Last night I sat in the kitchen and talked about finance, religion, and every other uncouth subject with Julie until 11:00 PM while she prepped meals for my fourth summer of craziness at the MBC. Matt stumbled in from an evening nap and cracked a few jokes; then they both gave their semi-frequent “rah-rah-ree, we’re team Bri!” pep talk before we all went to bed. Today I woke up in my brightly lit bedroom, where pictures hang of people who were just footnotes in my college years, in a house I never thought I’d stay overnight again after 2009. People I’ve admired from afar and friends I’ve enjoyed as a big kid have become dear friends and my part of my family as an adult.
When I moved to Missouri, I wasn’t sure I was cut out for working as a little presby in Southern Baptist world. I had friends take bets I wouldn’t last a year here. I knew I wouldn’t be living at the Kearns longer than six months. I was worried my life was going to become too small. I thought I would expand my photography business and write a book. All of that was wrong.
I remember my last Monday night in Rogers, Arkansas to grab a cup of coffee at the only place I’ve ever been known as a “regular” and catch up with a friend. Elizabeth made my decaf and Logan gave me and my friend the left overs of the day’s pastries while he and Alex mopped the storefront. I remember my friend, after some hesitation, telling me that it didn’t seem to fit my goals to move to Missouri. I knew what he meant, I felt the strain so badly of my career goals and my personal goals pulling me in two. “I just work too much, for too little, and no time to have community or be known.” I finally breathed out, probably a bit defensively. Let me tell you, it’s hard being 23 and knowing the difference between good choices and best choices. I cried leaving the Pleasant Grove Starbucks that night because I wasn’t sure I was doing the ‘right’ thing. I won’t ever get the chance to know what life would have looked like if I had stayed at the little camera shop off Walnut street or found another job in town, but I’ve been afforded the perspective of my life since then in Missouri and with every ounce of praise and gratefulness to God I can say I am known.
I have been known on my ugly days and sad days, on the days I am being silly or kind, on the days I want to be known and the days it’s hard being known. I work with the best kind of team of coworkers who invite me in their lives and have walked with me in my faith. I have little roots sprouting off my livelihood that worry me will hurt will they will have to be pulled up. I have learned that loving the Lord, being disciplined, growing up, and being joyful are all choices I have been grateful to make.
All this to say, I woke up this morning and realized it’s May 22nd. I’m celebrating a three year work anniversary in the best way I know how: prepping for college students to move in on Sunday, taking Melinda to lunch, and chasing around Carson kiddos.
It doesn’t get much more ‘Jeff City’ than that. XOXO -B
May 22, 2012 – Peace out 208 North Michael Street!
Year one was pretty great, but it just keeps getting better. Look at how little those kiddos are!