A Season of Slowing.

Today has been slow moving and precious. It's days like today I wish I could offer up to all those around me who seem overwhelmed with work, who are down to the wire with wedding planning, who are tense with academic finals, and who are worn out relationally. Even to those who claw after anything to fill their time and souls because they are too afraid of what slowing down will reveal to them.

It's days like today I stay in bed reading until the afternoon.

It's days like today I wish I could warp you into the seat opposite me at our coffee shop so you could taste my cherry coke and get a look at the guy a few tables over who looks exactly like Jim from The Office. I double-take every time I see him here. I'd love for you to be able to look out the window and see how busied our little town is, on, what I"ve been told, is the most important Friday of the year. The annual Denton Christmas Wassail Fest. Tents are popping up all around the courthouse and important looking people are running back and forth from one side of our town square to the other, preparing for something magical and yummy.

It's days like today I walked up to the coffee shop in what seems like the last of the warm days Texas has to offer, the sunshine embracing the yellow fall turned leaves; a golden that warms my soul-- how I love to walk and cherish it all.

It's days like today my mind and body feel as if they are caught up in a dream. I always feel that way after coming to the end of a good book. And I have. I feel richer, fuller, and challenged in some way to walk more meaningfully, boldly, gracefully, and beautifully. There's a bittersweet mixture of emotions inside of me as I lay aside another book, another story I gave my time and heart to. Every time I read a book I find myself taking; taking story, wisdom, bold decisions, and sacrificial examples. Deep within me though, I feel as if part of me has been taken to far off places I know I will never really go. That is the beauty and tragedy of fiction if you ask me.

It's days like today I put on an outfit and find myself content with how it matches, fits, and makes me feel, instead of ripping it off and obsessively mix-matching every piece of clothing I own in discontentment for an hour or so because nothing seems to look worthy of what the world tells me I should look like. Today I slowed down enough to be thankful I own clothes.

 It's days like today I am thankful for the man who gave me the ring on my finger. Only two months of being married to him has given me eyes to see that he is far more patient, understanding, gentle, servant-like and gracious than I ever thought he was. I didn't even know how great a kid I was marrying, and my heart rejoices in how cool I think he is now and that I get to make my home with him.
I wish you could walk home with me and enjoy the time to think and be. I wish I could show you our  hipster "Very Stine Christmas" Tree, with a string of popcorn on it, vintage bow ties, and only the bottom half of its lights working. It's perfect.
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If anything, I hope I can encourage you to slow your day, no matter how many sculptures you have to finish or how many frustrating thoughts are bombarding you from your day at work-- take time to rest, celebrate, and enjoy something about your Friday, wherever you are, whatever you're doing.

Stacie Stine

Design Jamboree, Denton, Texas, United States