Archives for September 2009

Squeezing In a Visit

My Facebook status this past Thursday morning read, “Meeting one of my best friends in Joplin today for a visit before she moves 7 hrs away. Yay for the visit, boohoo for the move!” And there we are in the picture — squeezing in one more visit before the distance between us nearly tripled. Let me say it once again — boohoo!

Jeneal and I have been friends now for around 23 years, and most of that has been spent long-distance. Before her move a few days ago, she was living almost 2 1/2 hrs. away, and that proved to be too far for us to see each other very often. Last time, in fact, was early December. A couple of times she has lived as close as an hour and a half away, and we felt positively spoiled then.

As I’m sure you all realize, it takes real effort to maintain a long-distance friendship. Ours has been no exception. Email has made it easier the past several years, but phone calls and the occasional in-person visit have been important in helping us feel close and stay connected.

Friendship, whether long-distance or not, requires investing in the relationship, and Jeneal and I chose to do that one more time after she found out rather abruptly that she would be moving. We met at a half-way point and gabbed as fast as our lips could fly, making the most of our few hours together.

Yes, it went by all too quickly, but I’m so thankful we made the time to see each other. And as our long-distance friendship is put to an even more challenging test, at least we’re heading into it fully loaded with that one last visit.

Think for a minute about friendships of yours that may need a fresh investment right now. Any relationship crying out for a little attention? Send that email or make that call. Is it time to squeeze in a visit? Go for it. Take it from me, though — just be sure the ole lips are in flying condition… :)

“Do your best to come to me quickly…” 2 Timothy 4:9

*Want to connect with me on Facebook? See you there!

I’ll Be Your Wall

Dizziness. Vertigo. An injured foot or leg. Any one of these things can find us reaching out to someone or something for support. I’ve been there before, and I’m sure you have, too.

A friend of mine, in fact, copes day in and day out with a medical condition that makes it challenging for her to walk at times. Not long ago during an outing together, a bad spell struck. The distance to a nearby bench loomed large, but with great effort and the help of the cane she carries for just such times, she managed to make it.

After resting for awhile and taking some medicine to ease the symptoms, she felt ready to attempt the next leg of our journey. I had parked the car as close as to the building as possible, but now it felt miles away. Once again, with concentration and slow steps, she moved forward.

At one point, she paused to regroup and said, “If I just had a wall…” I answered instantly, “I’ll be your wall.” I knew she just needed a steadying influence on her side without the cane. With her characteristic good attitude, she made light of the situation, and I joined in. By the way, no matter what we get ourselves into, it seems we always end up laughing about something. I love that about our friendship.

I was glad to be her wall that day. Happy to be her steadying influence. Heaven knows, she’s been mine time and again. But I guess that’s what friendship is all about, isn’t it?

And let’s not forget, we have another Friend always ready to be our steadying influence, always standing by. Next time a bad spell of discouragement, heartache, or pain strikes you, just turn your thoughts to Him. I bet you’ll hear Him whispering, “Don’t worry. I’ll be your wall…”

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10 KJV

Flickr photo by D. Sharon Pruitt, Creative Commons License

Family Love

Since I’ve been enjoying a weekend away visiting family this Labor Day weekend, let me share some wonderful thoughts on family and love from some folks of the past. Some things just never get outdated, no matter how long ago they were first uttered or written. Enjoy these quotes — and your family!

“There’s no vocabulary
For love within a family, love that’s lived in
But not looked at, love within the light of which
All else is seen, the love within which
All other love finds speech.”

–T.S. Eliot, 1888-1965

“Love is of utmost importance. Once you have set your will that you will learn the way of love, then there is no flaw or irritation in another person that you cannot bear….If this one commandment were kept — ‘Love one another’ — I know that it would carry us a long way toward keeping all the rest of our Lord’s commands.” St. Teresa of Avila, 1515-1582

“Sweet is the smile of home, the mutual look, when hearts are of each other sure.” John Keble, Anglican priest and poet, 1792-1866

*p.s. The photo above was taken last summer during our family reunion. From left to right — nephew Gavin, great-nephew Samuel, nephew Cody, daughter Kelli, and son-in-law Shawn (married to daughter Kristin). What’s one of the favorite times you’ve shared as a family?

Behind the Clouds

One morning last week as I stepped out my back door to enjoy an early morning drink of nature and worship its Creator, this is the sight that caught my attention. I spotted a glimmer of light and hope for a brighter sky as the day progressed. I saw the sun shining behind the clouds.

On most dark and gloomy days, I don’t think of the sun at all, except for missing the light and beauty and lifted spirits it brings to our world. On this day, however, the Lord parted the clouds at just the right moment and penetrated their melancholy presence with a reminder that no matter what the sky looks like from my vantage point, the sun still shines. The light is always there.

My thoughts then went to friends and loved ones faced with dark and gloomy days of a different sort, far more serious than temporary cloud-covered skies. Several have been enduring life problems that hold no quick fix, and I wonder how long it’s been since they’ve spotted a glimmer of light and hope for brighter days. I wonder if they remember the sun is shining behind the clouds.

My prayers go up for them and others like them today — that even though all they may see right now are clouds of despair, disappointment, or discouragement, I pray the Lord will penetrate their darkness and allow them to see that He is there. I pray that they will be reminded that the Son always shines behind the clouds…

“…the Lord turns my darkness into light.” 2 Samuel 22:29b

*My photo