Isn't this the most gorgeous cake you ever saw? Eddie made it for Jaithan's mom's birthday a couple of weeks ago ... you can read more about it (and more) on his blog here. His talent just astounds me.
Last week I had a birthday too (I still haven't calculated which one it is) but one of the good things about getting older and becoming more forgetful is that you can re-read books and they feel like new again. So today I started re-reading a book that I clearly have read before - I can tell I have read it before because it is earmarked - but I have absolutely no recollection of it. The book is by one of my favorite Christian authors - John Ortberg who is the pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. I love his sense of humor and simple way he writes. The book is titled, When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box.
In Chapter four of the book, John talks about how in our culture, we put a lot of emphasis on our outer person (which will someday pass away) instead of developing what will last (our inner being; our spirit). He says:
"You will get inundated with messages that try to get you to obsess over the outer you. Experts tell us that if you exercise regularly, you will add two years to your life. But the bad news is that you will spend those two years exercising. Winston Churchill lived into his nineties and said the only exercise he ever got was serving as a pallbearer for his friends that died while they were exercising."Okay, so before I get a lot of weird comments, I am not (nor is he) saying not to exercise. God knows I need to exercise more and being healthy is way up there on my list of things I need to work on this year. But I really loved what he went on to say:
"Be grateful for the outer you. Come to peace with your body. Rejoice in its strengths. Accept it in its limitations. Be grateful for it. Wash it once in a while. (My sister Patti will most certainly get a laugh from this as we are both the poster children on pushing the limit on this since we have come to realize the less we shower the more we can get done!!!) Let it work hard. Be happy when it gets promoted. But remember, it's wasting away.
"Make your biggest investment in the you that will last. We have scales and mirrors and cameras and tape measures to track the development of our outer selves. But how how can we track the well-being of the part of us that will last? This may look a little different for everyone, but there are a few mirrors and scales that we all will probably need:
- Self-examination and confession
- Friends who love you enough to speak truth too you
- Time to be alone and listen to God
- Examination of your calendar and checkbook
- Key questions, such as: How easily discouraged do I get these days? How easily irritated am I compared to six months ago?
- Attention to your secret thought life. What is your mind drawn towards - really? Where do envy or blaming or judging or lusting rob your inner person of life and joy?
"Here's a concrete place to start: spend as much time caring for the inner you as you spend on the outer you."Good stuff, right?