We

You know what is truly the peanut butter and jelly of life?

Well quite literally, it’s Peter Pan and Smuckers. But also people. PEOPLE. Am I right? While we’re throwing our hearts, souls, minds, and bodies into serving the Lord, people make this whole thing even better. Because people are fun to love a lot of the time—and worth it even when they’re not. C’mon. That is good blogging right there.

This week I decided to go ahead and quit my desk job, which has been responsible for my devotion to Dawson’s Creek, several friendships, at least 17 in-depth conversations, and many a blog post. I’ve spent hundreds of hours behind that desk, sometimes loving it and sometimes hating it, but almost always grateful for it.

It was sort of hard to say goodbye—Breaking News: goodbyes aren’t my strong suit—but also sort of easy. It’s time, you know?

So I set to use my new-found hours wisely: Making them count. All too soon they’ll be stretched over the minutes it takes to walk to class, and to expand my brain, and to pore over chapters, and to write more magazines, and to scrub some dishes. But this week, none of that is a priority. None of that is here to demand minutes. So I looked at my open planner with a smile, and then I did what seemed to be the best idea: I took those hours and filled them with people. First, I went home for one last rendezvous before the hour-stretching of one more fall semester.

“Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.'” –Matthew 22:37-39

I don’t know about your home, but my home is place where they let me make 4,006 “your mom” jokes before they a. call me out on them and b. start making them themselves. My home is a place where pizza for dinner is smiled upon; where waking up at 7:30 on a Saturday to give your hours to people who need them is a given; where coffee is plentiful (my mom is my coffee soul mate); where when you call out someone’s name in the middle of the night, they come. (Just to clear up any confusion, I didn’t do the name-calling-out, but the soothing. Middle-of-the-night is a scary time when you’re eight.)

It’s where we go together, even though we’re different. Of course, we’re not that different. It’s called blood, people. And it’s important. They’re my friends, there.

Of course, I have people who don’t share my DNA, but share a lot of other things with me, and they’re just as sought after. We share souls, and when they call, I come running. And when they don’t call, I show up. It’s a good time either way.

Then I came home to a house that was bursting with back-togetherness, even if just for a half hour. “GRACIE!” There was into-arms-jumping. It had been awhile, but there we were, in our kitchen, and it was like all of the other times we’d been in our kitchen together. Check out our kitchen:

Now that I’m back in Tuscaloosa to stay (that was the last of the nomadic weekends for awhile), I’ve been penciling in my free afternoons with coffee dates that were out of reach when I was sitting behind a desk. I promised my hands to move my best friend back, my night to welcome her home. And it feels good to dole out my time to faces, faces that show me that it matters, faces that give me back words that make me laugh, or inspire me, or cause me to find myself on my bed at 1 a.m., gathering myself from a particularly moving bit of prose written to me. I’m taken with these faces. They’re mine.

And there’s so much more on the horizon. So I look at my planner, and I clear it. “I’m all yours,” I say. The best words I heard all week, from one of my favorite people? “I’ll be home soon.”

I’m waiting for you, because you—all of you—make the whole thing that much sweeter.

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