i've found lately that some of the most defining moments in my life are happening around the dinner table.
sitting in one of houston's nicest restaurants with my family celebrating not one, but both of my parent's births. being able to spend time with all members at one time-a great feat for us. listening to my sister as she manages to smile and chat despite her recent wisdom teeth removal... it's great to hear her voice. seeing my parents cuddle and steal glances at each other while my mom is just happy to be dressed up and enjoying a night with her kids. my father who i'm so proud of...and who is so proud he can drop $300+ on a meal for his family and not cringe. my brother who has been trying so hard to grow up and for everything to just..."click".
sitting with one of the wisest women i've come to love and respect in a restaurant that i swear should've been on 'sex & the city'. watching her as she listens and helps me through some of my fears and concerns about my life and the lives of those i love. feeling so honored to simply be in her presence...wishing so bad that one day i can be remotely like her. hoping i can make her proud.
the many meals i've had thus far with my pastor. some simply making fun of each other...mostly me and my flare for the dramatic. other meals with his wife who is so kind and so willing to allow us kids to overtake her home...listening to her as she shares recipes with some of the favorite boys in my life. popping open a bottle of wine and allowing us to relax on her couch with her and treating us like adults.
meals with my best friends where we struggle to find words and ideas that we're only beginning to understand. remembering that we're so young...just kids. that we've got so much left to learn...caught in the middle ground yet again and wanting so bad to make sense of the world. trying to be taught by those much wiser than us yet wanting to rebel against it and test the waters too. oh...how i love mid-town at night!
others where i feel as if the kingdom really could be here. where some of the biggest names in this whole church business have looked at me...really looked at me and valued my opinion. where we search to truly make a difference in this new and exciting church movement we've embarked on...if only the world knew what great conversations were tucked away in small corners. sometimes i truly feel as if angels are singing about what we're doing. where we struggle with what's been and what could be...it's truly emerging. i can't wait.
today...at lunch with my dad in downtown houston. smiling at the crinkles on the sides of his eyes as he listens to me blah blah blah about boys and love and everything we silly girls care about. he is so proud of me...and i only hope that continues. he's only a drive away and yet sometimes days like today remind me that one day that won't be the case. he won't be around to help me change my oil or to comfort me after a broken heart. i want to embrace those moments with him forever.
catching up with old friends after being too busy and too absent. regretting how crazy i can let life get and wanting so badly for them to know how much i care. being sung happy birthday and given a card that, although silly, touched me deeper than they are probably aware.
the in-depth conversation after church on sunday nights and at group on thursdays...who knew that hot dogs and hamburgers could generate such great dialogue. such great growth...from some of the most controversial conversations to some of the silliest....trying so hard to get at what the heart of christ wants and desires for the world.
other meals where i sometimes stop...and wonder how in the world i got to be so lucky to be in this time and in this place. my friend karen is right...life truly is about moments we find ourselves in.
great food. great people. great conversation. sometimes life is so good to me.