Five Things A Field Trip To A Mexican Restaurant Will Teach You about LIFE

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I am amazed at where and when I learn some of the most important truthes.

How God can take  and use the mundane, gray, ordinary. Turn it into a way to grab hold of the eyes of my heart.  Hold firm to my jawline in love and say “See this, right here.”  I love you too much for you to miss it.

How sparks of sweet knowledge fly off the life pages, there.  In the everyday.  In the messy, the plain, the simple. How sparks of knowing and seeing shoot out and turn the head like walking into a firestorm of shooting stars.

Life is messy.  Life is loud.  People are hurting.
I sit and catch up with an oldish friend.( She is  a decade younger so its not she that is oldish, it is this thing in our life which is a friendship). We have done life together for quite awhile but we often go for long periods without having heart chats.  Linking up and digging deep.

But in the middle of the loud and the messy, over the guac and the chips I hear the remarkable.  I hear about God’s love lately in her life.  I sit with what feels like one hundred loud high school students buzzing around us  and press in to hear about her son. How God is doing a loving work in his special life.  The waitress buzzes, the kids are rocking the place with their energy, but God’s mark on his life in the last few days is soft and sweet and deep and wide. One special teacher choosen for one special child.  An amazing choreography in this dance of life–connecting two, partnering up a child with one to walk through life as friend, mentor, teacher guide for a long season.  He loves so deeply, this God of ours.

I am changed in the knowing.  My Faith gets a re-boot.  As she Mom- proud raises her ipad to the table and shares the pictures of him running the good race, then standing on the podium at the Special Olympics, I glimpse a mother’s heart hard at work navigating through life, seeking the best always for her precious son.

Life is unorganized.
There are three of us now.  Talking, sharing, remarking, reviewing, observing life and our children and how crazy this field trip scene appears in its many facets of planning. How they move from Point A to Point B and all the logistics.

But I know now that what seemed like an excessive amout of time away from school was carved out for fellowship and community.  I know that their hours and their days lived out in the halls can be burden.  Can wear heavy mundane.  Can stiffle in the routine of the everyday.  But change the scene and joy pours out like notes from a saxaphone all happy wafting out, inspiring and infusing music and grace notes on the pages of their day.

I know that long expanses of time where we feel stuck and caught are really times to capture community and catch up in fellowship with each other, on life.

Drowning happily in story and shared experience. Freeze framing life, capturing it in one still-frame on one Monday in the middle of messy living.

Life is learned outside of books.
I know that they are learning about sixteen.  They are learning how to order in Spanish and pay the bill too.  But they are learning more I know it about friendship and fellowship.  Because it was there in all caps and all bold.  The things we learn when we heart listen to others.  The sad and the happy, the joy and the pain come out off the shelves when we listen.  When we invite.  When we ask the life story to come tell it all.

Life is best lived when slowed down and there is no agenda.
She calls me from school to co-ordinate my coming on the field trip and I grumble.  Who eats lunch at a Mexican restaurant at 10:30 in the morning.  I pass on a complaint to a child, allowing her to be exposed to my disease, its contagious, of grumbling, whining.  Not a proud parent momment, this, in hindsight.  But when there my heart delights in the energy.  It catches the happy and the smiling while chip dipping and straw sucking diet coke.  Where in the world would I rather be than smack dab deep down in the middle of salsa and chips and children on a Monday morning

Because we can count now, on a couple of fingers, the time that they are here now with us.  We discuss SAT and school and college and futures as Dentists and all such.  And I look with one eye at the Joy of these girls. They were there at the Special Olympics cheering, they were there in pre-school a yesterday ago, they are here and this is now and it is raw and real. This group, these girls, becoming women soon.  Learning Spanish and much more right here on a Monday.  And it smells like spicey, mexican restaurant Grace.

Agenda robs, and steals, and obfuscates the present. And who doesn’t love chips and dip and fellowship all cozied in on a gray day at a long table of giggling girls with their happy spread from one end of the room to the other.

I hug and say good bye and that I must press on down the very short to-do list.  By my design, I keep them short now.  It must be an over 50 charachter trait.  But I leave and I take giggly Joy with me.  And I smell all day like the memories built here with friends, with teenagers, in the middle of a very long lunch catching up on three of  the most important things in life– community, friends, and matters of the heart.

And Counting Gifts, this Monday, with Ann @ A  Holy Experience.

*for running into a friend on the beach.  Catching up and hearing how a gift I gave her years ago is still being used.  How our lives intersecting in the past was a good thing–for us both.  Realizing how I am the blessed one to have had her and to re-connect.

*time on the beach with The Patient One to bask in the sun and just be

*an email, sweet so sweet, from a friend of a friend who was sent here, to check out this blog.  Unexpected Grace on a Monday.

*News of improving health for college man-child and counting the days until he is under this roof again, for a short season.

*Sweet projects around this nest that I am dreaming of, inspired by a big project and garden undertaken by The Patient One over the weekend.

*Laughing often at a new blog I have discovered.  I will provide the link soon.  She is fun, she is funny, and she is passionate about life and the Lord (its contagious).

*New friends

*Old friends

*A month of birthdays and celebrations for people I love.

*A summer plan coming together


4 thoughts on “Five Things A Field Trip To A Mexican Restaurant Will Teach You about LIFE

  1. Hey Elizabeth, nice to meet you. Thanks for your kind words. Happy to be counting blessings with you, and I enjoyed your post as well. ~Jodi

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