Saturday, June 30, 2007

Everything for a k/King

Chuck Swindoll has been teaching through I Corinthians 7 lately. This is the passage that discusses marriage, singleness, and divorce for believers. The focus in this passage is: How do we, now believers, live in the world as we wait for our Lord to return? Paul tries to clear up how people should live by instructing us to not go looking for what we don’t already have, unless we have to. And here’s his reasoning:

I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord's affairs—how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife—and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband. I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord. (vv. 32-35)

Being free from the affairs of this world and being undividedly devoted to the Lord see to me to be really good things. But I have often struggled with this passage, because while I do want these things, I also want to marry. So many people have ideas or opinions on, or interpretations of, this passage. Based on the above passage, some say that unless you are called to marriage, you should remain single.

Others say that unless you are called to singleness, you should marry. They say that if you are to remain single, you’ll know because you’ll be able to accept your singleness (some even say, without desire toward marriage). They take this from the first part of Matthew 19, where Jesus speaks to the issue.

Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."
The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."
Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
(vv. 8-12)

I have always told the Lord that I am willing. Either way, I am willing. (This hasn't always been true, but it has always been my goal.) There have been times when I thought that because I could accept being single, I should just remain so. Other times, I thought that because I desire to be married (and because the Lord has refused to take away that desire, even when asked), that perhaps the Lord was calling me to marriage in the future. As I pondered the kingship issue on Sunday, I could hear God’s Spirit asking me, “J, would you ask me for a king?” And crisply and—I am so thankful—instantly, my heart said, “No. Lord, if the choice is between you and anyone/thing else, I choose You.”

I don’t know if this is the choice I am (or others are) being asked to make, but if there’s a choice, I choose my God. With finality. Always. Forever.

From the moment of my response, I have had such peace. I can live without looking (ladies, I know you know what I mean). I can live without another. In ways that I have never experienced before, I have contentment on levels I didn’t know existed. How sweet is the ministry of His Spirit and His truth.

Perhaps I am single for a season, perhaps for a lifetime, I cannot know. I don’t know if tomorrow I will be content or distracted, filled with joy or sorrow. But I know in whom I have believed, and I know that He is mine. Forever. And that is worth everything.


(c) 2007

Friday, June 29, 2007

On Kings and Rings

So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, "You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have."

But when they said, "Give us a king to lead us," this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the LORD. And the LORD told him: "Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will do." -I Samuel 8:4-9

Have you ever asked for a king? I have. Not a real king, as the Israelites asked for, but a tangible person or thing that would lead me, rather than following my Savior alone. Let me back up and supply a little context/history for this passage, and I think you'll understand (and perhaps identify) with what I mean.

Up to this point in Israel's history, they have been led by Moses, Joshua, and then a series of judges/prophets, all people who were directly led by God (God's spokespersons, so to speak). This lasts for a couple hundred years, give or take. God speaks to his people and leads them directly. Under the judges, they go through cycles of sin, repentance, and restoration (many, many times), but each time, God restores them to His leadership.

But then we get to I Samuel 8 (above), and the Israelites decide they no longer want God to reign over them, "...they have rejected Me as their king." They want to be like everyone else, " appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have." In order to be like everyone else, they reject God's authority in their lives. (This seems especially grievous in Israel, since the very thing that set them apart was the fact that God had called them out from among the other nations: "For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession." Deuteronomy 7:6)

This is where my life takes on similarities. It occurred to me this past week that this danger of 'asking for a king' is open to us today also. Specifically, as women, we can want a husband/our husband to be our king. But though a husband has specific responsibilities for guidance and leadership in a home, he isn't a king, he doesn't take the place of God's authority in our lives. Single women tend to ask God for a 'king.' Married women tend to view their husbands as their king. But God never releases a believer from direct responsibility to His voice and guidance in his or her life. Our sin natures lead us toward usurping God's authority--that's the very nature of sin--but God's Spirit tells us to be listeners to His quiet voice.

The good news is this: Even when we reject God's authority and ask for something else, God works all things for His glory. David--a man after God's own heart--came to influence as Israel's third king. And from his great line, came yet another king, the ultimate one, Jesus. So even if we’ve messed up and sought other authority in our lives, there’s still hope. There’s always hope in Jesus. Psalm 107 repeats this phrase four times: “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.” A simple ‘restart’ is all it takes to return to the Lord. For believers in Jesus, repentance is always an unlocked door.

I realized Sunday that I had been in danger of asking for a king. It’s not wrong to ask the Lord for a husband; if that is a desire, you should express it to God. But there is a subtle difference of the heart when you substitute the word 'husband' for what you really mean--'king.'

My old nature clamors for a king, my new nature yearns for The King. The din can be overwhelming at times.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Well, I guess I took myself a little vacation, huh? (For those of you worried about my grammar skills, that is actually a language similar to English called "Southernese." In Southernese, that is correct grammar.)

Where have I been? Well....after wearing myself out during Music & Arts Camp, I spent time trying to clean up the mess I had left behind at work. Then, my mom came to visit (yea!) and I took some vacation time. Then I spent some time trying to clean up the mess I had left behind at work. (I have one of those jobs where the work just sits and waits for you when you’re gone. Actually, I suspect it's making like a rabbit and multiplying, but I can't prove that.) Then I wasn't feeling very well, so I took a sick day, and since then I've been spending time trying to clean...well, you get the idea. :-)

I don't have long now, but I wanted you to know what was up. I'll post more (and better) later.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pause for a Pleasing Meditation

I don't have much time now, but I just want to focus my own mind on the brilliance of God's glory. Exodus 34:29 says, "When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD." Moses brought the beauty of the Lord to the presence of the Israelites, but their minds were closed to--fearful of--the glory of the Lord.

The same was true in Jesus' time on earth; the same is true now. However, in CHRIST, the veil is removed, and we become reflections of Him, with 'ever-increasing glory'! How great is His gift to us; we can be as Moses once was, as the angels are, gazing upon His very glory. We can bring the very beauty of the Lord to the presence of those around us.

2 Corinthians 3:13-18: "We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

Oh I so want to be so in His presence that even when I turn toward others, His face is seen. "One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple." -Psalm 27:4


(c) 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


1. When did you come to believe in Jesus? Tell your story! (as long or as short as you like) :-) I was immersed in a sea of believers when I was a child. Parents, grandparent, aunts, uncles, and family friends all knew and believed on Jesus. We were constantly at church or at a children's Bible club, where my mom, grandmother, and aunt were all teachers. My father was in seminary. Blessedly, it seems that there was no escaping the message that I needed Jesus!

Somehow, by God's grace alone, that message came together in my conscious mind the fall before I turned...four. I know, I know, but you know, I remember it. I remember understanding that I had done wrong things and that I couldn't go to heaven to be with God having done those wrong things, EXCEPT that Jesus died to pay the price for my wrong things, and that I COULD go if I believed that. Pretty basic, but that's all it takes.

I was alone, kneeling on the bottom bed of my bunk bed set. I remember understanding, and then I prayed, telling God all of this. I walked out of my room, so confident that I was now a believer that I told my daddy, "Dad! I'm a Christian now!" He doesn't remember this conversation, but he replied with a very good question, "Great! Why do you say that?" I sensed that he was reticent to believe me, so I responded by committing my first post-salvation sin. I got really mad and stomped back into my room to pray again--just to show him!

2. What difference has #1 made in your life? Oooooiiiieeee! I asked this question and I find it difficult to summarize. All the difference. There hasn't been one thing in my life that has remained unaffected by that decision 30 years ago. It is so sweet to trust in Jesus. And even when I don't want to trust and run away, even that is a reflection of and a reaction to my relationship with Jesus.

3. What is your favorite Scripture passage? Why? I love the Scriptures SO much! It's very difficult to narrow down my answer, but I guess I would say Psalm 116. In so many ways, this is my testimony: "I love the LORD for He heard my cry, he heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live." Especially continuing through verse 9. This was my song as I emerged from my clinical depression, around 2001.

4. Tell about a time God answered a specific prayer in your life. How did that affect/change you?'s the biggie. Many of you know that I spent my entire educational career--through grad school--preparing to go the mission field. (This is not an exaggeration; I began pursuing missions by the time I was entering 1st/2nd grade.) The experiences I sought, the degrees I pursued, were all oriented toward going to creative access fields. Well, as soon as I finished my degree, the Lord impressed upon me to stay put, right in the city where I lived. Okay, sure. I figured this was a short-term proposition. But year after year, I kept getting, "Wait," as the response to my prayers about missions. Finally, five years in, I asked the Lord, "Please tell me, am I staying or going? I just want to know which direction to point my nose."

That evening, I picked up right where I left off reading the Scriptures the day before, Ezekiel 3. God is commissioning His new prophet, and He says (vv.4-6), "He then said to me: "Son of man, go now to the house of Israel and speak my words to them. You are not being sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel- not to many peoples of obscure speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely if I had sent you to them, they would have listened to you." The words popped off the page to me just as if they were 3-D! It was one of the most indescribable moments of my life. Then the Spirit of God said to my heart, "This is the answer to your question."

I couldn't talk about that experience without crying for almost 2 years. It was such a shock to me. In Bible College/Seminary, everyone asks themselves if they are "willing to go." That was never my question. Mine was, "Are you willing to stay?" That day in 2004, God called my bluff, and told me to stay. So here I am... :-)

5. Do you remember a time that God made a Scripture passage especially clear to you? Tell! I was in junior high the first time I ever really remember seeing God's truth for myself. I was reading in Philippians 4, and saw this (vv.4-7): A+B+C+D=PEACE
A--Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
PLUS B--Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
PLUS C--Do not be anxious about anything,
PLUS D--but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
EQUALS PEACE--And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I had never before noticed that this promise--peace!--was conditional. It was the start of a love affair with God's Word.

That's enough for now, I think. Ta-ta until tomorrow!


(c) 2007

Things I'd Actually Want to Know About You

June 12, 2007 - Things I'd Actually Want to Know About You

So many lists circulate these days, and while they can offer interesting tidbits (and occasional TMI moments), they rarely cover the things I want to know about someone. So...Here's my list. Lurkers, join in too! If you don't want to post to your own page, submit it as a comment on this one.

I hope you will consider answering some of these, 'cause these are just some of the things I'd want to know about you! Don't feel pressure to answer all of them, though; this isn't a test! Pick the one(s) you like or have time for today. Have fun!

1. When did you come to believe in Jesus? Tell your story! (as long or as short as you like) :-)

2. What difference has #1 made in your life?

3. What is your favorite Scripture passage? Why?

4. Tell about a time God answered a specific prayer in your life. How did that affect/change you?

5. Do you remember a time that God made a Scripture passage especially clear to you? Tell!

6. Who has influenced you in your spiritual walk (family, friends, mentor, pastor, authors, etc.)? In what ways?

7. Sometimes we get to share His story with others. Is there a particular story that you want to tell about that?

8. Is there something in your history that you would change if given a chance to?

9. What's a vice in your life? Any virtues? ;-D

10. What's your favorite way to worship God?

11. If you could possess one (real) talent or gift that you haven't already been given, what would it be and why?

12. What is an important lesson you have learned? How did you learn it?

13. What things are you really passionate about? What sets you ablaze?

14. What do you love or appreciate about God?

15. Where have you be especially effective in serving God? (This isn't prideful; if you've been effective, it's because of His Spirit in you, so really it brings glory to HIM.)

That's a plenty good start! Next post, I'll give my answers. Looking forward to yours!
(c) 2007

Monday, June 11, 2007

Availability, or, Lessons Learned from MAC

Last week during the Music & Arts Camp, we had many youth helpers on campus. They did a GREAT job, better than any other group of youth workers I have ever dealt with (and I've worked with a fair share). One of the workers was assigned to be my personal helper. During a conversation with her, I began to explain that hers was a bit of a harder job than the youth workers who were assigned to a specific class. Those workers always knew what they were to do, what their assignments were. She, on the other hand, had times where she was just hanging out, waiting for a need to surface. Her job was to be available, and though she would have more slow periods than the other youth, when the calls came, her jobs would often be more important to the function of the camp that of the youth in the classrooms.

Even as I reached this conclusion, I realized that this lesson applied to life, my life at least. What I have wanted, where I thought I was going, was a life where my responsibilities were clear and defined, with no lag time left over. What God called me to do was to be available and ready. I don't know that this ends up being more important, but for me, it does end up being harder. If I were a missionary on the field now, I would know my path, my responsibilities (generally); if I were married, someone else would be in the lead. But as it is, God has called me to pull back and simply be available. That is a tougher task, but it is my calling nontheless. Sometimes I wonder what will come out of this--something great? something wonderful? valuable?--but I suppose it's not mine to know. So I'll focus on being ready, on being available, and know that the defined tasks belong to others, at least for now.


(c) 2007

Music & Arts Camp As History

Okay, well, I just ran out of time and energy last week and couldn't post anymore. The camp went fairly well, wrapping up with a showcase on Friday night. Overall, things went smoothly, but frankly, I am a-worn out, still. I wasn't able to sleep much this weekend, just couldn't get my body to do it. Maybe I can catch up some this week, but really I need to CLEAN MY HOUSE! It is yuck! And, my mom is coming for a visit this weekend. Which is really wonderful, but I really would prefer that my house not be gross when she arrives. :-)

Thanks to those of you who prayed and supported me through this time. I am hoping to return to 40-hour work weeks now, not the 60-70 hours I have been working. I am tired just thinking about next year...ooooooiiiieeee!


(c) 2007

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Meeting in the Details

You know, I love when God meets us in small ways. Yesterday, I was doing pretty well until I had to spend an hour on my feet shopping for our Music & Arts Camp AFTER I had already worked a 10-1/2 hour day (mostly on my feet). My knees were killing me (old injury) and I was just hobbling around these stores trying to find what I needed, and in the absence of finding it, trying to improvise.

I ended up at Wal-Mart, and since I went in to just get a couple of things, I didn't grab a cart (known as a 'buggy' in the South). By the time I had looped most of the store, my arms were literally full, and my knee ached so much I wasn't walking to the door to get a cart. But I *NEEDED* a salad (I've eaten almost no vegetables/fruit for the past 4-5 days and my body is not happy for it! It's very unusual for me, but I've been so busy...)

So I'm standing in front of the lettuce bags and I literally turn to a stranger standing there and say, "I'm sorry, but could I ask a favor? I didn't get a basket when I came in. Could you put a bag of lettuce on top of my pile?" She takes one look at me and says, "Here, take mine," and gives me her (almost empty) basket and goes and gets another one for herself. By this point, I've worked 12 hours, and I hurt and I'm tired, and I was just so grateful and encouraged by this one woman's generosity, so freely given that she MUST have been a believer. There was no hesitancy at all. Or maybe she was an angel. :-) I just know that I was so blessed by her kindness.

He is beautiful, even in the little things... :-)


(c) 2007

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Music & Arts Camp, Day 2

June 05, 2007 - Music & Arts Camp, Day 2

Wow, so much better! I am not nearly as worn out, and things seemed to be rolling right along. Yea!

Thank you, Father.


(c) 2007

Sixty (Stolen) Questions

Okay, I've seen lots of these go around and figured I'd finally get into the act. So I stole them from my friend's blog. I didn't see a (c), so.... LOL! Let's see...

1)How old do you wish you were? I kinda like now; anytime between 30 and now (34).

2) Where were you when 9/11 happened? At work. I worked at a church then. We got a call when the first plane hit, so they turned on a TV and had everyone gather around. At this point, remember, we don't know it's a terrorist attack; it seems like a terrible plane accident. I remember thinking, "Why did they call us together to see this? Bad things have happened before and we didn't stop the work day." We went back to work and a few minutes later...well, you know. It was an awful, awful day. I still won't watch things that reference that day/week/month. I still cry thinking about it.

3) What do you do when vending machines steal your money? Push the refund button. If that fails, well, I just walk away.

4) Do you consider yourself kind? I think I'm generally so. I try hard to be.

5) If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be? If? You think I don't have one? I am a woman of mystery.

6) If you could be fluent in any other language what would it be? Probably Spanish just for practicality's sake, but I'd rather be fluent in Russian or French. French is beautiful and Russian so interesting. What I'd really like is to be able to speak whatever language is being spoken. Wouldn't that be a cool superhero power?!

7) Do you know your neighbors? Yes and no. Two of my neighbors are *very* close friends, but the rest I only know so-so. Go two houses down and I don't know them at all. :-(

8)What do you consider a vacation? Traveling away from home and exploring someplace new. No offense, but I don't consider visiting family a vacation. I have rarely had vacations in my life, even as a child.

9) Do you follow your horoscope? Nope

10) Would you move for the person you loved? Absolutely.

11) Are you touchy feely? Occasionally, but not generally.

12) Do you believe that opposites attract? Often, but not always. I think it makes things interesting, but not always smooth.

13) Dream job? Wife, mother, discipler.

14) Favorite channel(s)? With cable, HGTV. Since we don't have cable, channel 10. LOL! Okay, NBC.

15) Favorite place to go on weekends? I rarely go anywhere. Sad for someone who likes to travel so much.

16) Showers or Baths? Always showers. I don't enjoy baths at all.

17) Do you paint your nails? No. My nails hate all forms of remover, and my eyes hate chipped nails.

18) Do you trust people easily? Depends. To a certain degree, I afford everyone trust immediately, but on a deep level, very rarely.

19) What are your phobias? Hmmm....I can kinda get carried away on germ-free hands, but I can turn that off if I need to.

20) Do you want kids? Yes. I'd love to have bunches (assuming I still have the energy to manage them), and I'd love to adopt from all over. Think Angelina Jolie, only I'd be married.

21) Do you keep a handwritten journal? Periodically. It's not usually what is happening, it's more what I'm thinking or learning, especially spiritually. Kinda like my blog.

22) Where would you rather be right now? New Zealand, Europe, in the mountains. You name it, I'm there!

23) What makes you feel warm and safe? Hmmmm....No special thing usually.

24) Heavy or light sleep? Heeeeaaaavvvvyyyy.

25) Are you paranoid? Who's asking?

26) Are you impatient? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

27) What is your favorite candle smell? linen

28) How do you feel about interracial couples? Love them! Wish I was one. My babies deserve to have some dark-skinned genes mixed in with my pasty ones. To pass on such pasty-ness is surely cruel and unusual punishment.

29) Have you been burned by love? Not really. More like...not yet found. :-)

30) Whats your life motto? When in doubt, don't. (from Romans 14) I'm working hard on it being something more like, "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

31) What's your main ring tone on your mobile? Ringing. I don't hear the other rings.

32) What were you doing at midnight last night? This is unusual, but I was actually sleeping. Music Camp wore me out.

33) Who was your last text message from? I don't usually text, but one of my aunts does all the time.

34) Who's bed did you sleep in last night? Mine, and mine alone. :-)

35) What color shirt are you wearing? Granny Smith Apple Green (It looks pretty awful on me, but it matches the color of the Camp shirts, and I didn't have time to wash mine from yesterday.)

36) Who is your favorite artist? Name an impressionist.

37) Name three things you have on you at all times? Watch, ring, and earrings.

38) Are you wearing underwear? Always.

39) How much cash do you have on you right now? About $60. That's my food budget for the next 10 days.

40) What is your favorite part of the chicken? Breast

41) What's your favorite town/city? Chicago!

42) Who got you to join Yahoo 360? Me. I was looking for a free space to blog.

43) What did you have for dinner last night? Applebee's appetizer sampler, split with my best friend.

44) How tall are you bare foot? I claim 5'9".

45) Have you ever smoked heroin? What an odd question. Don't you smoke crack and snort heroin? Anyway, the answer to both questions is no.

46) Do you own a gun? No, and don't plan to. Don't mind if others do so responsibly, but I don't feel the need to.

47) What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee, strong, with one sweet-n-low, and lots of French vanilla creamer. It should be the color of caramel.

48) Do you have A.D.D.? I'm sorry, what did you say?

49) What time did you wake up today? 6:20-ish. VERY unusual for me. This is because of music camp. Usually I wake up around 7:45/8:00 a.m.

50) Current worry? Paying off stupid (aka, credit card) debt. I've come so far, but have so far to go.

51) Current hate? This is silly, but I hate having an exhaust fan on when taking a shower. I really like to steam up the bathroom.

52) Favorite place to be? One of my favorite places to be is the public library. What a great invention. I also like being at the Biltmore (Asheville, NC).

53) Where would you like to travel? You name it and pay for it, and I'm there!

54) Where do you think you'll be in 10 yrs? I'm afraid to answer this question.

55) Last thing you ate? Soft peppermint candy.

56) Song that you sing in the shower? I don't usually sing in the shower, but if I do, it would usually be a worship song, or maybe something from old Broadway.

57) Last person that made you laugh? Some of the youth workers at our camp this week.

58) Worst injury you've ever had? Having my gallbladder removed was awful. I'm pretty sure he botched something, but I eventually recovered, mostly.

59) Does someone have a crush on you? One can only wish...

60) What is your favorite candy? Varies daily.


Monday, June 4, 2007

Music & Arts Camp, Day 1

Well, I've made it through day 1 of our Music & Arts Camp. I'm the music administrator, so a lot of the responsibility for the event has fallen to me. It was good, but here it what I realized today: I am OLD! Oh my goodness. I was tired out before the morning was half over! Okay, okay, maybe some of that had to do with the fact that I worked 7 hours yesterday (Sunday), and many 10-12 hour days in recent weeks, but STILL! I'm going to have to join a gym before next year's camp or I won't make it! LOL!

The only hard part is having to say no to the parents who want their kids moved (classes are full and closed) or, worse yet, want their kid enrolled (registration ended over 3 weeks ago). I know we even have a couple of kids who were very upset today, but I don't know how to help them without opening Pandora's box, so to speak. Oh well, 99% happiness will have to do I suppose. :-)

Well... I'm gonna drag my tired hiney back to work for a little bit to prepare for tomorrow. Then, I'm gonna head home. (I have to wash my shirt asap, as I sweated a good bit today. Nasty!) The good news is...I'm gonna sleep well tonight! LOL!

(c) 2007

Sunday, June 3, 2007

My Friend

Today is the birthday of one of my dearest friends. She lives far from me, and we haven't seen each other in several years, but she is still one of the most special people in my life.
When I think back over the 23 years we have been friends, I see some really good reasons why we are (still) friends:

1. We share history. That little saying that says "New friends are silver, but old friends are gold," is absolutely accurate. I can look to her and know that she "remembers when," knows my family, understands the circumstances surrounding my growing up. She's seen me be selfish and ugly, frightened, anxious, and sad. She's seen me wrestle with my sins, and (hopefully!) grow. She has held me up when I needed support, and she's done so without ever asking for anything in response.

2. She is faithful. She wouldn't let me go. I am a lousy communicator and a lousy initiator. She never let my failures stand in the way of our friendship. She called me, wrote me, even sent me packages. She is the reason our friendship has remained. I hate that it is true, but my weakness would have let such a valuable relationship slip away. She was strong in place of my weakness. For her faithfulness, I could not be more grateful.

3. She is beautiful. Though she is beautiful physically, I am most grateful for her beautiful spirit. She brings beauty, joy, and grace to those around her. She offers of herself in so many ways. Here is an example of her thoughtfulness. When I lived overseas, so far from home at Christmas, I received from her and her mother a GIGANTIC box filled with all things Christmas, including a small tree with ornaments, candy canes, and even pictures drawn by the children in her daycare. Ooooiiieeee, I cried! It was wonderful! My students in Korea were stunned and my co-workers jealous, but I was just so thankful to have her for a friend.

There are so many more reasons why I am glad to have her as my friend, but today, especially, I just want to say,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RACHEL! You live a life worth living. And I love you.