By Meredith |

I have this thing with the word “or”; I just don’t really believe in it. I believe in “and”. I don’t respond well to phrases like, “you can’t be and have it all” – why not?! Yes I can! I certainly believe in having your cake and eating it too. Why would one have cake that was not to be eaten? Ridiculous.

But more, I believe in cake and ice cream.

I believe in beautiful and intelligent women.

I believe in great mercy and great justice.

I believe in optimism and realism.

You might say I am not good at settling, those who love “or” can settle.

But God has been showing me something very freeing about all my “ands”. See I have always thought that to not miss out and to have all things in my life then I need to myself be all of these things. I suppose it won’t be a secret to announce that this can be a bit exhausting and frustrating (the irony here is not lost on me). Instead, I have been learning, having a life filled with “ands” may not be about developing all of them for myself; but rather, about allowing my life to be filled with people who are radically different to myself — people who can bring an “and” into my world, and to whom I can add an “and”.

This requires just one new trait, openness. What I am discovering is that allowing openness to ways that are outside of my normal stream of thought brings lots more “and” into my life. Spontaneity would not be among my top attributes. An activity only has to be mentioned in passing and I am off in a wiz of planning, organizing and strategizing. I married a very, wonderfully spontaneous man. It has taken me a little practice, alright I’m still practicing, but I have found that when I am open to his spontaneous ideas, let my tidy plan get messed up, I am almost always glad I did. He brings “and” into my journey. Suddenly, I am organized and spontaneous – not on my own, but together. I have a little trouble with emotions; mainly, I am still not sure that I have them, at least not in the way that I see other people have them. But, God has blessed me with amazing friends who are fabulous with their feelings and with digging mine out… when I am open. And when that happens, there I am again private and vulnerable.

Openness is not always easy, and I am still getting the knack of it, but I am finding time and time again that it multiplies the best things in my life. So I want to encourage you, be open to things outside yourself, see if you can’t go find a little “and” for your journey this week.