This blog has been on my mind a lot lately. I'm currently typing this while sitting in the breezy shade on the porch, the temperature reaching a mere 82 degrees. Can you even believe it? On the last day of July, 82 degrees? I simply cannot. I have felt so loved and relaxed by the wind today. It's as if God knows how much my bones and soul thrive when something spontaneous occurs and so for today, He sent this. Fall-like weather in the middle of a normally hot summer month.
It was last week, while searching through about ten or eleven years of blog posts, that I realized all over again how much this space means to me. I had a blog prior to this one and it is filled with details of Brett and I getting engaged and married, having Anna Ruth, and figuring each other and parenthood out. Then along came this space, my rosy one. My rosy gal, Betsy Grace, came along with this blog too. There's just something magical that happens when you string a million ordinary moments together, I'm just convinced of it. It's like Ben Rector sings, when he says he knows you can't see it, but extraordinary magic follows you around. The same goes with the blog. There's something quite extraordinary about sharing and reading your story or someone else's consistently through the years. I'm ever so glad so many of you are here. Truly.
All that to say, the school year will provide a bit more structure for me and I'm hoping to pop into this space at least a few days a week. In case you're wondering, I'm also still doing photo shoots and am loving it more than ever.
But back to why I'm here today.
I'm a sensitive soul, you know that. Sometimes I drive myself crazy, running circles in my mind, wondering how to help all the needs around me. There are just so many and I never feel like I'm doing enough. "Needs" is a big word, but I'm sure you are imagining your own world of need as you read this. Today I put a small dent in quieting the noise in my head and actually helping in this big, wide world we live in. And all it took was something so small, so unassumingly mediocre.
I had been around back, working in the garden for a while when I heard the mail car pull up to the mailbox. After some time I heard the same car give up on trying to put the package in the mailbox, and pull into the driveway instead. I was especially excited because a new to me book was in the brown, cardboard box. I ran up to meet the mail lady, thanking her for taking the time to come up the drive and deliver the package. Then within a space of just a couple of seconds, it was like my desire to help and the circles of need in my mind and the opportunity right in front of me all collided into each other at once. With my mud-smeared face and hands, I quickly asked "Do you like tomatoes?" After being met with an enthusiastic "Yes!" from the rather surprised mail lady, my next question was "Want some?" Within a few minutes she was hustling to get her Wal-Mart bags and I was traipsing back down to the garden. We exchanged kind words, recipes, and stories as I quickly filled up her bag, sending her on her way with blessings and bright-red tomatoes.
As she drove away, each of us calling out a blessing to the other, I had the thought that it's really this simple. This is what showing up in the world and meeting needs looks like. Some days it's a grand gesture that goes viral, but most days it's feeling my heart beat quicken and actually doing something about it, instead of pushing it aside and letting fear be the boss.
Maybe it all starts with a simple question, a simple act of kindness.
Maybe we smile at the person outside the library, instead of looking at them suspiciously.
Maybe we share our home, our garden, or our hearts.
Maybe we check on that friend that keeps popping into our thoughts.
Maybe we play school with our kids and give them our full attention.
Maybe we take a foster family a meal, or love on them in some other tangible way.
Maybe we really look our spouse in the eyes when they get home and kiss them with all our might.
Maybe we really look at the fast-food cashier as a valuable human being, not just a convenience to us.
Maybe it starts with a simple gesture, an easy question, and listening to our voice inside.