I have an amazing church community. When I say that, I dont mean it in a we have the best church ever or we have it all together sorta way. I say it in a, these people are family to me. Tonight after a leadership meeting my friend Jimmy, who is also my pastor, gave me a hug. He always gives hugs, hes what you call a hugger. Im not so much of a hugger, but I find myself giving more hugs the more soaked in this community I am. A lot of the men in the church are huggers, which I think is great. This hug that Jimmy gave me was bittersweet. It was one of those, they hug you but you dont hug them back kind. I wanted to hug him back, but I was holding back tears I didnt want to spill in the mist of the group. This hug was long, as if he was waiting for a hug back but also knew that I couldnt. In that moment all the pushed a side feelings of missing my family came flooding in. The hug reminded me of my dad, who Im not sure when Id get to see next. Im not trying to be a sob story here, I know there are bigger things in the world than me missing my family so part of me feels silly. At the same time, the little girl inside of me just doesnt care about those bigger things – I miss my family. I love my youth job, but it only being part time I have to get benefits elsewhere so I work the other half of my week at Starbucks for those. In order to keep my benefits I have to work 20 hours a week. So in order for me to go on a youth trip for a week in June, I have to use my vacation time at Starbucks. Which means no trip to California to see my family. Jason asked me after Christmas this past year if we could spend next Christmas in North Carolina since the last two we spent in California. It was a very fair request and we both missed being apart of our church’s first Christmas and being home for Christmas. The tears that I bottled up came later in the privacy of my car ride home. I dont know what to do with those tears, other than maybe tell my family that I miss them more or remind them that I visited last and Carolina is gorgeous in the fall. God has richly given me this church family I can hold on tightly to durning the days when being away from my family is hard, and I am so thankful for that.
Yesterday was a very long day. Check that, this week has been very long, full of very long days. Yesterday though I over booked myself. But the end of my day was my favorite. My friends asked me if I would watch their 6 month old daughter, who is also my favorite baby, Emma for a couple of hours. I jumped on the chance and loved spending time with her and feeding her. During our time together I, like most any human being had to use the restroom. I look at Emma and ask her “Emma, what do your parents do with you when they have to go the bathroom?” She smiles and squeals at me for an answer. What do I do? I bring her with me into the bathroom. I put her down on the bathroom mat with a toy. She was fine the whole time, but I did confess what I did to Emma’s parents when they returned home. They kinda laughed at me and said I could of left her alone for a couple minutes since she isn’t mobile yet. This is not something you think to ask when the parents are going over the baby-sitter stuff before they leave. But next time Im asking “What do you do with the baby when you have to go to the bathroom?”
This morning I tired out some blueberry and almond oatmeal I picked up at Target. They have this food brand that every time I try something its good. This oatmeal was no expectation. I didn’t nearly bring enough for my brake this morning. Im packing extra in my purse for tomorrows early rise of an open shift.
Today I received a birthday package in the mail. As its been said, mail is a very dying art. Funny its turned into an art, isnt it? I love to send out notes and thank you cards to help keep that alive. I have a handful of new friends who birthdays are also in the month of January and Ive been running around finding gifts for them. I love celebrating birthday week, but knowing its been shared with friends makes it all the sweeter. Plus Id rather focus on them turning another year older than I turning 26.
What a long good day. My roommate and I ran a couple of errands exchanging unwanted Christmas gifts for store credit and lunch at Chick-fli-a were a lot of the kids from the youth group work. One of them comment that visiting them is turning into a Saturday ritual. Ive only been one time before this, but I love going in and seeing them. Kelly and I then went on to the ABC store. We dont have ABC stores in California, we carry liquor in the grocery stores. It was quite inconvenient when I found out that dont do that here. Can I just say, I have never seen so much alcohol in one place at one time?! Sorta a bazar experience for me, but now we are well stocked up for tasty drinks for a while now.
A photo shot with good friends that was a lot of fun and indoors. Its too cold and rather ugly out to be taking photos. I was a little nervous about it since I hate using a flash. Ive learned a lot about how to set my settings with the ISO and white balance to help that, but Im no where near close to coming out with an amazing indoor photos. Moved them towards windows with fun and cute placing hoping a handful turn out.
After that, Jace and I went to a floating party of our friend who got her masters in Library Science. It took place out in the country on a real live farm. Chickens and a barn cat followed us to the door. Its always interesting to me when friends from different parts of my life are together in the same place.
Straight from the party, we went to where our church is currently located to help do the finishing touches on the room that Jimmy and Jason had been working hard on all week. The room no longer feels like a sterile fellowship hall in an old Baptist church, but more so a theater mets living room feel. Its a huge step forward in making 514 feel like 514 despite the location we have been given for this season. I have my eye on this neat brick building downtown for sale.
A wonderfully full Saturday that Im thankful to call my own.
There are three girls and myself who got to know each other at work. We got a long really well and between our crazy schedules never see each other. Even when we work. So we try to get together once a month to grab dinner at somewhere a little fancier for a girls night out. This night has been a long time coming since we planned it a month in advance and then one of them got sick so it got prolonged a week. Sadly, even after all that, one of them had to bail at the last minute. It was sad without her, but the amazing food we had helped ease our pain. I didnt plan on getting dinner, just a drink and a treat. But I planned poorly with my meal choices and needed something besides alcohol and sugar. Dana and I both got a bowl of Chicken Curry Sweet Potato soup. Oh my damn. It was really really good soup. So good that I even thought about licking my bowl. Dana didnt finish her so she handed her bowl over to me. This place is within walking distance from me, its dangerously close for another bowl to be my future.
Karen and I spilt a Flirtini, which made me feel a little bit like JD on Srubs who loves ordering his Appletinis. Its a silly drink with a silly name but man it was good. What a Flirtini is made up of is pineapple juice, volka 9(flavored maybe), champagne. Thing is, when it was brought out to us, the cocktail part of it was in a highball glass and the champagne in a champagne glass. No instrutions where given. We checked the menu for some. Nothing. We werent sure what to do. Do you drink it one sip from each? Do we mix it ourselves? They both were good enough to drink alone, I could of had 10 of the cocktail part no problem (it was sweet). So I poured some champagne into the cocktail. I have no idea if that was the correct way to drink a Flirtini or not.
For desert we decided to order something very different each so we could take bits of each others. Dana got a Italian Cream Cake which is a rich yellow cake layered with coconuts and pecans with cream cheese. Karen got a Turtle Cheesecake, which is a simple turtle mix of caramel, pecans and iced with fudge. I went for the fruit route to balance it all out with a Cherry Crumb Pie, a classic pie with a semolina crumb topping. Im having the rest of that yummy pie for breakfast this morning. Best part about our deserts? They were free. When the waiter brought us our checks he told us he took care of the deserts because he felt he ignored our table due to a large party downstairs. We did not feel ignored, but were very thankful for the free treats!
I love how some friends it doesnt matter that time has gotten away from us and our relationship is built again on a one night conversation over yummy dinner. We share our struggles and our praises in our current life. Talk about topics that make you think deeper and encourage you. Those are the girls nights out I wish I had more often.
When I met John Freeman, his hand was behind his back holding a very dirty diaper. He smiled embarrassed and said he’d be right back to properly met me, after opening his front door. Every interaction I’ve had with John has been such a sweet and usually funny one. That first meeting though, I gathered he loved working with youth. Our second meeting, the one more about getting to know me, I still very much got to know John. In the way he thoughtfully listened and asked about my life. Its been a great journey this past year to work and learn from him in the middle school group. Yesterday was his last day, which was bitter sweet. I was happy for him that his family is obeying the call God had placed at their life to move to another great church. It was just hard to know that was the last Sunday we’d share with him under the great big trees on the front lawn. Tuesday night dinners wouldn’t be the same John being there in the mist. I haven’t ever really been able to completely sort my thoughts about saying good-bye to one my favorite youth pastors. Maybe becasue I’m still in the process of it all. I hope to keep with me all that I have been taught by John and apply it to my future in youth ministry and in life.
Lately, I haven’t really missed home. Maybe that’s because I have June to look forward to with my parents coming for almost a week. But the other day my coworker, who also goes to the same church as I do, asked if I was going to the sunrise service. I gave a very quick, almost laughable response of “Oh no.” Whats really interesting about that to me is that for the past 5 years that I lived in California I did go to the sunrise service. My church is huge, 5 services huge, and the idea of getting most of us on a beach near by the church is really ridiculous but really great at the same time. We all buddled up in our sweats, blankets and grabbed chairs for the untraditional service. I saw folks I don’t normally get to see going to different services. The sound system would always go out in the middle of the sermon. Some seagull fly over head and poo on some poor person’s head. Last year towards the end of the service I tuned out as I watch whales swim past our little set up. I think even my pastor would of been distracted had he known what was taking place behind him. I missed that this year, even though I really enjoyed being at church today. Jason played music with a great group of people I’m getting to know and it sounded wonderful (even if I didn’t like most of the songs). The high schoolers just returned from a week in the Dominic Republic and was sharing about their time there (Jr High and High School in one room together). Rekindled that place in my heart for missions, and recalled in my mind of times in Thailand and Hungry years ago. I sat up in the balcony today and looked over the sea of people and smiled at the thought I knew more than dozen people whom I consider a friend and would say the same of me. It surprises me how much of a community I have been blessed with in such a short time at this church.
In a relationship, you have a pretty good chance of getting hurt. We may not mean too, but since we are sinners we are going to fail the other person in some way. Its when you become comfortable and vulnerable with someone that there’s really a chance to be hurt but if you never opened up in the first place it be hard to have a true relationship. Most of the time this hurts the most with the person you share a romantic relationship with. I know sometimes I find myself a little taken by how much Jason does know me. You really know the person, becasue you usually are most intimate with them. Sometimes they can hurt you with them just being, well them, and other times its to actually help.
The very things that person is trying to sharpen you with (though it takes time to know its actually sharping and not pointing things out that are wrong with you) is what Jesus saved me from. Jesus saved me from these bad things that makes up the ugly side of me. When I sin, I’m basically saying, I don’t need your sacrifice. That’s a hard thought to sallow, it really is. I think its something everyday I have to chose to believe and then act upon. I hope these Easter thoughts stay with me, as I learn to grow more in God’s grace that he showers over me more than I will ever understand.
Nicole said it well, “I’m tired and I really didn’t do anything today.” Even though most of us were tired at the end of this early afternoon wedding, we stayed up late catching up with old friends. Well, really, they were Jason’s old college friends who were catching up. Nicole and I, who buddied up for the weekend, stood more so on the sidelines remember those good old times when we were still in high school or middle school for her when the stories took place. This group of friends who over the years have collected spouses and kids are always fun to see each other at each mini reunion they find themselves having at each others weddings. They stay close it seems through such celebrations and its been fun over the past year to learn of their community. Part of my community at church is closely tied to the couple that got married today. You can see how each of them poured into each others lives as they shared their love for the bride and groom. To see our casual church dressed up fancy to celebrate this marriage that many had waited a long time for. It was wonderful to be apart of their day, mostly from sitting back and watching. Taking in these friends who over the years have changed but still are deeply important to each other. To watch my friends be flooded with emotion for this couple. It was a beautiful day for a wedding.
As I looked up at the very well dusted gold chandler in the church, seeing the reflection of the pews of people I wondered about funerals. I had only been to two others before today; one of my exboyfriend’s step mom (yeah just a tad awkward but we were still close at the time) and my grandpa this past January. I only had the pleasure of meeting the man who the filled church with people once this past summer. Sitting in this quant church, I wondered really what or whom funerals where for. The tone of this one, my favorite by far, was celebrating how Jesus had used my friend’s dad’s life. Why I sat there in was very different from the person sitting next to me (whom was quite fun to sit next to since she seemed to rate the different people who spoke). I was there in hopes of showing in a physical scene support to my friend who had a great loss. The stories that were shared makes me want to clear an afternoon to hear more about my friend’s dad’s life. Driving home through the country of North Carolina (I really know I’m a city girl when I made the comment of “Cows are big up close.”) I realized it had been too long since I chatted with my dad. To know more of his life, the small things that were important to him growing up or what made him pick my mom to be his bride. I wish I could of comforted my friend more than I feel that I did. My shoulder is for you to lean or cry on in the days to come. My prayers are yours in hope the comfort God can only brings touches your heart in that missing piece of your life He has taken to be with Him.
I’ve spent most of morning putting together some photos I took from the wedding this past weekend into a photo album. I stole the idea from Christiana who did the same for Sarah and Brandon last year. Adding a little personal touch of song lyrics that speak of love or relationships. Those songs piled onto a mix cd to share with these friends of Jace and mine. In a note I told the couple my feelings wouldn’t be hurt if they ending up using the photo album for a completely different reason. And I really do mean that, my hope is that they enjoy the gift as much has I enjoyed putting together. (My only hope that they enjoy at least one of the photos I took for them.)
On another side of all this, when I get a gift that was made for me (like a photo album or mix cd) I feel like I’m getting to know the person more. The wedding was a close friend of Jason, so there is still room for me to grow in a friendship with the newly weds. What I do know of them makes me want to share this friendship Jason has with them. In sharing a part of me, my favorite lyrics and photos I took, is my way of sharing myself. Extending myself in form of something I hope they gain enjoyment from. We do this with most people in our lives one way or another. Share or not share, we chose who we give part of our lives to. We all have our own ways of sharing ourselves with others. Whether is through a gift or spending time with them, its an expression of who we are to them. Now its finding the balance of knowing how they express themselves to you. I know I have trouble reading people, so that something I can grow in my relationships with people close in my life.
Weddings make me happy. Weddings with two of the celebrations events held outside does not make “men of girth” so happy. One of the four “men of girth” that Jace is so proudly apart of got married this past weekend. Besides the heat, think anyone who attend this wedding would tell you what a fun and joyful day to be apart of. I know mostly thought stories that Jason has told me and a whirlwind trip to the airport right after they got engaged.
The weekend was full of exploring new parts of North Carolina I had never been before. Jason and I enjoy great talks has we drove around following all the crazy directions around the Lake Norman. I watched from the distance all these friends whom haven’t seen each other in years instantly connected again as if had been only days since they last saw each other. Well, besides the very big, long bear hugs they gave each other (or maybe that was an everyday greeting for these guys). Jason introduce me to all of this close/old college friends who I had also heard many stories about. Putting faces to names and feeling a warm embrace into this group of friends was only another point for Jace. You can always tell a lot about a guy by his friends, right?
The wedding went off without much of a hitch (there was a little issue with an iron and a shirt…) and I just couldn’t stop smiling. Weddings that just make you happy, because you call tell of the love this couple has not only for each other but for those group of people they had chosen to be there with them on their wedding day. Only time my smile was a little weak was when Jason went to play special music. I became nervous like I was one up there with the guitar in my hand and not him. Strange how caring for someone can take that effect over you.
I was an on looker for most of the weekend. My face behind a camera wanting to capture sweet moments for Graham and Nicole. I saw Jason enjoy the reconnection of his close friends. Stepping back and watching others something I don’t do often enough. Soaking up the joy that was in that place brought warmth to my heart. And I hope that a silly grin that was on my face for most of the weekend reflected that.
Blown headgasket is apparently what is wrong with Gwen. I’m glad they know whats wrong and gonna fix it. Not so glad that they’ve had my car two days now and I wont get her back till Monday or Tuesday. I asked for a rental car, but Eddie (my Honda contact here) cant get the okay to give me one till Monday morning. Goodie.
I’m in search of a tall bookshelves to put my many books that are still in boxes. Its one of the most unsettling feelings, living in boxes. Which doesn’t help bring the “this is home” feeling I’m wanting to come sooner than I should. But I know an organized room fully displayed with the comfort of familiar nick naks and friendly books would help. Hopefully tomorrow I can fine one and start making headway of getting boxes out of my life.
Had a little moment this afternoon. My mom called just to check in and see how things where going. I don’t know what I haven’t called my parents more but it made sense when I got off the phone. I miss them. A lot. I just stared out the car window as Jason and I drove down Wendover to try and control my sad thoughts. Jason asked what was wrong and I didn’t want to answer. But he just knew and asked “Do you miss your mom?” and I started crying. I didn’t realize how much I did till that moment but I do. I did my normal, “there are worst things going on, I shouldn’t be sad over this” routine. He only reassured me its okay to be sad over it and not to beat myself up over it.
I’ve gotten to hang out with some friends over the past couple of days. Kari and I spent the evening together braving the nasty storm we had last night. Apparently out here, a summer storm as they call it, which is 13 inches of rain that’s very heavy with hail, thunder and lighting is normal. Something else for me to get used to I guess. We had some great conversation over Barns and Noble, soup and Kari knitting. Then tonight Jace and I met up with an old friend of mine, Joe, from Newbury Park. I hadn’t seen the guy in like 5 years so it was great to catch up with him on his way home from the golf tour. Jason and him got to take turns picking on me all night over Mexican food and Buster’s ice cream. Delightful past couple of nights with friends that brought me comfort when I needed it.
Tomorrow I’m going to church at Grace to feel it out one more time. Hopefully start getting involved in the Jr High group and get to know those new 7th graders over the summer. I’m hoping to find a sense of community there, which I know I need and going to put myself out there sooner rather than later. Always scary though, meeting new people and going through the process of hoping they accept me for me. And growing older, trying not to close other people out due to past hurts in friendships, which I think is the bigger battle for me. My prayer is to really have open eyes and heart to what God has for me, as rocky as it has started, new season of my life.
Yesterday was very dark day here. No really, it was overcast and on the verge of raining at any moment (but it didn’t till the night). I think the weather messed with people because all my customers, even the regulars, where in a mood. I was no better, feeling like I never even woke up, despite the 8:30am wake up. When I got off work I called Jace, to take our not so nice conversation earlier that day, due to my mood. In going through trying to process why I was feeling this way with him, I started crying. Talking through what I way feeling my main thought was I am stressed, which I’ve been told is understandable. Fine, but the next question is what am I stressed about? My packing is pretty much done (really, all I have are important papers, bathroom stuff and clothes, rest is packed and index card) . My plans are nicely typed up with maps and confirmations in a according style file folder. I think my problem is I can not pin point how to help solve this feeling. Then I thought, I’m sad. I haven’t really let that feeling enter my mind because I don’t want to be sad. I want to be excited for my new life in North Carolina. But I guess that cant really happen till I deal with leaving here first. Seems pretty logical, which I like, but I don’t really want to deal with those sad feelings. With the weather still over cast and grey, maybe its some sort of a sign to start here before heading there.
Yesterday, Jace (aka, best boyfriend ever) sent me a beautiful bouquet of gerber daisies. Red, pink and white – all he picked out himself, just for me. It was such a sweet surprise which was such a bright point in my week. Past few days has been very over cast and muggy, nothing like a spring day should look like. I get to look over at my pretty flowers from a man who cares for me, to brighten this ugly spring day. The card reads “You deserve flowers” which I don’t know if its true, but maybe if I read it often enough I might just believe it.
(Oreo was smelling them. He thinks they smell pretty. And dont mock me for my chick-lit, lol)
Friday afternoon I got a voicemail message from my friend Mark:
“Hi Alisa. I was calling to see if you wanted to come over for dinner tonight. I invited some of the guys over and well, your one of the guys. Let me know. Bye.”
This message took me a back a bit. It was the first time in my life I had been referred to as “one of the guys”. I didn’t think much of it, but then I changed my shirt to a cute pink blouse. When calling Mark back to confirm plans I ask if I could bring anything. He said a desert would be good. So I made a homemade tart and bought Mike’s hard lemonade (girly drink, not beer) for the evening. I even put on a little more makeup (eyeshadow). Not that this group of guys I care that they think of me as “one of the guys” but I don’t think I liked being called that. I like the fact that God created me a girl and I like that I embrace that. So I was just embracing it a little more with these guys, even during Mission Impossible:3, covering my eyes during parts and jumping in my seat. By the end of the night I was more than done being around manly men and even told them I enjoyed boys night out but glad it was coming to a close (a little too much gas being passed freely). Just interesting the little things I found myself doing (subconsciously or not) to show outwardly how girly I am.
Thank you very much for giving me the gift of Miranda Stone’s music. It hasnt left my car’s cd player since I put it in. Love her song writing and the music is just wonderful. I look forward to knowing her words soon and singing along with her in my car as Im driving down the road. Miranda is our kind of girl, I can tell.
If you grew up in the church at all, I’m sure you remember going on events. Feeling the “camp high” as its been called. Winter Camp is the fastest camp high a person can get I think. To me, spending time with the girls in a very small space for the weekend feels like old friends getting together. Its these week or weekends away we talk about everything and anything under the sun. These girls have grown a lot in the 6 months since summer camp.
Or maybe its just the season of the year but that actually sat still. They didn’t want to know what time it was every 2 minutes during cabin conversations. They had questions to which they wanted answers to about faith, the world and of course sex. But it was so focused (using a teddy bear as the object you had to have in your hand or else you couldn’t talk) and engaging, something they couldn’t do during summer camp. I even got to know two really guy students named Ian and Shaun.
Its always hard for me to connect with the boys because well they are boys. I don’t know what its like to be a Jr. High boy (I only stole hats from the ones I had crushes on at their age). These guys just seemed to think I was cool which made me feel more comfortable goofing off with them. They both gave me hugs good bye yesterday with a thanks for the weekend.
Highlights of my weekend would have to be the traditional frisbee game we’ve play the past three winter camps. We used to play it in the center of camp, busiest part. Half the fun was trying not to hit the on lookers just passing through. They had put up lights and we broke two of them so we moved the game onto the main path. Still very fun, though it was students vs. leaders and there was too many kids to leaders but very fun none the less.
We also had a talent show that was so very random but so enjoyable. Three of our kids were in it which is a change for our crew since they usually are not too into doing things on stage. As always the worship was great. Actually a coworker of mine was the drummer of the band and it was strange to see him there. Camp life and work life are very different part of my life so having part of work life come to camp was very strange for me. I got to teach (well attempt to at least) Alesia how to knit and work on some of my own. Hayley, Alesia and I sat for hours knitting and chatting about life and it was such a refreshing time.
Spending time with very wise godly women is few and far between in my life. What I always realize at camp is how little I actually manage my time well. In going back to my new years goal investing time in relationships I have to do that more. It may come down to spread sheets and hour by hour planning. This does not turn me off in any way at all, its something Id love to do being this planner I claim to be. So as much as I tried to teach my girls, as always, they seemed to teach me more.
As a fresh rain fell over the night, to me it helps settle the New Year. A fresh year as is the earth with rain. I told this thought to my coworker this morning and he replied “And to make the road wet for all the drunk drivers out there.” Smashing my nice thought of New Years, but true none the less. Actually, it was the main reason I did not attended the “Black and White Party” (you could wear anything as long as it was only black or white.) I was invited to last night. Instead I traded the party for an evening of an empty house (my brother is on tour with his band and my parents went to see a movie with the neighbors) watching “Project Runway” (I have never seen that show before. Quite interesting) and knitted a scarf.
I have mixed feelings on how I spent my New Years Eve. As traditional I saw the ball drop in New York on TV, only it was 9pm my time. I was on the phone with Jason, getting as close as could from across the country ringing in the New Year. I wish I had least had a glass of sparkling cider or something to drink at midnight. But that’s saved more for a party where you cling glasses with the personal next to you in cheering for the New Year. I went to bed around 10pm marking the first New Years I didn’t stay up till midnight. I had to be at work at 6:30 this morning so I didn’t want to be a wreak anyhow (I’m a 7-8 hour sleeper) but even this morning when asked how I spent my New Year I feel fine with it. I only wish I could of shared it with Jason in a room full of our close friends.
2005 wasn’t a big year for me. As Kari said, the highs were highs and the lows where low. I’m still growing in new things that have changed my life and kind of frustrated that some of them are carrying over into the New Year. Some things that would have bothered me this time last year seem very faded now. Other things seem to take their place. I don’t know what 2006 holds for me which as a planner sort of is un-nerving. But then again, I never really know what a year holds for me.
I’m sad to see the holidays end (though to me there is one more holiday coming up in 11 days. tee hee.) as they were much a blur to me. Working in retail its always a very busy time, this year just seemed more busy. Many unreturned phone calls (that is now due to my cell phone being broken. boo.) and not nearly enough time spent with friends and family. That is one thing I want to work on this year, being a better friend. More so, better at relationships. Listen more, talk less (sure Jason will like the sound of that). That also has to do with my walk with God. I used to escape to a city anywhere in San Diego and just be with Him. I miss those times and feel the desperate need for them again. To really try and connect with my Jr. High kids, no matter how much they frustrate me. Manage my time better so I can have time for such growth in relationships that I take for granted far too often in my life. Cheers to 2006.
I know that we are not to be dependent on other. But the joy I found in spending time with pieces of people who live scattered around the country in Nashville last week – was more than I ever expected. I didn’t go to get filled the way I did. I went for this beautiful tradition known as “Behold the Lamb of God” Christmas show Andrew Peterson put together years ago. As Scott said, its now turned into seeing a group of close friends getting together once a year to play music. Brought together by the telling of the true tell of the coming Christ. A story we all so well, at the same time don’t even start to know or understand.
Feeling disconnected at work and even youth group, it was wonderful to feel some warmth of connection in chilly Nashville. It was a long over do smile sealed on my heart. The dozens of hugs I was given warmed my soul deeper than I ever thought I needed. Fellowship is something that God designed us to be apart of. We feel it when we are alone, its a gloomy place to be. But as Don Miller said, God created us with this need. Adam felt lonely before the fall and none of the animals he named could fill this hole in him. God knew Adam’s need provided Eve; provided fellowship.
Now, after the remains of the weekend this great group of people I was with are reminiscing about their favorite moments. I’m horrible at recapping things let alone putting my finger one moment that was a high. It could of being watching Narina with the girls and feeling comfortable enough to let my tears fall watching Asian sacrifice his life. The long over due cup of coffee over conversation with close friends. The sharing this Christmas tradition with Jason for the second year in a row while watching him have wonderful guy time. Small amount of time to get in so many conversations with people you see far too little. Like Kathleen Kelley, “All these nothings mean more to me than so many somethings.”
Not to leave out the short time spent in North Carolina after the busy weekend. Things went a little hay-wire but turned into me able to spend time with Jason’s brother, sister and new brother-in-law. I love growing closer to them, developing my own relationship with them. To see the loyalty they have to Jace and this acceptance of me with little knowledge is touching. Also seeing my circle of friends in Greensboro for far too little of a time just draws me closer to that state. It seems in all I say or write since returning has had a smile at the end of it. When asked how my trip was I simply reply “Wonderful”. Wonderful because it was in a city I know and love with people whom I feel loved by. In the mist of it all, I knew the presence of Jesus there. Weather in the goofing off or the sweet words exchanged He was there.