Let friends in

In the days immediately following the monthly GNO event, I’m usually in a bit of a fog.  I turn into “Vacation Crystal” who lets the weight of all my responsibilities come to a screeching halt.  I can sleep for hours on end.

I can also play for hours on end.

This particular day, I’d taken Oakley to “stop by” the creek to check on the shelter we made a few days earlier.  We ended up staying for almost two hours, slipping, sliding, digging, and exploring.  We were stinky and covered in dirt.  It was time to head home for dinner, but we wanted to drive by our new house on the way home, just to see if there had been any changes.  We drove through the woods and emerged up over the curb, leaving a trail of mud flying behind us.  As we pulled up, there were two cars in the neighbor’s driveway.  I laughed with Oaks about how we might get to meet the neighbors for the first time in our stinkiest condition.

How appropriate that would be.  

We pulled into our driveway, and out walked two dear friends from the front door.  It was Amy & Ewa!  What a fun surprise!  Due to one of life’s crazy curve balls, they’ve been house hunting and happened upon our house.  It turns out, that while we were pulling out of the woods, they were texting me pictures of the house, asking when we’re having them over.  (Unfortunately, they’re not the new neighbors.)

We had some great laughs and got all caught up.

We took a quick tour while the kids ran and climbed around on all the things.  Sweet Ainsley snapped this pic, for me to send to Scott, who’d become concerned about our whereabouts.  When she asked us to “check it to see if it was okay”, I quickly said, “It doesn’t matter, I’m not going to post it.”  Thinking, there’d be no reason to post a picture of my yucky, dirty, stinky self to share with the world.

But then I saw it.

And it reminded me of how good it felt to have friends “over”.  Even though the house isn’t finished.  Even though it was unplanned.  It felt so good to have women I love, sharing a moment at the new house with me.  It might sound a bit ridiculous and far-fetched.

But I’m telling you, it’s true. 

As a family, we share so much of our lives with others.  But this house project has been so tedious, so intense, and so draining, that it’s sort of been like a big “back room deal”.  It’s consumed an unbelievably enormous amount of our time and energy yet, we haven’t really shared the journey with anyone.  Of course, if you’ve asked me how I’m doing over the past year, you’ve received an uninvited earful.  (My apologies!) But the likelihood that you’ve visited the project and we’ve shared a hug and a laugh there, is pretty much zero.

This moment reminded me of the joy friends bring to the stressful parts of life, when you’re willing to share them. 

This is my whole mantra, right?!  But even I, have somehow carved out this space that was only for me to endure.  It was a place I needed to “do battle” alone with my family.  Amy and Ewa being there reminded me that the most stressful, unfinished, and messy parts of our lives are the places we need our friends to show up the most.

They didn’t even mean to “show up” for me. 

But they did.  And it instantly reminded me that it’s all going to be okay.  That it’s going to be good.

There’s life outside the stress of the building process, or whatever it is you’re going through today. 

Let friends in.

It will change your perspective. 

The sheer connection, will bring you joy.

It’s worth it.  

to more love,

Crystal

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