Sunday, February 24, 2013


The shirt I have on is just a few months shy of 30 years old.  It is a long sleeve t-shirt from the first spring formal I went to with Todd.  (You know, in college, you have to have a t-shirt for everything.)  My college roommate was visiting this weekend, and I put it on without thinking.  She burst out laughing when she saw it, saying "You still have that!?"  She is a friend of 30+ she remembers these things.    Can you believe I still have (and wear--around the house, of course) a 30 year-old shirt?  It just plain shocked me when she said that number.  30 years.  Wow.  30 years sounds so long, but to have lived it seems like almost a blink. 
30 years ago, Todd and I began dating on February 23.  Wow.  It has been 3 1/2 years since his death.  Those years seem long.  How can 30 have gone by so fast?

I met a new friend for coffee the other day.  Our friendship really only spans about 1 1/2 years, so I call that pretty new.  She seems like an old friend though.  Anyway...we were talking about friendships we have with people we rarely see.  Friendships where the connection is so deep that it stands separate from time.    You plop right down into them and they nourish you no matter how long it has been since you've seen them--no matter what life events have happened during the season of geographical and verbal awkwardness, just encouragement and nurturing. 

I was getting ready to end this post with some smarmy line about hoping your life was scandalously full of these kind of friendships, when I realized that these relationships always have a cost.  I know some who choose not to reach out and form new friendships because, to them, the cost is just not worth it.  You don't get to the  "deep connections separate from time" without experiencing life together.  Every life-long friend I have has seen me through bad times as well as good.  Honestly, I am kind of amazed I have any left after they had to walk with me after Todd's death.  But they stuck around, and  I am very thankful.  Currently there is pain and grief in large doses for many of these dear friends.  I am praying they know God holds them close (and will continue to hold them until it is light), and I am praying He will use me in their lives the same way He has used them in mine.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

More than Enough

Good Morning.  Today I am reminded of the need to live in the present.  To invest my best energies toward what is happening now.  I am thankful for that reminder that came by way of a friend yesterday.  

I have also been reminded of the powerful privilege we have to pray for one another, and how God is able to speak to us through the prayers and encouragement of others.  I have been blessed as receiver of this gift all week. I honestly felt like I received radical heart surgery earlier this morning...radically changed for the better.  And this change is way beyond ANYTHING I am capable of doing for myself.  The beauty of it is that the heart transplant came as I was able to pour out my prayers, full of love, redemption, and peace for those on my heart.  Amazing how that works.   Amazing how He equips us to serve in ways we could never imagine.  Amazing how He loves us in our triumphs and our failures.  Amazing how He restores and refreshes our tattered and worn-out hearts...breathing His Life into our very beings. 

Last night, I was surrounded by sweet children as my kids' oldest friends were at the house (along with their mommas).  We gathered in a hand-held circle to pray for a particular family that is dear.  The kids voices at the end, blessedly singing the Doxology, were more beautiful than words can express...I am sure if you had been here, your heart would have thought so too.   "Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.  Praise Him, all creatures here below.  Praise Him above, ye heavenly host.  Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost."  Amen.

And the glory of the Lord shone around them...
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Luke 2: 9, 13-14

I want more, because He is more than enough.  Regardless of circumstances. Regardless of how we "feel." Praying we all hold this truth closely in our hearts.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

This Side

There has been a tragedy in the life of a dear friend...someone I love very much.  It is different being on this side. I want deperately to be able to share this load in a way that will help diminish the gutting pain which comes with heartbreak and uncertainty, but I know it really just can't be. All I can do is walk beside in companionship--praying, praying, praying--remembering the strength and comfort received from knowing people are holding you close in their hearts continually praying on your behalf, especially when you have no words for your own prayers. Also remembering that His Light can pierce even the darkest darkness when our eyes are swollen shut from weeping.