We have been very blessed at our home recently! When Josh and I bought this home, shortly after we got engaged, we knew there was a lot of updating that needed to be done. There was brown shag carpets in the kitchen, white carpet over hardwood floors, ugly wall paper EVERYWHERE! Yet, that is one of the things we were the most excited about--getting to fix it up. I reccomend buying a fixer-uper to all engaged people. It kept us too busy to get into any trouble!
One of the things that we hated was the old aluminum storm windows, covering the even older aluminum windows. They were impossible to clean, had no screens, and the wind whistled through them on a cold winter's night. We have a couch next to one of the windows that doesn't get used during the winter at all because it is too cold to sit there. Yet children came quickly, and money was short. The windows never got replaced. Last March, my oldest son threw a rock at the kitchen window. We watched that crack spread slowly across the large window that summer. When the dry hurricane of 2011 came through, I watched as those pieces of glass rubbed against each other, chipping, yet never breaking. Josh put some blue tape over the cracks on the window to prevent more cold air from filling our home. It looked as if we had a blue spiderweb on our dirt covered windows. I knew that we had finally made it--we were officially rednecks!
Something snapped in us this spring, and we decided that we didn't want to put that burden on the rest of the neighborhood, and we wanted a warmer house for our kids (aka I didn't want to let our hard earned money fly out the windows--I would rather spend it on the windows!)
We had a gentleman come out to the house to measure for our new windows. Honestly I barely even spoke to him on that day. I do remember wondering how good he was. He seemed a little . . . um. . . worn. He was older, and you could tell in an instant that he was an avid smoker. A couple of weeks later, he came out to install the windows. I was so excited! He worked really hard on my five measly windows. After he installed the windows, but before he got the trim up, he fell out of the back of his truck onto the asphalt. He then decided to call it a day. I was a little worried for the guy.
The next day when he came out, he did a great job finishing off the windows. As we were signing any remaining paperwork, we got to talking. I learned so much about this great man. I loved the passion in his voice as he talked about cars, houses, his family, his past business purists, and so on. I felt bad about my hasty judment the first time I met him. Somehow we got on the subject of religion. I don't get a chance to talk religion very often, living in Utah, so it was really nice. He told me that he was raised in the church, but he started smoking at a young age, and found happiness being a non-denominational Christian. I expressed my love for all Christians. He then asked me if I was LDS. When I told him I was, he was surprised. He explained that he hadn't met many LDS people who were as nice as I was. He told me that even though he doesn't smoke on people's property, as soon as people see him with a cigarette, they treat him like a dirty piece of garbage. I felt so sad upon hearing this. Honestly I wasn't surprised, just sad. I could feel the pain he felt.
I told him that in the big scheme of things, smoking isn't that big of a deal, but not treating people Christ-like,that was a much much bigger deal. It is important that we don't smoke, but it is way down on the list compared to something like . . . I don't know "Love one another!" Matt. 22:37-39 is pretty clear. I was grateful for this reminder for myself. Why oh why don't I suspend all judgments? Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13, that if we don't have charity, we are nothing!
Sometimes we think what we say or do doesn't matter. It does! I firmly believe that God only gives us commandments that make us happy. When we love others, we get to feel God's love. That makes us happy! I am so thankful for a loving Father in Heaven, that has so much patience with me and my shortcomings! And I am so thankful for some new windows :)