Thursday, May 8, 2014

Friends Who Amaze


 Prov. 13:20a Be with wise women and become wise

A tribute to the friends in my life who love me in spite of my quirks, faults and times of insensitivity.  Their beauty and strength of character have enriched my life and the sum of their add-ends to my life is beyond measurable value. The Master Designer has woven their threads into the tapestry he's stitching of my life. Some are golden filigrees, others strong cords,  while many are colorful floss that outline and define.

You know you have good comrades accompanying you on the journey when the way they travel gives you hope, admiration of their strengths, and desire to learn from their skills.  While reflecting on several friends walking besides me at this time in life, my heart swells in appreciation for who they are and how the Master is working in them.

She ministers to a husband in the final stages of cancer. Although the days are long and new daily losses steal desires, plans and the normal rhythms of life, she remains full of grace. She learns the new skills she'll need when he is gone; things she depended on him to do. No complaining, but accepting. Far from self-absorbed, she still keeps my affairs in mind and cares about my activities. She graciously accepts the gifts I offer and understands when my words seem inadequate. I praise her strength.

She managed the feat of moving into the country homestead...with her one weekend. Her son and wife toted things into her house , the one she called home for over 30 years. The son will rent her place until sometime in the future. My friend's sisters helped with cleaning and packing. No complaining, only looking with expectancy to serving the 'folks', cooking them supper in the evenings and helping her husband keep the house and property maintained. It will be temporary, but I admire her willingness to serve family and to give up her own space in the process.

This friend takes her Bible Study materials, notebook computer or other home-work and rides in the cart when her husband plays golf, just so they can spend more time together.  They are both retired.  Other days she will sit in some isolated corner of the casino, happily occupied with her own non-gambling interests while her husband tries his luck at the games. Rather than nag him about his habit, they have worked out a money agreement where he has a limited fund to play with, and she trusts him to keep his promises. No complaining, even though she would rather he give it up. She is quick to praise his strengths and loves him dearly. I am impressed with how she can entrust it all into her Father's hands and focus on the good she sees in him, knowing he shares her faith, even though  some of his boundaries are more fluid than hers.

And how about the step daughter who sacrificed family, friends and a home to move 700 miles away so her husband could take a job he really wanted? Her new home is bigger, newer and shared with her in-laws. Texting and skyping have helped her stay close to those she left behind.  After 7 months, the grand kids are happy, the husband is advancing in his company, and they have settled into a new home church. She is amazed that the new church has edged its way to the top of her Best Church Experience list. No complaining, just keeping up the prayer vigil so her heart can stay yielded and open to all of the adventure. I applaud her for jumping in with both feet, determined to make it work, eager to find a place to worship and make new friends.

Who are your heroes today? What are you learning from watching them?

Father, may I respond to my challenges, large or small, with grace, humility and no grumbling and complaining. 

My work place is in upheaval; may I contribute positive support, even when I don't understand decisions that are being made. 

I've had more visits to doctors in the last 6 months than I've had in all my previous years; help me trust in you so I remain confident in your goodness.

My church is facing leadership changes; keep my attitude positive and my head in the game.

May others see that you are in me.

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Thanks for sharing your response!