Friday, March 14, 2008

Joy in the Journey

I awakened this morning to the sound of the trains passing. Apparently, Pumpkin did as well as he was up and talking within seconds. I've been wanting to get up earlier than everyone else so that I may have a more peaceful start to the day, to have time for devotions and exercise. Awakening simply because someone is crying is not the most pleasant start to the day. However, getting up early the week of the time change just hasn't worked for me.

Sweetheart issued a "Sunrise Alert" and I went to look. Beautiful. Brilliant shades of pink and purple light the sky, just for a few moments before the gray of the day overtook them. I chose to let Pumpkin stay in bed for a little bit playing by himself, hoping he'd go back to sleep and knowing that I'd better grab the few minutes I could to get the day started off right.

I fixed myself a cup of coffee and curled up in the chair with my new book that arrived yesterday, The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. I have often seen this book quoted in other books, but have not read it myself. I took some time to read the introduction and the first two chapters. I am looking forward to diving more deeply into it over this week. The introduction suggested reading it through once quickly to gain a sense of the book, but then to continue to reread it. I do that a lot, do you? I am so eager to read through a book, but then to linger rereading it several times, if it is worth it.

Some books only warrant one reading, if that, but some books are like friends that I want to spend more time with getting to know more deeply. Taking the time to peel back the layers of letters, to find what is at the heart; to unlock that elusive quality of writing that makes a book or story sink in and stir my soul.

Some writers do that. I want to just steep their words into my heart, forever changing it, as the leaves steep in my teapot creating tea from what was simply water. Taking the time to pour into me, changing the very nature of who I am. Sipping at the words, again and again, filling up and refreshing my very being.

Some friends do that as well. I spoke today with an old friend. We met in high school, our group bonding hard and fast, linking our hearts and lives forever. Even now, when some of us have not seen each other in over ten years, we can feel as though we just passed each other in the halls on our way to class earlier today picking up the threads of conversation and weaving our lives back together.

She and I spoke in January after not talking to one another in years, not because anything was wrong, but life and kids and multiple moves for each had kept us apart. Occasionally, I'd hear about what she was up to through other friends, but life just kept going. I tried several times over the years to reconnect, but numbers were disconnected, addresses no longer forwarding. For a time I thought it had been too long, that a call now would seem like too little too late. I didn't want to give up though. After several months of calling and missing one another, we were able to finally talk.

What a joy that was for me! Just hearing her voice brought back a flood of memories. How I wish that we lived closer! What fun it would be to just laugh and cook and eat together. To just hang out, without really having anything that needed to be done would be wonderful. How I miss those times of just being with one another. I want to see her face. To have one of her hugs. To just laugh together. To introduce our husbands, her girls and my boys, to just be together.

Today's conversation picked right back up as though time has not passed, as though we were just together. I've recalled her words many times since our call in January that she is not who she was back then. True. She is now a wife, a mother to four girls. I can sense in her words a deeper closeness to Jesus. And yet, and yet, I hear her heart and know that that has not changed. Though she may play the violin and has grown in many ways since the days when algebra classes mattered, the core of who she is sounds the same, just deeper.

And I wonder. How would she see me today? Yes, the hair is longer, the laugh lines deeper, the figure fuller, but seen through the eyes of one who has known me longer than most, what would she see? Would she see a deeper faith in me? One who has grown in the ways that matter? If we met today for the very first time, would she want to be my friend? I hope so.

I've never had such friends again. Oh, how I long for that closeness, that unguardedness, that totally sharing of who we are without fear of rejection or derision. To simple pour ourselves into each other knowing that it's safe. I miss that. I miss you, Joy.

Maybe I am feeling a bit too reflective today, weepy even, as this year for me comes to a close. I am deep in thought, in prayer, in hope. I want more for this second half of life. More love, more depth, more of Jesus. Less of me, less of things and distractions, less noise (not likely with boys!) less inner turmoil over the things that just don't matter. More peace in Him. Seeking, always seeking, growing, loving. Because really, LOVE is all that matters in the end. I want to be known as a woman who loved.

Silly side note to self: Just because grapefruit are eight for one dollar, does not mean that I need to buy all eight. I wonder if anyone besides bloggers take pictures of their food. It is sort of an odd phenomenon, isn't it?


Pam said...

Happy Birthday Kimberly! I get reflective on my birthday, too. It feels a little like New Year's Day to me - a fresh start for a better me - a time to recheck my priorities and direction. Enjoy your time out with Sweetheart and please tell us about it when you can!

Susan said...

Happy Birthday, Kimberly! Hope you have a great tea and just so much joy today!

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

hope you had a great birthday!

Janna Widdifield said...

Happy Birthday! I've also seen that book quoted often. You've inspired me to get a copy and read it, too!

Heather said...

Thanks for commenting on my baby pics and for the encouraging words, advice and prayers. It's amazing how we can be concerned for one another all the while being strangers. Happy Birthday!


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