Making Room.

img_7867.jpg It's hot in this coffee shop. And it's hot in this Texas. And I might be the only one who hopes the hot will stay longer and longer because I'm just loving it... even with that temporary "I wish it was Christmas" episode I had last week...

Speaking of last week... Einstein and I have had our noses in lots of books this summer. We've found ourselves at a near Starbucks so we can get out of our "dorm sweet dorm" and enjoy the quiet of Denton before the crazies come back in a few weeks. Through a series of hilarious and somewhat promiscuous events, the Barista there has started referring to Brett and I as Mr. and Mrs. Wonderpants... and he hasn't failed to call us that every time we walk through the door. And, it's the little things really because... I love it.

And speaking of coffee... Tonight I walked the square while the sun was setting, just as the Christmas lights in the trees began twinkling on, and my appreciation grew for this seemingly small town we call home. As I walked to our coffee shop, I passed our town's ghost story teller, megaphone in hand, fishnet stalkings tucked into brown boots, and a group of curious listeners circled around her. I continued on and stopped to listen to a group of older folks gathered close playing guitars, basses, and banjos... all singing some good-timey tune, as if the world's cares are far away on friday nights. And just as the sun was setting on the square, the friday night hoola hoopers with their glowing hoops started their... hooping?

And speaking of the square... On nights like these, the bars are packed and the coffee shop is quiet in an almost healing way. At some point this week I realized I hadn't taken the time to think much this summer, and I felt at a loss for how quickly life has moved, and how unaware I am of how Stacie is really doing. It is great to grieve when one doesn't even recognize one's self. What i miss most about being in school, is that I never forgot to think. It was the unrecognized opportunity of a lifetime to think well, think long, and think critically without being interrupted by "the man" or "big brother" or "crazy college students I live with".

So what's one thing that has become clear to me after this week?

Hospitality.

I might not be in class, but I certainly have been reading and learning a lot about hospitality this summer as I prepare for another year of Hall Directordom. Right now I'm in the middle of Making Room by Christine D. Pohl. I am obsessed with the idea of making room for others in this life. In my home. On my couch. In my pantry. In my office. In my heart. So I've been pondering this quote by Donald Miller this week. Loving it. Questioning it. And appreciating it. Will you let his words make room in your heart for others this week too?

"So much of what I know about getting along with people I learned from [hippies]. They were magical in community. People were drawn to them. They asked me what I loved, what I hated, how I felt about this and that, what sort of music made me angry, what sort of music made me sad. They asked me what I daydreamed about, what I wrote about, where my favorite places in the world were. They asked me about high school and college and my travels around America. They loved me like a good novel, like an art film... I did not feel fat or stupid or sloppily dressed. I did not feel like I did not know the bible well enough, and I was never conscious what my hands were doing or whether or not I sounded immature when I talked. I had always been so conscious of those things, but living with the hippies I forgot about myself. And when I lost this self-consciousness I gained so much more. I gained an interest in people outside my own skin. They were greater than movies to me, greater than television. the spirit of the hippies was contagious."

And this part's for those of you who grew up in the God-fear'n Christian So-Faking-Perfect-Looking church, like myself:

"Because I grew up in the safe cocoon of big-Christianity, I came to believe that anything outside the church was filled with darkness and unlove."

And my heart this week, is to move away from the judgments of the cocoon I identify with, that I may make room for those who might actually be living in darkness and unlove, that in some way I may help in showing them real, authentic, hospitable Love.

Stacie Stine

Design Jamboree, Denton, Texas, United States