Cheers to Friday folks! If I had to pick one word for my week, I’d pick adventure. I like adventures. When I tell myself it’s an adventure, I remind myself to be open and to give fear of the unknown the side eye. My week started in Philadelphia, included a wrong turn to Canada (true story), eating for a great cause #Foodie, and soul work that has felt like following the breadcrumbs of my life through the book Rhythms of Rest written by a friend of mine, Shelly Miller. Through each adventure there has been whispers and shouts of joy and I’m glad to share them with you below.
To Infinity and Beyond
Not that I went to outer space or even watched Toy Story recently, but I made my third trip to the airport in the last 10 days this week- and I’m not even Beyonce, or Beyonce’s back up dancer. But of all the trips, this may have been the one I needed most as it was intended time to be spent only engaging in that with provides rest and renewal. My east coast nephew turned 5 last Friday and I purchased a flight over a month ago to surprise him for the long weekend. I landed Saturday afternoon and was off with my sister for last minute party errands for that evening. Sunday he and my sister slept in while I met a friend for much needed and throughly enjoyable conversation over an unsweetened tall almond milk green tea latte at Starbucks. Afterwards my sister and nephew met us and we were movie bound to see Storks, grabbed delicious food at Red Robin, swung by Target where I started my holiday shopping, and called it a day with milkshakes (my first ever) from Sonic. Monday I was on babysitting with my nephew and Tuesday morning as he went to school and my sister went to work, I started my journey back to Buffalo.
I’ve never been out of the country. Well, until Tuesday evening. I landed in Buffalo Tuesday afternoon and headed straight to work for an afternoon full of back to back meetings. As the day came to a close my coworker sent a text about drinks before our 6:30 dinner reservation with other colleagues and a few of my friends. I was absolutely up for drinks and figured that if I just kept going I’d be in a good mood for dinner and could crash afterwards from my long day. As we were making our way to Providence Social on the west side of the city we were engrossed in really good conversation. It was so good that instead of turning left we went right…right on over to Canada with no passports y’all. We tried to turn around but the gentleman at he Duty Free store sad it was a one way and we had to just keep going. So, just before 6pm Tuesday I, passportless and all, crossed the border into Canada, sat on a bench swinging my legs as they searched my coworker’s car, immensely pleased that I’d finally made it out of the country, even if it was illegal, even if it was for not even 15 minutes in all.
I know this post is Finally Friday. Yet as I write this I am like maybe it should have been called The Longest Tuesday. After our brief stint in Canada we did make it to Providence Social just in time to order drinks and wait for the rest of our party. We sipped and meandered over to the little table across from the bar to learn more about Dining Out For Life Buffalo. I’d participated in the past in Philadelphia and was excited to participate here in Buffalo. Michelle gave us a run down on the history of the event in Buffalo, assured is the food we would soon consume would be amazing (And it was. OMG blessed revamped gnocchi!) As the rest of the group came in, we made our way to our table with the perfect ice breaker story of our brief trip to Canada, and then had a blast of a night where conversation and laughter were on repeat until almost 10pm.
Before heading to the SheLeads Conference in Manhattan last Wednesday morning with a group of students I zipped into the mail room one last time to see if my book, Rhythms of Rest, had arrived. It was there and I ripped open the envelope, placed the book in my tote bag and headed to the parking lot to our shuttle to the airport. When we arrived at the airport, the students scattered to the restrooms, purchase snacks, and find good places to take selfies. I sat with all of the carry-ons, opened the book, and began to read. Each day since the book’s arrival I’ve been reading, writing, underlining, bracketing, thinking, and praying over the pages that I have read. I have found the tides or temptation to worry, to fix, to control, slowly recede from the shores of my life, creating a rhythm in the last week and of heightened awareness to choice. I get to choose more often than I realize if I will trust or fret, say yes when I want or need to say no, turn off the TV and focus on a task as opposed to “multitask”, etc. I’m only on page 79, but so far, the way the book has nudged me to slow down, take deeper joy in that which I already enjoy, prioritize the necessary, and simply show up in my life and what I feel the Lord speaking to me in times of prayer has been…AWESOME!