Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Six Words or Less

AARP did something right this month – one of the articles in their magazine told of Ernest Hemingway’s being challenged to tell a story in only six words. He came back with, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

That was the introduction to a new feature of the magazine inviting readers to tell their life stories in six words or less, with the best to be published each month.

Got me to thinking. How would I describe my life in six words or less? Maybe this: Sixty-five, Not Through, More Adventures! Or: Daughtering, Wife-ing, Mothering, Granmama-ing, Great-gran-ing, Gone. (The great-grans are only a dream right now, but I hope to have gobs.)

Kind of pares us down to the bare essentials, doesn’t it, trying to cram years of emotions, activities, words and thoughts – LIVING - into a few puny words?

Which expressions would you chose, or make up, to describe your marriage? Mine might be: battle scars, blessings-covered, hilarious, merged. Or I could say: green partners, greener parents, God-rescued!

What about a child of yours?
Your outlook on life would call for what terms? Your habits?
Your housekeeping? (snicker)
Your cooking – or lack thereof? (more snickers)

Describing children should be easier than other subjects; think of them in certain situations that bring out the finer points of their personalities, such as, coaxing him or her into the 2-year-old Bible class. Or saying prayers at bedtime. Of course, there’s always the teen-age years. I would frame one of our off-spring this way: melodramatic, incredibly discerning, artistic, inconsistent, persistent. Another could be, Slightly irreverent, skilled, prankish, compassionate, reserved.

Now for the hard assessment – oneself. My outlook on life? Which day? Sometimes this would describe me: Focused/ unfocused, organized/ disorganized, full/empty. Contradictory. Other days, when I allow more of Jesus in me, I hope these words fit: New nature! God’s power! Jesus’ warrior!

I’m not going into the housekeeping and cooking. I’ve wasted enough of your time already, and I don’t want to resort to even minor falsehoods.

Try this exercise – see what it reveals to you about your life.

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