Monday, March 29, 2010
Friends In High Places
This is for my one friend that is currently reading this blog....not sure if I'll ever share this "place" with anyone else....so comment away!
The Lord has been bringing my friendships to mind recently. I'm one of the blessed people in this world that can say that I still have close friendships with people from my childhood. Good quality friendships that only time and trials can build. It amazes me how the Lord knew that we would all be serving Him side-by-side even as adults. When I look back, I see how His hand guided so many situations that have all played a part in our friendship today. Of course, it also helps that those childhood friends passionately love the Lord. There really is something about a three-stranded chord!
But here's what's really cool...I have newer friends that are just as dear to me as those that I've had for 20 years (or more). I would like to think that in all of my "wisdom" I'm just really good at picking out quality friends...now that I'm nearly 40. But we both laugh at those words, don't we!? The truth is, the Lord has woven my life together with folks that I wouldn't have ever picked. People that I felt were too different than me and would not really like me...or vise versa. Now, I celebrate those differences. I cherish the diversity within my friendships. Each friend brings something different to the table that greatly enriches my life and makes me a better follower of Christ. I'm so much stronger because of my friendships. For instance:
1) My friend Melanie insists on using her car blinkers (usually way too early, but nonetheless she uses them consistently)...I now use mine more...not always...just more. Through her actions, she continues to remind me about being hospitable and loving my children right where they are. She is also my only friend that is right there with me in the mornings teasing and spraying her hair...let's hear it for big hair! See, she's keeping me in touch with my roots...ha...no pun intended! She's the only one I would ride around town with on a moped at 35-years-old. I've helped her move more than all of my friends combined. She has an incredible ability to decorate. She gives my husband a harder time than anyone else...that's worth a million bucks in my book! Most importantly, she's been through so much...and still she stands. She is someone I can call up (even though she's 4 hours away) and vent to without being condemned. She loves me right where I am. And oh how she loves my children. She takes an insterest in them and knows them like a loving aunt would. She serves her family so well...and she teaches me to do it better. She loves the Lord and her faithfulness to Him is evident in every area of her life. She wears so many hats as a woman...and she does it with style, grace, dignity and tremendous organization and energy. I long to have more of all of those in my life. Ministering together again is something I long for, so very much!
2) My friend Chelsea (where do I begin)...she challenges me to read old books by old authors and I now know who Oswald Chambers is, and I actually own a devotional based on one of his books. She also keeps me young by teaching me about technology and cool lingo that makes me look ridiculous when I try to use it. She's also made me very aware of the random comments I have a tendency to make. I now watch my words a lot more. She brings great passion into whatever it is that she loves. Her sense of style makes me smile because it's just SO RIGHT on her! She's fun. She's beautiful. She's funny. I love her belly laugh. She has gorgeous teeth. (I know...random...but just sayin') She loves good food...enough said. She's adventurous. She's more high maintenance than me! ha! I've watched her grow over the past few years and I love what I see! I love her solid knowledge of the Word. Words can not express how wonderful it was ministering with her at a ladies encounter retreat. I love the way she teaches, the way she worships and how she's the opposite of my style...which makes us a great team in ministry. She brings the "this is a fact" Word of God and I bring the Kleenex...Bring it on Lord...Bring it on!
3) My friend Tammy...if I ever had a blood sister, it would be her. The Lord's hand was truly in the midst of our friendship that started back in the second grade. We have been through a lot. She is one of the most forgiving and positive people I know. When you have Tammy as a friend, you have someone that will always be true to you and will always look for the good in you. You won't hear her talk about people...ever. She encourages me. She is so real. She keeps me young by keeping me laughing...it's always an adventure when you go somewhere with Tammy. She's a horrible driver. This has made me a little more aware of my own driving. :) She never gives up. She's the hardest working woman I know. She may be little, but she's tough as nails. If she can do it...so can I!! When she loves you, she loves you with her entire being. She has taught me how to be a devoted friend and she's helped me to look for the good in people. She's so stinkin' beautiful...always has been...and she doesn't even care...she doesn't work at it...it's just a natural beauty from the inside out. She's a tom-boy in a beautiful body. She has 4 kids and not a spot of cellulite on her body. She is a major veggie and fruit eater...she eats her salads dry...hence the "no cellulite on her body" comment. She has gorgeous skin which she simply washes with hand soap every night before bed. Whatever to ya'! She can really sing and I'm sad that she doesn't use that voice more. Oh, and she can play softball like nobody's business! I smile at the thought of ministering with her one day...
4) Last, but certainly not least...there is my new friend Jenny. How close we have become in such a short amount of time. I was certain she and I wouldn't "click"...but man I was wrong and I'm so glad I was. She is exactly the missing piece I've been needing for so long. God knew I needed her. I call her the "Voice of Wisdom" because that's exactly what she is...a voice of wisdom. She challenges me in the Word...but she doesn't just challenge me, she gets down in the trench with me and fights by my side until the challenge is completed. She calls me out, with compassion, when I'm wrong. And taking that correction is so easy because it is wrapped in love. She's the only friend that has asked me to whip out the Word and read it to her in the checkout line of Wal Mart. I love it! She walks out the Word in every area of her life...including her friendships. She uses reusable bags at the grocery store...she's teaching me to go another shade darker of green. She loves food and plans vacations around food...that's how my parents raised me...finally someone who understands that vacation is about food! She lives simply. She doesn't weigh herself down with stuff and requirements and unnecessary lifestyles. She's reminded me about what's really important in life. I'm a lot freer because of it. I don't find myself trying to live up to some self-imposed standard when I'm around her. She's beautiful. I love it when she sings. Even before we were friends I loved hearing her anointed voice. She sees and speaks with clarity...clarity that only the Holy Spirit can provide. She has an amazing ability to memorize the Word...that pushes me to work harder at memorizing the Word...and the best part is that she's right there helping me. I love ministering with her. The ladies encounter was truly amazing...there is no coincidence that we were brought together...I await (anxiously) to see how the Lord is going to use us next!
As I read through these, so many things that I say about one really apply to all the others. I'm just so very blessed. I pray that they can say the same about me being in their lives. I would hate to think that this is a one-way friendship. I'm just so much stronger and richer with these 4 particular ladies in my life. There are others that have played a role in getting me to where I am today. I'm thankful for them as well.