Just like the way they laid their hearts out for us.
Bare and beautiful.
The IF team just moved into their new offices but they welcomed us into something that felt more like home than a place of business. There isn't a single thing hanging on the clean white walls of that old stone house in Austin, but the whole place was painted in love and grace. Some people and places make you instantly feel like family.
We gave tight hugs and offered kind smiles and pulled our chairs up around a table of purpose. Over breakfast tacos and strong coffee the thread wove it's way in and out of each of us.
With confessions of fear
and nodding of heads
and speaking of truth
and showering of grace
and sharing of stories
and dreaming of more
the body of Christ was strengthened stitch by stitch.
In and out of ordinary souls surrendered to an extraordinary God.
Yes, I felt right at home.
Jennie told me she lives for creating meaningful experiences for people.
She did that for me today. I will certainly remember.
But more than the beautiful office space or the yummy lunch spot or the comfy chairs that swivel,
I will remember how we pulled out our shovels and went digging.
I will remember how we plunged below the surface to uncover the deeply important pieces of our lives that are worth the struggling and the sacrificing.
And I will remember how in the dusting off of those pieces we found much to celebrate.
There are things we've just got to do.
All of us.
They may be small and simple things but they have big and bold consequences.
Some of those things we've got to do are scary and some of them seem crazy and some of them don't make any sense and some of them are not at all what we had planned on. But we all know when there are things we've just got to do and we all need people to look at those things we are holding in our hands and nod their heads and smile knowingly and say - yes, you've got to do that and I believe you can.
Y'all - we need each other.
It's also my birthday.
I couldn't have wished for a sweeter gift.
All those women full of hopes and dreams, holding the overflow of their hearts in their hands and just giving it away.
Every woman, mother or not, has some mothering in her.
As I sat at the table with women of different ages and stages,
women with different passions and personalities,
women who have birthed children and those who have not,
I was nurtured.
I was fed.
I was changed.
It's what mothers do for their children.
It's also what we women can do for each other.
When the competing and comparing stops and the cheering and celebrating begins,
the walls of this kingdom God is building among us are not just bare and beautiful,
they are strong and sure.
On earth, as it is in heaven...and so we keep building...together.
I think Lowe's got it right - let's build something together.