I made a bunting last week, approximately five years, three months and two days since the trend began on Pinterest, or perhaps it’s been a thing for longer than that. I wouldn’t know – I’ve never been trendy. But I’ve been scrolling throgh Etsy, reading blogs, sitting on the sidelines and watching everyone else’s lives, and I’ve seen your buntings made out of fabric, lace, pom poms, plastic spoons, denim, beer bottles. Wait. Maybe not the bottles, but I’m certain I’ve seen a bunting made out of pretty much anything else.
Watching and waiting, I’ve been doing that for a long time, and as much as I attribute this to my personality, the truth is I’ve been afraid, complacent and lazy. Afraid of what people will think, complacent because I can’t be bothered and lazy because what there is to do requires work.
We had a party last weekend, and after it was done, the boys and I lay out on a blanket under the sun, Husband read The Economist, we were quiet, we were giggly, the sun warm, the air cold and as I looked at the chairs strewn around the yard, plastic bags overflowing with trash and empty juice bottles, my heart swelled. This is the life I want: creating joy and celebration-filled spaces for people to connect.
For the past three years, all I could see was what I didn’t have. Community was my greatest need, and everywhere I looked, I couldn’t find it. It’s taken me this long to realize other people can’t create what I am looking for. It wasn’t something someone else was supposed to do for me. It was my work, my joy, the thing that would require fighting fear, complacency and laziness, and it would all be worth it.
Do I have the community I was looking for? No. Hardly. But I could be staring at an empty garden and empty table whining about what I don’t have or I can attempt to build something. I choose to build, and with every brick that goes down, with every piece of dirt unearthed by the shovel of hard work, life buds inside of me, and in the end this is what I know I was created for: New life. Every time. I know the story will be new life, redemption, purpose.
Calling and purpose are big words, and the topics for self-help weekends, life coaches, Oprah, popular Christian conferences, coffee talk, and a therapist’s couch. I’m not even scratching the surface with this blog post, but I wanted to say something to you today in the middle of Lent, this time when I’m thinking about giving.
What are you longing for?
How could you be that longing for someone today? How could you create and give that longing for yourself, for someone, for a community today? What would it mean to go out and do it?
For me it meant, drawing coloured triangles on Photoshop, printing them out and stapling it onto a piece of twine. Simplest bunting in the history of the world. Ok, I also had to take a risk, invite people, and do a tiny bit of cooking.
Friend, there are too many days we can wait sitting on the sidelines watching. I’m sure there are lots of good reasons to not try, but why not try anyway? I’m guessing there will be at least one person who will say Thanks because you gave your gift instead of hiding it inside.
What are you waiting for?