It’s become a Wednesday tradition that my Mom takes her brother Mike out to lunch. Often Oliver and I come along.
Currently Mike lives in a group home for adults with special needs. Since he cannot drive he looks forward to Wednesdays, to seeing his sister, to a change of scenery, and especially to the good food.
While getting ready to leave, probably switching Oliver’s shoes onto the right foot, yet ignoring the inside out socks, I noticed my phone lighting up and buzzing with new messages on Voxer.
If you haven’t heard of Voxer, it’s an app that makes having group conversations and staying in touch more convenient. I don’t use the app much except with a group of women I took a creative course with last Spring. These women live all over the US from California to Florida.
It had been a while since hearing from any of them on Voxer. That morning the leader and some of the other women gave updates on how they were doing and what projects they were working on (or taking breaks from). I was happy to hear their voices; encouraged by their stories, insight and wisdom. I continued getting ready and slipped my phone in my purse, as we set off for lunch.
Instead of our usual lunch spot we decided to venture to the downtown Broken Arrow Main Street because I keep hearing about it from friends. Broken Arrow is a suburb of Tulsa. In the last few years someone with a new vision for the area took the risk to invest time and money into restoring this street, and probably convinced others to join along.
Now it is called the Rose District. The brick buildings house unique shops and restaurants. Flower baskets hang from the street lights and roses are planted in raised beds down the middle of the sidewalks.
When we arrived my Mom dropped Mike and I off in front of Andolini’s Pizzeria, so he wouldn’t have to walk as far. We sat on the bench and waited for Oliver and my Mom. Then I got out my phone and started taking pictures of the area. I enjoyed capturing the renovations and the roses.
I recently came across the term “hometown tourist” describe by a favorite author of mine, Emily P Freeman, and I have totally embraced it for myself. I am learning to appreciate all that is local, even getting out my phone to take photos of inspiration found in my own hometown.
The whole morning brought along with it a feeling of refreshment; being with family, discovering local charm on an restored “Main Street”, connecting with my creative friends, and snapping pretty pictures.
Often it is easy to underestimate the “update”; whether with a friend, with a space in your home or a renovated part of your city.
I remembered one summer my sister-in-law, an interior designer and beautifier/stylist of all things, suggested I paint my backyard deck. So I did. But the whole time while down on my knees sanding and sweating in the hot Oklahoma sun, I thought surely this is not worth it.
Well, I was wrong. I loved the end result. The whole next year before we moved, it made being in my backyard 10 times more wonderful and lovely.
And recently I have found joy in picking up an old hobby that I used to practice back in high school; calligraphy. Except there is a new spin on it. It’s called “modern calligraphy” or “lettering”. A family friend even sent me a book in the mail about it, when she heard I was working on calligraphy again.
Maybe you need a little nudge toward the “update” today? Maybe you need a little refreshment; a newness springing up from something old? Or maybe you just need to stop and take time to notice the new things God is doing in your life?
Let us not underestimate the update.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19
Love and Hope in Christ