DSC_0076I have been in Texas for four days. I thought there would be more cowboy hats, boots, and tumbleweeds. My stereotype of Texas, at least where I am in the Dallas-area, has been shattered. I don’t know what I thought it would be like here. Maybe constant eating of BBQ, cow tipping, honky-tonks and line dancing at night?

What I have found is LOTS of polite, friendly people, beautiful, big green trees, landscapes to sit and stare at for hours, and a whole part of my family that I have never even met.

Isn’t that strange? Meeting family that are total strangers to you? You’d think it would feel awkward, but it wasn’t. Probably cause I love to meet strangers, and when those strangers share the same blood as you it’s even cooler! Plus they are hilarious! They are vibrant, and loud, and laugh a lot, my kind of people.

I love listening to them share their stories, maybe because of their accents, maybe because I just love stories, either way it’s nice to learn about their lives, these people that are related to me, yet still strangers.

But today I needed some alone time, so I split from my dad and aunt, to go and find some coffeehouse to write and hang out in. Texas, unlike my Bay Area and Pacific Northwest, is VERY short on indy coffeehouses, I have been looking for one since I got here. So imagine my surprise, when less than a mile from my aunt’s home, I found Life House.DSC_0070

Filled with some of the friendliest Texans I have met to date, this place would make Seattle proud, with their organic, farm-to-table-fare and on-site roasted coffee. I had the pleasure of spending a few hours (they do that here in TX, sit and chat freely) hearing the story of how Life House came to be from the owner/operator Jeremy.

His passion for people, and creating an environment where they can come and live life together is contagious. He is intentional about everything they do at Life House; from the name badges, which are leather wrist bands made by his dad, to knowing every farmer by name that he buys from, to roasting the coffee, he has put thought and effort into all of it, and it shows.

Stumbling on this place and getting to share a few hours with Jeremy was definitely a Divine Appointment that I may have missed, had I not stepped out of my comfort zone and asked the question-”What is the story behind this place?” I will share more of their full story in another blog, but for now, let me encourage you to ask someone in the next few days- “What is your story?” Maybe put it differently depending on the circumstances, and then just listen.

It’s really amazing what can happen. The more I do this, the more blessed I get and the more I learn about the world and the people around me. So will ya try it with me this week? Just ask someone to share their story with you, or the story of your favorite restaurant or charity or whatever. I’d love to hear how it goes, comment below or e-mail me at jenharp@comcast.net.