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!
4 thoughts on “Introducing the Young YOU!”
You are so right Beth. It does seem like the everyday living can squeeze the hugs right out of us!
It can, Kathryn, which is why I was grateful for the gift of a “window into my eight-year-old world.” I wonder whether there is a way to check ourselves periodically, and evaluate where we are in this regard… does it require such a window, to compare our present-day person to? Or do we have the ability to say, independent of such a reminder, “Gosh, I’m really acting like a stick-in-the-mud… I need to up the Joy Factor in my life?! Thanks for reading, and responding!
Could it be that we become better versions of that child as life transforms us, as God’s grace empties into our soul as we grow old? The seriousness of life blended with a searching for meaning and purpose of life (to know God , to Love God and to Serve Him…….Baltimore catechism.) is yielding for me that carefree child. Trusting EVERYTHING to Him , Why , I feel giddy (like a child!) Additionally, maturity has curbed the cheeky precocious 10 year old; I hope!
I have done a very similar “clean out” and appreciate the fatigue and emotional drain of this task and yet , even this un-childlike task is freeing and adds to our new youthful self. Lastly, don’t have a bonfire yet , zip drives make great archives and as a teen I loved bonfires….ok so I’m not 10 yet , settling for 15 (which I enjoyed and my serious parents did not) !
I think it depends upon the person, don’t you? I have an eighty-three year old mentor–who I plan to introduce to all of you soon–who is fun and fearless and I’m sure entirely in touch with her eight-year-old self. I know people much younger who have all but succumbed to the weight of daily living and the trials that come with it.
But I agree with you that being filled with God’s spirit is a sure way to maintain a sense of joy and wonder in our lives. In fact, I’d go so far as to say God’s spirit embodies joy and wonder!
Clean-out is, indeed, freeing… we will have more discussion on that topic in an upcoming post. I’m so grateful for your response!
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