Yesterday was one of the best days I’ve had in a while. I woke up this morning with my heart so full of gratitude.
The day started off with a group of girlfriends and I heading to a Spiritual Girls Retreat put on by University of Texas College Life. The leadership had asked “older women” (that still makes me laugh that I’m in that category now) if we’d be willing to come and offer short mentoring sessions for the college girls attending the retreat. Cue a huge YES from me because mentoring and getting to talk life with younger women is one of my favorite things.
The retreat was held at a camp just outside of Austin. The drive out there was beautiful, but the hearts of the girls we got to meet with were even more so. When our time was over, we all loaded back into the car and couldn’t stop talking about the conversations we’d had. It was so fun to see how God orchestrated divine appointments for each of us, and how the Spirit had worked so powerfully in the short time we spent with each girl.
Before we headed back to Austin, we stopped at Spicewood Vineyards for a wine tasting. The rain had stopped, and the afternoon had turned into a beautiful one – cool, cloudy, and breezy. There was a wedding happening, and as we watched the bride walk down the aisle, we were all reminded what a gift love is.
After the ceremony ended, a man who was sitting at a table next to us with his girlfriend came up and let us know he was about to propose. He asked if we’d take a few pictures of the moment. Of course, we said yes. After she said yes, we all cheered and raised our glasses to them, gushing with the sweetness of the moment. A few minutes later, we were invited to head down to the wine cellar with them to celebrate further with a bottle of sparkling wine. We laughed, heard the story of how they met, and toasted again to their new adventure. We took photos, and celebrated with these strangers who now felt like new friends. It was such a special gift, an honor to be invited into this moment with them.
We finally left the vineyards and headed back to Austin to meet friends at one of our favorite spots, Contigo, to celebrate Taylor’s birthday. All of our people were there. We got to hug friends we hadn’t seen in a while, catch up and laugh with people who feel like family, and toast to Taylor with Old Fashioned cocktails. When Taylor woke up this morning, I asked him if he felt loved. He nodded his head, and I said, “You are.” He looked at me, smiled the smile of a person who feels safe and said, “I know.”
As I was reflecting this morning on all the events of yesterday, I think I’m most thankful for how God shows up when we invite others into our lives, and when we have the courage to step into the lives of people around us. A 30 minute conversation with a college girl, a celebration with strangers, spending the night with friends who are family; it all happened because we all – college students, my girlfriends and I, a man proposing to his girlfriend, our long-time friends – chose to step into each others lives and show up for one another.