|thank you for an evening warm enough to bust out the rainbows|
What if greetings matter?
This was the question John Mark promted us with this morning.
Even taking it out of the faith context, just appreciating how one human addresses another, think about the way Paul addressed letters...
He began each of his letters, to cities full of his friends, brothers & sisters, with the same greeting:
Grace and peace to you.
To him, greetings mattered because people mattered.
To begin his conversations with the people he loved by wishing them grace and peace was his way of showing people how much they mattered to him.
And I like that.
Do you guys even realize how much you matter to me?
Sometimes I feel silly saying the dreaded sentence out loud: I have a blog.
It somehow seems to just be awaiting criticism, or a snarky comment, an "Oh, of course you do, isn't that nice."
But then I get over it as soon as I remember the friends I've made through this little land of ours, the incredible women I've come to know who create beautiful things, raise their sweet babies, support their men when they go to war, uplift their friends, praise the One they love, bare their very souls to a world that could easily strip them of their shame and yet... Joy and courage win out over everything.
Because in my experience I have found that this little community of ours if chock full of grace and peace.
All of you radiate these things, you offer them up freely to people you (most likely) have never actually met in "real life" without hesitation.
And so in the coming week I wish you all grace and peace.
Oh, and of course, gratitude.
1. Thank you lilacs! They're in full bloom all around, and at the winery in particular. I nabbed a few sprigs on my way out of work today and stuck them in the vents of my car (instant air freshener!). Since Portland has decided once again on a downward spiral of weather, it makes for a nice pop of spring to get me from one rain-soaked place to another (and remains, next to lilies, my favorite flower smell in the world)! Happiness!
2. Thank you for brunch all by my self! I know, I know, but bear with the little introvert... The other day I had an appointment downtown so Jodi and I made plans to grab brunch at Cafe Nell (home of the "man-mosa": a pint glass full of bubbly with what is basically a shot of grapefruit juice - now there's a ratio I support). I finished with my appointment around 10am, sent Jodi a text that I was headed to Nell and was then peeved to find out it didn't open until 11. Oops. No worry! I decided on my old standard Tasty N Sons (open at 9!) I gave her a quick call but to no answer. After a little more time and dallying I got a text from Jodi telling me she'd fallen asleep after Scott (her husband) left for work and with her phone battery dead, she was completely out! Good call though because sleep hadn't exactly been her best friend the past week. So not wanting to miss out on one of my favorite past times, I decided to just take myself to brunch anyway! Along with a good book (and some very amusing texts from Blake which may or may not have included more than one Will & Grace reference), I treated myself to a grapefruit mimosa and a granny smith apple & gruyere omelet (oh dear goodness). I'm thankful for those quiet mornings alone to indulge in my hermit like tendencies while still being in public (and appearing semi-social).
3. Thank you for friends living the dream. Friday night Dean, Robin, Jared and I downed some delightfully greasy burgers and fish & chips at a nearby bar before diving into North Portland to see our buddy Mike's band play (Mike - not to be confused with Michull). It was the first time I'd seen Stonecold Dreamers (who, apparently are between band names and decided for the night to be known as "Too Many Mikes") and was seriously impressed. Even the venue itself was awesome, an old warehouse in the middle of who knows where. I would know where but Jared and I fell asleep in the backseat on the way there so somewhere between exit 300 and "under the big Thule sign" (Dean should never be allowed to navigate) we eventually found our way to the big loft area with exposed beams and local artists' work covering the walls. I love seeing anyone living out what they love in life, but especially when it's someone I know. Not many musicians get to perform to a crowd of eager listeners who actually appreciate what they're doing. It's pretty cool.
4. Thank you for a teacher who never stops learning and is willing to admit mistakes. I've said it before, but I'll say it again - John Mark is one of the best "teachers" I've ever encountered (about God, yes, but also just life in general). I was talking about it with a gal at church this morning and we both commented on how his zeal for learning is contagious and makes everything come alive in a way it never has before. In all the churches, in all the denominations I've experienced throughout my life, JM is one of the rarest of the rare (really, only Francis Chan and my old religion professor Dr. Jerry Rushford ever had this position in my mind before). He never sits on a high horse, he is the first to admit he is flawed to no end, and when he slips up, he apologizes and does what he can to repair the situation (even if it's just a silly Twitter remark). I like a teacher who is forever a student. I respect a teacher who learns from his "students" and takes a humble step back to emphasize that he is in no position to pretend he's any better than the rest of us. In that way he reminds me a lot of Tom and inspires me much the same way.
5. Thank you Sur La Table. Last night I represented the winery at the last of four wine pairing/cooking classes we've done with our wines and their amazing chef Ben Witten. It's been so much fun the last few months going down there to showcase our wines and learn (from the sidelines, granted, but still) how to cook some amazing (and shockingly simple) dishes. It not only furthered my love of our wines, but my love of cooking. I can't wait until November when they start up again!
As one final note, I need to get something off my chest:
I think I'm developing a bizarre and unexplainable crush on Niles Crane.
Yes. Question mark.
You'd be confused about it too.
(I really need to stop watching Frasier).
Oh, and this is beautiful.