Monday, June 6, 2011

Stuffed to the Brim

Life is full right now, very full.  This is the kind of full that is past the point of feeling satisfied.  In Weight Watchers, they talk about feeling satisfied, as opposed to feeling stuffed.  I am more than satisfied right now.  My life is full, very full.

This weekend, Jared and I took a break and went to Biloxi, MS for a mini-vacation, a very full mini-vacation.  We had originally planned a nice, long trip to Hawaii for our 2nd anniversary.  But then we got the call from the District Superintendent of the LAUMC to ask if Jared would be interested in and willing to move to a new church this year.  What an opportunity!  We couldn't pass it up.  So, Hawaii will wait; and Biloxi is only 2 and a half hours away. 

The night we arrived, we went to eat at a Memphis style BBQ restaurant located at the Beau Rivage Hotel & Casino.  We ate and ate and ate.  The next day we slept in, which is something that I don't really do anymore.  So, we went to the gym and did a quick 2 mile jog on the treadmills.  We had hoped to run along Beach Blvd., but by the time we actually got up, it was over 90 degrees F; and we weren't going to put ourselves through that heat.

We had a quick "blunch" (a term coined by my husband- somewhere between brunch and lunch, I think).  The blunch was exciting because it was the first time that Jared has ever had a mocha.  Jared is not a coffee drinker.  His family primarily drinks tea for the designated breakfast drink.  And a few years ago I developed acid reflux, so I gave up coffee and switched to tea, as well.  But Jared decided that he wanted to learn to like coffee, so we ordered him a mocha.  He drank it.  It was an exciting day for the Williams in Biloxi!

Next we went to the local bowling alley!  Island Strikz is the name.  Other than the two unaccompanied minors two lanes over from us, it was a very enjoyable experience.  (Although the two young boys were unaccompanied minors, they eventually picked up on the concept of lane courtesy! Exciting day, indeed!)  Our scores were as follows:

Game 1
Jared- 145
Alina- 159

Game 2
Jared- 150
Alina- 181

Game 3
Jared- 120
Alina- 116

Game 4
Jared- 173
Alina- 124

You can see that I tapered off as the hour went on- my elbow became a little sore and I was getting tired.  This is pretty normal for me.  But as Jared's hour went on, he actually worked out some of the soreness that he was still feeling from last week's bowl-a-thon at the All Nighter.

After bowling, we shopped... a LOT!  Great fun!  We got some new sunglasses and new clothes.  We also needed some "nice" clothes for the dinner reservations we had made at BR Prime for later that night.  Gulfport, MS has a great outlet mall, which is only about 10 minutes away from Biloxi.  And the car was very, very full on the way home.

At BR Prime we ate a lot of food... We were very, very full.  You might even say that we were stuffed.  It was delicious and very nice, but we ate a bit too much.  So much, in fact, that I awoke in the morning and headed out for a 3 mile walk along Beach Blvd.  It was lovely.  There were some early birds out walking, as well as a number of folks who I can only assume slept on or near the beach.  One such gentleman saw me walking from a distance; when I got closer he yelled out, "Hey, miss!  You should come walk on this sand if you really want to get that heart going!"  It was funny.  I smiled back at him and kept walking on the sidewalk: my dad has told me horror stories about football practice in Cuba- the coach used to make them train in the sand!

On the way back to the red stick, we ate some Cane's chicken fingers, which were delicious, as always; but I drove back very full, again.  Full Alina; full Jared; full car.  Just plain full.

Upon arrival at our approximately 1100 square foot parsonage, I remembered why it was so nice to leave: there are boxes EVERYWHERE!!!  We are moving in a little over a week.  We have a lot of stuff, but most of it was hidden away in closets, under beds, and/or in its proper storage cabinet/shelf.  And now, all the stuff is everywhere.  It's all packed into boxes, but then the boxes are taking over our house!  Our house is full of boxes; stuffed full of boxes!

The new parsonage is a bit bigger than the current one, but I am quickly realizing that we will have stuff everywhere in the new house.  I have 6 shopping bags full of stuff to give to Goodwill today in the back of my car.  My car is full, once again.

All of this begs the following questions: why do we have so much stuff?  Why do we feed ourselves to the point of feeling stuffed?  Why do we fill our lives and our homes with stuff that we don't need?  Why do we take up so much space (we, ourselves, and our stuff)?  Are we really being good stewards of all that God has given us?  And are we really convinced that just because we can afford "it," then "it" must be a gift from God?

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