(As I am trying to eat, talk to friends, and watch a football game... and trying to feed Annie when she doesn't want to eat) "You know it's ok to just give her pieces of food when she wanders over to you?"
Well NO Krista that never occurred to me... but it's stinking genius! Thank God for mom friends who tell you that you can just put a piece of ham in your kids mouth every ten minutes and by the end of two hours she will have technically eaten dinner. Having an older mom friend is like having a cheat sheet during finals. Brilliant. Thank you for always making me feel human Krista.
(As we are having coffee and discussing the possibility of her daughter going to a private school. The kind of private school that she would have better chances of getting into if she rented an apartment- on top of the home she owns- in the same district that the school is located in.) I just don't want to do that. To force this thing to happen. What if she gets in and the school totally screws her up and I look back and think, "She's only there because I forced it." I don't ever want to look back at my life and see that I have forced anything to happen simply because I could. I want to look back at my life and see that things happened because God made a way.
It's comments like this that make me grateful to have deep, beautiful people all around me. And the crazy thing is... she didn't even mean to be deep or beautiful or profound... it was just a part of the ramble. And yet it made me re-think everything. Thank you for being so wise Jody.
(As a group of friends gathered for tamales and a break from our snow-bound cabins at her kitchen table, we did what we always do at Steve and Jackie's house: talked about the things that really matter. We do that by asking questions that everyone at the table answers. I loved Jackie's question). If you had a warning label on you, what would it say? Like mine, Jackie said, "Would be: Warning I'm crazy. But if you can put up with the crazy, I will make you stop and think."
We went around the table and spouted off our warnings. One friend said, "Warning: I probably don't care." She's 16. You gotta give her time. Another said, "Warning: I am full of useless sports trivia and I love sports, so be prepared." Another said, "When someone really tries to be my friend I turn into a complete *&@*@! (bleep) out of no where and I don't really know why." Of course now my ultimate goal is to dig in deep with her... but that was my goal way before she said that. Cause I kind of like her. Now it's just even more challenging and fun. Ryan said, "Warning: I don't let people in." Oh, really? I said, "Warning I attract bad luck and broken things, but I give lots of hugs." As each person talked, we were able to affirm each other; laugh; listen intently; and see a little bit of ourselves in everyone at the table. I have come to realize there is a difference between just hanging out with people and truly being in relationship with people. Jackie and Steve have taught me what it looks like to be in real relationship with people. To have conversations that matter. For that, my life has been forever changed. Thank you for loving me well and teaching me how to be real Jackie.
Not Without Hope:
(As I sat with a dear, beloved friend of mine this week who miscarried for the third time this year. *She wishes to remain anonymous, so if you know who she is and you leave a comment, please protect her identity.* We cried and cried and cried and said good-bye to her unborn baby who had lived in her belly for seven weeks. The baby she had already seen a picture of. Seven inches long and a little heart beating 126 times per minute. Right there in her bathroom, the life ended. And in the most crude, cruel, gesture of life I have ever seen with my own eyes, my friend had to sit there until she could work up the courage to flush the toilet. To say good-bye to another life she dreamed of mothering. To wait for the bleeding to stop. And I swear, I thought my heart would never stop bleeding for her. I have dreamed about it every night this week; woken up in a tsunami of pain and sadness. I have shed a million tears. But there in her bathroom, with her eyes locked deeply into mine, my sweet friend softly, courageously, and gracefully said...)
You know, Jen, God is still good.
So to my friend- Not Without Hope- thank you for showing me the most beautiful picture of faith I have ever seen in my whole entire life. Your strength in the midst of suffering, your faith in God's goodness when you yourself were robbed of another tiny life, your hope when you had every right to give up and give in... it has changed something deep within me. Thank you for showing me the face of Jesus so clearly, that I can't stop thinking of Him.