Against the Grain.

Ben and I walked up the driveway toward the quirky and quaint house to be greeted with the delicious aroma of grilled sausages. We walked inside and were warmly welcomed in by our pastor and his wife. Instantly, everything slowed down. Phones were away, people were coming in unannounced to join for dinner, and we were all just happy to be together. As we gathered around the table with drinks, and large glass milk jars filled with cold water, I was overwhelmed with what I was feeling at that table...time slowed. We sat around the table for hours, talking, laughing, processing spiritual matters together. It was wonderful. We moved from dinner to dessert to coffee, and still lingered. Life seemed so slow while we were within the walls of that home. Ben and I left eventually, and though it was late, we felt so filled, rested, and encouraged. A slower way of life was achieved for a short time, around a table with people we love. 

Heavy on my mind lately has been the idea of slowing down. Everything in our culture screams for us to rush from one thing to the next...we should always be thinking not just steps but years ahead or else we are behind. I find myself feeling as if I am drowning, perpetually behind, and unable to truly rest when I am running this this rushed way of life has been put on the hot seat. I have been mulling on why we live this way, and why we subject ourselves to so much stress and anxiety by constantly trying to be ahead, rushing from point A in order to get to point B before someone else.

I long for slow. I long to live a life in which time does not dominate every aspect of my life. I long for more moments like we experienced around that table in our pastor's home. 

I have quickly realized that this is not a way of life that will naturally happen. It takes diligence, and intention. It takes selflessness, and flexibility, and it takes a willingness to create space for others (which is not a natural behavior, but a learned one). So while I still feel very clueless about how to create this type of space for others, I do know that my quest for a slower life is something that needs to happen. The Lord desires for his children to rest, and to daily interact with one another. If I am playing the rushing game, I am so much more likely to shut the door at the end of the day and want to hole up with Ben forgetting everything and everyone outside of our little house. However, when I intentionally pursue slow, when I intentionally go against the grain, I am able to open our doors, to breathe deeply, and to leave dishes dirty in order to talk with friends around the table just a little longer. 

So all this to say, I am learning. Learning how to truly be hospitable by the Lord's standards and not by the standards of Pinterest, Southern Living or Martha Stewart. Learning that purposeful rituals like making homemade bread, cooking slow dinners, and putting away my phone for long periods of time help me to breathe deeply of the life happening around me here and now, and it has been beautiful. Life is rich, and I do not want to miss it because I am living my life in survival mode. 

DON'T FORGET WEDNESDAY IS THE BREAD & WINE PROJECT LINK UP! JOIN US HERE WITH YOUR RECIPE, AND MEET SOME FUN NEW FRIENDS! HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE! This week's prompt is- How do you slow down when it comes to the food you feed your family, and the time you spend with others in your home?