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Posts Tagged ‘friend’

31525266111735619_mN9c2Kr4_bI have been pondering the question, “who am I?”

As I have been pondering and researching that question I have kept returning to the same response …

Before I get to that response, let me expose myself to you first (my kids would now place their hands over their eyes and say “TMI Mom” (too much information).

As I see myself, I see one word …

f   a   i   l   u   r   e

As a wife, I am a failure.
I love my husband, but truly I do not always like him. I do not put his needs first (unless he has done something to meet my own before that). I do not love him unconditionally. I do not save my best for him. He usually gets all the frustrations of my day dumped onto his shoulders (and the residual anger and frustration).

As the wife of my husband who is a pastor, I am a failure.
I do not even try to ‘work along side of him in his role. I do not sit with him in church. I do not spend my every spare minute leading Bible studies, teaching Sunday School or visiting the sick. I do not initiate connecting with people from church on a weekly, or even regular basis. I do not even play the piano!

As a mom, I am a failure.
When our three kids were born, I had such grand intentions. I whispered promises that I have broken over and over again. I have not stepped in when they have needed me to. I have ‘wigged out’ at and on them, like a wild woman. I have not tucked them in, with stories and prayers every night of their existence. I have not helped them with homework on a daily basis (in this I am a really big failure, because that is what I get paid to do at school!). Heck, there is a science fair coming up, and I have not done much other than edit my son’s paper. I have even told them, “no, I do not want to hug you right now.”

In my job, I am a failure.
I do not use my time well. I do not show up to classes prepared. I stand in the hallways and chat, when my students are in class. I do not always follow directions from my supervisors. I have even been known to leave early. I do not always like my students, my co-workers, my supervisors, my school.

As a friend, I am a failure.
I do not always make time for my friends. I do not always return their calls, emails, texts, messages quickly. I do not always remember their birthdays. I do not always listen actively to them.

As a child of God, I am a failure.
He, who I say is the most important part of my life, does not always get my attention … at all.

But …

Because I am a child of God, who I am is a reflection, not of what I see in a mirror, but who I am when His light is reflected through me.

Like the image at the top of the page, I am like that elderly woman. I am weighted down by the reality of living in this sin-filled body, in this sin-filled world. My body, my mind, my heart are aging towards their natural end … death. But, like that lady in that image, who I am is being reflected, not as I think I am, but as the beloved of the King.

“I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine”
Song of Solomon 6:3

Who do you think you are? In the light of your heavenly Father, you are

B   E   L   O   V   E   D

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As we walked down the streets of the village, the warm autumn sun shining brightly, stepping into and out of shops that caught our eye, I felt such a profound sense of thankfulness for this friend at my side. At one point, I introduced her to someone as my friend, and a realization filled my heart … I have a friend.

We have only known of each other for a bit more than two years, but my dependence on her in my life makes it seem like we have been friends since the beginning of time. We met through my oldest daughter who coached her kids, and had become friends with their mom, through swimming. I feel a bit like I stole this lady out from under my daughters sight.

I love her wit, her sarcasm, and her passion for anything she sets her mind to. I am excited for her, as she works towards her Masters degree, in education. I love that our friendship is one, not just of female conversation, but of just being comfortable and content to be together, whether over coffee, while grocery shopping or watching our kids swim together.

Her children are still in elementary school, and they bring back the joy of shrieking and giggling into my life. She even has fantastic taste in names, as she has a Little Ben, and I the Big Ben (considering her hubby’s height, I look forward to seeing if their titles stay, or switch, as they grow). Her daughter is a bright and focused first born, who loves books and pretty things. Her hubby is a good man, who loves his family and works a job that exhibits his care for community as a firefighter.

Although I do love their family as a whole (and get that mid-life-crises mama feeling of joy when her son and daughter wrap their arms around my neck), it is my friend who I love the most.

With her, I feel no need to ‘be’ someones mom or wife. My only ‘role’ is that of friend. I am not expected to open up and share my every inner thought and feeling, nor do I feel the need to have her reveal hers. We truly, simply, enjoy spending time together. Although I have never had a sister, I wonder if this relationship is what it is like to have a life-long, blood-related girl sibling.

For years I have struggled with having time for friends. Our life is so busy, that I have often felt as though I needed to guard my every spare moment for my hubby and kids. I have struggled with feeling that perhaps friendships within the church (hubby’s workplace) are due more to my hubby’s role. These struggles, I see now, are mine, and ones that I need to overcome.

This friend is not a friend from church, not a friend from a situation, it is like she was hand placed, at my side, by the One who knew I needed her in my life. I am thankful for her … so very thankful, and believe that we were placed at each others side for such a time as this.

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Good morning, and Happy Thanksgiving!

As I contemplated how and what to share, this Thanksgiving weekend, my mind kept bring me back to that which I am most thankful for on this planet, my family.

Oh, I read numerous blogs, by many other (far more gifted) writers, but none could push the thankfulness I feel for this ragtag group of individuals who I share both blood and home.

So, today, I want to introduce you to a friend, a blogger, a work colleague, a teacher, and an extremely gifted photographer.

I first met Damara Moe … hum, I cannot remember the context, but I am certain that it was at the school we both work. She has taught our three kids (and my ‘faux daughter’) french. She has coached my daughter in basketball. She is someone who is the personification of warmth, encouragement and gratitude. I simply love her!

Damara is also a very gifted photographer. It is not just her technical photographic abilities that she is gifted in, but how she creates an atmosphere of comfort, of fun and of intimacy when she is doing a photo shoot. She also tops all that giftedness off by writing a most beautiful introduction to the photo shoot on her blog.

My weird and wonderful family arranged for us to have a photo shoot with Madame Moe, last year. For two hours we all felt as though we were the most beautiful people on the planet.

When the photo disc arrived it was in a simple but beautiful gift wrapped box, that I almost didn’t want to open … except that I was so very excited to see what was inside!

So, today, in honor of Thanksgiving, I want to share those who I am most thankful for, and the gifted talents of a lady who I adore!

Introducing, Damara Moe, the miracle worker!

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Have you ever felt like ‘anxious’ is the most sincere response you could give to the common question, “how are you today?” I would bet my last dollar (which is the bank’s dollar anyway) that your response to that question was not an honest “anxious” but instead the typical response, “fine” with a sugar-coated smile to complete your fakery. I know this because I have done it too, and I think we all have. It is so very difficult to be honest about the things that we worry and fret about.

Anxiety, worry, fear … those are all common feelings to us all. They can rip at our very being, taking over our every thought, controlling our every moment, and even putting our physical health at risk.

Just last night I read the following:

“Do not be calm about anything,
but in everything,
continuing to grasp at control and busyness,
with an entitled attitude,
keep your worry to yourself.
And the stress and anxiety
that overwhelms and suffocates
will eat away at your
heart, mind and very existence.”

Now I do not know if this is original by my friend Jenn, or if she was quoting someone else, but, it really made me stop, and wonder, is that me? Is that how I, really and truly, live my life? Is that who I am in my most furthest place from “fine”, my truest me?

I asked myself, those questions and quickly replied to myself (yes, I do sometimes converse with myself … there is no mind reading in those conversations), “no, not me” … echos of “fine” ringing in my ears.

Then I thought of the day before;

  • I was not calm, but I had so much to get done
  • grasping at control and busyness, but I had to because things needed to get done
  • with an entitled attitude, but they needed to get done right, and that (of course) meant that I needed to do them!
  • I kept my worry to myself, but, well, what good does it do to burden someone else with my problems?
  • my heart, mind and existence were … occupied, full and frazzled … but, but

What my friend had written was the opposite, or flipped version of one of the most encouraging, strengthening, empowering and freeing messages of God to us in our broken, stress-filled, anxiety-ridden world and lives.

“Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation,
by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your
hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7

Why would we choose to allow:

“the stress and anxiety that overwhelms and suffocates to eat away at our hearts, minds and very existence”

over

“the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus?”

Thank-you Jenn, for flipping my thinking!

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