I love the effortless kind. The kind where you show up, 20 minutes late, disheveled and emotional.  Or, you're full of joy, your heart is bursting and you aren't quite sure what to do.

Giggle? Cry? Bounce up and down?  All three simultaneously?

Maybe you've showered and maybe you haven't.  Maybe you're tired and have big bags under your eyes.  Maybe you're feeling off or socially awkward because it's just one of these weeks.  It's okay that you're wearing the same outfit you wore yesterday [and the day before].

I don't care she says.  I just like you.  I like spending time with you.

I love this find of friendship.

Because sometimes [often] I ache for rich, deep, honest conversation. The kind where we forget to bring up the weather or work or how behind we are in Christmas shopping.

The kind where we empty it out, all of it.

All the quirks, all the things that make us tick or fired up and passionate.  All the pain, the things of today and of the past.  The things we can't seem to let go of.  The things we aren't proud of, but are so important // they are so intricately and delicately woven into our story.

I told my friend I was a little tired.  I told her I felt like this season, my favorite season - a season of hope and new beginnings and grace and the agape kind of love, was coming and going so fast.

And I felt like I was missing it.

I felt like Matt and I were going through our Advent book, the words so rich and heavy, words I need to hear over and over again, too fast.

Often we'd open that book at night, cuddled in bed, eyes heavy and slowly closing, until his soft voice would put me right to sleep.  Or we'd try first thing in the morning, him awake and full of energy, making himself breakfast at 6:30.  While I slowly made my way downstairs, not without knocking his contact lens case from the sink to the floor in the bathroom [every.single.day] and stubbing my toe or grumbling a little cause I'm cold.

My dear friend listened to me, she listened so well.

And then it dawned on me, as I tore off a piece of warm bread and dunked it into my soup.

The ends and bits of my day.

The moments when I'm tired and can only think of coffee.

All I was giving were the rinds, the peels, the crumbs of a really good sandwich.

All I was giving were my leftovers.

And I have to believe, like this dear friend of mine,  He desperately craved and deserved a real meal.

So we did just that.  .

I'd love to say it always happens this fast.  That I have a moment of clarity and decide what I need to do to make things different the next time around.  I so wish it always happened this way.

But my goodness friend, it rarely ever does.  Amen?

Though the next day, our Sunday, was different.

Because right as I began to eat, right as my spoon made it's way to my mouth, I stopped.  I stopped and looked up at Matt and said, "Now.  Now is the time.  We need to read our Advent book right now."

And we did.

We read that chapter slowly and when we finished reading, we talked about it.  We asked each other thoughtful questions again and again. And as we spoke, as our hearts opened, we listened.

And there we were, eating leftovers [truth] but finally giving God something good and right and Holy // a real meal.

I hope you have time this season for more meals or walks or painting. Whatever it takes, whatever it may be for you.  I hope you do because it's so beautiful when you do.

And when you do it, I hope you invite Him into it as well.