Monday, September 8, 2014

Friendships Through The Seasons

Yesterday in church was a sweet day.  Lucy and a couple of her friends had "graduated" to the next level of children's ministry.  Granted, Lucy still has some anxiety over being in a class with some older kids but the class is well divided & I got to hang out with some awesome Kindergarteners & 1st graders. And Lucy & I both learned from the lesson, had a great time worshiping through songs
and met some new friends!

Okay -- so to the "sweet" part ... during prayer request time, Lucy spoke up and asked prayer for one of her best friends from preschool -- a little girl she hasn't seen for over a year.  Her friend started Kindergarten a year before Lucy did.  But Lucy remembered her friend had been very sick and wanted everyone to pray for her. (Lucy's Mommy is sharing this with the little girl's parents as well.)

At this point several aspects of life went through my head:
*how I seriously want to have the heart of a child when I grow up
*how I truly want the heart of my granddaughter who cares so much for the feelings of her friends
*what kind of "friend" am I to others
Since one day I hope Lucy & Tag will read the thoughts & words of their Granny through this blog, here's a little of what I have experienced through having "best friends" at different stages of my life.

My cousins were my first "best friends". We all lived around our Granny and quite a few of us were within just a few years apart.  We were always at someone's house playing dolls, spies, tag, made up games ... we were always with each other ... sharing toys, clothes, "secrets".  And to this day, we all still talk about our childhood days at Granny's and what a special childhood we all had there.  We were never "bored" and we would spend the night at each other's houses although we may have spent the whole day playing together. We shared a bond that has continued throughout our adulthood. 

I also had a best friend in high school.  Sometimes I would spend the night at her house and catch the bus with her to school the following day. She was the only friend my parents would allow me to sleepover with on a school night. I dearly loved her parents ... they treated me just like I was a part of their family. She & I would do different things together -- roller skate (she took lessons with me although she was the one who actually knew how to skate), we were in band together, we talked and talked about teenage girl stuff.  She was truly a wonderful friend. And, the best part -- not only did we reconnect a couple of years ago through Facebook but we've caught up with each other over dinner one evening when she & her family were close in town. (Wish I had taken a picture but we were so busy catching up!)  We may live several hours away, but I am truly thankful for our reconnection.

Then I started working during the 2nd semester of my senior year in high school. I was cashier at a grocery store "in the city" about 25 miles from my house. I would leave school at lunch every day then go to work. I became close friends with a girl I worked with and stayed close to her for the next couple of years during college. We would meet up before or after classes/work ... I spent time at her house ... she, her brother, her parents & her Aunt became a special part of my college years. I have also reconnected with her over Facebook as well.

I've had two other pretty close friendships in my life that I could say that I could truly "be myself".  Both were ladies I worked with many years ago -- one in the commercial development company we both worked at and one was a teacher that I had substituted for while she was on maternity leave. These 2 ladies have known "me" in my adult-age.  I've reconnected with my office colleague/best friend.  Although we live in different states it's always good to "see" her and her family.

Throughout the passing years,  I've often wondered about other friends that I've lost touch with from years past.  I'll be the first to admit that friendships evolve and grow through our various seasons of life. And in those seasons are an array of circumstances ---
joy to sorrow
encouraging to challenging
words spoken to words unspoken
But I believe there is one common theme that runs through each of these ...
and that is simply

It is through prayer that we hear God's direction in our friendships ...
we know the time to rejoice and the time to weep
we know the time to encourage and the time to challenge
we know the time to speak and the time to listen

My family faced crises when I was younger ... and I was so very thankful for my best friend and her parents. They were always there for me for anything I needed.  They simply were there for me.
I believe that sometimes friendships go through times of testing. When a friend is going through a crisis, what do we do? 
offer advice ...
tell them how to "fix it" ...
say "well, if you hadn't of done blah-blah-blah"...

It gets back to hearing God's direction. Sometimes we all need to hear challenges ...
but sometimes we simply just need a friend
to pray
to listen
to encourage

I will admit that I am probably NOT the greatest expert on friendships.  When there's a bit of life going on under one roof of 3 generations, sometimes friendships take the back seat.  Sometimes our "seasons" may last for a different duration than someone else's season.  The thing is this ... although we may walk alongside our friends, we cannot actually "live" their seasons for them.
Each of our circumstances is as unique as we are unique individuals. 

God has His plan ...
God has His timing ...
our friendships need to be focused on "His" -- not "ours"

So, if you know of a friend who is facing a challenge, I believe the very first action that needs to be done is simply prayer.  And through this prayer, ask God for HIS guidance on how to be a blessing to that person.  I haven't always taken the time for this step ... but I truly believe that once that step is completed, God will direct the steps that follow.

I pray that my grandchildren will always be blessed in their friendships
and through their prayers. 
And I pray that each of us will have the tender hearts toward our friends
just as Lucy has modeled for me.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Wordless Month

So ... I had this post all laid out with words and pictures ... then I must have hit a button on my laptop (still in the learning phase of this new touch-screen) ... and every single thing disappeared -- except for the title and the labels. 

So, in a nutshell (since I cannot remember everything I had previously written) ...

We're still transitioning in our household and sometimes the words just aren't there for me.  As much as I try to write a post, sometimes my mind gets so cluttered with things that are going on & I simply just have to "abide" (CLICK HERE to read the significance)
Over the past several weeks ...
GG and Grandpa came for a visit when Jacqueline & the 2 little ones were home.  As you can see, it's always a great time with all the "greats"!

 And then our family vacation to Disney World ...
Granny knocked over the "50" ---
we celebrated "everything Tag" since he's a tax season kid ---
celebrated Lucy entering her school career ---
 and on our last night there, Lucy lost her first tooth!

I've got more pics to show of the past couple of weeks, but will post them in a day or so. We've had a wonderful weekend and now it's time to get ready for a busy week ahead...
As I may not have posted as often over this past month, it is always my desire that
my words are HIS words.  It's quite often that when my words are quieter or
perhaps even unspoken ... that His words are my focus and my meditation. 
And it's a reminder to me that He always directs my path as well as (hopefully)
the words to my posts.
Have a blessed week, dear friends ...
and may God direct your steps through each and every moment of your days.