Sunday, March 2, 2014

A fresh month // week 7

Today felt like a real "day". A favorite pair of jeans, new shirt, sparkly shoes and fresh curls covering my head. Navigating my way to "my" Starbucks without a GPS and correctly recalling that there was a Dunkin Donuts across the street, conveniently satisfying my craving for a chocolate covered donut -- a half-dozen size craving. I made it to Princeton Community Church exactly on time, finding Danny and Britney in the foyer. Shadyrest Church was the warm welcome I needed when I first arrived last month but PCC is the place I will best be able to connect and grow in community. So thankful that the Body is so varied and accessible to us all over this Country. I wept through worship, received the Word and partook of communion with members of my new-found small group. I was grafted into fellowship so naturally. With the confidence boost of a friend by my side I joined the seven-week class on relationships and marriage that began today. Parting ways in the parking lot, and finding that there is a Starbucks just up the road from church, I drove back to Route 1 and squeezed between the tightly packed bodies eating at Chipotle for lunch. I popped into Trader Joe's, three doors down, to see their flower selection. It was well picked over. Rather than driving straight home I plugged in the address for the "cheap" theater. I know how to get there by heart from the Mathai's house but getting there from Route 1 lent itself to all sorts of discoveries. I learned there is a book sale at the Library in West Windsor this week, just around the corner from my water color class. I found a smaller Target store a little closer to home. I found a Papa John's pizza place tucked into a little side-road in East Windsor. Arriving at the theater early was good because the line was all the way back to the door! Every other time I've been to a matinee there its been like a ghost town inside. I'm growing accustomed to seeing movies alone. The things you enjoy are always sweeter when shared with dear hearts, but the joy is still to be found in them when you're by yourself I'm finding. "You spend so much less when you're only paying for yourself!" some would say, defending their lone-wolf ways. It's true. But the price you pay, literally, for company is quickly forgotten as your soul knows that it's so worth it. On my way home I realized that the little houses I've used as landmarks to navigate by appear very  different without the snow cover. The tiny towns I pass through are exposing their quaint corners to my eye the more familiar their streets become to me. Stopping by a church that I've been drawn to time and time again since I first saw its steeple illuminated and sparkling out across a lake one night, I was delighted to find that underneath all the snow that had covered its property is the most whimsical and ancient little graveyard. I wandered over its rolling hills in the slowly freezing rain and looked out across the frozen lake it buts up against. As I drove away I read that there is live jazz to be heard at the building next door every Saturday night. Since this haunt of mine is tucked away only five minutes up the road from home, I imagine I'll go listen to the music some weekends. Back home and getting practical, my intention is to work out and cook dinner and then settle in for the Oscars tonight.

My eyes were on the horizon, rather than cast down on the ground, much more today. I'm beginning to feel a sense of belonging in "my" Starbucks, "my" Chipotle and "my" theater. Enough familiarity of location to feel at ease but enough need for exploration and followed directions created a restful day of adventure. Three bangles on my left arm clinking together cheerily throughout the day, sensing the Lord's presence with me -- filling me with life, and the type of weather that always gets me dreamy and nostalgic... It was all so steadying, reassuring, good.

He romanced me today. Not in the way that new lovers do, or in the way that a husband and wife of two years do, but in the steady, experienced, "we have history" and "I know you" way of a much longer marriage union. He's been mine and I've been His for sixteen years and today He spent the day telling me who and what I am to Him. Because love that never ends can never be over-affirmed. Knowing my deep, desperate desire for intimacy He invited me today, through communion, to feast myself upon the extravagant intimacy that He presents His Bride. Hearing my heart cry out to see that I'm loved, when words have come to feel so dry + empty, the no-expense-spared sacrifice He made in order to pursue me because His love declared me worth it, washed over me again and again until I was shook from sobs. Seeing the re-opened heart-wound inflicted by shame of my weakness, He reminded me that those closest to His heart have always been the ones full of promise and found in weakness. He's enough. And He's with me and leading me through this adventure in New Jersey.

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