Can I See Your I.D.?

A funny (and embarrassing) thing happened when I took Zach out for dinner a few weeks ago. (If you haven’t read about the gift of presenCe, click here) I wanted to take him someplace he had not been to, someplace original and with great food; I thought of JK O’Donnell’s. Kevin and I have been there a few times and I thought Zach would appreciate the Irish food and environment.

The problem was immediately apparent when we were approached by our waiter who carded us! So, duh….JK ODonnells is an Irish Ale House! In American terms, a bar. I was thinking about the food and the atmosphere, not realizing it was a bar! So embarrassing…on so many levels!

We did find another restaurant that he had not been to and we did enjoy a great meal together. But as I write this, I realize the name of that restaurant is not something you would expect either – Granite City Brewery. Oh my. Now that’s Young Mother of the Year material right there.

I’m Back

I am coming back today. Its been a month of wondering if I have anything to say, and wondering if what I say matters. (I think I do, I hope it does, so I’m back)

Its been a month of preparing something special for my son’s 16th birthday, thinking about how to keep Christmas simple and focused, and a month in which we discovered my brother-in-law has cancer. I will be back here today with a post about mom stuff. See you soon!

Who’s in Your Group?

We all want to belong. In pre-school we hold hands with “my friend” even when we don’t know her name. In elementary school we find a group to play with on the playground. In middle-school we want to belong to a lunch table, in high school we long to fit somewhere, so we join the team, the club, the band.

It doesn’t really change, as adults we still long to belong. We want to know someone has got our back, that someone will pick up our kids when we can’t, that we can laugh, cry, pray and eat with others who know us.
Saturday night we gathered together with “our group”. After nine years, our group is a little like a family. We’ve been through a lot with each other and have stacked up some history. Recently we decided our gathering needed to change, life had taken us to new places, and what we had been doing wasn’t working anymore. We now meet less often but it felt more rich. I love that we mean enough to each other to re-evaluate and not just quit when it gets complicated.
I looked at this group of friends as we gathered to begin our study (also being done in a new format) and told them how much they all meant to me…and I teared up. Nine years is a long time. Courtney was 9 when we first were invited to join them – she is now at college. We’ve walked each other through a lot. Our lives criss-cross significantly more now that our kids are older. We can relax with each other, let our quirkiness leak out and know its OK (they know we’re quirky anyway). We know each others strengths…and weaknesses.

Right now our church leaders are urging everyone to get in a small group. Have dinner, do a study and pray together. I believe in this. I think it’s easy to feel alone; we don’t have family within 500 miles and yet we have what, at many times, feels life family within this group…all because we took a risk and showed up for Zesty Cheese Soup and a Bible study one fall evening.

Whose hand are you holding? Do you know who you are having lunch with? If you know these answers, awesome. If you don’t, look around and see whose table you want to join and invite them over for dinner. Let’s all do this life together.