Tag Archive | Friendship

Too Busy Being Me

Amidst this sad consciousness of imperfection, here is comfort for you–you are “perfect in Christ Jesus.”  ~ Spurgeon

I am so imperfect.  And quite the imperfect blogger.  I’ve been terribly sporadic this year!  So, thought it time to lay out all my excuses and explain why I’ve been less-than-regular with writing and encouragement.

My husband has often says of himself, “It’s a full-time job just being me.”

And so with Linda….I’ve been too busy being me.

Being me, as any beloved child, is about partaking in God’s daily discipline and grace.  Discipline, because I need it so much, and truly deserve it.  Grace, well, because I need it so much, and don’t deserve it.

And being me has felt a bit like Bilbo Baggins, who said he felt “thin, sort of stretched, like butter, scraped over too much bread.”

Stretched, but content…

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~~Living in Ottawa, but preparing to leave for our “other” home, building on relationships while facing goodbyes, being served by the very people I seek to serve, tutoring and plugging along with my degree, surprisingly chosen for the “novel” task of ghostwriting,  and most recently, selected to be a contributing author for Regent University’s new blog.

~~A grateful wife of 36 years to a lovely, deep man, with an oft broken, contrite, yet humorous spirit!

~~Always a mom, though my daughters are grown and don’t live anywhere nearby.   But I’m a mom, and thankfully, ever will be!

~~A grandma to two precious little ones, with another on the way!  When I’m with them, I can’t imagine being away.  And when I’m away→→I skype!!

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~~An only, beloved child to my sweet mom, and this year, planning her 80th birthday celebration and reunion! How priceless is that?!

Being me may keep me from blogging regularly, but may it never keep me from daily seeking the Lord, leaning on and learning of His unfailing love and surpassing mercy.

I just pray that me being me won’t get in the way of

Him being Him,

in me,

for

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

~~~

Maybe you could share how you maintain blogging and other responsibilities, while still being you?

Thankful. Period.

“I’m not going to complain about the flooding in our basement anymore!”

That’s what my husband said last night after we watched video after video of the tsunami devastation in coastal Japan.  There’s something about the difficult plight of others that puts our own into perspective.  Apart from the earthquake and flood damage, the greatest loss many Japanese people are experiencing today is the loss of their loved ones.  They are lifting buildings and cars, digging up sand and rubble, searching frantically everywhere, for spouses, children, friends and neighbors. 

So, with each breath today, I give thanks and pray.  Please join me in both.

 “..in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”  Philippians 4:6

Words will, no doubt, fail, as I abound in thankfulness for my family and friends.  I wouldn’t be me, without these:

11.   My wonderful Husband of 35 years, John!  I love you.

12.   Our precious daughters, Joy, Hope and Grace!  Gifts from God.

13.  Our priceless grandchildren, Jonathan and Eva!  Double blessings.

14.  Their terrific husbands, Steve, Andrew, and Dan!   True sons.

15.  My MOM!   Her life, love, and service is ALL a Christian woman and mom should be and more.

16.  My Dad Sam.  He’s been with the Lord for 9 years, but his affect on my life never ends.

17.  My mother-in-law, Dot, a lifelong student of God’s Word.

18.  My husband’s BIG family, who’ve enriched this only child’s life.

19.  Forever, lifelong, friends–YOU know who you are.  🙂

20.  Dear new friends, in person and online, whose encouragement is unceasing.

and, an extra for today that’s a bit ad hoc, but I’m thankful all the same,

21.  Samaritan’s Purse!  An organization, a family in Christ, who are anywhere and everywhere!  They were in Haiti before the earthquake, and are still there. And they already have people on the ground in Japan.  I trust them to get money, resources, and other assistance right to where it’s needed.  I’m so thankful for Samaritan’s Purse, and I imagine, today, a lot of Japanese people are too.

 

I could keep going..and I will, next week.  For now, suffice it to say, I am Thankful.  Period.

A Web of Friends

A friend loves at all times.”  Proverbs 17:7 

For the next few days leading up to Thanksgiving, I’d like to practice thankfulness by sharing some things for which I’m personally thankful.

Today, I am so thankful for all the dear friends I’ve come to know or communicate with on the internet.  Though we aren’t able to talk over a nice latte or call each other when we’re feeling down, our friendships grow through encouraging posts and comments, discussing the Lord, sharing photos, Facebook statuses, tweeting, etc.  I’m deeply thankful for Connie, Kay, Kim, Lidja, Beth, Carrie, Mercedes, Marianne, Ben, Mike, Pastor Ron, and many more!   Different ages, different places, but one common thread ties us all together–the saving Grace of our Lord Jesus!   

Many of these friends have blogs, and it’s my sincerest desire that you’ll look at a few of them.  Each one is unique, and so worth reading.  Here’s a sampling:

Beth Stone Studio   
Beth is a young, beautiful, talented Christian artist in too many ways to share here.  See for yourself, and if you do so before Thanksgiving, you can enter in a contest to win one of her outstanding art prints.

Carrie’s Busy Nothings
Carrie just started blogging, and covers everything from crafts to coupons, and a ton of money-saving ideas!

Crown of Beauty
Lidja, an online friend in the Philippines, stuns me each and every day with her insights in the Word, photos of her country, and love for the Lord.

Diary of a Broken Vessel
Mike is a fellow Navy Sailor and my online friend.  He’s a student of the Word and shares my interest in Reformed authors and theology.

God’s Promises are Real
Marianne writes so much on trusting in the Lord, especially in difficult situations.  Her encouragement is like an oasis in the internet desert.

 

I count myself in nothing else so happy
As in a soul rememb’ring my good friends.”
William Shakespeare 

 

Birthday Wish and Prayer

Another birthday!  Thankful for the days and years the Lord has given me to experience His love and grace in my life!  I could share so much—but in the midst of visits with our family and fellowship with dear friends, I will wait for another time.

For now, my birthday wish and prayer is that my readers would look closely at some links on this page.  Please look at the ministries worthy of attention and support (like Open Doors), and read the encouraging posts of others, more profound in their communications than I, under my Blogroll.  It would bless me so much if you discover Lidja of Crown of Beauty, Pastor Ron of PreachersPen, Tony Reinke of Cross-Centered Blog, or Mike’s, Diary of a Broken Vessel….just to mention a few. 

Thank you and please enjoy their devotions, insight, and encouragement in the Word.  And don’t forget to listen to some beautiful music in the Blue Music Box!  Blessings to all!!

Closer than a Brother

“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  Proverbs 18:24

On the road a while…so I return to my favourite inspiration, author and devotional, Morning by Morning, by C.H. Spurgeon:

Lo, I am with you always.”  Matthew 28:20

“It is good to know that there is One who is always the same.  One who is always with us.  It is good there is a stable rock in the midst of the billows of the sea of life.  O my soul, do not set your affections on rusting, moth-eaten, decaying treasures, but set your heart on Him who abides forever faithful to you.  Do not build your house on the moving quicksand of a deceitful world, but ground your hopes on the Rock, that, amid descending rain and roaring floods, will stand immovable secure.

“Set all your affections on His person, all your hope in His merit, all your trust in His efficacious blood, and all your joy in His presence… Wed your heart to Him who will never leave you.

“…Go , sorrowing son of affliction, and tell your secrets to the Friend who sticks “closer than a brother.”  Trust all your concerns to Him who never can be taken from you, who will never leave you, and who will never let you leave Him, even “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). “Lo, I am with you always” is enough for my soul to live on, no matter who else might forsake me.” 

Friends & Comfort

“Job Comforter” is typically used to describe friendspeople that are anything BUT comforters!!   The phrase is derived from the rants, raves and personal attacks on Job from his three friends and dominates much of the Book of Job.  These type of  “comforters” are known to offer pat answers to difficult questions, find fault(s) in the very one who is despairing, and frequently blame shift the difficulties onto the hurting one, or at best (worst), God.   But there’s a requisite quality of those original friends that has diminished in our fast-paced world.  Read what they did for a WEEK after Job was devastated by the loss of his ten children, all of his property and belongings, and even his health:

“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, they each one came from his own house…..and they made an appointment together to come to sympathize with him and comfort him.  And when they lifted up their eyes at a distance, and did not recognize him [he was covered with boils]they raised their voices and wept.  And each of them tore his robe, and they threw dust over their heads toward the sky.  Then they sat down on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights, with no one speaking a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.”

Job 2:11-13 NASB

They wept, the sat down with him for seven days AND nights, and no one said a word! Sometimes that’s all one needs.  Job’s friends probably could have left after that week, and Job would have been better off, rather than be railed by their provoking questions, taunts and discourse.  In our post-modern, texting and voice mail world, we would do well to just sit with a friend when things are tough…and be quiet.  I long and pray to demonstrate this patient empathy, not only to ones I call ‘friends”, but to others needing quiet understanding…and real comfort.

“The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares”

Henri J.M. Nouwen

Time and friendship

This week just flew by!  We were out of town for a few days, attending and photographing (John was, anyway) a beautiful wedding of a young Christian couple. The bride is the youngest daughter of some very dear and lifelong friends of ours, and she was radiant and glowing–at only 19 years old!  It’s amazing–we recall when her parents, Greg and Melanie, got married just two weeks before we did!  Our lives crossed, criss-crossed, and continue to intersect throughout our 32+ years of friendship, both in and out of the Navy.

Our shared memories take us from Pensacola Florida, to Okinawa, Japan, Honolulu, Hawaii, Pensacola again, Germany, Virginia Beach, Fort Meade, Maryland, and their home in North Carolina:

~We all got orders to Okinawa, Japan, (but it took 6 months for John to get over there!) 

~We talked about the hopes of having children and wondered how long our Navy career would last. 

~Mel and I served two years in the Navy (at that time) before starting our families.

~She planned and gave me a surprise shower for my first baby (who is now 30) in Okinawa.

~She called me late at night while in labour with her first daughter (now 29 1/2),

~We attended the oldest daughter’s christening in Okinawa.

~We met up 5 years later in Hawaii at the Hale Koa Hotel (an Armed Forces Rec Center).

~Had BBQs and picnics at their home on base, or our Sunset Beach house.

~Camped out with scorpions at Bellows AFB Beach.

~Watched our girls play in their hot tub on the lanai.

~Babysat for each other.

~When I went back in the Navy, we connected in Pensacola once again.

~Homeschooled our girls together, visited each others church, and kept in touch even when they were in Guam and we were in Germany!

~Greg visited us in Germany.

~When our families landed within one hour of each other, our friendship continued to grow and flourish.

~We encouraged, strengthened, comforted, exhorted, counseled and loved each other, through times of difficulty, challenges, losses, joys, and disappointments.

~They made a 4 hour trip to celebrate my husband’s 50th birthday!

~Mel made the wedding cakes for the wedding of my second daughter.

~Greg spoke at my retirement, and Melanie made a ton of great Filipino Food!

~We sang praises together in our front room with 2 of their daughters and 2 foster sons!

……And here we are now, reviewing photographs of the wedding of their youngest daughter.

I should probably share some eloquent quotes about the significance of such enduring relationships.  But for now, I think I’ll just reflect on the beauty of these dear friends and thank the Lord for them. We are truly blessed.