Part 3 of 3.
Sometimes you just need a girls night (and sometimes you don't have a choice). My dad had to leave for Chicago mid-week for work duties, so it left just mama bear and me to fend for ourselves!
We hit up a new restaurant called "Barringers" in Fish Creek. It's my spirit restaurant come to life, from the decor to the menu to the building itself. What was an old sailor's kitchen has been refurbished and updated to an incredible seafood-centric restaurant. I get giddy when I'm in a historically significant place! Hence, why the city of Boston hits a chord in my heart. Being able to time travel while also living in the present is a special thing, isn't it?
We ate. We drank. We belly laughed with (at) the intoxicated couple next to us at the bar. A great night was had by all.
Um... how gorgeous is my mama?!
While on vacation, I received a few BIG phone calls from some of my best friends, from getting engaged in a foreign country to buying a first home. I am so genuinely excited for my girls, truly I am, but big news can easily create an insecurity in my own heart for my current circumstances. I'm not financially close to buying a house and I'm certainly not in a position to be engaged. All of a sudden I imagine my friends being whisked off by the romance of life while I sit at a table with my parents hoping they'll foot the bill for dinner.
I hate how one of the sweetest blessings can be twisted into a cold comparison game. The enemy sure knows how to find our vulnerable spots.
As I sat in church on Sunday, listening to our sermon on Hannah's song in First Samuel, my perspective was quickly shifted. Hannah finds herself wishing for a child, and in her despair, the Lord meets her. Through this meeting she feels loved beyond measure, becoming joyful even in her sadness. That's the crazy reverse economy of our God-- we can feel both true joy and deep sorrow all at once.
And soon after she becomes pregnant with her first child.
But here's the thing, she experiences true joy before receiving the gift of her deepest desire. Further proof it's never the physical gift that provides the joy, but the giver of it. Her heart was already transformed by the love of God, so the gift was simply a reminder of His faithfulness, not the source of it.
And because of this, she ends up giving her child back to the giver. She leaves him at the tabernacle for the rest of time.
Hannah is the woman I want to be. I relish in that picture of God's love. It's not flashy or showy. It's not conditional. It's not a one-and-done. Often times it is felt most deeply in the most desolate of times, yet it continues on and on throughout time. We ebb and flow, His love does not.
His love transforms me to believe there are greater things beyond what I can see now. He makes me brave. He reminds me He is building my life piece by piece, and there will be pieces that look a little bigger than others at times. I'm being written into His story, not the other way around.
I know the opportunity to spend solo time with my parents will be hard to come by someday, so I'm writing this vacation down as a "praise" in my weekly journal (yes, I AM the nerd that still writes in a journal but who's surprised at this point?). There will come a time when I spend time with my own family in this special place, and I'm sure I'll be even more grateful then for the moments when I had them all to myself!
And for my best friends, I'm excited to celebrate the "bigger" pieces with you as soon as humanly possible. You know who you are!