The Grace of Friendship

Hello, blog friend. It’s been a while. In the time since we last chatted, my baby sis graduated from college, I visited a friend and “did yoga” in Austin, and my grandfather had a stroke. I oversaw the production two books at work, helped lay sod in the backyard for my dad, and worked a weeklong Christian conference. It’s been a nonstop kind of time, a where-do-you-start? kind of time, and I’ve finally been able to take a breath and regroup.

Actually, the pace started just fine, but it’s easy to let get out of hand. I’m so grateful for the words of a very dear friend…a pact to stop apologizing for late replies, a pact to let go of the guilt, a pact to embrace the whole of our friendship and hearts of we are, wherever we are. I cherish my friends, and the gift of grace they offer me is beyond words.

It’s been a good season for friendship for me, in the midst of busy-ness. Reconnecting with my dear friend in Austin. She is a safe harbor for me, and we do yoga together. A conference downtown meant the opportunity to reconnect with friends, and make new ones. Hours (upon hours) on your feet and then breaking bread together. Another friend “from a far country” is coming soon for an extended stateside stay. We are Anne and Diana together, kindred spirits. I’ve also recently had the opportunity to make new friends from across the country and across the globe; I don’t know if we’ll all meet in person “this side of glory,” but it’s one of the blessed things about technology and social media. You cannot help but bond with people you’ve prayed and shared your heart with every week.

I treasure true friendship. I don’t take it for granted, and I hope to never exploit it. I believe it was Justice du Plesis who said, “Even in their absence, my friends are safe in my presence.” I love this.

Advertisements

Even the Small Expressions

I’m finding it hard to believe it’s been more than a year since my last post. So many things have happened in the past year—and not all of them bloggable. Small things, work things, good and bad (though ultimately resolved) things. But through it I pulled inward and quiet, and then got out of the habit of this form of expression. 

I just had a birthday, and was taken aback at the number of expressions of felicitation by friends and even mere acquaintances. Small comments, glittery cards, flowers. And it made me confront that little nagging lie that all the little things I’d do (or not do) “didn’t really matter all that much.” Because even though I’m not someone who needs grand accolades, those displays of value truly did matter…and in a way, it showed that others esteemed me more than I esteemed myself, or my own efforts. All because of the little things. 

Yet again I was reminded of Proverbs 3:27: “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.” And I’m going back to letting this be my motto. Not just in the big gestures, or monetary donations, but in the little dispensings of time and appreciation. In the small expressions of consideration for others. This is the goal for me this year.