Tag Archives: friendship

sharing the love

It is a very cool thing when we (bloggers) put our thoughts our into the vast universe that is the internet and we see that people are actually reading them! Even more exciting when people take the time to comment or give you a fun little award!

one lovely blog award

I have the privilege of knowing Alanna of Selfbinding Retrospect both in person (a little) and online. She is a very clever and witty writer and has a way of adding humour to the simplest things. Her post about not wanting to be pregnant again and high-fiving angels when the test was negative still makes me laugh any time i think about it. Such a great mental picture. So thank you Alanna, I adore your writing and it was so sweet of you to pass this on. The Lovely Blog Award rules stand as follows:

  1.  Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Share seven things about yourself.
  3. Nominate other bloggers. (The rules actually stated that I have to nominate 15 but that seemed like an awful lot – so I’m taking away the definite number because I’m a rebel like that. That was Alanna and I completely agree. )
  4. Notify the nominees.
  5. Put the award on your blog.

So here are a few of the blogs I love to read:

  1. 6 and a Half Hearts – I fell in love with Lisa and her family when I met them at Sick Kids. I love her heart and her hope.
  2. A Daughter of God – My sister-in-law’s blog. She doesn’t update super often but when she does her words are beautiful.
  3. Walker Family Ministry – Dave and Katie were in Bible School with us 9ish years ago. They are missionaries in PNG. Every time you comment on their blog their chubby little baby smiles. ūüėČ
  4. See Jamie Blog  РJamie is a much bigger name than I am in blogging. I just love her blog and her heart for foster children.
  5. Our Good Family – Aurie is so sweet and is a foster mommy like Jamie and just seems like the sweetest person possible.

Those of you who know me personally or have been following my blog for a while may know that I am a bit of an airhead so that is all I can think of right now but I know I will probably be kicking myself later when I remember another blog that I love. ¬†(Maybe I will come back and add it then) Have a beautiful day and don’t forget to give your favourite blogs a bit of love. It makes our days! signature

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friendship, loneliness and the facade of perfection

I’ve been thinking yesterday and today about how we, as women, often misrepresent ourselves and and the women around us. We look at the women around us and assume that they have it all put together that they never feel lonely or desperate or discouraged, and put on a face (sometimes on purpose sometimes not) that makes us look that way to other women.

So many of us women spend a lot of our lives lonely and longing for deep friendship with other women. Women were made to need each other, we need other women to push us to godliness, encourage us when we are down, laugh with us and cry with us and sometimes hold up a mirror to show us that we are behaving like selfish spoiled children.

It is easy to look at the women around us and assume that they don’t feel this way even when we do. It is scary to put ourselves out there and ask for friendship, to admit loneliness and show our hearts and risk rejection.¬†It can also be scary to approach someone you think may be lonely and offer your friendship.

I was talking with a friend yesterday and it reminded me of the days when i was in the place, I had just moved up from Chicago and 3-4 years of intense loneliness and pain . In my naivety I assumed that simply moving ¬†to where there were a lot of women my age and attending a church full of young couples would change that but I was wrong. For months I spent time watching other friendships and wishing to be part of one and not quite sure how. (I am not a quiet person so don’t assume that just because someone isn’t shy, quiet, introverted or because they always have a smile on their face that they are not desperately lonely.) It wasn’t until I reached the bottom and was *forced* by my mom to call of ladies that things started to change. I started to experienced real friendship again for the first time in a really long time.

It is scary to open ourselves up, friendship is hard, it takes a LOT of work to maintain and our lives are often so busy. Maybe we already have one or two deep friendships and don’t think we need more. But what about those lonely souls around us. The ones who smile at us and make small talk on Sundays. The ones who look like they have it all together. What if you could see past that shell into their desperate hearts? What if they are crying for someone to spend time with them and pray with them and listen to their hopes and fears.

I pray that God would open our eyes and our hearts to those around us who are secretly lonely. That we would either be that friend they so desperately need or that we would pray with them for bravery to seek that friendship.

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*To those dear women who have become those friends to me, I cannot thank the Lord enough for you. I am so blessed through you.

*I in no way want to belittle the friendships I had in Chicago with the sweet ladies I worked with, if you girls are reading this know that I love you dearly. And Allison, you were a beautiful light in such a dark time and you will forever be one of the dearest friends I have -despite distance and seeing each other only once a year. And my mom and sister, you have always been there for me and I love you so much.

 

Bloom and In Real Life

What an amazing weekend! I had the amazing privilege to take some dear friends (really wish I could have taken a LOT more of my friends but it was sold out and I was lucky to get as many tickets as I did) to a women’s conference at my mom’s church. This is the second annual one (with Ann speaking) and this year it was also a part of the big¬†In RL¬†worldwide conference.

(sorry for some slightly blurry pictures, I used a small point and shoot camera that I am not used to)

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Our group of about 125 people was so blessed to have Ann Voscamp as our speaker since this is her home church.  She was SO good!

web-0514 As usual I was in tears more than once….. LOL

The topic of the inRL conference was “Staying in Community” and Ann talked about being a real friend.

How God uses community to heal us from the pain we have from bad community.

Even though it can be really scary to make friendships with women because we can be so hurt by other women, we desperately need each other to heal and grow and learn and just have fun.

web-0516 web-0520 During the talk we each took a small rock from a pile on our tables and wrote down one or two things that is holding us back in our friendships with other women. Rocks that we use to build up walls….insecurity, fear, past hurt, brokenness, were just a few of the things written down. On our way out we were encouraged to take a rock or a bunch of them and throw them into the pond beside the church.

It was really a neat thing to do I thought. There was a lot of cool symbolism in holding two rocks that are holding back my sisters in Christ and to throw them as far as i could where the water would wash away the words and the rocks would be gone for good.¬†web-0521 web-0522 Oh, ya. And we had to be super nerdy and get our pictures taken with Ann. ūüôāweb-0523

not again…

I’ve done it again, the thing I swore I would “never do again”, I ran my mouth off and said things I wish I could take back. Why do I keep doing this? I have this picture of the kind of woman I want to be: one who doesn’t gossip or tear people down, one who builds up the people around her and encourages everyone she encounters.

So why is that SO HARD?

Romans 7:15-25¬†For¬†what¬†I am¬†doing,¬†I do not¬†understand; for I am not¬†practicing¬†what¬†I would¬†like¬†to do, but I am¬†doing¬†the very¬†thing¬†I¬†hate…. For I¬†know¬†that¬†nothing¬†good¬†dwells¬†in me, that is, in my¬†flesh¬†; for the¬†willing¬†is¬†present¬†in me, but the¬†doing¬†of the¬†good¬†is not. For¬†the¬†good¬†that I¬†want, I do not¬†do, but I¬†practice¬†the¬†very¬†evil that I do not¬†want. But¬†if¬†I am¬†doing¬†the¬†very¬†thing¬†I do not¬†want,¬†I am¬†no¬†longer¬†the one¬†doing it, but¬†sin¬†which¬†dwells¬†in me. I¬†find¬†then¬†the¬†principle¬†that¬†evil¬†is¬†present¬†in me, the one who wants¬†to¬†do¬†good. For I¬†joyfully¬†concur¬†with the¬†law¬†of¬†God¬†in¬†the¬†inner¬†man, but I¬†see¬†a different¬†law¬†in¬†the¬†members¬†of my body,¬†waging¬†war¬†against¬†the¬†law¬†of my¬†mind¬†and¬†making¬†me a¬†prisoner¬†of¬†the¬†law¬†of¬†sin¬†which is in my¬†members. Wretched¬†man¬†that I am!¬†Who¬†will¬†set¬†me free¬†from¬†the¬†body¬†of¬†this¬†death?¬†Thanks¬†be to¬†God¬†through¬†Jesus¬†Christ¬†our¬†Lord!¬†So¬†then, on the¬†one¬†hand¬†I¬†myself¬†with my¬†mind¬†am¬†serving¬†the¬†law¬†of¬†God, but on the¬†other, with my¬†flesh the¬†law¬†of¬†sin.

I swear, this should be my life passage! I want to be that Proverbs 31 woman who is a wonderful wife, mother and friend, but most days I am so far from that it isn’t even funny. I hate what I am and I do what I hate but I don’t know how to break that cycle. How do I follow God in those moments when my tongue automatically starts to follow it’s old master?

So if I am no longer a slave to sin why do I keep following it? I am so sick of the depressing cycle: run off my mouth, feel horrible and apologize, then do it all over again. I make resolutions that “this is it, no more of this slander/gossip/idle talk!” But again I just fail and feel the shame of that failure.

To refuse to make ‘resolutions’ and ‘vows’ for that is to trust in the flesh – Miles Stanford

My mom had this quote on the fridge for most of my childhood and I read it over and over but never really understood what it meant until I went to Bible School and studied his book myself. (The Complete Green Letters) We tend to think that resolutions and vows are a really great thing to make, like “Don’t worry God, I swear, I am done with this sin, I’ll make you proud” It sounds pretty silly when you say it like that.

So I know that in myself I can’t change it, my sinful nature (even redeemed) is incapable of taming my tongue by itself. But how do I choose to listen to the Holy Spirit before those harmful words seep out? In those moments of intense emotion how do I listen to the still, small voice over the roar of my own stupid words?

not again

I want people to look at me and see Jesus. I want my words and actions to point people towards his saving grace but that won’t happen if my tongue keeps getting in the way.

I don’t have answers to wrap this up all neatly with, this is a huge learning process for me, maybe the biggest one of my life since it affects almost everything. For now I just keep praying and asking forgiveness and trusting that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion. (Philippians 1:6)

game and gift night

Who doesn’t enjoy a women’s social game night? especially when that game is BUNCO and you have 24 women in one room with dice, amazing cupcakes and other snacks, and the chance to win prizes?!

My sister-in-law is friends with two really neat women who have been in Sick Kids with their baby girls for a most of their babies lives. (One just went home actually Рwent back in and was able to leave again but has only been home for a very short time. She blogs regularly at just the 6 of us ) Both of these precious little girls have something called Hypo-Plastic Left Heart and one of them has been waiting for a heart transplant for almost 8 months Рshe just turned 1.

After meeting Lisa on our trip to Sick Kids with Leo, I was really wanting to do something to bless these amazing women during this rough time. I have some really amazing girl friends here and I put it out to them that I wanted to make up some big care packages with their help. (they’ve helped me with other things like this is the past and are so thoughtful and generous). My amazing friend Heather changed the idea up a bit and suggested having a party and thus the Bunco night idea was born. We also decided to include a lady from our church whose little daughter was born 8 weeks early and is still in the hospital but doing well.

We invited somewhere around a hundred women. Twenty four women came (well 25 really but one was a bit late so missed the game) and many who couldn’t come sent gifts with others.

I’m not going to lie, I got a little emotional when I saw how generous people were! Beautiful handmade hats and head bands, a crib quilt, handmade cards, slippers, snacks, books, journals, little toys and colouring books and so many gift cards (along with a lot of other fun stuff). I know that these things will help show these precious families that we love them and are praying for them, even though many of the women who gave so generously have never met them. (Oh gosh, getting emotional again… lol)

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I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped with this, Heather and Faith, to Deanna for promoting at GBF,  and to everyone who came and donated. You guys are amazing!

beautifully flawed

beautifully flawed

Flaws –¬†we all have them. Some of us seem to have a LOT of them but maybe that is because we aren’t as good at hiding them….

It’s so easy to see our own and think that we are the only ones who have them. What is it that makes us think that we need to put on this facade of perfection? The little voice in my head that tells me that if I let people see how insecure I am, or how i struggle with “this or that” that they will reject me.

Satan spends a lot of time and energy whispering little things into our heads. Things that sound true like “a good mom wouldn’t do this more or not do¬†that” or “you shouldn’t struggle with reading your Bible regularly, none of your friends do and if they knew you did they would be as disappointed in you as God is.” He is the master liar, he knows how to take a tiny speck of truth or what sounds like truth and twist it is a way that makes you feel so guilty to the point of giving up or faking it.

The funny thing is, when I really start getting to know someone and they let some flaws show I only end up liking them more.

Most artists will tell you that it’s peoples flaws that make them interesting and beautiful, it works the same way with inner flaws. When we show people that we are not perfect we are showing them that we have a lot in common with them. They know that they aren’t perfect and they are much more comfortable around us when it’s obvious that we aren’t perfect either.

I’m not necessarily saying we should glory in our flaws, some flaws are sin issues and we need to deal with them, but we don’t need to hide those either; maybe if we bring some light to them (with trustworthy wise friends) we can find help from others who have already dealt with similar ones.

Sharing our past flaws can help others to learn from our mistakes, and see how God’s grace has been sufficient for us despite our flaws.

So rip off that mask and share away!

Accepting Confrontation

I got a little behind on blogging the last few days. Ok, I really only missed three days but it seems like a lot. I’ve had a bit of a head cold for a while now and this weekend it because a lasting migraine.

Yesterday someone was talking to me about finding the person in your life who is “your Nathan” (as in the prophet Nathan who confronted David about his sin and pointed him back to God)

I haven’t heard the messages that she heard, so I won’t try to add to that, but tonight it got me thinking about being confronted. How open are we to being confronted or convicted for sin? I know that I don’t love being confronted about things. I tend to get upset and defensive and then as I have time to think it through will often realize that maybe they were right and were seeing things I didn’t want to see or maybe didn’t even know were a problem.

When someone confronts me either directly or indirectly, am I thankful for it? Am I willing to accept confrontation, be discipled and disciplined so that I can grow to be more like Christ?

A real friend is, after all, someone who loves me enough to take the risk to see me grow.

Proverbs 27:5-6 An open rebukes is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.