Grace to Grow

I just had the privilege to catch up w an old friend & it was delightful to chat over coffee & remember some fun times together. It was also interesting to see how each of us has changed, grown and matured.
In all of or relationships, there are things that can bug us about the other person & clearly we have plenty of our own weakspots that can be very bothersome.
Let’s give each other grace to grow & then enjoy the journey. Only Jesus is the completed human masterpiece. The rest of us are works in progress 🙂

Strengths & Weaknesses

I was having an interesting chat with a friend, who is totally amazing. She is all things strong, bold, smart, hard working, loyal, compassionate & super incredible! In some respects, her talents are altogether different than my talents, which can be a wonderful adventurous friendship, as long as I keep my insecurities in check – smile 🙂
After having a great conversation, I hung up the phone & felt God smiling on me, affirming my value, talents & abilities even though they’re altogether different than my friends’. Let me encourage you that while you may be different than the people you admire, you are nevertheless just as valuable, important & significant as they are. When it’s all said & done, we need each other with our various strengths as complements to our various weaknesses rather than competition 🙂

Friends are cool!

One of the ways that God expresses Their love (Trinity) to us is through friendships – and we get to also be a conduit through which God can express Their love through us! What a cool way for genuine love to be multiplied 🙂
And here’s my thinking, I think that genuine love is unlimited & cannot be confined, so friendships are one of these ways for love to be demonstrated. God is so cool in all of the different ways that They express love to us!! Saving Moses is another way that God shows genuine love as well 🙂 YAHOOO!!

Need a friend?

It seems to me that we all need friends in lots of different ways. Thankfully, I’m experiencing God’s provisions in this area, well beyond what I deserve. One of the things I’ve been noticing lately is that God provides all different kinds of friends – friends who help me in areas where I’m very inadequate, friends who receive from God through our relationship, friends who keep things lite ( because I can tend to get too intense), friends who help me to be practical & I help them to be less practical ,) and lots more.
So here’s my thinking: it seems to me that God wants us to experience fellowship with God in LOTS of different ways, particularly through our various relationships & friendships. With this in mind, here are a few essential ingredients for some rich fellowship with God through our various friendships:
*be opulent with forgiveness, understanding that we experience God’s forgiveness toward us far more than we realize 🙂
*be gentle & patient: relationships grow & flourish well in an atmosphere of patience & gentleness
*listen & be present: answers & advice can often be less important than presence
*genuine love: the purest context to experience & get to know God

being friends with God

 I’ve been looking at John 15 & Jesus talks about being friends with God.  In verses 13-15, Jesus points out some interesting thoughts about being God’s friend:

  1. the greatest expression of friendship love is when we lay down our lives & allow God’s preferences to be our priorities
  2. friendship with God isn’t a co-equal friendship – Jesus says that we are His friends if we obey His commandments
  3. in our friendship, we get to hear what’s on God’s heart & in God’s thoughts
  4. God has chosen us to be friends – God has pursued us
  5. Out of our friendship, there’s lots of lasting fruit

Being God’s friend is a great privilege with indescribable rewards!!

Full of Grace

I had an interesting conversation with a friend yesterday for whom I’ve been very concerned of late. It was interesting because they explained that they had been distant lately because of lots of different current stresses in their life. Then another friend told me that she was having a rough day earlier this week & almost broke down in tears on a particular day. Both of my friends are important to me & when they explained their struggles to me, I totally wanted to reach out & help not only after the struggle but also during their rough time. Just like me, these are very strong & independent friends & I wholly respect their strength. It’s interesting bc I think that God absolutely respects our free will & independence. But I also think that God wants to be involved in our struggles & not just watch from a distance. Lets be kind, gentle, full of grace & supportive with each other – thereby letting God love through us 🙂

be picky ,)

I like to have lots of different kinds of friends.  I have friends with whom I talk sports, some that we talk about good books that we’re reading, others that we talk about spiritual issues, some that we discuss our kids and what’s happening in their lives, etc.  It seems to me that we each friend, there are some distinct conversational “sweet spots” and I’ve learned that there are various topics that are limited to certain friends.  For example, I don’t talk about sports with my friend who is my book buddy and I don’t talk about fashion with my “spiritual issues” friend.  Everyone definitely has their unique strengths and I love this!!

There is, however, one person with whom I I love talking about almost everything & that’s God.  But I think it’s unfortunate that even with God I find myself occasionly trying to limit the conversation because I don’t like the topic.  But  here’s the truth:  God is the only truly “safe” person with whom you can talk about literally anything and He will ALWAYS have constructive things to say to you, regardless of the topic.  Don’t limit your conversations with God 🙂

friends are cool :)

God has put some amazing people in my life!!  As I’ve been thanking God for some of these individuals, I’ve observed a few things:

  • differences can be good when there’s mutual respect
  • friendships can take time to grow
  • a Joyce Meyer quote:  some relationships are for a season, some for a reason & a few for a lifetime
  • genuine friendships require mutuality
  • friendships require both listening and talking
  • a truly constructive friendship will support and encourage an ever deepening relationship w Jesus
  • a mentor isn’t the same thing as a friend

Let’s celebrate the friendships that God has put in our lives!

friends are important!

 On the whole, I believe that God has designed us to be social & for people to be important in our lives.  And in my life, I see that God has put lots of different kinds of friends & people in my life.  For me, its important to have a diversity of friends & not just try to have everything wrapped up into one person or only a few.  Here are a few of the diverse friendships that I have:   

  • friends with whom I share recipes,
  • friends that I see movies with,
  • friends with whom I talk about good books,
  • friends where our kids have similar ages so we hang out when our kids play together
  • friends with whom we share about God at very deep & transparent levels
  • friends that enjoy travel adventures
  • friends that challenge my political thoughts, even though I have very few ,)

Let’s be sure to celebrate & honor the various friendships in our lives & let God unfold their purposes over time.  Being & having friends is important! 😀

Celebrating friends!

I’m always thoroughly amazed at the variety of ways that God connects with us! I just had a coffee w a great friend & we did all of the usual catch up conversation, but what I always most enjoy is talking about how God is integrated into our daily living. In this particular conversation, it was a very rich & deep experience as we shared the different ways that God is moving in our lives. My friend & I are at very different seasons in our lives but getting to listen to the various was that God is moving in my friends life is nothing short of breath taking. Indeed, I’ve walked away from our conversation w the Emmaus road expression, “was not my heart burning,” as we talked. Truly, it is an indescribably rich discussion when we get to talk deeply with close friends about Jesus & His work in our daily living. What a magnificent Christmas presence 🙂