Ordinary Hamburgers

 “This is just an ordinary hamburger. Is that okay with you?” 

I was invited to eat lunch with a few friends and they were bringing the food.

“Of course, I love ordinary hamburgers–I love all hamburgers!” 

And it’s true. I was not lying to my friends, blowing happiness and sunshine their way to be nice.

Ask anyone who knows me well: I’ve never met a hamburger that I haven’t liked. If I had to choose between a salad and a hamburger, a hamburger will win every time.

What got me thinking was the phrase “ordinary hamburger.”

My friends and I had a great conversation over ordinary hamburgers.

I loved every minute of it because I was secretly thrilled to be invited to eat an ordinary hamburger on an ordinary day for the sake of connecting with someone else.

I am a big fan of ordinary. 

If I had to choose between big, magical, once-in-a-lifetime moments and small, ordinary, yet repeatable moments, that choice is a no brainer to me. Ordinary wins every time.

Because 95% of life is ordinary. Chasing the extraordinary 5% is costing us big time. 

So, please, invite someone over for an ordinary experience, like coffee or dinner, and have some fun!

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Who you’re not

Do you know who you’re not

I realize this is a weird question. Experts and amateurs alike focus more on discussions around discovering who you are than discovering who you are not.

However, it’s vital to know both. 

You’re more likely to be counterproductive, pursuing things that are not related to your purpose, if you never discover who you’re not. For those who are Christians, you’ll also see more results in your spiritual life by knowing who you are and who you are not.

The topic of identity gets a lot of attention in our culture because our fast paced culture doesn’t allow much time for introspection and reflection. If you’re not moving at full speed, someone else might get ahead of you! 

Never mind the fact that life is more a marathon than a sprint….

By learning who I am not, I am freeing myself up to be who I am.

My focus is getting sharper.

My purpose is becoming clearer.

I compare myself to others less and less.

I don’t have to be you and you don’t have to be me. Isn’t that awesome?

Take my advice. Spend some time getting to know yourself. Then get busy chasing your dreams and helping others.

Know who you are, know who you are not. 

 

 

Hoarders

Hoarding–of any kind–is not the behavior of a healthy person. 

I just heard about an animal hoarder on the news. His house and yard was PACKED with cats and dogs. 

The animals were malnourished and full of fleas and ticks. His backyard was a pet cemetery. The number of animals buried was indeterminable. 

What brings someone to behave in this way?

I think it’s many things:

  • Fear
  • Obsession
  • Lack of self-control
  • Mental illness
  • Scarcity mentality 

I used to watch Hoarders–until it got to be too much for me. 

Every person on that show exhibited one or more of the above behaviors. 

What always amazed me was the horrid living conditions most hoarders live in. 

An altered mind will put up with a lot…

The media attention given to hoarding serves as a warning to us all: The things we have are not meant to have control of us. 

In relationship to pet hoarding, it just goes to show that unhealthy behaviors affect everyone–family, friends, and pets. 

Why I can’t care

” I can’t care about that…” 

A friend of mine was telling me how someone else perceives me. I appreciated the input because I’m not a sociopath (meaning I’m incapable of feeling one way or the other).

If there’s some kind of weirdo behavior that I’m exhibiting and someone else notices then I want to know. 

The reason I said, “I can’t care about that” is quite simple:

I’m a recovering people pleaser. 

In the situation being discussed, there was absolutely nothing I could do about this person’s perception.

So, I just can’t care. 

The alternative is that I become an obsessive, anxious maniac who can’t function when said person is around.

No thank you. Not interested. Been there, bought the t-shirt. 

We can’t control how others think of us. Even if we could control it, that’s not a healthy way to live.

I don’t want to be a robot, so everyone else has to be a robot? Where’s the health in that situation?

Perception is a double-edged sword.

You’re in denial if you think it’s possible to not have a perception about someone, yet you have to be on guard against faulty perception.

I have learned that a faulty perception is the first step toward a bad judgment.

I’m actually proud of myself today because I spotted a situation that is beyond my control, decided to let it go, and articulated why I was letting it go to someone else (i.e. my friend and now my readers). 

This is a step in the right direction.

 

Internet 101: Knee Jerk Reactions

“Quick! Grab your pitch forks! Someone posted an article on social media that I don’t like!” 

You can’t scroll through the newsfeed anymore without seeing knee jerk reaction posts…

“I am outraged that this is happening! We must all protest IMMEDIATELY!” 

So I click on the article and it turns out to be a dud. In fact, the article is twisting words to make it read a certain way.

Don’t buy into every piece of click bait on the internet. Take 5 minutes to do a quick search and see if there’s any validity. 

And please, please, please don’t make leaping assumptions about the message behind something or “how it’s poisoning us all” without doing some research.

It’s time to disband social media mobs. 

What is it accomplishing?

Most of the stuff you see smacks of fear and 95% of that fear is unfounded.

Be careful in our world of hyperbole. 

I know it’s not hard to believe that the machine–media and politicians–want us to be in a frenzy. When the people are in a frenzy, they will make rash decisions and allow things to happen that they might not otherwise agree to under normal circumstances.

And, no, this post is not about the Orlando massacre, but the same logic applies. 

What I’m referencing is a social media mob forming over a movie that’s coming out.

Seriously? Take a chill pill. It’s a movie.

If you don’t want to go, then don’t go. There’s no reason to stir up trouble about it.

Don’t blow up the internet with your rage about something that you read in an article. I mean, everything’s true if someone posts it on a website, right? 

Yeah. About that…

Healthy Introspection

Introspection: the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes.

I am an overly introspective person.

Is there a group called Over-Introspective Anonymous? 

If so, I need to go because the amount of time that I spend thinking things through is astronomical.

And annoying…..

There’s nothing wrong with knowing what you believe.

There’s nothing wrong with critical thinking.

It’s just that some of my “thinking” is actually tied to people pleasing. 

Ouch.

I am a recovering people pleaser and perfectionist. Old habits die hard. Just when I think that I’ve gotten it under control….

Well, you know how that sentence ends.

If your thoughts constantly revolve around “What will people think of me?” then that’s a sign that people pleasing is your motive. 

Eleanor Roosevelt once said:

“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

Loosen up!

It’s okay.

You’re okay.

Keep moving towards your dreams.

Put away the measuring stick. There’s no need to compare yourself to others. You’re not them and they’re not you. 

I say all of these things as reminders to myself, but I know that we’ve all been there.

This is when the healthy use of introspection comes in handy. 

I only noticed my old habits creeping back in after reading through my last few posts and thinking back on several conversations from earlier in the week.

Now I know what areas need more attention. 

And it has nothing to do with what someone else thinks and everything to do with me growing, which is the natural byproduct of healthy introspection.

Thursday Night Lights

I made a new friend today. 

Well, I made several new friends today because I had the opportunity to serve during Thursday Night Lights. 

Every Thursday a group of believers come together to serve and eat dinner with the homeless. 

A local missionary to the homeless brings a truck and trailer loaded with picnic tables and other supplies. 

Different groups volunteer each week to prepare dinner. It truly is a collaborative work within the body of Christ. 

My favorite part was hanging out with the men and women. One of my new friends is a little girl–let’s call her Joan–who is the same age as my sister Sofia. 

She was super shy at first but by the end of the night I got her to smile at me. 

Her smile was beautiful and it absolutely broke my heart…

What’s her daily life like? 

What are her dreams?

These are the questions that were burning in my heart. And if you know me at all, I will ask her these questions in due time. 

I’m reading through Matthew’s gospel and already there have been 3 times that Jesus was moved with compassion when He saw the multitudes. 

My heart was filled with compassion today. I never want to look at a man or woman and not see them as Christ sees them:

Loved. 

Accepted. 

Worth every sacrifice. 

I know that there’s a stigma about the homeless, but my goal is to take all my preconceived notions and throw them in the trash. 

It’s not my job to sit around and rank the people according to their various levels of poverty. 

Who is that helping?

My only job is to love people, to be their friend, and keep pointing them back to Jesus. 

Joan’s smile is still in my head…

All I see is the bright future that Christ has in mind for her. I look forward to getting to know my new friend and helping her see it, too.