For those of you who know me, it will surprise you to hear that I have not been dancing much lately. I still can’t help but tap my toes whenever a catchy song comes on the radio, and I’m often walking with a swing in my step, swaying along to the music inside my head. But when it comes to social dancing, I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately. I did go to a big dance event in Atlanta in October – and I placed 2nd in the competition that I entered!! – but other than that, I haven’t really done much dancing at all since May.
But I am ok with that. I know that the funk will pass and I will love it just as much as I used to; but until then, I’ve been busy filling my time with plenty of other exciting things. Michael has planned a few very exciting dates – a couple of my favorites were seeing Cirque du Soleil while they were in town (which was incredible, even though they didn’t let us take any pictures :[ ), and taking a ride on the giant Ferris Wheel that overlooks much of downtown Atlanta. I don’t think I believe him when he says that his date ideas are boring :).
My friend Jess has made a yardsaling convert out of me. If you know how much I hate to shop, you will understand that this is a very big statement. But there’s something exciting about hunting down deals, about finding a treasure in the middle of a bunch of trash. Perhaps I should take up dumpster diving as a hobby… 😉 But, despite my newfound affinity for yardsaling (I don’t think I’m converted quite enough to be able to say that I have an affinity for dumpster diving yet ;]), I haven’t been able to go very often. My weekends have been taken up by other things – things like traveling, writing, seeing friends, or sometimes just baking yummy goods.
One of my recent personal culinary victories was making homemade challah bread. Challah bread is a sweet ceremonial Jewish bread that takes hours and hours to make. It’s not particularly difficult (except braiding the dough so that it bakes into a nice pretty pattern is somewhat challenging), but it has to rise 3 separate times, each time for several hours. So, all in all, it takes close to half a day to make. ANYWAY, I have this memory of making challah bread in our old house with my mom. I don’t remember the occasion – it must have been over 10 years ago at this point. All I remember is the sweet time that I got to spend with my mother. Ever since then, I have wanted to make it again, but never had a sufficient reason to invest all of that time into it.
So when an older couple from my church invited me over to their house to celebrate Sukkot, the Jewish festival of the tabernacle, and specifically asked me to bring challah bread, I jumped at the opportunity. It took me 2 days to make it, but seeing her face when I arrived was totally worth it. She had been expecting me to just pick up french bread, since no supermarket sells challah bread. Her genuine joy and excitement when I walked in with a homemade loaf was more than enough payment for any extra effort required on my part.
A curious thing has been happening to me in Atlanta. I still yearn for adventures in other countries and cities. But I am also learning that depth of life matters just as much as breadth, if not more. I am beginning to experience relational profundity that I could never dream to have by spending a few weeks or even months in a foreign country. I am learning so much about myself and God and people in general. Some of it is hard, tough, ugly, painful stuff. Life gets messy when you get that close to someone. But I would much rather experience these things and grow from them, than to stay in my own blissful bubble of relational ignorance and bankruptcy. I do still yearn for adventures. But I am learning, as my roots are growing (at least for now) here in Atlanta, that adventures are even more exciting when you have dear people that you love and care for to share them with. And that is a truly thrilling thought.