Over the last few weeks, some really great things have happened to me–great things that both remind me I’m alive and that I’m often not living.
Ryan and I went to a concert. It was at the Q cafe, which is a non-profit cafe run by a church nearby. They seek to allow up-and-coming family friendly musicians to perform in an intimate venue. We went to see Dawn Mitchele because Bethany, while in DC, discovered Dawn on MySpace and further discovered that she had a concert at the Q cafe soon. She didn’t even realize that the Q cafe is an off-shoot of Quest Church (the church our mutual friend works at). So, I put the concert on a tiny sticky note on our computer, and we went.
I remembered two things that night: 1. Music communicates on a level like no other, so when I forget to take the time to FEEL alive, I should find some good music to just sit and listen to it. 2. People in early stages of love really remember they are alive. Parker Ainsworth is another musician touring with Dawn, and he is completely and hopelessly in love with her. I could tell by the way he watched her, and most especially, by his sideways glances– the kind that are filled with glimmer, hope and innocence. I remembered how crazy I was when Ryan and I first were engaged. I never needed caffeine to get me up and going. I could hardly sleep. Life seemed impossibly bright, hopeful and perfect. For a pessimist like myself, it’s a little difficult to remember this time in my life–that sometimes I can be overly peppy, like a 7th grade, blond, pig-tailed cheerleader. While I certainly miss the craziness and excitement at times, I wouldn’t trade our more authentic and weathered love now for anything. And I like my coffee every morning.
Sometimes life seems lonely, terribly lonely. Sometimes it feels that way for a long time. Recently, I’ve had some great moments with people–moments that make me believe in people’s ability to be broken, yet healing at the same time. This couple- Ben and Lin- have become an incredible blessing to our life. A friend from work, Stefanie, continues to surprise me by her desire to know me. When I have a moment where people really see me, I remember that I’m living, not just existing.
I started reading Donald Miller’s new book: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and already I’m in love with it. I just read a chapter over tea about what it means to have a story. He shares a story about a friend of his with a teenage daughter who is smoking pot and dating this horrible kid. Don talks about how he told this distraught father about what he was learning about stories. How people need a good story. How if his daughter had a better story to be a part of, she may not live the current bad story she was stuck in. The father decided that his family was going to raise money and find the time to build an orphanage in Mexico. That’s their story now. It turns out that it’s a story even better than pot and a bad ass boy.
A lot of days feel very mundane and ordinary. The boring plot gets to me, so I’m thankful for the joyous reminders over the past week that life is about living in a great story.
Perhaps, my plot is thickening.