Whether it's my husband, my sister, cousin or aunt, my BFF, or someone I've just met; there are just some folks that God put into our lives for a reason, for a season. We might be the same age, or 20 years between us. I might be young enough to be your daughter - or old enough to be your mother. Maybe we hardly spoke in high school, but just a few years ago God's knit our hearts together with social media tools and lots of prayer. Our friendship might have been at it's height 30 years ago...but it was really real. We remember.
No matter what the story, what the reason, or who you are - I'm thankful for you - my true, genuine, authentic friend. You do life real with me, and it's not always pretty. We love each other anyways.
So, not in any particular order, and not always corresponding with some of my really real friendly photos - welcome to what I love about you.
She comes to visit, even when it's not around the corner.
We giggle together. A lot. Over nothing really funny.
She picks up your kids when you're too sick to get out of bed. She doesn't blink an eye when you answer the door in your sleep clothes. And she's got chicken soup in her hands. AND chocolate!
I know that she's praying for me, even when I don't remind her daily of the things that are going wrong in my life.
She might remember the way you used to be, but she doesn't remind you of the ugly stuff. She gives God glory for what He's changed in me.
You believe in me. Always. Even when I don't believe in myself. Even when it's a crazy pipe dream that I'm too A.D.D. to hang in there with and finish to the end. You tell me it's a great idea, and I should try.
She listens to you as you
You share each other's burdens, cares of the world, even when your lives look very different (or exactly alike), and she never questions your motives.
She hears the best, and the worst, about your husband/parents/kids, and never mentions a word to another soul.
You value authenticity as much as I do.
She will be that wailing wall, as you confess your sins to her; more than a nasty attitude, the real ugly. She doesn't stop you, knowing that it needs to get out, be done, so you can be a better friend, daughter, wife, follower of Jesus.
You practice living the Bible out loud with me. Daily.
She prays for me. Even when I don't want to be prayed for. Even when I REALLY need it.
She celebrates the pounds lost. With the GOOD chocolate.
You let me be real. Genuine. Authentic. Even when it's wearing baggy hippie clothes that make me look
You inspire me to do great things. Even the laundry. Even to fold it and put it away. Even to pray for my husband while I iron his shirts.
She tells me how gifted, graceful, lovely I am - because she sees God developing that in me - not because of where I live, or what I own, or whether me (or my kids) are perfect or not.
You don't look at my quilt so close that you can see where the sewing isn't on the lines, where the stitching isn't teeny tiny. You see the beauty and labor of love that went into each stitch, love my fabric choices (even when they aren't your favorite colors), and the pattern I chose. You appreciate my effort, and love that I do this, even if you don't quilt - or even if you're a way better quilter than I am.
She totally gets when you're so mad at your kids for the crazy things they are doing, and how you miss them so much in the same sentence.
You challenge me to get deeper with God, and always point me to Him and His Word.
You challenge me to grow as a Christian. As a daughter of Our King. As a sister in Christ.
Sometimes it feels like we've known each other forever....
She sees you without make up. Often.
You're brave enough to correct me
We listen to each other's stories, over and over, until they become our own.
You don't tell me my hair's too short (when it is), and you consoled me when I tried (again) to get a perm. (Please don't let me ever get a perm again!)
You love my parmesan pepper rolls, and always want me to bring them.
You tell me I'm beautiful, even when I don't see it outside, don't feel it inside.
You let me apologize, and forgive me. Always. Even when it's the hard stuff.
We always fall into step when we talk or see each other, no matter how long it's been. We love each other's kids, encourage each other in marriage, miss each other's grandkids. We see the best in our life circumstances, and understand the worst, and pray together - out loud and over the phone - or holding hands in quiet utterances - over the hard spots of life.
Won't you join me on this month long journey of thankfulness? I'm looking at the extraordinary, not just the norm. The eccentric things that aren't always mentioned, not the easy, superficial or plain. Of course, I'm thankful for my husband, a home, family.... but I'm striving to go deeper than that, to a truly grateful heart. You can sign up above this post, just under the title...