the expanding of a heart

The words have still been flowing. They have simply found their way onto leather bound journals and into conversations rather than here. A whirlwind trip around the U.K, an unexpected pregnancy, a flourishing and frustrating business, they all produce an inordinate amount of verbiage. For now, I'm keeping them tucked away in the private moments and pages, allowing them to marinate, soak in the richness of this season.

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Tonight is the first night in over two months that feels normal. Normal is a poor choice of words. It's not quite routine, rather it feels like home. The lamps are switched on in favor of the overhead bulbs, a few herb scented candles scattered, my man is watching football, and the pup is nudging toys around a new rug. Cozy. Relaxed. Intentional. Home.

This summer, two of my best friends have had babies. A third will be making an appearance any day now. Each new life, each swaddled bundle I hold, is showing me the elasticity of the heart. Somehow, my heart which has felt full for years, full of deep relationships and wonderful community, is finding room for these new additions. In a moment, I love my friends expanded family as much as I love them. 

I've always known we make room for a growing family, it's a natural and incredible love that includes and envelopes every addition. But I figured at some point, the heart would be maxed out on friends. On neighbors to pour into. On church community. On the sheer magnitude of people that make up a life. Yet, when something is elastic, when it has give, you can always fit more in than expected. 

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So as we sit, in a new neighborhood, a new church, a new addition coming to our family, I'm marveling at the expansion that is happening internally. My heart is swelling, making room for an influx of new relationships and new life. I feel it when I talk to the Lindas across the street (another story for another time) when we arrive at church a few minutes early on Sunday, when I kiss babies heads and throw in fun aunt presents into the cart. I feel it when we eat dinner with my man's clients, when we sit around the table with my soon to be brother-in-law, when I hang the curtains in the nursery. The scene at the end of The Grinch seems much less corny now. The expansion is so large it can almost be felt physically. 

It's a beautiful thing. And I'm praying I steward this new room well. 

Meredith Harper