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Friday, November 11, 2016

Don't Save it Up

They call it nesting.

And to be fair, it's way too early for it, as far as the books are concerned. That's what I've learned: when you suddenly become expecting and your world turns upside-down the books are your best friend and worst enemies all at once.

Sort of like every single one of your friends from middle school.

At any rate, the past few weeks have been a season of making small preparations. Preparing room. Turning the chaos that is the second bedroom in our condo, aptly named the walk-in-closet with a bathroom attached, into a suitable place for a newborn to be rocked and fed and changed.

How bad is it? Let's just say two large wooden doors my husband lovingly detached from my bedroom closet to make room for our grown up bed set are leaning up against the wall. And a standing desk made out of two-by-fours is in the corner.

Last weekend, I started another project, which was piecing together a brand-new china buffet that rests in the corner of our dining room. Ever since our wedding, our fine china has remained protected in their respective boxes. They were too nice to unwrap and set in our kitchen cabinets with our every day pieces.

Now they're rightfully on display, ready for our next dinner party.

I remember when my aunt gave me the first few pieces at my bridal shower. Before I unwrapped them, she looked at me and said, "Now, I don't want you to put this away. You should use it. It should sit on your dining room table."

And it does. The sugar bowl sits in the middle of our dining room table. It's present for every small group meeting at my house on Sundays. It's there for every podcast recording session.

It's used. And there's a small spark of joy when I hear the clink of removing the lid and spooning out a few grains of sugar into the Downtown Abbey-themed tea my sister-in-law gave to me.

It made me wonder, as I was unpacking these lovely settees from their bubble wrapped storage:

What else have I been saving up?

What else have I tucked away? What have I deemed too special or out-of-the-ordinary for the hum drum patterns of sun rise and sun set?

What have I put on hold for later, when the timing is better, when I have space and room in my life prepared?

I feel that way with my novel-in-progress. A dream for a long time was to see my name on the front of a paperback book. I feel that way with singing. With running a marathon. With making friends outside of work and church.

I feel that way with joining the budding fight for social compassion in this nation.

I have thoughts, ideas, passions. From the simplest acts of keeping granola bars and water bottles in my car for the homeless population I pass in the streets of downtown Norfolk. To following alongside my husband's vision of beginning boots on the ground work of racial reconciliation in a city we love so dearly.

The temptation is to do it later. Later, I'll do it later. It's too important, too big to pursue now. After all, I have to buy groceries. Fold laundry. Get my oil changed. Show up on time for things (relatively).

But I'm learning that later always comes. And what we want, what we fight for, what we believe hardly ever arrives alongside it.

So, friends, what have you been saving up? What have you locked away that's inside of you that you felt wasn't the right time to use?

What sits in your closet or a shelf in your hallway?

What dream is stored up that you want to work for?

Because I think it's time we unwrapped them. I think it's time to arrive and give the world that needs us the grace, compassion and love it deserves and so desperately needs.

This week on the Prodigal Sisters Podcast:

Sarah and I list our final fours on topics like:
  • Fictional characters we'd want to uncork a bottle of wine with.
  • Books that feel like home.
  • Four foods we couldn't live without.
  • What we'd rather be doing than worrying about this week's election results. 
We love this project, and I'd be honored if you'd give us a listen! If you like us, subscribe to us on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app!


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