through the park. beside the bridge nearest my dad’s place, there are dozens and dozens of ducks. dad was telling me how much rex loves to splash in this water & chase the ducks. as dad was telling me this, he was laughing & beaming over his spotted friend.
at that moment it hit me clear as a bell. rex loves being a dog.
nobody told him how. he didn’t read a self-help book. he just did it…and did it well.
as i’ve been preparing for this new year, i kept thinking about my dad & rex.
one day i hope i’m as good at being a human as rex is at being a dog. i want to be confident. i want to loving. I want God laughing & beaming over me as i am doing exactly what i am made to do.
not too long ago, i spent 2 years with no a/c. not because i didn’t want it or the temp didn’t warrant it, but because it was not available. i complained. i was hot. i went & bought a crazy industrial fan. one that blew the pillows off our sofa. i sat 2 feet in front of it as much as possible. i complained still.
we moved back to texas and had a record summer with like 100 straight days of triple digit temps. it was ridiculous! i complained. I sat in my a/c closed the windows & complained.
now, it is approaching mid-august & we’ve hit like 10 days of 100+. this is the coolest summer i can remember in texas. and, earlier this evening, i complained.
my son’s bible story tonight was about the israelites walking in the dessert for 40 years. they complained.
as i sat there & thought about this, i felt like a pansy. here i am, things are getting better & i still complain. i kinda pushed reset & decided to be thankful.
leaving my son’s room, i hear the rain outside. rain in august in texas. i go to the living room, draw the curtains, and watch the rain. under a fan. in the a/c.
i do not complain.
Been on a big make things / crafting kick. Decided to make my own shoes.
I wanted minimalism. Fewer seams means less work & less friction. Basically, I wanted a sock I could wear outside.
I’ll walk you through it.
As a 2nd little one has joined our family, i have taken the time to pray for her, hold her and just watch her. I’ve found projects help keep me focused. Especially while praying. Something to keep my hands busy and channel my thoughts.
As i sat and stitched, i wondered who will this little lady grow up to be? What will these beautiful blue eyes see? As i prayed for her future, i fell deeper in love with my little girl.
Today i spent the day workin on what our family has lovingly named “hoot”.
Just like with “wala,” i wanted to have an already loved feel to it. Character that can form over time. I didn’t want the cutest stuffed animal…just one that could be loved for being.
The other day i heard ace say, “wala, i love you just because you’re mine.” it’s a quote from a kids book and that is the message i want my children to understand.
For now sleep well little one, hoot and daddy will be here when you wake.
Today is mother’s day. As we were prepping for it, i asked ace what he wanted to give mama. He put his finger on his chin and said hmm. Then his face lit up. “giraffe!” he exclaimed.
You want to give mama a giraffe?
Maybe we can think of something else to give mama.
No no no no…
From that conversation, we looked online just for kicks to see what a giraffe would cost. Ebay wasn’t helpful. But google was ($25,000+). A bit outside our budget.
So we compromised and made her this.
It’s a growth chart. We’ll mark ace’s height on it and mama can cherish it for years to come.
Happy mother’s day!