Memories of long drives home from work to 'the mountain,' just like when I lived with my parents. The silence (because I can't stand the radio) for thinking and reflection and planning and dreaming. The golden sunlight stretching across the road like it's leading me into paradise, and then blinding me in the next moment until I stomp on the brakes because I can't see a thing. Reminding me of the years I spent living at home as an adult, how sweet they were and how I wouldn't trade them for the world. Even single adults needs a family to go home to.
Smiles that happen just because. Just because someone brought your favorite food to a ladies' movie night, just because you have a pound of ruby-red, almost-ripe strawberries that stain fingers and tongues and fall into bowls of melting homemade ice cream. Just because it's Friday and the week was long and now it's over and you worked hard, but now you have nothing to do but talk with friends about things. Important things and unimportant things and happy things and infuriating things and sad things, but no matter what things you're talking about, it's okay because you're with friends. Smiles because your dad came how with chilled Starbucks drinks.. just because he knows you love it.
The rewind and replay of the best things of my childhood, sleepovers (except I went home at 10) with Anne of Green Gables, friends playing with my hair and the murmuring of repeated movie lines, other conversation and the spontaneous applause that happens when Matthew Cuthbert tells Marilla to let Anne go to the ball!
Chasing little children round in circles, just to hear their breathless giggles. Is there anything quite as wonderful as children laughing?
The warmth of sunlight. How I missed it!
When a race begins and when it ends. Brandon ran (read: walked) a 5K to make up for missing a jogging class. Except his shins were being angry and so his pace was very slow, but neither one of us minded because unexpected time to walk and think is rare during a college semester.
Open windows. Clouds that hang low for hours, promising rain and then never quite delivering... until the midnight hours, when lightning flashes and thunder rolls and we smile because thunderstorms are wonderful when watched the shelter of my own little kitchen.
At-home dates. It's not surprising that because time is at such a premium for us during the college semester, that we guard our 'date' time quite jealously. The word "jealous" has such a negative connotation these days, but I am using it in the purest sense. Jealousy is not always sinful. God is a jealous God. God never sins. Therefore, jealousy is not always sinful. God is jealous because He rightfully deserves our primary love and our devotion. In a similar way, marriage is the highest relationship of our lives, save one (our personal relationships with Christ). So every other thing is secondary to that relationship. We made a covenant--a holy and sacred vow--before God to forsake all others, and that means practically putting one another before things. It means making sure our relationship is fed, that our hearts are beating together, our fingers are interlaced and our feet are walking the same path. It means staying home and staying in and being together. I (heart) at-home dates.
Laughing with friends because there's a few people that tend to get to church first on Sunday morning, and this Sunday? Everybody forgot/lost/left their church keys at home. So we're standing outside like a bunch of happy homeless folks. Maybe we were happy because the sun was shining? Or because it's Sunday? Or because we're just happy folks!
Words that make me think.. and remember lessons of the past. My pastor preached about suffering this week, and the message has poked and prodded my thoughts since then. Suffering happens. How do I respond to it? How do I live in it? Do I draw nearer to Christ? Or run from His shelter? Am I surprised by suffering? I must endure... live without yielding to the pressure.. keeping my eyes on the One who walks with me. "There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus. No, not one! No, not one!"