My Friend

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

If you’ve spent any time near me at all you know how much I value the friendships that I have. I am truly blessed by the women in my life. Strong, loving, Godly women that I consider both sisters in Christ and silly co-conspiraters of brightening humanity.

But, yes there is a but.

It wasn’t always this way. Several years ago I was struggling with the loneliness my soul was experiencing. At the time I lacked the friendships that I have now. Sure I had friends and my amazing family, but something was just missing. I couldn’t really put my finger on it other than to say I was missing something deep and important.

12241233_10153520370909262_8530054053624368204_n

Each day in prayer Jesus met me there as I cried real, ugly tears about not having the type of friend that Proverbs 27:17 spoke of, one that sharpened me and I them.

Not sure if you know it or not but sometimes prayers are answered in the most unlikely of places.

On a parenting site, just trying to survive the toddler years.

In the dorms, trying to survive dorm living and drama.

In the school parking lot as we waited for a late field trip bus to arrive.

Serving in the 3 and 4 year old room at church.

Through a mutual friend.

Through your own kids.

Friendship is not limited by age, race, background or anything else but by heart…heart has to be involved. One of my youngest friends is 12. Yep. Sweetest little woman! One of my oldest friends is a sweet friends Mama. Sweetest little woman, too! For a bit of irony, the younger one is taller than me and the older one is shorter than me.

Each friend has a place in my heart and in my life. No, I don’t talk to them all often but with each of them we pick up right where we left off. Daily isn’t as important as is knowing who is always in your corner.

Who is in your corner?

Knowing who is in your corner is less about the pretty and more about the practical. When you have friends in your corner they don’t say what you want to hear but tell you what you NEED to hear. The hard things said in love are easier pills to swallow.

My corner has some amazing women in it.

Each week after a new blog post goes live I text one of my friends to let her know the new post is up. I don’t do this to gain readers but because she has expressed a desire for me to let her know so she does not miss a post. I always know when she’s read it because my phone BLOWS UP. Her encouragement is extraordinary! She’s in my corner.

When I am stressing a situation or just simply being silly over the unknown things another friend lovingly tells me to get my head out of my rear and just do it. She knows I need to hear that. She’s in my corner.

When I just need to laugh and enjoy a simple moment of jokes and rest in being near someone that has known me since my teens I have a friend for that too. She’s in my corner

When I need to be reminded of what I know. When I need to hear the promises of God laid out and my name added into their realities my other friend is there to bring those truths to me with wisdom, some laughter and even sometimes tears. She’s in my corner.

Granted these friends can’t always fix my problems but they do lighten the burden. Sweet friends, I encourage you to cultivate true, kindred friendships! Find those that make your heart happy to think of them.

Let me also encourage you to be that friend. You are not the only one in a friendship walking through storms. Make sure your shadows don’t overshadow your friends needs.

In the end, you need to have friends in your corner and be a friend in someone else’s corner.

Advertisements

Be A Shield

Proverbs 4:23 says:

Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.

I’ve heard it many times over that the enemy loves attacking marriages the most because a strong, united marriage can be a force- a ministry. Strong marriages carry the banner of grace, mercy, forgiveness, and a deeper love than any other so of course the enemy would want to stop THAT in it’s tracks. But lets be honest, sometimes we let him win this war rather than turning our marriages over to Jesus and allowing Him to bring victory in this area of our lives. Marriage is a war, two people daily fighting for their marriage despite a crumbling world around them.

Jim and I are guilty of this. We allowed sin and the enemy rip us apart. Our marriage is a beautiful story of redemption. So now it’s our hope and prayer that we can help others to build God honoring relationships and marriages.

Pay attention to special training.

We pay a lot of attention to others guard their hearts and their marriages. Taking special note of the strategies that are put in place to secure a safe haven for love to grow.

Credit: Fierce Marriage

 

Build a trench.

One friend recognizes how he for “a long time” did not honor his wife by whom he was around so now he has set a rule that if he is in a room/house/any where not in the open with another woman then his wife must be present even if there are other men there (including the husband of the woman present). It might seem like he has gone “too far” but it’s what he has to do for his wife and his marriage.

Know the enemy.

Another friend chooses to shut his cell phone off when he is with his family. His phone is not just a personal phone, but also his work phone so switching it off and focusing on those that matter most is his way of guarding and protecting this valuable relationship.  He knows the enemy in time with his family is his phone, by shutting it off he shows his family without words but by action that they are more important.

Stay in your own camp.

Jim does not text other women. If he needs information or something from a woman he has me handle it. As he says “I deal with the men and she deals with the women, it’s how we stay accountable.” It’s how we honor each other.

My point is simple: if we guard and protect this precious relationship we are in turn working to also cultivate many healthy relationships. When we allow our own sin, short comings, and others to breakdown our marriages we are setting ourselves up for trouble.

 

You Are Precious! (and Breaking Busy Book Winner!)

You alone created my inner being.
You knitted me together inside my mother.
I will give thanks to you
because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made.
Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.

Psalm 139:13-14

As a child my father told me regularly that I was not his and he simply found me under a rock. Maybe I was just a too sensitive child, or maybe not, but either way it hurt and scarred me for years. My worth was tied up in those words. If I wasn’t enough for my own Dad then how could I possibly be enough for anyone else either?

About two years ago I woke up to notes all over our apartment from Jim. Sweet reminders of how much I am loved and cherished. He spoke over me things that the Lord wanted me to soak in, things I needed to hear so chains could be broken and healing could be let fully in.

That morning after I made my breakfast I went to check my e-mail on my Mac, when I opened it I found another note. This one though wrecked me.

10622893_10152490653263893_4105142603625437651_n

I was completely undone with these simple eight words.

If you know me well enough you’ve heard this story before because I love to tell people the truth that I am more those hurtful words would have me to believe.

I am the daughter of a King,

I am His righteousness.

I am loved

I am redeemed.

I am enough.

And so are you.

I didn’t do anything to be any one of those things any more than I ever did anything for my Dad to not want to claim me.

You may have felt like I have at different times in your life, like you aren’t enough but you are. You are more than enough. At the feet of Jesus it really does not matter what others think or how they feel about you. All He sees is his love for you. A love that no earthly love can ever match up to.

If you need to, remind yourself of that daily, hourly, by the minute, or even by the second. Make post-its reminding you of how incredibly important you are and post them to anything that stands still. You were loved long before you were born and will be loved long after you are gone by your Creator. You were brought to this earth to serve a purpose. To be His masterpiece and bring Him glory through your beautiful life. And I know, life might not always feel beautiful, but when you stop and look closely we can see the worth and beauty in it you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

 

Now, I believe it is time to name a winner of a copy of Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington!

I am so very pleased to announce the winner of the Breaking Busy book giveaway is Barbara W. You will be receiving your copy of Breaking Busy from me (via amazon) on the release day! Thank you everyone that liked and shared the post!