You know how when you go running for the first time after not working out for a few months, you realize just how much you’ve been missing the exercise? Today was like that, but with community and fellowship.
We had a very friend-saturated day, outside of our home, and it was such a breath of fresh air. It was a simple day, nothing fancy, but different from our normal routine, and incredibly life-giving! We spent the afternoon with some sweet friends having lunch over the mountain, strolling through antique stores, and drinking coffee. We got to be explorers in our own city, and it was fun showing them a piece of my childhood they had never seen before.
The first time we ever had dinner with the Naylor’s over a year ago, they talked about how since moving to Birmingham from California, they had noticed that many people don’t have sincere conversations. They noticed how a lot of folks in the south talk easily about the weather, greet you in the grocery line, but won’t share their hearts. They talked about how they just wanted relationships with honesty and transparency. We jumped on board and never looked back! Alli has become one of my dearest friends, and the Lord has used their friendship to challenge and teach me more than I ever could have hoped for because their conversation is honest and sincere at all times. Such a nice day together in more ways than one.
Some other sweet friends invited us into their home for an evening with their family. I’ve noticed that when we spend time around families with young children, it’s such a new dynamic of honesty and transparency that just happens naturally because kids add such a real-life element that you don’t always get with friends who don’t have littles. Tonight was no exception. As we ate tacos and homemade salsa around the table, the girls ran around with beans on their clothes and bathing suits on for fun, but those hours were so entertaining and hilarious, you can’t help but feel closer when you leave. Their house is full of grace and love and from the moment you walk in the door you feel welcome and accepted. It’s refreshing and fun to be in a home like that and I pray we can welcome others in our home the same way.
I love when you get to see people’s real-life, everyday normal. We walked in to find the girls in timeout, and we got to see them run around, squealing with excitement, playing dress up, and just living life in front of us. I absolutely love getting to see Ethan with kids, because he’s just so good with them! The girls LOVE him, and he graciously played dress up and paid them special attention for over an hour.
We don’t get to experience that very often as we don’t have a ton of friends with their own littles just yet, so it’s such a fun chance to step into their shoes and see what it’s like having a bigger family for awhile. Today was one of those days where you didn’t realize what you were missing until it slaps you in the face and you fall asleep smiling, thanking the Lord for His provision and the community that welcomes you into their lives with kindness and honesty.