Tuesday, March 17, 2015

One Mom's Answered Prayer

My mom says that when I was in elementary school, as I transitioned to Wake Christian, she prayed that God would send me some good friends. 
I guess she saw me hanging out with my imaginary friends and talking to my barbies and probably got a little worried. I've always been attracted to words and characters and quiet time, so if it hadn't been for her fervent prayers - I might still live relatively cut off from the world. 

This past Saturday, almost 20 years after my mom's whispered conversations with God, four answers to prayer were gathered around me at a Starbucks table, sipping lattes and sharing hearts, bookending the conversation with prayer, as another answer to prayer was about to have her own little one. 

God answered my mom's prayers and my heart's desires in an amazing way. With seven beautiful, Jesus-loving, kind, creative ladies - who came into my life through elementary, middle, and high school and have been there ever since.

These ladies have taught me more about life, Christ's love and purposes, love, friendship, grace, strength - and the journey to being a wife and mom - than almost anyone. Over the past few years, I've witnessed incredible strength, faith, and grace in each of their lives over different trials, circumstances, and celebrations.
 I truly can't imagine who I would be today without our hundreds (and even thousands) of conversations about Jesus, faith, love, dating, skills and talents, careers, marriage, sex, pregnancy, and motherhood. 

We may not be like the TV friends who are together every day, dropping into each other's homes unannounced and sharing morning coffee or drinks several times a week. 
Life pulls us in different directions. College took us to different states. Jobs keep us busy in different ways. And we all have other friends and close connections. 

But, with each of these ladies, I share a unique chemistry. Our conversations have different personalities. Our connection is one-of-a-kind. Our memories personal. 

And, at the same time, as a group, we are all on the same page. Our friendship can rest quietly for six-months, to ferociously come alive again with a game-night Christmas party or emergency need for prayer. Most nights several of their names are scribbled - with specific prayers or praises - in my journal. And I know that they collectively understand the whole of who I am more than anyone (except D and the fam). 

We don't judge one another. And if we accidentally do, we quickly overcome it with grace and love. We celebrate together. We understand one another's frustrations. We hurt together. Laugh together. Get lost together. Find ourselves together. 

And now...we pray for each other's children - that God might send them some amazing, understanding, Jesus-loving friends too.  

Saturday, March 7, 2015

TEXTbook Marriage.

Here's a little marriage encouragement and advice, through recent Derrick and Renee text messages:

1. I hope and pray you have the privilege of being married to your best friend. Marriage is an awesome ride if you take the time to enjoy the big adventures and the every day moments.

2. One of the biggest keys to a happy, fun partnership is noticing and appreciating each other. My love language is words of affirmation, and I'm blessed with a husband who loves me so well with words. Every day. 

3. Marriage isn't always romantic and steamy and picture perfect.
 Sometimes it's just being frustrated and tired...together. 

4. Sometimes marriage means putting up with 2 a.m. text messages when your wife's away and neither of you can sleep.

5. Just have fun. Communicate. Laugh. Be silly. Be patient with your wife's overuse of emoticons. And eat fast food together in your pajamas.