This is my first time to jump in on Conversion Diary’s 7 Quick Take Friday. This is because I cannot finish a whole thought today. Therefore, I will write you 7 partial thoughts and call it a day. Sound good?
Yesterday I sat at the feet of a woman I cannot wait to know more of. Christine is married to our pastor at our new church. (The first day I visited Christ Church, August and Brooksie both erupted into scream fests and Christine followed me to the nursery during the middle of her husband’s sermon to tell me how much this community loves crying children. Then she sat and talked to me for 10 minutes while I nursed. Is that not the most wonderful story you’ve ever heard about visiting a church? This is a woman who has the gift of noticing. And I’m so taken by that.) So, back to yesterday…She spoke about incorporating rhythm and ritual into your family’s daily/weekly/yearly life. And she spent a chunk of time talking about how her family celebrates Advent/Christmas/Epiphany. I soaked it up like a greedy sponge. I cannot wait to think through all of that stuff and tell you more.
If you don’t follow Ann Voskamp, this week she’s been traveling with her husband (“The Farmer”) on a Compassion International trip in Equador. Please take a second to read what she’s writing about her experiences and the kids she’s meeting who need a sponsor. (This post is my favorite so far.) And if you haven’t yet, consider sponsoring a child. There are links on her site.
Yesterday I got a package in the mail from my friend (and regular commenter around here), Sam. Here’s the catch. She mailed this package to me over a month ago (after the first package she sent in August had been returned). AND I NEVER GOT IT. Poor Sam, she had worked so hard knitting these lovely hats for Brooksie and making me some super cute bracelets. Neither of us could believe that this package would simply not arrive…twice. It wasn’t insured so it was just tough luck. So yesterday, I opened my mail box (which is one of those shared community mailboxes at the end of the block. You know, the kind you need a key for?) and inside was a key to the box for bigger packages. I got my package (stuff I’d left at my mom’s last week) and went on with my day. Later while cleaning up my junk pile in the kitchen I found another key JUST LIKE THE ONE I’D USED EARLIER!
I suddenly had a thought! Did this key go to one of the mail boxes? And it had just been sitting on our counter for the past month?
Then I thought: Who should I blame for this?! Which, we can probably all agree, was not the best thought because it was probably the fault of my being a space cadet.And then, today, I took that key, slid it into the magic slot (otherwise known as a key hole). And, SURPRISE! There was my beautiful package. Safe and intact and full of wonderful friend things. So grateful.
And sorry I blamed you, husband.
Wednesday, I realized that I can prop open the door from the laundry room to the garage and let August play in the driveway and garage while I fold clothes in the laundry room. (How did I not think of this before?) It was magic for both of us and I suddenly felt filled over with thankfulness for the ease I have in my life in Austin: space (indoor and out) for play, the gift of a backyard, the physical joy of sweeping acorns off a sidewalk or walking past neighbors on the way to the mailbox. And my prayer was less a whispering of words as it was my my heart held up while I offered God those t-shirts and diapers and rags I was folding. It felt like I was actually practicing something I’ve been talking about for a long time.
Also, yesterday we went to a mini-birthday party (just a little hour long cupcake thing) for one of August’s friends from school. That morning, I asked August to make his friend a card so he drew a volcano (brown and black and green scribbles). Then I asked him what he wanted to say to Ben. Without missing a beat, he said:
Ben is the loudest friend I have. And I am the loudest friend Ben has. This is a volcano.
I keep thinking: Wouldn’t it be wonderful to feel so sure about your friends and who you are to them?
Wednesday night I was pocket-dialed by my friend Cat, while her car was full of Radnor High School girls (Radnor is where I used to share a ministry with her in Philadelphia). I just sat on the phone for a couple of minutes listening to the muffled sound of kids laughing and Cat telling some story. I couldn’t understand a word of what they were saying but I was transfixed by the dearness of these kids being loved and carted around, laughing and experiencing the gospel, whether they know it or not. It was one of my favorite moments all week.
Last night I got to teach my small group of college girls from the story of Nicodemus, who may be the one character in scripture I most resonate with: A religious leader, who has a ton of questions, who goes to Jesus at night so as not to be noticed by the rest of the religious types, who is dumbfounded by the mystery of Jesus’ words, and who doesn’t respond to Jesus right away but mulls it over for a while. I love that Jesus is both able to challenge Nicodemus in a way that is appropriate for Nicodemus’ mind and understanding of faith. And I love that Jesus doesn’t press him. He gets that Nicodemus needs some time to work through the heavy load of Christ’s words.
Isn’t it beautiful that Jesus is both the one who understands my mind and the one who waits for my mind to understand His?
Happy weekend, friends. Wishing you rest rest rest…