1. That local breakfast spot (because every town has one!)
Here in Lynchburg, VA, it’s called Market at Main, located in the heart of downtown, where tall ceilings and huge windows beckon you inside. The best way to describe it as Cracker Barrel-meets-your-local-Diner, leaving you to carry the scent of Fried-Green-Tomatoes in your hair all day. It’s the place I bring every out-of-town guest, where I’ve celebrated countless birthday brunches, and polished off who knows how many sweet potato pancakes after a long weekend run.
2. Summer Camp: College Edition
I’m about 8 weeks out from my graduation, and one thing we always joke about here at Liberty University is how our residence life is really just like summer camp. We have nights where our sleep-deprivation makes us resemble sugar-high wiggly campers, with plenty of silly outbursts causing us to get shushed from girls down the hall. Then of course, we have the days that resemble the end of summer camp, when things get dramatic and serious as the Biblical teaching reaches a climax, when you’re forced to recognize your sin, or finally come face-to-face with the Lord. And you lay awake at night, realizing these bunk bed days won’t last forever, and sooner or later that bus will come and take you away from a world of dining halls and community bathrooms. And the harder you try to cling to those last days of summer camp, the faster they seem to slip through your fingers… so finally, I’m here just recognizing how lovely it feels to live in this alternate universe, surrounded by friends as we feel so old, away from our parents, yet still so young, stating out at the “real” world which looms closer and closer each day.
3. Bachelor Nights
You might be judging me, thinking “What’s so lovely about cheap or trashy TV?” Just let me explain. My first summer home from college, my friend Amy invited me over to watch the Bachelor, which turned into a semi-tradition. Each week a group of whoever-was-in-town would sprawl out in her living room over heaping mugs of ice cream, feeling adult enough to even let Amy’s Mom sit and watch with us. And we laughed and we ate and every so often we’d unsuccessfully try to shush-up the group to hear a dramatic conversation, until we realized the true beauty and reality wasn’t what’s happening inside the TV, but the life we were living together while talking over it.
4. Trail running
Lynchburg is home to this underground running community of crazies who practically live on our beautiful, but really steep, trails. I am not one of those people. But still, there is something to be said about feeling completely isolated for an hour out in nature, following a crunchy, winding path, jumping over branches as light breaks through the leaves. You just can’t see God’s manifestation the same on a treadmill, and getting out on those trails always helps reset my focus and my heart on the Lord (while getting a great workout, so win-win).
5. Kitchen Meals
In about 2.5 seconds, my Mom can whip up a bread and cheese platter, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve protested this. “No, Mom, I’m not hungry. We are on our way out. I really have somewhere to go…” And then like clockwork, I find myself sitting around an empty plate two hours later, with my heart and my stomach full of community and laughter. I love it when meals unfold unconventionally in the times we need time with our families or friends the most.
Lexie Daché is a self-proclaimed city girl who traveled down south with the intent to study Advertising and Public Relations. While parked in the heart of the Bible Belt, God got a hold of her heart, revealing a passion (dancing along the edges of obsession) with transparency and authenticity. She blogs about not having-it-all-together over at LexieDache.wordpress.com
(If you’d like to be featured on The Loveliest Things- send me an email! Stephanie@stephaniemaywilson.com)