When Leigh posted that link-up time was upon us, I was surprised at how quickly the end of May sneaked up on me. What a weirdo month it’s been. But, it’s been a full month too, with lots of good times with lots of good friends, some who I don’t get to see very often.
Let’s start there…
My high school pal Becca came to visit at the beginning of the month, and I love when she’s in town. We’ve been friends since we were sixteen and there’s something comforting in just sitting with someone who’s known you through all the crazy changes life brings in the decade between kid and adult. We spent an afternoon doing “Maryland things,” which basically means we sat by the water and ate seafood.
At the end of the month, my friends Claire and Dave came to town all the way from London. To be fair, they’re my friends by extension – because Claire and my oldest pal Beth studied together at St Andrews and then became the best of pals, and Beth likes me enough to share them with me. I think this is how some of the best friendships are made, when you like each other enough to share.
My friend Danielle is a friend I made through Beth too, because Danielle lived with Beth in college and then Beth moved away for her doctoral studies and Danielle and I kept hanging without her. So, last weekend Danielle’s daughter had a birthday and I got invited to the bowling party, where I hung in the back and with the grown-ups and drank juice boxes and chewed bubble gum because I’m not about relinquishing all childhood things.
Like eating ice cream at the newest local joint and riding the plastic tractor.
And then I held a gun when my friend Matt and my dad and Matt’s dad and my mom went to the local gun range to shoot clays with 12-gauge shotguns. I’ll tell you why I’m a fan of this activity, because it always is a good time with Matt, my pal who knows me really well and still has a thing or two to teach me. At one point I was over-thinking my movements, as I’m prone to do, and Matt leaned over the from the clay launcher and said, “If you’re not smiling, you have no business shooting,” which was his way of reminding me that the point of going to the gun range was to have fun, not to be the best shot. Lord love Matt, I think that’s a lesson that’ll transfer off the range.
My Bible study, after a mini-break, is back to things this week with Beth Moore’s Esther. When the BFF and I ran to get our new books, the bookstore had Bob Goff’s Love Does on sale, and I grabbed it on impulse heading for the counter. I think it’s probably the best impulse decision I’ve ever made. Because this is a book that met me in a place where I needed to meet it and it’s a book I’m going to live with, just like Anne Lamott’s Grace Eventually and Shauna Niequist’s Bittersweet and Lauren Winner’s Girl Meets God and Rachel Held Evans’ Year of Biblical Womanhood. Bob’s point, I think, is that knowing God makes love the whole point, and it’s not enough to sit and think about how to love people well, you have to get off your butt and love. He then offers that getting off our butt is going to always be an adventure with Jesus:
You don’t need to know everything when you’re with someone you trust. That’s probably why Jesus’ disciples never said they were on a mission trip. I think they knew love already had a name and they didn’t need a program or anything else to define it. We don’t either. The kind of adventure Jesus has invited us on doesn’t require an application or prerequisites. It’s just about deciding to take up an offer made by a father who wants us to come (pg. 136).
I want to live in a new normal where I can reach out to people who are different from me and just be friends. I remember hearing in elementary school that we could be pen pals with someone far away. That was great and all, but there’s a big difference between being pen pals and being real pals. To make an impact you have to go there and start a friendship. Friends do – they don’t just think about it (pg. 74).
I think I found similar kind of themes – about going on an adventures with Jesus – in the blogosphere this month:
- Jamie Golden at Jamie’s Rabbits left a job she liked enough to go somewhere new with God, and she’s been writing great posts about it. First, about God texting her to quit her job. Then, about working out God’s story.
- Emily Freeman wrote one early in May that has lodged itself in my head about being a creative, about feeling like every good has already been said, and about having the courage to say it again anyway.
I’ve been a Damien Rice fan for a long time, but this month my friend introduced me to a great used music/book store and I bought his O album (the one with the greats like “Cannonball” and “Delicate”) again because I lost my copy years ago. And I forgot how much I love him, and how much his music feels like the best parts of falling in love.
It never occurred to me that people watch things not to be entertained, but because they want to learn something. This explains why my dad is always watching the dang History channel and why we got into a small conversation about it when he asked me about the new X-Men movie and I said that it was “interesting.” He said that he’d never heard a consumer movie described as “interesting,” and I said I didn’t know what a consumer movie was. He explained that it’s just created to be consumed, just to be entertaining, and I said I didn’t understand the problem. And I didn’t have the words at the moment, but I’m okay with entertainment for entertainment’s sake or art for art’s sake, even when said art reveals Hugh Jackman’s backside.
Most TV shows are on summer hiatus after big finales (Is Castle alive?? Bye Cristina! What will become of Danny and Mindy now?!), so I’ve had to find other things to watch. I wasn’t going to give USA’s Playing House a chance, even though it’s about best friends and I’m a sucker for those kind of shows, but then I read an interview with Jessica St. Clair and Lennon Parham, who are the creators and the leads and real life BFFs. And I’m obsessed! I texted Joy right away and I made her watch it, because I couldn’t stand her not watching something I loved anymore than Jess can’t stand that Lennon has never watch Gilmore Girls. And it’s worth noting that this show purposefully has a Stars Hollow/Lorelai and Rory style to it, but with more improv and adult humor.
And as someone who doesn’t love summer, at least laughing at a new show is something.