Thursday, June 30, 2011

He Calls me Friend

Busy life-things have tired and preoccupied me... and God-time has fallen by the wayside, as it does.

Amazed again by the ways God meets me wherever I am when I just turn toward him and whisper, "Father"..... I have a story to tell.

No recollection where I got this book......... .... but the devos are short and sweet and I've had it beside my bed since I moved into the apartment. Eight devos were completed in the eight months I lived there.

Here at my new house, I placed it again beside my bed. And retrieved it one morning as I sat in my comfy chair by the window of my bedroom, overlooking my much-loved pine trees. I took a deep breath and got quiet.... ready to talk to a God I haven't talked to in days. (Or weeks....) Not sure what to even say, I flipped to the next available devo and tears welled in my eyes immediately at the realization that my Heavenly Father knows exactly where I am... both physically and emotionally at all times.

Friends. This is such a hard subject for me here of late. I struggle to even know what friendship is or what it should look like. I have heard myself say, "I have no friends" so many times in the past... couple years.... but moreso in the past couple months. And I don't really mean it literally. Because I do have friends and if you are reading this thinking, "What about me?" Yes... you are probably my friend. ;-) What I am talking about is not that I have no one to call a friend. What I mean is something so much bigger, more fundamental.

My life has changed so much... where a few years ago, I had a life full of people... a church I was very involved in, groups of friends, bible studies, meals to prepare, retreats to attend, VBS to plan, people I saw regularly and knew and who knew me. People to call for help and people who called me for help. People who knew whether I was going to church. People who knew if I was sad or happy. People whose homes I felt welcomed and comfortable in... I knew where the bathroom was. I knew where they kept their garbage can and their forks. People who were comfortable in my home. And honestly, at that time, I didn't think I had much use for most of them. :-)

These days... I never go to anyone's house. I go once in a while to Kentucky or Michigan to people who are family or at least welcome me like family. I have one friend locally whose home I go to occasionally, but usually for a reason, such as getting my nails done.

I go to work. I work with men. I come home, I take care of kids. I go to bed. The next day, I do it again. Weekends with the kids, I spend with the kids. Weekends without them, I spend at work, or doing homework. Even the people who are my friends couldn't really tell you how I am doing or when was the last time I went to church... or even whether I bought a new necklace recently.

I never cook anyone a meal, I never watch anyone's kids, or teach a bible class, or even GO to a bible class.

Last week I smashed my right hand between the trailer hitch and the truck at work and went to the ER thinking my hand was probaby broken (it wasn't). It hurt so bad and I couldn't think of one person to call and ask them to come and sit with me. I sat in the hospital alone for over three hours. I called my sister and mom in Michigan. I texted Beth in Kentucky. I couldn't tell if my tears were because of the pain in my hand or the pain in my heart.

The series of events of how I got here are sad. I can see the paths I have taken and been forced to take that have lead me here. I can point fingers at others and myself. I know I don't have to stay here. I also know God may very well have me here for a reason.

But when I say... "I have no friends"... maybe it makes sense what I mean. My mom tells me I have no time for friends, anyway. :-) She is probably right, but I don't have to like it.

So the devo (and the happier part of this post)............ I opened the book and saw this title.... "Good Morning Lord! Today I will consider what it means that you are my friend".

Yes, I have forgotten that I ALWAYS have one friend. And so if you felt a little tinge of insult reading this and hearing me say I have no friends, imagine the way it makes God feel. I heard him whisper, "Um... I was there at the hospital with you." How can I say I have no friends when I have the best friend anyone could ever hope to have?

"We may run ourselves ragged doing things for God- being a member of every committee at church, attending every prayer meeting, doing whatever job needs to be done-and lose the Lord in the midst of it all. Ultimately, only our loyalty to God as our Friend will hold us when life is tough. And his loyalty to us is the foundation for our loyalty to him. When we blow it, when we fall flat on our face, when we choose our own path for life, there is still a place to go. We can always say to him, "Please hold me tight-and don't let me go!" And because he is my friend, he will always be there to catch me."

I truly hope I will spend this season of my life developing the only friendship that ultimately matters... getting to know him, talking to him, laughing with him, enjoying his unconditional love, knowing he will never let me down and he will never leave me when *I* let him down.... and trusting him with my future and my relationships.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Vacay at Universal Orlando: A Success

Melissa and David at Joe's Crab Shack... yum and fun and a little bit of singing "YMCA". One of the kids found this on their new pair of flip flops... who could resist to sneak it onto Uncle David's back?

The kids took turns riding on the floor of the van so we only had to pay for one vehicle in the parking lot.

Melis and me at Joe's Crab Shack.

To watch a movie, it is necessary to cover up and block out the sun. :-)

Redbox is the best thing ever invented for having movies while traveling.

Cousins.... (the adults passed on the ride that spins you round and round...)

Cousins again... with "Woody Woodchuck"

We had a great time! Now it's back to reality!