Stepping in Cat Vomit

I woke up this morning and landed in cat vomit.  Apparently, I overfed my cat.

This is no way to start year two of Live with Flair.

Then I remember my friend in Japan whose father sent word that we might send canned food items for him to distribute to the disaster areas.  I remember that in some places in the world at this very moment, a mother would give anything to rise from a warm bed, place her feet on the ground, and greet the day with two healthy little girls who can’t stop laughing at their mother’s foot covered in cat vomit.

In some places in the world (in most places), nobody talks about the luxury of overfed cats.  But here, even the animals gorge themselves.

There’s too much here.  There’s not enough there. 

Stepping in cat vomit was a great reminder today as I think about ways to send relief to the hungry.

Stepping in cat vomit sounded the alarm about ways to be thankful for the fact that I even have too much cat food. 

Living with flair means I cultivate a grateful and generous heart.  I have too much. 

Journal:  When I’m tempted to complain about all the inconveniences and all the misfortunes of my day, what do I need to remember to cultivate a grateful and generous heart?  For me, it’s cat vomit.


How to Live in Luxury

Luxurious or lavish things do not need to be expensive.  I’m learning that luxury can be sought in the right mindset.  There’s something biblical about luxury properly applied.  But, by definition, luxurious implies indulgent, excessively expensive, and unnecessary. 

Even the word seems excessive.  The way it sounds seems. . . luxurious

The word connotes an entire world of very fine and very unobtainable things.

But in my house, we use the word to mean anything rich in goodness and superior in quality.  We can make luxurious fruit tarts and paint our toenails with luxurious colors.  We can lay out in the grass, luxuriously, and watch the lightening bugs.  We can swim in the public pool with luxurious backstrokes.

We won’t be on boats or eating fine chocolates today.  We won’t be vacationing on a far off island. 

And that’s fine. 

There’s something so uncertain about wealth and luxury.  Today, as I was painting my daughter’s fingernails with the cheapest bottle of bright pink, I remembered one of my favorite Bible verses from the book of Timothy.  

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”

Does God really richly provide everything for our enjoyment?  Not for our needs, but for our enjoyment?  How lavish!  How luxurious! This means I only have to wait and see what luxurious experience God might send my way today.

Maybe it’s the gorgeous deep purple blossoms on the eggplant I’m growing outside.  I’ve never grown eggplant before, and I’m amazed by how beautiful it is.  And the fruit hasn’t even come yet.  Eggplant is excessive and probably unnecessary (although I did learn how to make Eggplant Parmesan), but my goodness, I love those blossoms.

Thank you, God, for the luxury of purple eggplant blossoms.  They have flair indeed. 

(photo courtesy of Dilling / flickr)