Aah! It’s been way too long since I last did any updates. I figured I’d give you a snapshot of a single day to share how we’re trying to be real disciples in real life.
First thing in the morning I ran outside to put out the recycling bin. I got home from work just before 11 last night and forgot all about it. I’m sure you know that feeling. Then I very sleepily tried to be helpful as Leslie got the girls out the door. Thanks, Les!
I’ve been working part-time at Friends and Allies Brewing Company. We just got our very first canning line this week, a WGC 250, and one of their installation guys was in town to help us get it up and running. The assistant brewer and I scrambled to modify a plastic folding table to act as a receiving/packing table at the end of the line. We’ve worked together on a lot of random projects over the last few months, so we have a pretty good groove going. We then spent some time learning how to check can lid seals for quality.
I took the installation tech out to lunch at one of my favorite spots, the quintessentially East Austin Cherrywood Coffeehouse. I’ve met other folks from his company before at Fourth Tap. It was good to talk Austin and Denver (where they’re located) and go over some canning line maintenance concerns. Plus – he was a single guy spending a few days in a new city; I figured I’d give him some company.
Back at the brewery, we got ready for our first canning run. I spent some time at the controls (after the tech and our brewer had pretty much everything dialed in) and suddenly it was after 5pm. I grabbed a case of beer and Leslie’s blender (that we’d been using to process some ingredients. Thanks, Les!) and drove home.
Busy schedules mean that our poor dogs don’t quite get the exercise that they should. I took the dogs to run around and play fetch at the green space near our neighborhood mailboxes. One of our neighbors pulled up to check his mail and I offered to give him some cans of our beer. We ended up chatting on our porch for about a half hour. Leslie and the girls got home and Lucy played peekaboo with our neighbor, which is a pretty decent representation of our relationship with that particular neighbor so far.
But hey! One of the upsides to incarnational ministry is that you don’t have some kind of service or small group program as the end goal in mind behind every interaction. I have no idea how our relationship with this neighbor will go, but I am confident that faithfulness for me last night meant drinking a beer with him on our front porch.
After he went inside, I watched the girls play out on the driveway while Leslie prepared dinner. One of our across-the-street neighbors got home (an avid home-brewer himself) and I offered him some beer. He poured me a glass of his latest brew, we chatted in his driveway, and Leslie and the girls came to say hello to his wife. It started to rain just a bit, so we ducked in their garage for shelter. I don’t exactly know how it transpired, but they ended up inviting us in for dinner (some delicious homemade pizza), and we spent the next hour or so eating and talking about stuff like parenting, where we all grew up, and gardening. We thanked them, talked about getting together more, and went home to get the girls ready for bed.
At 8pm a couple from our missional community came over for some premarital counseling. We’re using Prepare/Enrich for the very first time (Les and I did our training a million years ago when I was in seminary) and I think things are going pretty well. We talked about some questionnaire results and relationship dynamics stuff with them before briefly talking about The Five Love Languages. Good times!
Then Leslie and I chatted about our upcoming plans (e.g. cleaning for a health inspection of our home – we’re working on getting licensed to be foster parents) and called it a day.
Whew! That was a busy day. It was also a really satisfying day. I got to share meals with people (one of our missional living Everyday Rhythms), work side-by-side with folks at the brewery, practice neighborliness with Leslie and the girls, and talk about marriage with some friends. We didn’t do much that was highly programmatic (just the counseling), but I got to spend the whole day interacting with people to whom I believe God is sending us.
I think the key to yesterday was that we were interruptible (I’m pretty sure that’s a word). I was tired after a long day at the brewery. Normally, I’d be tempted to sit and drink a beer in the quiet of our home. But instead I shared some beer with two different neighbors (which led to a shared meal). I was doing basically the same thing I would be doing anyways. Remember how I said that Leslie was preparing dinner and then we got invited over for pizza? We never ate the dinner that Leslie made! We’re on the same page: God provided us with an opportunity to connect with people and we said yes.
That’s it for now. I’ve been stalled out on a 2016 retrospective post for a while now, so I figured a quick snapshot would be a good way to share how things are going.
Thanks for reading!