Tuesday, April 1, 2014

On Friends

It's April 1st.  My first April in our new home in Vancouver, WA.  We've been here almost a month.  Most of the boxes are gone, things put away, but there are still lots of things sitting here and there, me unable to decide where to put them.
Amidst the putting away, sorting through, setting up, my heart overflows with gratitude.  But as I knew would happen in time, I am really starting to miss my friends and family.  I am thinking this morning of dear friends.  I have very different and unique friends, each one such a huge blessing in my life.

I've known Ginger the longest.  I'm not sure how to describe Ginger, she is definitely a force to be reckoned with.  She has a tender and good heart which sometimes is not so evident in her zeal for accomplishing a task, or if she is dealing with injustice.  I know how she does so many things anonymously, or almost anonymously, I know how she loves her family passionately and desires their good.  I know that at the lowest point in my life, she swooped in, picked me up and helped me put one foot in front of the other when it wouldn't have happened otherwise.  I know that when I needed a place to live that I could afford, she was 100% instrumental in arranging it with our landlord whom she also rented a space from.  I was present, but she made the whole thing happen, got him to agree to a bigger space and nice renovations.  She has kept my hair cut when I could never pay her, I could go on and on.  To say she saved my life is not an exaggeration.  Ginger is the person you go to when you want action, if she can literally help, she will.  She's a good listener and I love our conversations about our Lord.  I am blessed to have her in my life, we chat every few days, even now that i've moved, and hopefully she will come visit soon.

Next longest is Pat, sweet sister to me through thick and thin.  We met through Calvary Church's mentoring program they had for a while.  We hit it off so well, we just kept meeting....that was about 7 or 8 years ago I believe.  Friend of my heart, that I can tell anything to and not fear judgment, always a joy  to spend time with her.  She has treated me to more meals than I can ever count, and so many other things through the years.  Her generous heart is an inspiration to anyone who knows her.  I will never forget our 1st anniversary.  We had planned a dinner at home, which is fine, but because of Pat's generosity, we were able to drive over to Brookings for a special dinner, and stopped at the Big Trees (as we've dubbed them) on the way.  I will never forget it.  I have called on her for rides, for prayer, for whatever was needed, and she was always there for me.  We prayed for each other, shared our hearts over gallons of coffee.  And we love each other's families, particularly her Thomas and my Josh, each of us understanding our heartache at their incarceration.  She and Chris are coming in May...I cannot wait!!!

And my soul friend, Sue.  I almost haven't the words to describe what our friendship means to me.  When I have been my most ugly, most depressed, and don't want Pollyanna answers or a kick in the butt, but someone I know will empathize before the afore mention butt-kicking, I have gone to Sue.  She instinctively knows when I need a gentle answer, or a swift kick, lol.  When she, Tom, me & Dave are together we have a grand time!  Laughter is abundant and mutually loving hearts reside.  Sue and I email through the day, almost every day, unless one of us is away.  Her words of wisdom have helped me more times than I can count.  She has a way of almost always seeing the "big picture", while I focus on the miniscule.  When we are together, time flies and our hearts become light.  Many times when at my worst, I have invited myself to her lovely home, Bridgehaven and always been welcomed.  I go, promising her and myself to stay for only a little while, and every time, the whole day goes by and I must rush to get Molly's car back to her in time.  A gracious host, wonderful cook, but most of all, a loving, understanding friend is what Sue is.

The common thread with my friends is their love for the Lord.  They are all uncompromising in that and all they do flows from it.  What sweetness to share with them.  This is a foretaste of Heaven I am sure.  For now, we are far apart, I hope we still see each other from time to time.  I know it will seem like yesterday that we were together.  I thank my friends for their invaluable contribution to my life, their love and support means more than they'll ever know.  But I know that He knows, and I pray He will bless them as much as they've blessed me.

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