Introducing the Young YOU!
Last week, I had the privilege of cleaning out my mother’s home of forty-five years. The happy news is that she is still super healthy and living in Melbourne, Forida, equidistant between my two brothers. Her home in Ft. Lauderdale (the one I was emptying) was extremely organized, but she did have 3400 square feet pretty much completely full, despite the fact that she had been living in her new digs for about four years.
I learned a great deal about my mother the week I spent cleaning out the house, and one of the most obvious things was that she treasured written communication–she had saved piles (all carefully labeled, of course) of cards and letters dating back years. The oldest was from 1865, thanks to a deceased great aunt! It was unrealistic to save all of these missives, but I read through nearly all of them in an effort to insure I was not disposing of something important.
Initially, I was taken aback by this daunting task–I admit to being frustrated at times by the volume of material to dig through. But then I would come across something written by someone long gone that made me laugh out loud, or set my mind wondering about some curious topic.
Interestingly enough, the letters that tickled me the most were those written by me as a tiny child. The eight-year-old Beth was quite creative, and a bit nerdy, with a bubbly, bold, and sometimes biting sense of humor. Who is this tiny girl, I would muse? Where has she gone?
Sometimes I feel that days pass now without sharing a really hearty belly-laugh with someone. Sometimes I think the truly meaningful conversations I share are separated by a week or more at a time. I wonder if life itself has a tendency to press the humor out of us, and leave us much more serious than God intended we be.
One of my favorite’s, Bob Goff, author, speaker and lover of Jesus–talks about holding onto that childhood version of yourself: “Don’t forget the eight-year-old version of you. Like that winsome, wonderful, exciting… you weren’t worried about how to make rent or pay taxes. I would say, take that eight year old version, and hold them by the hand…”
You may not have the gift of hearing your voice echoing from childhood, as I have, but consider how we might all return to a simpler, freer, carefree, fun mindset as demonstrated by the nearest eight year old child.
I would love to hear your stories about similar tasks you faced, encountering the young you, or anything else you care to share!