It’s only been five hours since I crawled into bed, when my husband rolled his suitcase in the room wearing the smell of airports on his suit jacket.  The glare of red numbers still in the fives when I step on the carpet, wrap robe around chilly shoulders and open the glow of screen for Friday’s word prompt.

Together, it’s the word and I ask God what He wants me to say about it.  Linger over it while I spread mayonnaise on bread, zip lunchboxes, pour orange juice and close eyes over a steamy tea sauna steeping on the counter.

I write, push publish. Then God shows me another chapter of together in a day that unfolds like a landslide. I’m running to stay out of its way and watch where the earth decides to rest.

When the doors slam and the house empties, I climb into my monastery and drive to Myrtle Beach to meet Dawn, whom I have only known through the prose we pen on our blog houses.

On the way, Kelly calls.  I haven’t heard her voice in eleven years.  But the conversation picks up like we’re sitting with folded legs on the floor of her A-frame covered in snow on the mountain in California twenty years ago.

She calls to tell me about her trip to Scotland last summer, when she learns that I am going too. To share a slice of the city, so I can eat from her joy.

I shake hands with Dawn and her husband at the door of the Mexican restaurant. We sit over nachos and I learn what it’s like to pastor diversity and blog for more than seven months. We share faith like M&M’s in a bowl, savoring the sweetness one color at a time.

After we hug goodbye, I bump into the Chanel girls walking through the mall. Ask Laura about her cancer, and talk to Mary about disappointments over fine lines and sagging skin. They tell me to hydrate.

I buy some shoes from Lynn, tell her my feet changed. Explain that I hope these shoes won’t hurt my feet walking cobblestones in London and sidewalks in Edinburgh. She says she’s been there too, assures me our feet really do change.

When I walk into Ann Taylor Loft, the lady that wears orange sherbet every time I see her, she gasps and then smiles at me. Says she likes the blouse I’m wearing.  I tell her I remember her words every time I wear it, “You won’t be sorry you bought this.” She was right.

And when the earth rotates and I gently awake from slumber foggy eyed on my periwinkle pillow, I hear this: “Your words are like a popsicle, they drip sweetness.” I see a hand holding a popsicle covered melted cherry. My eyes are still closed.

I can’t stop thinking about the popsicle so I wander into the quiet of the kitchen, under the hum of refrigerator, open my book on the table and read the words of Baldwin of Ford:

“Jesus is sweet . . . . He is sweet in prayer, sweet in speech, sweet in reading, sweet in contemplation, sweet in conpunction, and in jubilation of the heart. He is sweet in the mouth, sweet in the heart, sweet in love; he is the love of sweetness and the sweetness of love . . . those who have tasted of him grow hungry, and those who are hungry will be satisfied and the sated will cry out the memory of his abundant sweetness.”

He shows me in the stillness. How His love drips sweet in panoramic perspective on the phone, in the restaurant, at the counter, in my dream, on the pages of my book, and when I close my eyes to pray.  The way of grace sticks sweet.

And I can’t help but wonder if my son will wake up wanting popsicles for breakfast.

“The Lord was made sweet to you because he liberated you . . .you had been bitter to yourself when you were occupied only with  yourself. Drink the sweetness.” ~Augustine

 I’m still counting gifts for the Joy Dare and I wrote every one of those holy moments mentioned above in my journal this week. I hope your still keeping your list too.

Linking with some good friends who I hope to see one day in real life too: Michelle DeRusha, Jen Ferguson, Shanda Oakley, Ann Voskamp, Laura Boggess, Carissa Graham and Heather.