Gratitude Day 321
Tues., Sept. 22, 2019
Philippians 4:1 – Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.
I am a fortunate woman. I have dear friends.
On Labor Day, a few friends and their spouses spent the afternoon at our house. These ladies and I were roommates our senior year in college. We shared the third floor of an old house in downtown Madison and made many special memories together.
Yesterday, we laughed, talked, shared and enjoyed a lovely afternoon together. It had been awhile since the four of us were together. Yet, it never feels like it’s been long, as we pick up conversations basically where we left off the last time that we were together. It is also deeply meaningful for me to have our husbands join us.
After time spent with these special ladies, I began to think about why friends are important to me. Here’s a few reasons why friends help me in my life.
They are people I can turn to when I need to process something or just need someone to listen. I am well aware that I do not have all the best ideas or thoughts. Sharing a situation or my perspective with another person is helpful because they can help me see what is going on from another direction. Maybe I am missing something. Or need another person’s insights. Yes, it’s always my choice about how to handle a situation. But hearing someone else’s take is always beneficial.
They accept me for who I am. I certainly am not perfect and make mistakes regularly. Thankfully, I have friends who overlook these errors on my part. Yep, they are OK with pointing them out to me. I just need to be humble enough to understand they are trying to help me become a better person.
We have a shared history together which allows for levels of trust and respect. When you spend time with another person and you get to know them, often, there is sharing at a deeper level. Making ourselves vulnerable is not always easy. Yet, when we allow ourselves to do this, we connect on a new level.
They make me laugh. Sometimes, I take myself too seriously. I may take life too seriously. Having friends who help me laugh and find the lighter side of life is oh, so refreshing.
They are truly concerned about me. When life has a lemon or two in it, sometimes, we just need someone to tell us, “You will make it through this.” Thank goodness I have friends who will do this for me.
Together, we celebrate life milestones. When you have friends for multiple decades, it means that a lot of water has gone under life’s bridge. I appreciate being able to cheer for my friends and their accomplishments. And appreciate when they have returned this favor with me.
We care about each other. We explore life together and what gets us down. We also share our dreams and future ideas with each other. This happens because of mutual love and care for each other. We ask about each other’s families and truly are interested in what’s happening in each other’s lives.
We appreciate each other’s gifts and graces. I love that my friends are different from me. I celebrate their unique and special gifts. I’ve drawn upon their areas of expertise to help me.
We understand that quality of time is far more important than quantity of time together. Each with our own lives and jobs and priorities, friends understand that other things often come first. When we can have moments together, we celebrate and enjoy them.
As important as our relationships are, we also celebrate other friendships that we have with other people. I’m so fortunate that I have friends from so many different aspects of my life. I never feel like one group of friends feels like another group of friends is more important to me. We understand these various friend groups are what allows us to experience more of life. And this is a good thing.
I never tire of reading about Jesus and his group of friends. I truly believe they embodied many of these same concepts as friendships do today. Jesus gives us such a great example of how to develop, maintain and keep friends. They were the cornerstone of his life and ministry. I pray this is true for me as well.
For deep and meaningful friendships, I am grateful.
Holy God – thank you for the various deeply meaningful friends that are a part of my life. Bless each one of them today. Thank you for the example and model of friendship through Christ’s life. Amen.
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