Tag: thanks

day 15: their friendships

Friendship-Quotes-1Since I can remember, friendship has been one of the central forces in my life. And I have always struggled with it. I want to be great at it. And I want to be matched with people who are going to give it like I do. I love being in the throws. I want to run around together. I want to do life together. I want BFFs.

But grown ups have to adjust to friendship in different ways. You can’t responsibly drop everything to do all the things you want to do out there with everyone, and leaving my intimate friendships back in Illinois or scattered in other places has been a challenge. I want to hang on to them and try impossibly¬† to keep everything the same, and I also want to forge friendships here that are comfortable and feel lifelong, and that is hard-so-hard to do.

littlebffsEnter my children. It’s another absolute blessing they bring to me. I love to study how they do friendship. They each have a little of me in them: KK is fiercely loyal and wants everyone to like each other. Randa delights in the company of “her people,” and she loves big.

Tonight Randa has her BFF spending the night. As I tucked them into Randa’s bed, I looked up to see my little girl with the biggest smile on her face. She reached over and touched her friend on the cheek, reveling in the moment of togetherness.

It is one of the purest joys we can experience, but its season is short. We cannot keep friendships like we have as children, but I am grateful for the chance to watch my children have them. No drama, no complications… just slices of life shared and hands held and precious little giggles down the hall.

simply thankful

I am thankful for:

– news-bearing voice mails from friends
– catching-up emails from friends
– very random text messages from friends
– hearing from a friend in Staten Island, (Paul, my former boss, who also performed our wedding ceremony) that he and his family are ok after the hurricane
– new brakes on our van, and a very sweet & skilled friend who saved us a lot of money on them.
– God winks…
– friendly customers
– the ability to give people in Myrtle Beach proper directions (even though I still get lost myself sometimes)
– candy during staff meetings
– prayer during staff meetings
– Thanksgiving menu-planning
– 2 little girls who are learning to read
– 3 daughters who work with me
– a son and almost-daughter in law who asked me an amazing little ‘favor’
– having a husband home more nights than he is away
– not having to use the AC or the heat
– people who see the best in me

It’s been a good day.
Joy to the world, y’all!

enough for today

In the Bible, as God led the former Hebrew slaves out of Egypt, as they searched for the Promised Land of Israel, they were provided with food every day. It was unleavened bread, referred to as “manna,” and the people could only eat enough for that day. If they tried to store any excess for the next day, it would rot.

I have heard that story many times of the years, but this morning, I learned for the first time that the word “manna” derives from the Hebrew word meaning “What is it?”

What a jokester God is! And how apropos is that?! So often, His provision is just enough for the moment, and so often, it is nothing like what we expected, and sometimes, we cannot even tell what it is or where it is coming from or what exactly we are supposed to do with it.

I am learning not to question it. I am learning to accept it. I am learning that even if it looks small, tasteless, or less-than-desirable, what God has for me is perfect every single time.

~

On the fun side of things, here are some things provided to me over the past few weeks:

1. A visit from a sister

It was no small thing for Deanna to leave her husband and kids and work for 4 days and nights to visit me, but I hope it was as worth it to her as it was a blessing to me. We ate like oinksters, we watched fun movies, we shopped for cute stuff, we caught up on tons, she loved on my kids, and we cast some dreams together. This was our Official Planning Meeting, taken on the beach Sunday before we were caught in a big rain storm.

2. A box from a sister

;

Anyone else out there believe we have more than one soul mate? Maureen is one of my sister-friends who just gets me in an almost scary way (and if you have ever heard the two of us having a conversation, you might be scratching your head. I usually have to repeat myself 16 times before she understands me. It’s the subtleties of the soul I’m referring to here :) Her little package included books for my girls – how could she know that Pinkalicious is one of Miranda’s favorites? It included wet wipes, which KK just finished this week. It included a sweet Dunkin Donuts travel mug; my favorite travel mug (IRON MAN) was broken earlier this year and I still hadn’t replaced it. It included DD K-cups… I am almost out. It’s like she knew it all! And meanwhile, it included a book that she and some of our other friends are currently reading and want me to read “with them,” a Disney calendar marked with my special days, and an ornament that is meaningful on several levels. I loved opening this. It was almost like being with her. I can’t wait until I am.

3. Perfect jackets & thoughtful grandparents

;

There is a whole story behind this check. My parents gave it to us for our anniversary. I carried it around without cashing it, as I had it earmarked for something. Then when my parents were in town, my mom bought me a much-desired slipcover for our couch, so I told her I would just tear up the check. Then I couldn’t find the check. Then my dad wanted to buy jackets for the girls (their fall/spring jackets were getting small, and it takes awhile before it’s cold enough for the winter coats here). Then I found the check, and we decided I would use it for jackets. Then I couldn’t find anything I liked and we just made do with what we had. Then, De and I went to the Disney store on Sunday, and boom: perfect. They are quilted, cute, and the girls’ respective, favorite colors. Thanks Gramma and Papa! (And thanks to Mamaw & Larry and all my girls’ surrogate grandparents for constantly making my kids smile!)

4. Photos from afar

I still haven’t met my baby nephew. (December, hurry!) And even though I am mostly settled into life in Carolina, much of my heart resides in Chicago. So I am ever grateful for our digital age, especially when it yields pictures of little moments we would otherwise miss. We sent baby Danny this little costume/sleeper, and I love having the image to treasure until I can cuddle this precious life that shares my blood!

~

Someday, I will, in fact, write a book about the things I have learned in just the past year, and perhaps in particular, what I have learned about provision, and even more specifically, delayed provision. It always has a purpose beyond meeting our physical need. We need to grow enough to see that purpose, and then we will be in a place to use and enjoy that provision to its fullest.

don’t fit in

Someone shared this quote yesterday on Facebook – not to me specifically, but it sure felt for me specifically:

You CANNOT lead what you fit in with! Leaders always stand out from the crowd!
– T.D. Jakes

I have spent much of life trying to do the opposite. Whether by begging my parents for Velcro shoes in 2nd grade, or an I.O.U. sweatshirt in junior high, or to drive to school my senior year, or to live with my boyfriend when I was just 19, I was always attempting to do things that were 1) Not important, 2) Not accessible to me, 3) Not in line with the values/priorities I was being taught to keep.

I’d like to say that adulthood automatically made this tendency melt away, but it did not. Instead, I all-too-often find myself battling the need to “fit in,” to “feel comfortable,” to feel accepted or acceptable… when really, the call on my life – and on any life which follows Christ – isnot to go with the flow… but to stand out, be uncomfortable, and if so called, to blaze a new trail.

I am once again finding myself at a transition point… nothing dramatic, but a shift nonetheless. I can chose to make myself comfortable, to follow what the status quo looks like for a person my age, my gender, my family status, my skills (if such a status quo even exists!)… or I can go with my own “stick out like a sore thumb” flow.

I’ve chosen the latter. I don’t know what it all looks like yet, but I am excited.

He put his mark on us to show that we are his, and he put his Spirit in our hearts to be a guarantee for all he has promised. 2 Corinthians 1:22

It’s time to embrace the weird – which I have done before – but to do so without looking back.

~

In the spirit of thankfulness, I am thankful, so thankful, for some mentors in my life who reiterate the good words and the Word to me when I forget them. Where would we be without people who see the best in us and remind us it’s there, while at the same time see where we need growth and are able to honestly communicate with us? I know where I would be… cowering in a corner somewhere. But thank God! – He has blessed me with sister and brothers, some my peers, some older, some younger – who serve this purpose in my life. Because of them, I know how to do the same for others as well.