visit a friend at work {a summer series}

how does visiting a friend at work help us love where we live? 

kathleen bakes cakes in her apartment. katie edits books downtown. stan cleans teeth. carla works with numbers for a global clothing company. chase makes your coffee choice as he saves for college. 

over small talk we learn what our friends do in our cities. we hear of their promotions, long hours, office drama, board meetings, how long they've been with the company, and how they landed the job in the first place. but what if we stopped by? what if we showed up in the very place where they are making a difference? what if we met their co-workers and they got to prove they have a life outside of work!? 

we can picture their living space and places we've dined together, but can we picture where they are most of the week?

the next time you schedule time together, meet where they work. invite them over to your headquarters. even if headquarters is home! 

perks of visiting a friend at work:

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give yourselves away {a summer series}

can i just say how proud i am of you? it's one thing to live and work and go to school, buy groceries, pay bills, take care of the family, the pet, and the plants. it's a whole other thing to love others. 

you, friends continue to teach me and show me that when we give and share, God gives us more. our Compassion International son, Saddam, continues to teach us this each time we visit. we have an abundance because God intends for us to give it away to others. how does this pertain to our time? don't we all have the same amount? yes we do.

but i believe that how we spend our time determines how we see our time. 

do you know what two hours on a monday night, us keeping their baby so they can have a much-needed date night does to our time? we don't lose anything, they gain conversation and warm food! 

do you know that when our floors were flooded and family routine was unstable, the invitation to come over to their home, build a lego spaceship together and eat comfort food was just what we needed and we didn't even know what we needed! we got recharged because they gave us their time. 

i can tell you about far more days when i kept all my time to myself in scarcity, in selfishness. yet, i can remember and relish in the moments when i slowed down to give time. 

this might be one that starts with...

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friendly game of whatever {a summer series}

did anything ever happen impromptu during the summers when you were growing up? 

my parents would get a call from a farmer friend that they could come and pick corn from his field. my sisters and i knew what we were doing the next evening on the front porch. shuckin' corn! i was a pro with the husk, but those silks got me all frustrated! we'd eat a good bit that summer, freeze some and give some away. 

sunday nights after church we'd get crazy and go get ice cream at the dairy queen or meet up at the city sports field for a game of softball! word always got around.

impromptu is not my style, but i want it to be. okay. maybe impromptu with a wee bit of preparedness! 

you've been rocking intentionality all summer! here are a few impromptus:

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look up. look down. {a summer series}

i'd guess most days we are learning bucket loads from our peers and those in the same season of life as us.

but how would you evaluate how much you are learning from those ahead of you and behind you? we need to look up and look down. to watch and listen to those younger than us and to sit a while with those older than us. we've got much to learn and it's right in front of us. 

ask yourself: when you were little, and even now, are you more drawn to those older than you or younger than you? what do you see in your kids?

elijah is drawn to those older. sam is passionate about helping those younger than him. asher seems to observe both demographics. kavita balances this well as she is watching older role models closely, yet is naturally to young kids. mine has been the same since i was a little girl. 

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invite someone over. {a summer series}

someone different.

i've already pegged you as someone who enjoys hospitality, so having someone over seems like normalcy. 

but, who's someone you've thought about having over and pushed it to the back of your mind?

who's someone you know but has never come over to your home? 

who's someone you want to learn from?

what about someone who would love a home cooked meal?

is there a refugee family or someone new to town who could use a friend?

it still haunts me.

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learn a bit of history {a summer series}

learn a bit of history. ask a few questions.

where i live is practically an infant compared to where you might live. ben and sam went to rome this june and sam uses the "mind blown" fingers over his forehead to show me just how old rome is in comparison to the united states, let alone, san francisco! 

but as long as we can explore yesterday, we can learn a bit of history!

you might have to venture out of your city limits to do some exploring, but don't forget about the cemetery, the library, the first church in town, the city hall or courthouse. and the best place to learn a bit of history is from your fellow citizens. 

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deliver a pick-me-up {a summer series}

june has come and gone and it's july! whether you are jumping from one activity and camp to another or if the summer is a continuation of the previous seasons, i hope that the summer series has ushered in some intentional fun. 

this activity is low-maintance, yet has high relational value - 


put your green thumb to use. let the kids gather "flowers" from the yard. someone in town could use a burst of color in their day.

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attend a city-sponsored, community-hosted event {a summer series}

july 4th might be an obvious one, so make a day of it! what about the farmer’s market or the art walk or a grand opening? we had a voting day in June for our city’s mayor and a flea market i’ve only ever driven by. our city hall will host events and we discovered a whole new world at the park recently. 

you'll need a link to your city/community events. your town's newspaper is a good source. coffee shops often have bulletin boards with local events posted. my go-to is for locals, you can scroll down and select the date to give you today's events, many for free.

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how will you get to where you need to go today? {a summer series}

you'll need air in your tires and wind in your sails for this one. i believe that one of the best ways to learn your city is to go about it a different way. routine makes life predictable and helps us settle in to the places we call home, but it can put us in a rut. if you've just moved to town or a new part of the city, how will you get to where you need to go today?

for once this summer, try a different route, even if it's a few minutes longer. you just might discover something new. you will see new faces and new places that internally jolt your senses to refresh you. 

this is a fun way to mix it up a bit. if you typically drive to the store, consider walking. if you walk for exercise, consider biking. it’s convenient to take the car across the bridge, but we have taken the ferry before. 

some of you live in really hot climates and the thought of transporting yourself from point a to point b without a/c sounds like an absurd idea. others of you live miles from town. don't sweat it. do this activity at dusk - walk to a neighbor's house and say hello. (bring popsicles.)

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