The small Georgia town where I live is just that… small.
I detested it when I first moved here—shocked and appalled that there was only one Starbucks and only one local coffee shop.
Where are the choices people??
But over time I’ve grown to love our little town—to love the family run restaurants we go to for lunch, to love the fact that we actually know the people’s names that serve us coffee every day, and to love the quaintness that is a small lake town in the south—even when it lacks the big-city variety I used to take for granted.
But there’s one thing I’ve wanted in this small town, and no matter where I searched, I haven’t been able to find it.
I wanted a chocolate croissant.
I’m not sure why I wanted one so much. Croissants have never been my pastry of choice.
But there was something about it—something about the flaky outside, and the dense chocolate inside—something about the way that those two elements would blend with a cappuccino that just had me dying inside.
I looked at Starbucks, to no avail. I went to Panera, nothing there either. I went to the local coffee shop—and while they have fantastic ice cream, I’m told, no chocolate croissants.
I was starting to despair.
I don’t even think it was the croissant that I was craving, but rather the experience that the thing would offer.
Because you don’t just eat a chocolate croissant.
You don’t grab one to go and eat it in the car with one hand while you’re steering with the other.
It’s not something you devour or eat as quickly as possible, focused on the not-being-hungry that it offers instead of the taste.
No, a chocolate croissant doesn’t do on-the-go very well. But what it does do is linger.
The flakiness of the pastry demands a plate, and I’m learning the hard way as I type that if it comes with a chocolate drizzle (as all good ones should), it needs more than a few napkins.
It’s big and awkward and sometimes ends up leaving surprises behind on your face. It’s not to be taken lightly or eaten quickly. It demands more of your time and attention.
And this is what I was actually craving.
It seems that life has been a whirlwind for the last month or so. My to-do lists have grown long, and I’ve been tackling them with a ferocity that limited time demands.
And I’ve been having more fun than I can remember having in a long time.
Family dinners have melted into sleepovers with my best friends. Trips to Chicago and Indianapolis and Denver and back have been full of good food, good wine, and even better people. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Except for the fact that it has me desiring just a bit of something else.
I need some time to linger.
I do my best thinking when I have some lingering time. I’m the most creative and inspired and full of life when I have some time to linger.
I am a pro at getting things done, and maybe even better at throwing it all to the wind for a night on the town. But I need this time—time to be quiet and read and think, time to savor and sip and get some crumbs on my face.
I need time to soak in the little miracles of the world instead of constantly looking for the biggest and flashiest ones.
And this is what I’ve been looking for in my flaky, chocolaty pastry.
I’ve been looking for an excuse to be quiet for a second—to snuggle into myself to read and think and dream.
And last night I got it.
There’s a Panera competitor down the street from my house called Atlanta Bread Company. We rarely go there—preferring the familiarity of Panera to having to learn a whole new menu.
But last night Carl and I went there for dinner, and as we were ordering our food I saw it.
A chocolate croissant.
I asked the man about it immediately, making plans in my mind to come back this weekend for that time I’ve been so craving.
But at the end of our meal Carl handed me his card. “Go get your croissant,” he told me gently. And he refused to let me pay for it.
And now here I am, thinking and dreaming and getting chocolate drizzle absolutely everywhere. And my heart is so full.
And this is the moral of the story.
Take the time to notice the things that your body and your soul are craving.
Are you needing more time with your girlfriends, or more time alone? Are you needing more time with God, or more time at the gym? What is it that this season of life is missing?
Listen to those whispering needs, and do something about them. Because that’s likely the thing that will help you not just survive in this season, but thrive.
And may God bless you with a chocolate croissant today.
What are you needing more of in this season of life?