If you and me were on a coffee date, we would be sipping some iced americanos beneath the heat of this day. This beautiful, irreplaceable day. We would be sitting on my back patio, caged in my the brown wooden fence, but it wouldn't matter because there is plenty of life growing and living within the confines of that patio place. There resides a garden, flourishing green, more than simple sprouts of life. There grows nutrients and health, good things for my and your bodies. We would be sitting in our used, weathered, green fold up chairs, sipping our coffees and chatting about honest things.
If you and me were on a coffee date, I would have you celebrate with me that we finished our adoption courses! This is a huge deal for Pastor Man and me; it was our last huge mile stone before printing out gobs of paper, using gallons of ink, and shipping our home study paperwork to our agency. But it is also more than checking off an item on a to-do list, these classes moved our hearts further and deeper into this journey of growing our family through adoption. It brought up topics we hadn't yet conversed about, opened up doors and conversations that will not soon be closed. We talked about discipline versus punishment, attachment disorders, promoting attachment and what in our histories may promote/prevent us from attaching healthily? We learned and talked together about how we will share with our children how they're adopted; what stages and ages and ways we will share with them. So many things, so many tragically beautiful conversations were cracked open, and I would share with you a few of those precious moments.
This was us the instant we finished the courses: disbelieving , relieved, scared, honored. My question is: can anyone every truly be ready to parent? I think not. Unless I am simply horrible and confused.
So. Many. Feels.
If you and me were on a coffee date, we would talk about this so called Book I am attempting to write. I would share that I have had the privilege of spending condensed hours on it the last four days; that I have changed it and edited it and morphed it into something way more beautiful than what I started with. But that I also have so. far. to go. That this book will take months, maybe a year, to be fully ready. It is a piece of me, my very own heart, gaping open for the world to see, if it ever makes it. And I would share with you, that if it doesn't make it, I am okay with that. That I am pursuing this with my hands open, trusting that He is taking care of logistics. And if the sole and only purpose of writing this book is to help me process what has unfolded over the few short years of my life, then job well done, Jesus. I am processing and pursuing healing and redemption. I would possibly share with you a chunk of the words I have written; I have already shared with three people, one being a known author/editor/speaker in the genre of this book. I need all the loving-honest-critique I can get.
If you and me were on a coffee date, I would tell you with a genuine smile that I feel free in spirit. For the first time in months, for the first time maybe this year, I have felt a weight lifted and peeled off of me. That Jesus Himself has been removing layer after layer off of who I believed I was, who I have made myself to be. That He is peeling off the scales, leaving my bare skin raw and bleeding, but raw and beautiful and real. I would remind myself, with caution, that this free-in-spirit living is a gift, not an entitlement. That it is His gift to me, to you, to His children. Hope is crawling its way back into my heart, carefully and hesitantly, but I smell it and it tastes delicious.
If you and me were on a coffee date with, I would show you this book. I would share that I have read 2/3 of it in two days and am taking the last bit slow, because I just don't want it to end. I would tell you that it has torn apart and sewn together my heart multiple times. I would ask if you know of any good memoirs, any adoption memoirs?
If you and me were on a coffee date, I would ask you if you are going camping at all this summer. I would share that I am stoked to begin camping festivities on the 4th of July and spend a week in Coos Bay with my in-laws and there is talk of nails. NAILS. I would ask if you RV, tent, cabin, or backpack? I would ask if you use an outhouse or dig a hole? I would wonder: what is camping to you?
If you and me were on a coffee date, I would ask you if you have experienced the love of Jesus today. I would ask you if you have noticed Him, let Him wrap His arms around you, tightly in an embrace. I would ask, without condemnation or shame, if you have been able to make time to be in His sweet presence? If you have slowed down enough to take notice, to soak Him in, to breathe in His grace for you? I would share with you the chunks of Isaiah that I have been sinking into, plunging my heart deep into his word's and letting them wrap their grace all around me. I would share with you verse 18 from chapter 30, "But the Lord still waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for him to help." His love exclaiming loud and clear that He will wait for us. That He is faithful. That we are blessed when we wait for Him.
If you and me were on a coffee date, I would ask you if you have favorite sandals. Because Amber asked about shorts, so I ask about sandals. To my absolute disbelief, I have chacos and I have worn them every day for an entire week. In fact, I have a chaco tan line. For me, this is a big deal. But I want to know: do you have a favorite pair?
If you and me were on a coffee date, I would do my best to ask you how I can pray for you. I would ask you and then I would do it. I would do my best to lay aside all of my brokenness and fears and cares, so that I can pick up yours and shower you in His graces. I would thank you for sharing your heart with me, for trusting your preciousness with me, for being vulnerable and transparent and honest with me. Because I am certain that community and friendship are birthed through those things.