Ashley and I are both in Ohio for a short stint and this past week has been a whirlwind of friend and family activity for both of us -- celebrating four birthdays, one baby and a gal-pal reunion of epic proportions.
It was the first time we (five gal-pals), had all been together since packing up my Ohio house last June (all five of us) and driving across the country (four of us), to my family's new home in Los Angeles. Since then we've had a daily group text thread which has kept us in touch and up to date on life's larger issues and also the incredibly mundane but overall entertaining plot points. Somehow, spread over thousands of miles we've managed to keep in touch and only strengthen our relationships. And have all intentions of continuing.
When we get together we make big plans of favorite foods to eat and things to celebrate but our favorite moments are always the slowest, unplanned yet somehow protected, couch or front porch sitting ones. The time is been sweet because though still, it is full of intention. Intentional time. These girls have taught me more about being present in the years during which it's been the most important. They ask tough questions in a genuine voice, preparing a safe place to give an honest answer. The intentional nature of these women is thread throughout their lives so regardless of what they're doing, it's done with love and with grace and I am daily on the receiving end of it.
I recently read a quote by philosopher Martin Buber that more accurately articulated the feeling of belonging and contentment after time spent alongside these girls :
it's been a timely reminder for myself to show more kindness on a daily basis and in more of my relationships. And that might take shape in a myriad of ways -- lingering longer at the dinner table, simply smiling at a stranger, refraining from talking or texting on the phone when checking out at the grocery, or building in more time to chat on the phone with my mama. May we all allow more time in our lives to love with intention.