I have been blessed with some dear friends. I know you have, too.
I think it is important to affirm others and lift them up, don’t you? We live in a fast paced world and everyone is so busy… I have a feeling stopping to edify someone isn’t on most people’s daily to do list.
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another…” I Thessalonians 5:11
A good place to start, is with our family. Do they know how much you care and how proud you are of them? Is there someone that needs to hear your voice today? If you can’t call, you might send a card and share your heart with them. It just might change someone’s day.
Several years ago, I was told something that wounded me to the core. They said,”Just because we are related doesn’t mean I would or want to your friend. If I saw you walking down the street, you would be the last person I would be friends with!” I know, right!? Is that how it feels to be stabbed? Maybe?
When family and friendship means so much to you, words like that will make you leery and scared to be who you really are. Afraid you won’t be accepted or liked. It’s easy to stay to yourself and not put yourself out there to risk being told cruel things about yourself. Who needs that in their life? Not me!
There comes a time when you have to move on and realize that isn’t how the Lord intends you to live. He wants us to enjoy our family and to have friends. Encouraging and edifying others is how we are to live. Get busy with making the world a better place by seeing the good in others and being friendly. We all have a purpose and wonderful to be able to share it with others.
We have such an amazing God, don’t we? He gives us just what we need when we need it. I believe one of those things are friends. Think about your friends for a second. How did you become friends? Did it involve you taking a chance and just being kind to someone? Maybe just being interested in them? Caring who they are, where they’ve been, where they are going? All it takes is being interested in others and then truly caring for them. Do all your friends look and act just like you. Dress alike, talk alike, think alike? Granted, that is fun to have someone that you think just alike, but how about those that have different things to offer. Don’t ever think that because someone lives differently than you could never be your friend. As in the person that told me they would never be my friend and made it a priority to make fun of my dress, my lifestyle, how I raised my kids, etc. Instead of focusing on the differences and ridiculing them, it could be that we should look at our differences and learn from one another and we just might find that we really aren’t all that different.
When we lived in Oklahoma, I went to a co-op meeting that I heard about and wanted to learn more about ordering organic food. I didn’t know much about this, but I wanted to learn more. When my order came in, I drove to the home of the lady that the food was delivered to. I should mention I got lost a couple of times while driving to her house as she lived on a ranch with horses, gardens and lifestyle that was so different than mine. She homeschooled like me and I was excited that we had that in common. Only she had nine children and I had two. So many interesting and different things about her world. They even had a family band and all the children played a different instrument. I was intrigued. Instead of getting my order and leaving, I felt like the Lord had given me a chance to meet someone very interesting that I needed to hear from. Since that day, I gained a friend that I still have after 15 years. We live far apart, but I know she is there and I love hearing and seeing all that she does to fill her days. She recently left a comment on one of my blog posts and she gave me permission to use it. I share it to show that yes, you can be different and still have a special friendship.
“Loved reading this post!!! I’ve always marveled at how different we are in our tastes, you are so stylish and glittery and I’m just kind of a down to earth natural with very little fashion style, but it really surprised me to read that all the things that you can’t do, I can… I knit, I draw/paint, I do play piano, even though I haven’t for years. I think it is just our different ways of expressing beauty. 🙂”
One of my memories with this friend is the time we met at a tea room for lunch. As we were talking about various things she got tears in her eyes as she was sharing. I reached in my purse and got her a tissue and handed it to her. This wasn’t an ordinary tissue, it was a leopard print tissue. She then looked at it and started laughing and said, “Of course it is.”
How sad it would be if I would have let that friendship pass due to being “different.” She has been a huge inspiration in my life! By the way, if you want to be inspired by her, visit her website. She is an amazing and beautiful artist. (I can’t even draw a stick figure!) Click here to visit her. By the way, I think she is very stylish!
I just have to share one more friend with you.
Alicia and I met years ago before Jim and I got married. We didn’t really get close until our kids were almost grown. What fun we have had. Yes, we are as different as night and day but yet we have so much in common. How does that work? We’ve laughed ourselves silly and prayed for each others kiddos….and now grandkiddos.
To give you an idea of just how different we are in a few things, maybe the picture will help explain.
Alicia would rather haul a pile of wood to the other side of her property and wrap a chain around the trunk of a tree, get in her Mule and pull it out of the ground. Then go ride a horse for the afternoon. Me? Not so much! But, yet, I love getting together with her and learning all that she has to share. Alicia can cook an amazing meal at the drop of a hat! Me… I have to plan and think about it for a while. She is strong and isn’t afraid of too much. One time many years ago, when my husband was the Jr. High Director of our church, Alicia and I decided to go decorate the bulletin boards one late afternoon. We were upstairs working away and all of the sudden the lights went out. It was as dark as dark could be. Alicia had the stapler in her hand and so we headed downstairs in the dark and I held on to her shirt. She had her stapler out just in case a monster or whatever was in the building. The main switch was all the way downstairs. We had to walk all the way down the hall, down the stairs in the dark to get to the main switch. It seems someone that was in the office had left for the day and turned all the lights off thinking no one was in the building. Yes, she was my hero that day! I would have had a heart attack if I were there by myself. I wouldn’t be writing this right now…I’d be long gone! I told you she was brave!
Thank you to these two ladies who have loved me, prayed for me and most of all, I can call you, My Friend!
I hope you have had the blessing of a friend that is not a cookie cutter image of you and loves you just as you are!
I would love to share more
but, I will save it for another day….
Is there someone you need to call or send a note to, today?