Monday, January 26, 2009

Simply living

When I started college, my plan was to take off some year to be a missionary, spreading love and help and perhaps even the peace of Christ someplace it was desperately needed. But my grandmother got sick, and I realized that I -- not just anyone, but I, Daina -- was needed at home. I stayed, taught Latvian school religion class, and looked for a job in the area instead. It was all much less of a leap, but perhaps a better fit for my God-given talents.

I thought that I might someday live in a commune, but instead God led me to marry Joe, who is not the commune type at all. So we live in our own house, though we hope to have all kinds of people in an out of it in time. (We are still working on this.)

I always thought that I would live in a house of mis-matching silverware, but Joe really likes the matching stuff, and we got a set for Christmas. It looks very nice. We gave away most of what I had before, though I kept a few of the most beautiful pieces, the old ones decorated with hearts or stars or curlicues, for when I have lunch by myself. Joe and I hope to get much use out of what we have.

I am trying to live the life God would have me live, one based on prayer and good works. I fail miserably sometimes, but in many ways things are going in the direction they should. But I never cease to be amazed at how different this life is than the lives I have at times envisioned.

This article in the Washington Post Magazine, A Not-So-Simple Life, was really interesting to me, and not just because the main subject once thought of becoming a nun but didn't.  She too wants to pour herself out, but has taken the route I once thought I  might, instead of the route I have taken now. 

The online chat that followed the article was perhaps even more interesting for me. The members of The Simple House talk there about something I first read about in the words of Mother Theresa. The lovely old woman who did so much for the poor of Calcutta and the world noted that in the United States, a rich country, the need for material things is often eclipsed by a need for love, especially among the loneliest of the elderly people, those who cannot leave their rooms and have few visitors. But this need is everywhere, in every neighborhood. It inspires me to read about people stepping out to address that poverty of love.

By the way, I've hung out with the nuns mentioned in the article -- on a Friday, pizza night. They're a lot of fun!

1 comment:

Peter Gardner said...

When I read that article, I thought of you.