Hoping that you’ll see what your love means to me Open Arms. . .

As much as I love the band, this post is not about them. On Friday night our neighbor had a surprise birthday party for their daughter’s 10th birthday. Their daughters name is Journey.

The first time I had heard her name I wondered if the parents were some sort of die hard Journey followers but since then, as I have come to know them, I began to wonder if Journey’s name meant something different. Her mother is a very calm, tender woman who if I had to guess is in her mid to late 40’s. Her father is a witty and funny man who is probably in his 50’s.

In the nearly 1.5 years we have lived in our new house, Tommy has been over to Journeys’ at least 2 times a week, every week. I have never gone further than the threshold and now I would finally have my chance to go inside. Upon entering it was apparent that they had traveled at some point in their lives together. Their home felt very warm and was filled with personal effects which all seemed to be deliberately chosen. Maybe the pieces were from travels or simply things that had meaning to them. Strong wood pieces balanced by feminine flowers and paintings all anchored by a big sofa in the middle of the room which begged to be sat in. His den felt just like it should, with a bust of a elk over the fireplace bearing a green wreath around it’s neck, bookshelves with many books which you could tell had been well loved and of course the bar filled with various types of wine.

Everywhere around the home I noticed signs,hangings and sayings all in the theme of “Life is a Journey” . . . and there it was. Journey must have been named after this whole concept. Maybe as a reminder to actually enjoy the ride, or possibly the Journey they had been on, on their way to becoming parents.

Their backyard had a beautiful heirloom tomato garden like nothing I had ever seen before. It stood over 10 feet tall and bore fragrant (and tasty!) heirloom tomatoes along with at least 3-4 other variety’s. Along with the tomato garden, they had carrots, brussel sprouts and other veggies.

I felt so comfortable, at ease and welcome in this home. It felt how a home should feel and it was a direct reflection of who these people are. It was lived in, laughed in and loved. I am not sure if I have ever learned more about a family from being a guest in someones home than I did on Friday.

I suppose I was so greatly impacted by this experience because what I felt in this home is what I long for in my own, but what I struggle with so very much. The Journey.

Somewhere along the way I have lost sight of just that. Trying to control my end destination, and in turn life has become a chore. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

I fear I am missing all of the moments, the laughs and the love by hurrying up through my life and wishing away the here and now. I have only recently gotten a bit better at this, I let the dishes sit to play with my kids, I let the laundry go for a few days to hold my baby all day long, to sit and be still in the calm, and to be silly and laugh in the chaos.

Friday night was no coincidence. Thank you Neighbors, you’ve got it right!

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”

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