Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tuesday

I awoke this morning with this thought, "It's Tuesday!  Wonderful, glorious Tuesday!  The perfect day to look for the miraculous!"  My morning proceeded to get a little crazy and after the clock's short hand circled a few times, I sighed deeply, contemplating the blur and the ordinariness of a day. Then, I read this,

"Tuesday is the most sensible day of the week. It is a perfectly ordinary, no-fuss, introverted day."  ~ Emily P. Freeman from Tuesdays Unwrapped at Chatting At the Sky

How perfectly romantic is that!  So, I spent my day embracing the beauty of the ordinary.  I took time to pause, to reflect, to daydream.  I read a book and took a 35-minute afternoon nap.  I laughed with my kiddos and listened to them tell me their big plans. 

I never did get around to thinking up dinner and so at the last minute I pulled together what I had on hand.  Nervously, I concocted a dish that, frankly, at least in appearance, didn't register high on the amazingness scale.  And yet... it was a hit!  I'm smiling as I sit here thinking, how did I make that sauce?  If I can manage to remember, I'll write it down.  The conversation around the table was lively, imaginative... the typical loud and crazy.  (Really, we get that it's not for everybody.)

 

This is one of those days that I'll smile about as I joyfully, thankfully climb under my bed covers with this thought: noticing the miraculous, loving the ordinariness in a day is so much fun, I think I'll do it again tomorrow...  

 

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.  ~ Psalm 90:12

Linking today with Emily...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Tree

Lisa-Jo Baker writes over at Five-Minute Friday,

"On Friday’s we silence the inner critic. The loudest of all naysayers. And on Fridays we remind ourselves that The Word is for us and loves us and welcomes us.
We write for five minutes flat. ...No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.
It started because I’d been thinking about writing and how often our perfectionism gets in the way of our words. And I figured, why not take 5 minutes and see what comes out: not a perfect post, not a profound post, just five minutes of focused writing.
So now on Fridays a group of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just writewithout worrying if it’s just right gather to share what five minutes buys them. Just five minutes.
Your words. This shared feast.
Today the word is TREE."
GO.

Tree, Lisa-Jo?  As in leaves falling from trees?  As in family tree?  Ah!  And I'm smiling long as that resonates!  

That moment when I look around the farm table, friends-become-family squished together with elbows tucked in close, our dining room... well, we'll just call it cozy.  And I look around the room, into each face, in awe of the "church families" represented.  There are families from Life Center -- the spiritual family who raised us,  Summit Ridge, Grace Fellowship, Life Roads, Eastpoint, Valley Real Life, Starbucks.  Our spiritual family tree is expansive... and beautiful!  

The conversations are encouraging, invigorating, challenging, fun, discipling.  The children play long into the afternoon.  And this "assembling of [our]selves together," this thriving, loving community... 

STOP. 


Two friends recently penned brilliant prose on this topic:

Jenn at "The Body of Christ" and

Kurt at "Christians Are Weird". 

Linking today with Lisa-Jo over at Five-Minute Friday...


Five Minute Friday

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Friends

Life is short.

And if relationships are all that I get to take with me into eternity...

**********

We first connected through our blogs.  She found me while looking for a (dearly loved) mutual friend.  At the risk of being presumptuous, I called her my friend from the get-go.  She's amazing.  A talented writer, funny, witty, self-effacing, loving, hospitable, passionate.  So when I traveled with LeRoy to Maryland on a business trip, I saw it as an opportunity to meet in person... {this part makes me giddy} on this side of Heaven!  Eyeball-to-eyeball.  Which is one of my most favorite things in all the world.  (And probably one reason I don't do long distance relationships well.  At all.)

So for me to rent a car for the day and drive from Annapolis, Maryland to Alexandria, Virginia to meet Karen in person was an entirely fabulous, dreamy adventure!  Known only by the words we each had penned on our blogs, I was filled with anticipation.  And yet, when we greeted each other... well,

...she said it best on her blog:

"We hugged.  It was not the hug of strangers.  It was the hug of women who hold a piece of one another's hearts, even though they have never before laid eyes on each other's faces."

~ Karen               

She took me to lunch at one of her favorite Thai restaurants where we talked and talked and talked as though we'd been friends our whole lives and only had these short couple of hours to catch up.  I'm so glad we didn't meet at her house as I would totally have over-stayed, (in spite of all my promises to myself that I won't, I usually do...  *be warned).

After lunch we crossed the street to Alexandria's Cupcake where we both chose a coconut cupcake. And visited longer.

And, this "piece of one another's hearts" that we held... it grew bigger.

The person I got to know through her writing on her blog... is the kind of friend I imagined.  I didn't feel presumptuous calling her my friend anymore.  We shared our lives with each other, (well, as much as two people can share in about 2.5 hours).  And that.

That priceless gift that someone offers when they trust another to hold a part of their heart.  



Would you like to read Karen's side to this story?  She wrote it in four parts: Adventure, Part I,  Adventure, Part II, and then Adventure, Finale, and finally Adventure, Finale (For Real).  



(And Fran, I love you forever!!  You and Pastor!  I love you for you!  And I love that I met Karen through you!)


Friday, November 8, 2013

Village

My boy and I, we throw on jackets, I hook my finger through loop on water bottle.  We're invited to a friend's house for the evening... and we still have one stop to make on the way.

"Mom, I miss our friends from Germany.  I wish we could all just move to Missouri."  I smile long, let sentiment settle.  Fun plans with families here still invoke nostalgia.  The rushing out for an evening of laughter and connections and memory-making is reminiscent of an earlier season.   He's referring to the military families who became our family while living half way around the world.  A blessed five years to live life in community with people whose jobs keep them in one place for two to five years -- occasionally longer.  Then they move.  To Louisiana, Missouri, Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Maryland...

"But then think about who we would miss from Spokane."  He considers the dilemma momentarily.  "Think about all the families from Spokane who would have to move to Missouri with us."


The rest of the family is waiting in the van for us, so we hurry, door shwooshing closed behind us.  The two of us begin listing families here in Spokane... people we do life with...


Friends who become family while sharing meals and laughter and tears and work and play.

     Friends who pray each other through a crisis.

          Friends who pick up the ridiculous birthday card that ends up getting passed around repeatedly allll night long bringing on a fresh wave of giggles each time it's opened.

               Friends who come at 10 in the morning, stay for dinner, and linger long on the porch when leaving at 10 that night.

                    Friends who speak love and encouragement, and yes, sometimes the hard truth, into one another's lives -- the children, too.

                              Friends who challenge one another spiritually, financially.  The ones who boldly up the ante for loving our spouses and our children better.

                                   Friends who play long basketball games out front before a game or two... or three or four... of volleyball in the backyard then stay for s'mores around the fire pit.


The list of families is long and when Isaiah explains, the rest of the family joins in as husband turns West on 32nd.  We volley names -- each one causing my heart to fill with gratitude that they're in our lives.  You are in that list, Friend.


And just when I thought my heart might burst with gratitude and love, I realize this truth.  This truth that in this past year while I was inviting people into our lives and accepting invitations from others for the same, wanting to share all the moments in community, that somewhere along the way... a village assembled.  A tribe of sorts.


Thank you for opening your hearts and your lives to us!  Thank you for all the laughter and the memories!  Thank you for vulnerably sharing your struggles, for trusting us with the messy moments, for the constant journeying in a state of grace.  Truly, we are blessed beyond measure!

And if we haven't told you lately that we love you, please hear our hearts...  we love you!

*These photos are from a walk we took one day on a road leading West from our village in Germany.  The village you see is Seinsfeld, our home for a brief season.

Today I'm linking with Lisa-Jo over at Five Minute Friday:  (but I have a feeling that this post would have fit so much better with Lisa-Jo's earlier post on Together.  humble smile.)

Five Minute Friday