“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.” Anne of Green Gables
After a much needed break, it is back at it. Back to writing and editing Shadowed. Back to daily workouts and saying “no” to a few extra events.
But all that is more manageable. I’ve had two months of reading books that jog my creativity, nights and days spent with friends around fire pits or coffee shop tables, time to watch some of my favorite TV shows and dream about screenwriting. And, man, the time has been sweet. This year, I set out to embrace 2014, and so far, I am loving every minute of it.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Some people may think this is overused, but I would argue we forget the simplicity and complexity of this statement far too often. It’s okay to rest. It’s okay to say no. It’s okay to purely enjoy time with friends without worrying about deadlines.
In the past two months since Shaken released, I have become convinced that we are a culture that encourages doing and have forgotten the art of being.
In college, some of my favorite memories involve going to Sonic after our college service and two-stepping in the parking lot while music blared from multiple trucks; Friday nights playing spades, ordering pizza, and watching FRIENDS; hide-and-seek in the dark on campus; game nights and movie nights. When I attended Focus on the Family, we had potlucks almost every night of the week, accompanied by games that quickly gave me a glimpse into the interests and personalities of my friends. We piled twenty-three of us into an apartment and just laughed and spent time together, adding workouts and dance parties to the mix. We built relationships.
Since I’ve moved back to Dallas, I feel like my schedule involves more events consisting of small talk, rather than time spent that helps me actually walk away with a better understanding of who I talked to. Part of it is city living. Part of it is belonging to a large young adults group that I absolutely love. But my favorite moments are still morning coffee dates curled up on couches with some of my favorite ladies, games around a campfire and talking late into the night, and ice cream runs with my roommate. Sign me up for making memories any day (crazy events, sky-diving, a road trip). But I think that memory-makers need to be balanced by relationship-builders or all you’ve done is make a memory with a person that may not stick around.
So I’m going to embrace a new challenge this year. I want to make sure I am being a friend, not just doing friendship. One of my leaders a couple years ago told me I don’t do well with surface relationships. I figure out a way to go deep and dive in. I’m not afraid of the messy bits. In fact, I don’t think you are truly friends unless you have weathered a season of struggle together. But this isn’t easy. Maybe I’m developing the heart of a warrior with my characters. So ask me how I’m doing. Ask me if I’m braving that scary word called vulnerability to make friendships count. Ask me if I’m braving the culture of my busy city to do something counter-cultural. In truth, this relates back to resting in the Lord and pursuing community as He defines it.
Want to join my challenge to actually be instead of just do? Let me know and we can encourage one another!