Monday, June 23, 2008

The Ten Most Wanted Friends (part two)

Last week I posted about the first five of the "ten most wanted friends" that we talked about in my church summer bible study.

Today I'm taking a few minutes to discuss the final five friends. My family and I just finished playing a game of Settlers of Catan, and later we'll watch the Mole. I'm pretty over the Mole, I've decided. I liked Celebrity Mole a lot better, ultimately, and this one doesn't measure up. So I figure I'll blog during the show. :)

I'm also working on a few craft projects which I will photograph and post later this week. I nannied all day today - from about 9 - 4. Yikes. I got home and was exhausted. We'll see if I survive the summer. I'm nannying tomorrow and Wed from 8:30 - 12:30, and cleaning a house on Thursday. Friday is my "day off" but I have a whole list of things to do here at home, so its really only a day off of cleaning other people's houses or watching kids. On the bright side, I'm earning money. That is the good part!

OK, down to business.
#6) Miss Double Dip in Waffle Cone: Friends that are Generous
This is the friend who give fully of their time, money, effort, emotions, and self. Friends who surprise you with their generosity, who give gifts because they think that way automatically.
There are three women in my life who fit this category beautifully. These women are all older than me. I know I have a few women in my life who are good gift givers, but these women have demonstrated to me constantly how to use my money to bless other people, and so I'm going to give them a shout out here.
The first is Verla (mentioned her earlier, but she deserves this one, too). Verla was not only my teaching leader for four years, but was also my first ever official mentor. We used to meet at Shari's in Kent, Wa for breakfast - EVERY SUNDAY before church, for over a year. Every Sunday she would listen to me talk, share in my joy and pain, offer me simple and profound words of wisdom, and then pick up the check. Since then, inevitably, when I come to visit Seattle and we get together for a meal, she treats me to a delightful meal (either as a birthday present at somewhere really nice or back at one of our old breakfast haunts) and its not even a question. She is paying for me. She also sends little gifts on occasion and they are always classy and simple. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
The next two are a mother/daughter pair: Dorothy and Karen. The generous nature of these women is best described by stories. But I'll start by saying that they are both constantly praying for the Lord to provide them opportunities to bless people with their money and constantly on the lookout to know how to give generously. When I was about to move to Illinois, I decided to get my car checked out. I went to Karen's husband's mechanic, who was a good guy and trustworthy. Dorothy and her husband were in town at the time. They called to tell me how much the repair would cost ($600+) and I gave them the go ahead, because I needed a working car, but I wasn't sure how I would pay for it. I just prayed and remembered Psalm 23. Dorothy came with me to pick up my car, so she could drive Karen's car back... and on the way told me that she and Nick were paying for the repair as a gift to me. WOW. I was blown away by their generousity and the Lord's provision. They have continued to be shockingly generous to me, constantly making me in awe of God's faithful provision. Karen and her husband are likewise constantly generous to me, but one thing that has blessed me a ton is Karen's willingness to pay for my groceries. When I visit them, I often go to the grocery store for her - and she just says, "pick up whatever you need for your house, too" and gives me her debit card. This is a minor example compared to some of the ways they have been generous to me (i.e. flying me to visit them, etc), but it has always meant a lot to know that it was one less worry for me in my monthly bill.

#7) Miss Salt-Scrub Exfoliate: Friends that Tell You the Truth
Ever used that salt scrub that is like a super good cleanser but afterward your hands feel clean, smooth AND supple? This friend is like that, the truth comes at you - and it may be a little abrasive at first, but afterward you realize these friends have sharpened us and also made us more like who we were supposed to be in the first place.
Karen is another friend like this. We used to laugh because she was "Truth" and I was "Grace" - I am much more balanced when I'm not with her, but when we are together, these are our roles. She is not too harsh in bringing truth anymore, though there were times in the past when she was more salty than oily (you know those scrubs have just the right balance of both). Ultimately, she is the woman I call when I need someone to kick my rear, and I'm glad to have her.
Another friend like this is Liz. Liz is a friend from Greenville, who is not afraid to be clear about what she believes. I love that I can spend time with Liz and she is going to be honest with me about her life, and that I can be honest with her about mine - and that together we can tell each other the truth about what we are hearing regarding the other.
This type of friend is super important to me, and for those who are in the "inner circle" of my life, I am grateful for their willingness to be gently confrontational (there are two of you in mind, you know who you are) but their simultaneous willingness to listen; and I'm glad they care enough to be honest, and to pray honestly for me.

#8)Miss Cosmetic Bag: Friends who Cover and Forgive
This friend is the wone who is grace exemplified in all their actions. They love you and they know that you are human, and they don't hold it against you!
I think about two friends named Kristen, here. One of them is one of the truth friends - she will always tell me when I've done something to offend her or hurt her feelings. But she is also someone who has forgiven me every time. Our friendship is deep largely because of her willingness to cover and forgive.
As I think about her, I also think about another Kristen, who is a woman who is always trying to be better at forgiveness than she was the day before. When I am with her, I feel covered constantly, and in that relationship, I know I am always safe.

#9) Miss Outdoor Cafe: Friends that Share your Love for God
These are the women with whom you just want to get together and talk God talk. You can't wait to tell them what God is doing in your life, hear what God is doing in theirs, and pray together about all of it.
I mentioned her in the first category, but the friend who came to mind first was Bethany. B and I share a love and joy of Christ. We have often sat in outdoor cafes and talked at length about what God is doing in our lives and communities.
Maura is another one like this. I am always so encouraged and challenged by her as she and I talk about God's faithfulness. She is a woman I mentored who is such a beautifully grown flower that I constantly learn more from here than I ever teach her.
I have enjoyed this with Candice as well. Especially during some hard times in both of our lives, it was great to be able to share together in our faith and know that it was our love of God which bonded us and helped us through.

#10) Miss Post-It Note: Friends who Stick With You
These are the friends that stick with you through any circumstances, across states and life stages, who will be with you forever. I'll just name a few of these friends from each of my past lives... (again, not exhaustive, there are way too many women in each of these places that I keep up with through blogs or email, or who I would visit if I were near them!)
College: Anners, Jules, Barb, Liz
Seattle: Larina, Erin, Amy Jo, Kristen, Jenny, Alexis, Lori, Karen, Verla, My aunts!
Greenville: Jenn, Maura, Liz, Laura, Sue, Bethany
Waco: Jessica, Sarah, Becky, Katie x2, Mel, Kristen, Kathryn, Candice

Friends. Thanks for everything.

There are a ton of bible verses for these ten types of friends. I can't put them all in here, but type in "friend" in the bible gateway box to the right and it will return 172 results - many of them with advice on how to be a great friend.


Erin said...

Is this a book that you're using? I'd love to know the title!