"I have found that - amidst laughing, crying, sharing - it is in conversations with people I care about that God tends to reveal some of his most profound truths and realize his love most powerfully."My friend Sara wrote that. (She just started a new blog, and this is me giving her free advertising, because she's wonderful and a fantastic writer and you should follow her.) She is so right. She's one of the people with whom I have that kind of conversation, on a regular basis. Our visit last week was like a three-day conversation of that type. It was absolutely wonderful.
In the previous week or so, I've had talks with several lovely people that helped me realize some amazing truths about God and the way he works in our lives.
Brett and Ashton.
Lisa, and Nora.
Some things these people have helped me realize:
God gives us friends to help us know that we're not alone in this crazy thing called life. No matter how unique our circumstances might be, there is always someone who understands something about us, and can relate and sympathize and comfort us. We all have so much in common, if we just take the time to talk and figure it out.
Marriage, when done God's way, is one of the most glorious experiences this temporal life can offer. It is a beautiful picture of the relationship God desires with his people, his Church. It is never perfect because we are all sinful people, but God's forgiveness and love are life-changing, and life-giving to marriage.
God provides for us constantly, and in ways that we might not expect. Sometimes he asks for our teamwork, like with a garden. We plant, he grows, we reap, we give thanks. Green things coming from seeds buried in damp dirt are a miracle.
It is good to always keep a glimmer of the little-girl in me. That glimmer emerges when I have handmade Barbie clothes placed in my lap, and when I give the voice to a little-girl Barbie doll whose mother-doll is moved about by a five-year-old.
Why shouldn't I get as excited by little things in life as a small child? Things like dolls and dinosaurs and rocks that are really dinosaur eggs and a butterfly garden all my own. Thank you, Nora, for what you teach me.
I am not a failure. We all sometimes feel like one. Satan has dirt on all of us, that he waves in our face and accuses gleefully, "Look at all you've done wrong. Look at all these roles you have that you haven't filled properly. Look at all the ways you've messed up." We can tell Satan off, because we don't have to listen to that junk. My mother used to tell me, "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." That's in the Bible, I learned eventually, and it's not my mother's words. It's GOD'S. "I am baptized into Christ," Sara and I sang together while doing dishes last week. I have the Holy Spirit living in my heart. I am a saved, forgiven and loved child of God. There's nothing Satan can hold against me, because Jesus destroyed all my sins on the cross.
In fact, I am beautiful. I am a good wife. My husband tells me this over and over; perhaps that will help me believe it better. I am a good cook, thank you Jordan for reminding me of that last week. Despite those rare instances when the lasagna has waxed paper on the bottom because I didn't have any tin foil to line the pan. Thank you Brett and Ashton for being such good sports. The lasagna tasted fantastic anyway.
Sara and Emily and a handful of precious others tell me I am a good friend. I do try. I think half the time I take over the conversation with my confounded habit of talking too much. But I do hope I'm understanding, encouraging, and loving. I'm working on being a better listener. Stick with me, girls. I'll get there. Being a good friend to you is the least I can do for the incredible blessing you are to me.
My husband is the dearest man in the world. This isn't something anyone has taught me, I'm just realizing it myself more and more every day. I could go on and on about how wonderful he is, but I don't want to embarrass him. He doesn't like the spotlight, and that's okay. Suffice it to say that he is wise, caring, understanding, and loving, in a myriad of ways, and I am blown away by the blessing he is to me.
I hope I can have more "laughing, crying, sharing" conversations with people this week. I hope you can, too. How has God blessed you through the people in your life?