Noodles & a Pop.

Welp, I’m old.

Don’t argue with me.  25 is old. It’s half of a half of a century.

This weekend was quite interesting.  I’d made up my mind to go home to celebrate with my beloveds in Indianapolis, but then things got messy.  People were backing out and not responding, and I was realllllly struggling.  First of all, I felt like no one should have to plan their own birthday bash, but I understood that me being a state away made it difficult, so I didn’t fuss about making the plans… but after multiple texts, emails and phone calls… not being responded to becomes wearying. 

So, after feeling de-valued and pretty darn unimportant, I canceled the whole shindig.  Not to make a point (although that was tempting…) just to not drive a few hours to feel like I was forcing people to celebrate with me.

Love shows up in the funniest ways. 

I got a phone call from one of my wisest friends…Valerie.  She and her hubby mean so much to me…and she told me flat out that if people were letting me down, then it was time to have it out with God.  She exhorted me to “go there” with Him.   So I did.  And I realized that the reason that I was so upset is because people are my idol.  And so, when it feels like people don’t love me in the way I want them to, or aren’t being the kind of friend I suppose they should…I’m devastated.  And that is not right. 

My beautiful best friends Andrea & Angela offered to come out to Ohio on Sunday to spend the day with me… I weighed the options.  I decided to go anyway. 

So with my glittered eyes and patent peep-toes ready to party, I got in the Jeep to trek the 120 miles to Indy.  Bob called.  And as I vented my frustrations… being 25 and not being where I expected to be in life, being 25 and having friends I never expected to let me down…let me down, being 25 and having my family seemingly not make me a priority…that darn kid spoke some truth into my life.

“Kate, I love you…but it is not the goal of your life to be celebrated, to be affirmed, or to have a fun birthday.  The goal of your life is to glorify God.  Your heart makes me nervous, it’s so bitter.”

“I know Bob, all the bitterness is poison…it’s not good for me…”

“Kate, it’s more than ‘not good for you’…it’s going to kill you.”

Huh. 

He then went on to share with me a story he once read of a monk who admitted that his prayers often were derailed because he was constantly thinking “I wonder if anyone is thinking about me…”

So, I rode the rest of the way in silence.  Maybe I needed to get out of my incredibly selfish state of mind and start doing things differently.

I met Andrea at her hotel and we drove downtown to meet the rest of the gang at one of my favorites- Palominos. 

We were seated in the back at a round table near a window overlooking the bustling sidewalks.  Angela, Zach, Dan, Bethany, Adam, Val, Andrea and myself laughed and conversed for hours, until we noticed we were the last people in the restaurant.

With tummies topped off with paella and chocolate torte, we left full and happy. 

After many photographs and a quick visit with Austin at Dan’s nearby house… Andrea and I tried to navigate downtown and find our parking garage.  Hmmmm. If only I would’ve paid more attention in Girl Scouts…

After walking and gagging down a dumpster filled alley, a stranger approached us and offered her help.  This kind woman tried to help us find our way, and she quickly got to chatting.

Lisa was one of the few homeless women in downtown Indianapolis.  Her daughter Ebony was pregnant with her first grandbaby, and she was so excited to meet him or her.  She asked if we could help her out since she had taken the time to help us out.  Thanks to my hero- Dr. Cook, interactions like this don’t make me nervous anymore.

After handing her a few dollars, we asked Lisa if we could pray for her for anything… she immediately rattled off quite the list!

“Pray that I get a crib, yea, that I get a crib, and a hooptie car, and I love weed, I’m a weed-head, yea, I love weed, and I’ve had 2 beers today, and I got a job interview on Thursday.”
We stood there with our arms wrapped around her and prayed as the streets streamed with visitors in for the 2008 MotoGP. 

I could barely hear myself praying over Lisa’s constant “Yes Lord!’s” and “Please Jesus!’s”…
After we Amen-ed, Lisa continued on with more details of her life story, and then shared this gem…

She told Andrea and I that one night as she was reading the Word, her stomach ached with hunger, and she prayed out to God that He fill her.  Whether it was just with Himself or with actual food, she was starving.  She said that at that exact moment, for no apparent reason, at a table full of people playing cards in the room next to her, a woman laid down her cards, looked Lisa square in the eye and said “Are you hungry? I am going to get you something to eat.”  And went to the kitchen and brought Lisa back a bowl of noodles and a pop. 

Lisa said that it felt like a feast, she was so full! After only eating a small bowl of noodles! She was struck then to read even more of God’s Word…convinced that God is a God that hears and responds! She kept saying it… “Noodles and a pop…I was so hungry, and for no reason, that woman gave me noodles and a pop, I prayed and God gave me noodles and a pop.” 

My eyes filled with tears, and I thanked Lisa for blessing me on my birthday with a truth I had stopped believing was true…that God listens and answers.  She looked at me like I was crazy…as if to say “Of course He does!”

After another round of hugs, we parted ways.

Andrea and I walked quietly up the ramp to the third level of our parking garage.  On our way home, I couldn’t get over what  a special present that Lisa had gifted us with. 

I love when God tempers the superficial with the eternal.

Here I was, decked out in 8 strands of pearls and blonde curls, worrying about who was going to join me for my $30-a-plate dinner extravaganza… and God wanted to quiet my spirit and remind me that He answers our needs.  Not our wants.  Our needs.

And when He responds, we will be full.  So full that we can’t explain it.

I drove to Sissy’s and was greeted with a comfy bed made for me on her comfy couch and a hot shower and a “Happy Birthday” banner taped to the door.  I woke up well and had the chance to spend an hour and half with my Common Ground family… sitting between my kindred spirit Melody and my best friend Andrea.  Jeff preached truth into my life.  God again reminded me that it’s about trading in sin for salvation…daily…

Self-centeredness for humility…self-protection for faith… setting my baggage down.

After lunch with more beloveds at Cafe Patachou, where I enjoyed the rain, the organic orange juice, the world-famous cinnamon toast and baby Maryn resting her sleepy head on my shoulder, I felt so full.

It was more than the fresh fruit and the croissant… it was more than the birthday presents and cards… it was setting down my hurts enough to enjoy those that I love, and those that love me…it was being poured over with truth… it was choosing to acknowledge blessing…it was having the chance to recognize and show appreciation to the incredible people around me.
Thanks God…for my noodles & a pop.

 

As I drove home listening to my new Rosie Thomas CD (the perfect gift, by the way, Sweet Face…) the lyrics to ‘Death Came and Got Me’ seemed to sum up the weekend quite perfectly.

“When will love ever find me?
All my life all I’ve craved is to be seen.
Who cares anyway…
Cause when it’s over,
All that matters is the love you gave away.”

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3 Responses

  1. Ohhh, I love love love this post. You have summed up the weekend so well…it really was amazing.

    Thanks for coming home, thanks to all your wonderful house church friends, Angela & Bethany for helping celebrate (you really do have some GREAT friends who LOVE you so so much!) and thanks to Lisa and her eagerness to pray with us and for the special gift she gave us both that night.

    I love you so very much!!

  2. By the way….Happy Birthday belated, my sweet. I know how you love birthdays and I’m sorry that I wasn’t around to help you celebrate this one. Love you!

  3. I wish that I would have been able to celebrate with you! When you come into town, let us know and I will ditch the kids and the hubby for you, always! Love you!

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