Walking down a spiral staircase, I reach the landing on the second floor when H looks up from his laptop in the family room, furrows his brow and says, “Are you okay?”
Obviously I don’t hide emotions well.
“No, I’m not okay. Not at all.”
Joining him, I sit down on the foot stool, push a free palm into my forehead, phone grasped in the other. Tears begin welling up and dripping into the carpet.
“My friend Laura just messaged me to say she bought a ticket to Nest Fest. She’s driving from West Virginia to North Carolina to watch me sign books! Diane is driving 12 hours from Minnesota to Nashville. Friends are buying plane tickets, reserving hotel rooms and rearranging schedules. I’m not okay. I’m humbled, grateful, and honored.”
A smile spread across his face. That knowing smile you witness as the last person to grasp the obvious.
I was born a Relater. Friendships are like oxygen and belonging is like breath. I need them in order to thrive and be the person God created.
As a true blue Relater at the core of my being, Jennifer Dukes Lee writes about what makes me tick in The Happiness Dare.
You love the warmth and security of close friendships. You guard yourself against loneliness. At your best, you allow yourself to be fully seen. You also make safe places for others to be seen – and loved just as they are. And this . . . To you home isn’t a place, it’s the people.
Next month I’m going home to my happy place in Kansas, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee! As I divulged to someone recently, this book tour is as much about seeing friends as it is about selling books. Shhh! Don’t tell my publisher.
Who cares about long flights or becoming intimately acquainted with the Atlanta airport five times in two weeks when you have girlfriends waiting to laugh, shop, and eat with you at every destination. But I’m heeding Jennifer’s wise words and watching for red flags when it comes to how I’m wired.
Relaters have to guard against putting people before God.
My book launch has become an opportunity to practice living what I write about. Will I rest in confidence knowing God is with me in the details or will I lose my way with people pleasing?
It’s tempting to think a message God writes through an author is ultimately about success, influence, and money. Those outcomes are important yes, but fleeting. The message on God’s heart for His people lives beyond the lifetime of an author, let’s just put that reality out in the open. We steward what God entrusts by cultivating relationships. The message of a book lives on through His people.
You will be in your sweet spot when you are consciously relating to others out of the love that Jesus first had for you. You are happiest when your relationships are Christ-centered. You can maximize your sweet spot by remembering that your first and most important relationship is the one you have with God. All other relationships flow from Jesus’ friendship toward you.
I’m happiest when my relational security is found in God’s love and I’m surrounded by friends like you. I’m not sure I’ll ever be okay with the generosity you’ve shown me as I launch Rhythms of Rest into the world. At least, I hope not.
Will I see you when I come home to the US in October? You can find my speaking itinerary here.
What is your Happiness Style? Take this assessment and tell me if you are a Relater, Experiencer, Doer, Giver or Thinker in the comments. It only takes five minutes and it’s so fun! And then order my friend (see what I did there as a Relater?) Jennifer’s book The Happiness Dare. You’re going to love it.