my delight

FullSizeRender (4) The shop was really quiet.

Granted, it was 8:00am in the morning.  So, chances are, folks [including me] were waking up slow over a cup of a coffee.

But today was different.  Today we were loud and giggly and joyful.  Today, we seemed to forget everyone around us was real quiet and we shouted and moved around and made lots of noise.

I mean, we weren't exactly shouting.  We were just making a lot more noise than everyone else. And normally, I am so mindful of a space, of blending in, of following what other folks are doing.

And sometimes, that's exactly what we should do.  I mean, we shouldn't be yapping on our phone during a movie or play.

But for some reason, I stopped worrying if we were being too loud and just thought, "Friends, I think we've made it."  We've made it to that space I always hoped we'd get too.  One that takes time and commitment and vulnerability.

We've made it to the space where we are really close, where we really get each other, where it's okay to come just as you are.

It's encouraged to laugh really hard in a quiet room.

It's okay to admit it's been a few days since you've showered.

It's welcomed to vent about work and people that test your patience and moments where you feel really awkward.

You can share all of that.  I delight in you and you delight in me.  And those things, they don't define how I see you.

I LOVE this place.  I love it so much.  It makes me giddy and hopeful and childlike.

It reminds me that building community in a place you never expected to land is totally and completely worth it.

It also reminds me of a time when Matthew and I were dating.

We were way passed the just getting to know you stage, but, I wouldn't say we had arrived to the place I described above.  We liked each other and all, we celebrated our differences [and bickered over those differences] but we still held back a little.

I remember standing by my car in the parking deck.  It was a Sunday.  I didn't particularly like Sundays while were dating.  The whole long distance thing made Sundays hard because it meant saying goodbye.

I lurv Sundays now.

Any who, we were standing there, facing each other, the moon was full and bright.  I always did like this part - the part leading up to a smooch.  Can you feel the romance?

Matthew leaned in, ever so sweet and slow, to give me a kiss and..

FART.

Yes.

He farted.

Then he shrugged his shoulders, laughed, and gave me the smooch anyways.

And before you think I am completely bizarre and crazy to go there [maybe I am], to switch from a sweet coffee date with girlfriends to a, uh, fart.

Hear me out.

Because as silly as it sounds, as bizarre as it all might seem, I thought, in that moment, "Yup. We have arrived."

FINALLY.

We are real people.  We're people who make mistakes and sometimes don't know what to say and forget to call each other back and say things we don't mean.  We're people who fart. [If you dislike that word, my apologies - I'm done:)]

We're people who bust a move in the kitchen, only to trip over our own feet. We're people who cry during and after a really good Hallmark movie.  We're people who get really attached to characters in books and shows and wonder, "Are they doing okay??"

We're people who send photos like this to their husband while he's out of town for work.

FullSizeRender (5)

Maybe it's the warmer weather and lighter days.  Maybe it's the changing seasons, one from turning inward to the other pushing out and through.

I'm not sure what it is, but lately, I've been aching for the unfiltered and the un-staged.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good photo of freshly baked bread or bowl of soup on instagram. For reals.  I really, really do.

But more than all of that, I crave to see and share and tell what's happening during the in between.

The part after a really good homemade meal.  Where you're just left feeling so full and grateful you sort of get quiet and stare at the one you love from across the table.

The part during an argument where you finally let go of needing to be right and just decide - this it isn't worth the fight.  Want to make up instead?

Maybe it's my love for stories and the simple.  Maybe it's my fascination with people and where they're headed and where they've been.

I'm really not sure.

All I know is that Wednesday was good and raw and full.  And I didn't have to do a thing to make that happen.

Sometimes we just gotta come to the table as we are - bruised, giddy, sleepy, overly caffeinated and grateful.  And welcome others to do the same.

Because when we do, it's really delightful.

at the root of it.

bare tree 2

ro͞ot/

noun

1.  the part of a plant that attaches it to the ground or to a support, typically underground, conveying water and nourishment to the rest of the plant via numerous branches and fibers."cacti have deep and spreading roots"

2. the basic cause, source, or origin of something 

So often I ache for warmer weather and more light.  When it's cold, Matt and I'll dream up all the places we'd rather be - sipping sweet tea down south, lying on a beach out west.

But then it takes the steady, unfailing three: a cup of coffee, an honest conversation, a dear friend.  Those three beg me to see beyond the cold, dark mornings and my dry hands.

She talked of listening to the seasons.

Of allowing your body to ebb and flow like the wind, embrace the light and the darkness.  Respond to what's already happening.  Petals and leaves turning inward.  It's okay if you do too.

Listen. to. the. seasons.

It seemed so simple and right.

bare tree

I think of the trees - so strong - yet at the very same time, so bare and raw and exposed.  They have no leaves to hide under.  No vines wrapping in and out of branches.  It's as if they are resting.

But don't be mistaken, they are growing too // a constant state of growth and rest.

If they rest, why shouldn't we?  Can't we grow and rest?

But when I think about trees and growth and rest - I think of what continues to thrive beneath the deep soil - roots.  Trees need roots.  We can't see them but we know, so well, that they are there.  And in the winter, they rest too.

"They are not dead but rather they overwinter in a resting phase with essential life processes continuing at a minimal rate."

We have roots too // more than the where-you-came-from kind.

Roots are the foundation - the things you're willing to wake up extra early for, the things you celebrate out loud, or hide beneath.  Roots are the beginning, middle, and end of our story.  They influence our walk, change our direction, ignite our fears and passions.

Roots are your first crush, the way it felt to have your tender heart broken, finding your tribe - that ones that surround you, pick you up and help carry the load.

Roots are not being picked for the soccer team, failing a math test, hearing the popular girls say mean words about you in the bathroom - while you hide in the stall.

Roots are a teacher telling you - you're a really good writer.

Roots are the things you cling too - because it's who you are.  But, they are also the things you try and let go of - the pain, the insecurity, the doubt.

What if we asked ourselves: Who am I - at the root of it?  

I'll go first okay?

At the root of it, I want to say yes - always.  I want to stay up late and wake up early - I don't want to miss a beat.

At the root of it, I want to be there for you.  Meaning, I want to be there for every single person on this planet.  I want to remember every word, every bowl of soup, every tear.

At the root of it, I fear not being used, not doing something earth-shattering and life-changing - of being ordinary.

At the root of it, I want to make bread with my own two, young hands.  I want to feel the dough in between my fingers and have my arms ache form kneading.  I want to make everything by hand for that matter.

[Insert inner dialogue I have at the grocery store:  "Just buy the dang already made Pillsbury biscuits Maeve, you don't have time to make biscuits from scratch this week.  It's okay - folks won't mind friend."]

I want to break bread with strangers.  The man who comes into the bakery, with tired eyes, who orders a coffee.  On the rare occasion, he'll buy a slice a quiche.

When he only orders a coffee I slip him a warm cookie.

At the root of it, I want to be known and loved and choose forgiveness - over and over again, even though, in all honesty - forgiveness does not come easy for me.  [Forgive those girls in the bathroom Maeve - forgive them for all of it]

At the root of it, I want to know God.  Not as some figure, floating in the clouds, high up in the sky.  Or a damp, dusty room where a priest sat across from me on a hard, wooden chair and asked me to share all the icky stuff from the week - lying to my Mom, stealing bubble gum, forgetting to clean my room.

I want to know Him as a friend, as the One who knew every little thing - and loved me just the same.

And that means letting go of control, letting go of writing my own story and trying to manipulate the pieces so they'll fit together just how I want them too.

At the root of it, I want to listen more than I talk - in lobbies and bus stations and in the grocery store line.  I want to linger, put my phone away, and quit being in such a hurry - so I can hear your story, hear why, deep down, we are so, so similar.

I want to build bridges, break walls, hold orphans.

I want to give away everything I own and only keep the small stuff - the things that can fit in my backpack.  So I can come running to wherever the need might be.

I want to choose service over convenience.

Humility over pride.

Happiness over jealousy.

Forgiveness over anger.

Faith over fear.

At the root of it, I think we're all aching for something, all wrestling with the beauty and the pain, all wanting to be understood and heard.

I'm praying for your roots friend.

Praying for all the work they are doing. But more so, I am praying that as they grow, as we grow, we take time to rest too.

And I hope we never think, for one second, that when we rest we aren't growing.

Big, strong, raw things are happening folks - all. the. time.

When we simply take the time to listen.