Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Little Window is Large Enough

I keep finding myself a little lost in patches, hazy blue down at my hem.

Survival mode has its merits. There's value in just doing a hard thing, in putting one foot in front of the other, in recalibrating one's personal universe in such a way that a new rhythm is inadvertently plunked out - the melody in a minor key.

But living this way can also fray the soul if you're not careful. A wide-stretched life can gut you in the middle.

And before you know it, you can't stop saying how tired you are.
And before you know it, you're always chasing, never steady, lamenting the day when you should be clinking salsa bowls.
And before you know it, you're passing the baton and it's all relay. The teamwork spins in two separate orbits, not because you have any hope of winning but simply so you'll keep on breathing.

But some days, those orbits collide. They fuse. You find yourself there with your elusive fixer, that guy who picks up all your slack while you pick up his. You get just enough time - just enough to breathe in then out, and it's not perfect, but that illusion is long gone and no one misses it.

I'm going to go out on a limb - my marriage could not survive our life without moments like these. Call me weak, I don't mind. Am I spoiled? Maybe.
But I need time alone with Cory. It's one of the things I miss most about the good ol' days. We have to hunt it down now and hook it through the nose. It's complicated and far too sporadic, but so worth it when it happens. It just makes everything better.

{My official favorite fashionABLE  scarf, the Genet. Extra weighty for winter and makes every single outfit look cooler.}

Here's what we did on our fortuitous 4-hour day-date:
Coffee (him)/Earl Grey and pumpkin muffin (me) at The Brew
Church sale
Consignment store
Fancy lunch
Antiques store
Book store

(We fit as much food in as possible. It's our "thing".)

This photo brought to you by: I Can't Be Trusted At a Church Sale (& Ruby)
$3/bag, baby! You'd better believe I crammed all this into one, fine bag.

I wisely deduced that we could spring for "fancy" since it was lunch. Then we sat down, they poured our water, and regret started its low boil. $14 for a sandwich? That ship has sailed, my friends.

I was at risk of ruining the moment with my weirdness. I kept thinking, "I would be happy with 2 Doritos Locos tacos", but then Cory sprang for a cup of chowder along with his 14-karat chicken sandwich and the spell was fully cast. It was too late for second-guessing.

I enjoyed my overpriced salad so much. Those capers made my mouth pucker in the best way possible.

And then.

And then.

For the first time in my life, the waitress sashayed over and said, just above a whisper, "Your check has been taken care of." She left a plate of chocolate chip cookies and waltzed away. Cory didn't want his, so I ate both. See? The story keeps getting better.

Woven through those 240 minutes, I found room enough to dream a little. I decided it's not too frivolous. It's necessary, at least to me. It's how I connect my head with my heart.

I just think, God? You sure are rad.
You invented all the ways of giving me what I need. And though it sometimes seems like your clock is overdue for a tune-up, I'm the one getting rusty on the inside.

Our date was 5 days ago. Am I still floating on one of its sparkly sunbeams?
Not even close.

But I was reminded of a few important things.
I did my hair first thing in the morning on a weekday.
I wore many layers and foolishly mixed my patterns.
I read Cory's mind from across a crowded room without the hum of interruption.

The day was all orange, persimmon-smooth and warm as a fire dance.

It was the opposite of blue.


  1. I just got a little giddy at the part where you found out your meal had been paid for... like maybe it had happened to me :) From one stretched life to another- I hear ya.

  2. Sounds like your date-day was just "what the doctor ordered"....and fill it with food???? OH YEAH!! LOVE , LOVE that someone paid for your lunch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Ok, I know this isn't a book post, but I just read another great and interesting book about living "upside down"..... "Now I Walk on Death Row" by Rincenella.

  3. Love this. Love the special, unexpected blessings that come out of nowhere and seem to be exactly what's needed to keep on going.

    And, those brass birds remind me an awful lot of some ugly brass chickens I just hung on my wall. Your birds are much prettier than my chickens though.

  4. Everyone needs orange, persimmon-smooth days. Glad yours was so nice.

  5. oh, i love how God just swoops down with those amazing reminders that He really, REALLY does see and is in control of it all.
    this gave me the happiest, teariest goosebumps.

  6. I must see where those birds are going and I loved your 4 hour date.

  7. You have found the key to keeping it together. Your marrriage is the center of the life you build. I know for my husband and I, we have gone through some hard times (4 years of him being laid off!) and have always found a way to have dates and even get away for the weekend. There are times we just look at each other and say, "we need to get away". Date time, couple time. with no to do list staring us in the face. Just. us. You can't let the day to day minutia and grind separate you, and it will if you neglect keeping the main love and support of your life in focus. Great post:>)

  8. Such a sweet day! And your date sounds perfect! My husband and I would totally spend our dates doing that too :)

  9. We don't even have kids and I start getting all weird if we've gone too long without that real alone time, where you both actually pay attention to each other. So happy you two got what you needed! And that salad looks fab. As does your outfit!

  10. Can I say... I just love reading your posts :) You have a special way of making the, messy, real, ordinary parts of this life seem amazing without making it seem like a fairy tail. It's like real poetry girl :) Thank you for helping me see the extraordinary in the ordinary.

  11. My hubs and I had an emergency overpriced dinner Friday night.
    It was the jump start to a crazy, over scheduled, kid-focused weekend, and it was as vital to our marriage as loving God.
    I love that someone paid for your lunch. God ordained lunch break!
    I love the way you rock a scarf, too.

  12. isn't is absolutely amazing and mind blowing to know that our creator, the savior of the world cares about every tiny detail in our lives?
    he made YOU who you are.
    he made you to enjoy good food!
    and he made it clear to you that that was no accident.
    praise God for the paid meal!
    i would have jumped for joy!!
    that's such a great awesome story about how God gives us the desires of our heart.
    big and small!
    you're adorable and look good in anything.

  13. if the fabric with strawberries on it is a tablecloth i have the same one :) a grandma hand me down.

    i cried a little when i read that your lunch was paid for.

    love your pattern mixing. wishin' i could rock that.

    have a great rest-of-the-week.

    xo ellie

  14. My favorite line on the internet this week:

    "And I just think, God? You sure are rad!" YES!!!! He is!

    So happy you had a nice date day and what a blessing your fancy lunch was paid for! :)

  15. I'm just obsessed with this. You are clearly the best blog writer of all time.

  16. I can't come with an original comment. Love this more than words. So many layers to think about. I'm inspired to pick up a strangers tab now, try and enjoy a fancy meal with my husband and not feel guilty (about the $$), support a good church sale and learn how to tie my scarf so cute! :-)

  17. Love your date! We really have to treasure those moments...And how awesome that your lunch was paid sweet is that?!

  18. One of my favorite snapshot posts you've written. So full of sincerity and thankfulness. Thanks for describing your moments with us... it takes intentionality and time to put thoughts, to words, to paper (er, screen).

  19. I love the color of your date day:) God is rad, and dare I say, so is your scarf;)

  20. we were on vacation with friends in St. Simons. Both of us were pregnant with our seconds. We decided to go out to eat the last night there. The restaurant, unbeknownst to us, had linen tablecloths. We could barely afford the appetizers, but decided to just bite the bullet and enjoy it. We each had our firstborns with us, toddlers to be exact, who quickly made friends with a couple sitting at the next table. When we asked for our check, the waitress politely said it had been taken care of by the couple our boys had been laughing with that evening. They were almost to their car by the time we caught up with them to say "thank you." The couple said it was just something they enjoyed doing. And we've never forgotten that moment. Jesus took care of a bill that night we knew we couldn't afford through a couple visiting Georgia from Chicago, Illinois.

  21. you so make me smile.
    so happy for your un-blue.

  22. i thought the scarf was my favorite.
    then i saw your goodwill finds.
    THEN i saw the overpriced salad.
    but you finished with the scarf and it's my fav again! ; )

    love how you weave the silly and serious.
    and yes, God is rad!

    times with our hubby's like this are like air - just necessary.

  23. 1. You look adorably fashionable. Love the mixing.
    2. Best $3 ever spent.
    3. Fighting for time with our spouses is oh so important.
    4. God loves to bless us in ways that only He can do.
    xo, Jackie

  24. Um, do we even have the same pool of words to choose from? It's like I feel like I know all these words exist, but I cannot get them to go together this way. English is not my second language, even.

    You have/are a gift, my friend.


  25. Um, do we even have the same pool of words to choose from? It's like I feel like I know all these words exist, but I cannot get them to go together this way. English is not my second language, even.

    You have/are a gift, my friend.


  26. What a beautifully inspiring post this is! Thank you for reminding me to cherish the special moments with my beloved husband. Once in a while, in the midst of our hectic lives, we will take a "gadabout day". We'll go antiquing, out for lunch, run errands, stop at Home Depot and wander for hours dreaming of completed projects....Days like that bring us closer, make us appreciate each other even more, and we talk for hours - sharing, dreaming, laughing, planning. It's such a blessing!! May God bless you with more of your persimmon-smooth days. :)

    xoox laurie

  27. Where are these church sales you talk about? $3/bag?! Must be an Indiana thing.

    I am in need of a date like this with my husband. It's hunting season for him and I'm feeling disconnected.

    Glad you got what you needed, just when you needed it.