Friendship

A Cup Of Tea

Who will bring her a cup of tea?

That question was repeated multiple times as my aunt fretted about her daughter not having children or grandchildren to help her as she aged.

I have pondered my aunt’s concern since our conversation. Stores will deliver groceries. Restaurants will deliver meals. Ambulances will transport to the hospital. Taxis or Uber will make errands possible.

But who will bring a cup of tea? Usually intimate family and friends. Our expressions of love and concern can be the simplest acts.

Thank you to all who have brought me cups of tea over the years.

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.

Psalm 127:3
Family, Friendship, Parenting

As Much As You Are Loved

“You are not behaving like someone who is loved as much as you are loved.”

After my boys were in college, I heard this response to a child’s behavior. I forgot the source, but not the sentence.

Along the way, I decided that while the sentence is a powerful response to behavior, it is not helpful for change, unless followed by a second question. “Why?”

Why do people, especially our children, not behave like someone who is loved as much as they are loved? I have pondered that even more as grown children express their frustrations. I have two answers

We are either not showing love or they are not feeling the love we are showing. I suspect the latter most often.

Are you feeling loved?

Basics, Friendship, Parenting

Transparency Makes a Difference

Transparency takes courage, but it changes everything. I vividly remember a homeschool prayer breakfast where I learned this truth.

After listening to a beloved supporter of our group encourage us in raising our children in accordance with Scripture, our leader asked for prayer requests. Usually, we shared about children struggling with reading or learning math facts, wisdom in ordering our day, last minute curriculum decisions, dealing with those who opposed our homeschooling, or husbands’ work schedules.

Our speaker jumped in first. She poured out her heart about a matter that was deeply troubling her. She listed her questions, her fears, and her doubts. As an older and wiser woman, she had just given us advice, but she was not afraid of being transparent. She understood she had no merit apart from Christ’s sacrifice. She was equal to us in needing and relying on the grace of God alone.

Our speaker’s transparency—and vulnerability—changed the direction of our meeting. We eagerly followed her example and openly talked about—and then prayed for—the concerns that were most heavy on our hearts. We were different when we left.

Has someone’s transparency helped you?

PS Thank you J’aime.

Friendship

Walking Each Other Home

When all is said and done, we’re really just all walking each other home.

Ram Dass

No matter your opinion of Ram Dass, this quote is worth considering. After hearing it, I pondered what it meant to walk someone home. What did it mean for someone to walk me home?

Walking someone home seems simple. It provides company. Company provides safety. Conversation makes a journey seem quicker. Companions lighten our load.

On a deeper level, walking each other home involves vulnerability and intimacy. In olden days, a man declared his intentions with “May I see you home?”

You don’t announce you are walking someone home. You have to be allowed. Especially today, trust is established before a home’s location is revealed.

Walking each other home is a privilege.

Ultimately, walking each other home means arriving at the same destination. Therefore, I need to be aware of the objectives of my fellow travelers.

Who is walking you home? Whom are you walking home?

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

John 14:2 (ESV)

Friendship, Memories

Wound Openers

We all carry wounds we are unaware of until they are bumped, or worse, smacked.

After a church acquaintance discovered that she and I shared a hometown, she innocently asked, “Did you attend Grimsley or Page?”

“Smith,” I said. A thirty-year-old wound opened, and I wondered what my face revealed.

The wound? One Sunday morning, my sister and I scoured the newspaper pages announcing new high school boundaries. We rejoiced to find our street assigned to Smith. My sister could return, and I could join her.

Hours later, a fellow middle schooler slunk into Sunday School lamenting, “I have to go to Smith instead of Grimsley or Page. Students at Smith are stupid and wear overalls and don’t own shoes and are excused to harvest crops… my life is doomed.”  

My classmates commiserated.  My teacher consoled. I kept quiet. I did comfort myself with my knowledge: shoes but no overalls, a modern mall under construction nearby but no farms.

I didn’t fully understand that I still bore the wound until asked “Grimsley or Page?” which implied, “Surely, not Smith.”

PS Patricia liked Smith, and we became good friends in Algebra 2.

Any wounds being opened?