This morning I went to the school and "coached" my softball girls through weightlifting. On my way home I decided to stop at Joan's house. Joan is a sweet lady from the church I grew up in. I wrestled with myself, thinking it was too early and that I hadn't called ahead, but then I just pulled in the drive and knocked on the door. Two and half hours and a cup of coffee later I was so thankful I had. It reminded me of a piece I wrote back in college about these sweet moments of fellowship that pepper our life. Thanks for the wonderful morning, Joanie! Here is the story [I wrote a collection of stories about this group of friends but haven't shared many of them here since they are MY friends and you probably don't care ;)]:

I was reading in the Psalms today while I ate my lunch, the obsessive November wind licking at the window. I was eating my noodles and the words and letting them happen to me, the way puberty happens to a person.

I put down my fork and read Open up your mouth and He will fill it, and I took a sip of water and read again Open up your mouth and He will fill it. In the margin I think I should write beautiful so I will come back to this page and read it again and see beautiful written beside it and think beautiful again. But I don't. I stop my pen and I don't write because I want to stumble across this psalm again, and I want to feel the beauty instead of thinking it.

Open up your mouth and He will fill it and I wonder what this means and I pray it wil become a part of my marrow. And then, in my mind, I am there in the simple living room with all of them: Brent is at my right side, Derek at my left on the rose colored couch, and in the blue Lazy-Boy is Jon, kicked back. Cody lies on the floor in the center of the room, stomach down and Brandon, on the cream couch, sits opposite me, a throw pillow behind his neck.

I come back to this moment with Open your mouth and He will fill it knowledge and I hear our conversation anew. Derek tells us he will definitely be going overseas in the near future and shares a few stories from his last trip to Africa. Jon then enters the conversation and says he will marry the girl he is now dating. Brandon asks if she has a sister, and then asks Brent what they're going to do for his bachelor party. Brent says he just wants them to take one last road trip together. I ask if I can come along and only get facial responses. We all think Cody is asleep, but he lifts his head and says he is hungry-- and that he's pretty sure the girl he could marry is mad at him because he didn't call or write for four months.

Open your mouth and He will fill it in those moments in the living room when your conversation is not meant to be prayer.

I look back and I realize those moments of nothing were so full of God. We sometimes tried to be intentional about having conversations concerning theology or the Holy Spirit. We never realized these things of God were happening to us when we stopped thinking about them long enough to let them.

These memories are sweet on my tongue like the juice from freshly squeezed apples. I now realize the beauty of moments with friends and how, when you let them happen to you, it's like letting a psalm happen to you. This happening fills your mouth and becomes prayer-- a deep kind of prayer-- a prayer that happens with every memory of a living room conversation.

Open your mouth and He will fill it and things that are not prayer become prayer, and moments that are ordinary pierce us and fill us and we become holier because of them.

I thank God for these friends of mine, but I know I thank Him more when I send Derek a card or give Cody a call.

I know I thank Him more when I let Him fill my mouth.

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