I'm practicing a new thing. Well, a few new things. I've been leaving the house without my phone. Let that one settle in for a moment. Do you remember the last time you did this? It's really freeing. A few weeks ago, we spent the entire afternoon at the beach--and left both of our phones at home. I"m not sure when it was decided that I need it with me at all times, but I want you to know that that is a lie. Sure, we missed messages and other invitations for the day. No, we couldn't photo document the day. But there is great joy in fewer options. Plus, I wasn't tempted to check work email or respond to messages. I was present. I am also practicing limited work days. I am in the office all day long on Tuesdays. The rest of my work time is reserved for appointments with people, scheduled events and worship planning/leading. This means I am not answering emails or responding to messages until actual work hours. I'd like to think this has been my practice all along, but it's been far from it. To help me reign this in, I disconnected email and fb notifications from my phone.
I'm also trying to lighten up about the level of mess that I am comfortable with at home. It's unnerving--inviting people in when the kitchen is a disaster. I have to do a lot of self talk. I imagine this will get easier with practice. Last week, Heatherlyn and Jason called and said, "Hey, we are in the area. Can we stop by and see those baby dreads?" Heatherlyn and I had been messaging back and forth--I was asking for maintenance advice. Then came this opportunity--when the house was in complete chaos. In my head, I said, "Oh hell no!" But I ignored that voice and said, "That would be amazing." Guess what? We had a lovely conversation--a gift of connection. It felt like a bible story--"Jesus, you want to come to MY house?" (Zacchaeus, various tax collectors, me, etc.) This blog post about scruffy hospitality seems timely.
Anyway, it all comes down to control. Or the illusion of control.The world doesn't end when you give up little bits of it. Want to practice with me? I promise not to be annoyed when it takes you all day (or three days) to respond to my messages. I won't judge your messy kitchen. Trust me. I will just be overwhelmed with joy that you offered me a cup of iced tea.