Luxuriate: Reflecting on RELISH

I am a very good luxuriater. Especially in the mornings.

Try as I might, I tend to appreciate the act of laying in bed, doing nothing, while trying to wake up over a cup of coffee over any other AM activity (aside from sleeping, of course). Life has gotten in the way of my morning walk routine but Josh and I have slipped another into it’s place (#winning).

We have a ridiculous number of coffee makers — auto drip, pour over, French press, Vietnamese. In a few short months we’ll cash in on a cold brew. We shall be lousy with java and I couldn’t be happier (or better caffeinated).

Each morning when the alarm goes off and the synthetic birds begin to chirp, whichever of us is on the outside of the bed (we haven’t claimed sides) gets up and makes a couple small cups of brew. The mornings when we really don’t need to rush, we prepare some Vietnamese egg coffee — a beverage way better than our American minds anticipate it to be.

To make it yourself:

  • Brew 4-5 oz dark, strong coffee — preferably via a Vietnamese coffee press but any dark roast will suffice. To lessen the potency, use a dollop of sweetened condensed milk.
  • In a small bowl, separate 2 egg yolks (discard the whites or use them for breakfast), 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 Tbs sweetened condensed milk. If the weekend, include half an ounce of kaluah or Bailey’s. 
  • Whip the egg mix with an electric mixer/whisk for 2-3 minutes, or until custard becomes stiff
  • Pour atop coffee
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg

For reals, try it. You won’t regret a single sip.

They say appreciating small pleasures is the key to happiness. Coffee in bed with My Favorite Person never fails to help me RELISH in the life I have. Even during work turmoil or personal strife, these beginnings have me counting gratitdes for a life so wonderful I’d never had believed it would be mine. 

I Asked for Wonder & #VOWrelish Moments

Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote, “Never once in my life did I ask God for success or wisdom or power or fame. I asked for wonder…”

I spent most of last week, walking around Maui, praying to God something similar to Heschel. My prayer was simple and all I felt like I could ask for in those moments, because we hadn’t spoken in quite sometime: Please, give me something to marvel at.

Maybe it was too much to ask. Or maybe it was just a big one coming from me, given I am still trying to sort out the whole God thing.

But I desperately needed something to mean more. I needed to feel small in the expanse of something instead of invisible.

I didn’t get wonder. To marvel.
But there were little moments.

And maybe sometimes that is all we can ask from life: just a little bit of relish, just enough light to get us through the day.

This week, we intend.

Steph’s RELISH mantra: Relish everything that’s inside of you. the imperfections. The darkness. The richness. And light and everything. And that makes for a full life.

Steph’s Song of the Week: End of the Line by VVE

& Don’t miss Lin’s post on #VOWrelish (coming soon!).

Scribbles on #VOWscribble

I read this quote the other day, which I posted to The Vow Venture’s IG feed:

“When I write notes in my journal, I am just trying to scribble down as much as possible. Later on, I decide whether to follow some of those first impressions or whether to abandon them.”

And yesterday, as I came to our site to digitally pen my #VOWscribble post, I lived the those words. I sat down at my laptop and, as Hemmingway put it, bled.

Out of me poured years of bright red pain, feelings of unworthiness, unfulfilled wishes, disappointed expectations, projected standards, soul-deep jealousies, recent revelations, broken relationships, and immeasurable loss.

And then, when it came time to publish it, I just couldn’t. Not because they were first impressions or even initial reactions, but because, as Kristen Tippett once wrote:

I think that the truth of that poem is not about true things or things that happened, bur rather in the question are we not of interest to each other….Are we human beings who are in community, do we call to each other? Do we heed each other? Do we want to know each other? To reach across what can be a huge void between human beings….I crave knowing them that deeply. And so it’s most intense with one’s beloveds, but I think it’s a way to move in the world. And if we don’t do that with language that’s very, very, very precise–not prissy, but precise–then are we truly knowing each other?

The thing about scribbles, is that I believe they have the power to save our sanity, but as I have learned all to well and all to recently, words make worlds…or destroy them. And sometimes we should take what we can from our scribbles and then let them go–unfinished, untyped, unpublished, and unsaid.

I will not stop writing my story or speaking my truth, because, as Krista Tippett also wrote, we crave truth tellers, but I will let those scribbles go, because they need reframed and reexperienced from a different angle so they can be of service to someone or something. Not just blood pooled all over a very expensive laptop.


Be sure to catch Lin’s #VOWscribble post. (Coming soon!)