Helping Our Friends

Lately, I’ve been experiencing a wonderful epiphany: letting my friends help me! I just had a friend text me about some ideas to help me with some sleep challenges. Then, I’ve had another friend help me with writing stuff & another friend has given me super helpful input with communicating! While you might think this is normal, for me it’s been a new experience because of my hyper independence. And then I read an interesting verse in Psalm 118:7a, “The Lord is for me among those who help me; . . . . “
So let’s be the friend who helps others! A few ways to help would include: encouraging words, gentle truth, practical wisdom & maybe even some errands! And on the other side, let’s be sure that we let our friends help us & that we express gratitude to & for our friends!!

Driving Vacation


We are in the middle of our annual family vacation & this year, we’re driving round trip from Denver to Washington, D.C. So far, we’ve stopped along the way to hang out with family & friends, enjoying some wonderful time to catch up & reconnect. 
Driving is an interesting experience for me because I usually fly & endeavor to make my travel time as short as possible. This kind of travel is a dramatically slower form of getting from point A to B, so it’s an altogether different experience. 

Seems to me that our journey with God has different speeds. We can go through seasons when it seems like we’re moving super fast & making speedy progress. Then there are times when things are going so slowly that it hardly seems like we’re moving at all. Maybe God is more about the fellowship with us along the journey rather than the speed at which we reach our destinations. 

wool socks

I have a friend & our feet are always cold, so we give each other wool socks.  In Denver today, it’s cold so we are both celebrating our warm feet because of the gracious gift of wool socks!  I have another friend who wears flip flops in Denver even when it snows, almost.  This friend doesn’t have a cold feet problem but maybe has the opposite end of the spectrum.  I totally love both of these peeps & I love that they see and experience life through different lenses, each vibrantly beautiful & wholesome.

This makes me appreciate our Heavenly Father all the more for His immense and unique love for each one of us.  We don’t have to match up to a marketing profile to be loved by God.  Indeed, it seems to me that we are most thoroughly loved by our Heavenly Father as we revel in His unique design for us individually.  Based on Romans 5:5, you are fully loved by your Heavenly Father, full stop.  The Holy Spirit can help you live in this reality day by day 🙂

Traveling Friends

  I recently had the honor to get to do international travel with absolutely amazing people! I completely loved traveling with these peeps for lots of reasons:

  • Fun!  we shared a lunch one day where each of us had zero idea of what we were eating, but we seriously enjoyed the adventure where we’d hopefully never eat again ,)  Flexible – when our plans changed or didn’t go as expected, no one became stressed out but rather they were happy to move onto the next appointment
  • Supportive – never once did I ever feel from them that they wanted to get off the ride, not even standing on a corner in a red light headed district on a Friday night in uber sketchy conditions
  • Goals – each us understood what we were trying to accomplish & walked together to get those things accomplished. 

I think that in very similar ways the Holy Spirit wants to be our integrated traveling companion throughout each day. I’m continually astounded how the Holy Spirit is super fun, uber flexible, fully supportive & when I walk in the Spirit, there’s a unique synergy that happens from sharing common goals. 

Come travel with me! savingmoses

Traveling Friends

  I recently had the honor to get to do international travel with absolutely amazing people! I completely loved traveling with these peeps for lots of reasons:

  • Fun!  we shared a lunch one day where each of us had zero idea of what we were eating, but we seriously enjoyed the adventure where we’d hopefully never eat again ,)  Flexible – when our plans changed or didn’t go as expected, no one became stressed out but rather they were happy to move onto the next appointment
  • Supportive – never once did I ever feel from them that they wanted to get off the ride, not even standing on a corner in a red light headed district on a Friday night in uber sketchy conditions
  • Goals – each us understood what we were trying to accomplish & walked together to get those things accomplished. 

I think that in very similar ways the Holy Spirit wants to be our integrated traveling companion throughout each day. I’m continually astounded how the Holy Spirit is super fun, uber flexible, fully supportive & when I walk in the Spirit, there’s a unique synergy that happens from sharing common goals. 

Fellowship

Presently, I have the honor of speaking at the Bible School Andrew Womack has, Charis Bible College and what an honor this is for me! I love many things about getting to minister here, but one of absolute favorite things is the fellowship & conversations around the Bible and about the Holy Spirit!  
This makes me realize that God has set up our lives for communion & fellowship with others who follow Jesus. 

Sometimes this can get tricky from various struggles: misunderstandings, conflicts, dysfunctions, misaligned purposes, etc. 

With that being said, let’s be clear that God fully intends for us to keep fellowship with other believers. Consider Acts 2:42, “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching & to fellowship, to the breaking of bread & to prayer.”

Be sure to keep your fellowship with other followers of Jesus as a high priority in your life!

tweak the twitch

“Get rid of the people who drag you down & who don’t inspire you!” I’ve seen & heard statements like this over the last few months from people who follow Jesus and it makes me twitchy & it’s disturbing. Fundamentally, this is not how Jesus lived on earth. This mindset is indicative of the pervasive consumer mindset that lurks in our culture & is an enemy to genuine love. Here’s the honest truth about both you & me: we won’t always be inspiring & there will be seasons in our lives when we need help. I can appreciate that we need not let a person suck the life out of us & this isn’t healthy for anyone. But the vending machine mentality toward people & relationships is inherently dysfunctional, sabotaging genuine connections with people. 
Let’s not be around people only for what we can get out of them. 

Here’s the tweak for this destructive twitch: let’s determine to be inspiring to people rather than seeking to be inspired – inspiring others to receive Jesus’ love & lavish His love on others 🙂

Job’s Friends

I started reading the book of Job a few days ago & I always find it interesting to read how his friends reacted to Job’s sufferings. At first, they sat silent with him for a week, feeling the magnitude of his pain & struggle. After this time of quiet support, it seems to me that they became less helpful. They frequently seemed to think that all of Job’s suffering was his fault & that he’d done something wrong. So here are some things from Job’s friends that I want to learn. I want to be a friend who:

  • can be quietly supportive
  • helps others see, experience & enjoy God
  • uses words that build up faith & dismantle doubt & fear
  • stays the course & doesn’t merely show up when things are smoothy groovy 🙂

let’s be honest

I had an interesting conversation with a friend last week about how she felt like some Christians didn’t accept her because of some of her questions, doubts and frustrations.  She explained how that in the past she’d expressed some doubts or struggles in her faith in a small group and some of the members of the group were unkind, dismissive and disdainful.

Seems to me that if we are going to sincerely love each other, as Jesus instructs, that we need to walk the journey together more than criticize, critique or exclude.  Jesus knew that Peter would struggle in his faith, deny and abandon Jesus, but that didn’t detour Jesus from staying Peter’s friend.  In fact, Jesus closed the loop on any questions about His love for Peter in John 21 with His questions about Peter’s love for Him.

Jesus love us, full stop.  I pray that I wholly let Jesus love others well & authentically through me 🙂

Goodbye

  

I’m not a grief fan, but alas I get to feel this old familiar emotion because our neighbor family whom we deeply love is moving today. It’s a great sadness for my whole family because our families are intricately connected: all of my kids with their kids, my husband totally appreciates his friendship with their dad & their mom & I are soul sisters. We can be in the same room & don’t have to say anything to know the vibe for each other. I seriously hate grief & loss. What really stinks is that there’s no way around grief except through it. 
If you’ve experienced the loss of a loved one, a divorce, a friend who moved, or a lost friendship these are all difficult grief situations & there’s not a person on the planet who gets a free pass from experiencing grief. Maybe grief is part of what it means to love from the heart. 

Jesus knew grief from His earthly existence – a man familiar with our sorrows, griefs & sufferings. While I love to celebrate the triumphant & risen King, it seems that my affection for & connection with Jesus deepens when I appreciate that He has walked the grief path before & is walking through grief with us in our various human experiences, even today. 

Thoughts on Friendships

A few nights ago, one of my best friends & I, with our families, enjoyed a totally fantastic dinner together. We laughed, played, talked deeply, enjoyed God’s creation & reveled in a totally euphoric evening. This friend & I have known each other for a long time & we’ve shared some bumps along the way. I’m confident that the future will also have some possible hiccups for our friendship as well, but I’m growing to appreciate a few important lessons:

  • Forgiveness is an essential ingredient for being close to someone
  • Being steady is better than being dazzling
  • Compassion trumps smart
  • To know another person & let one’s self be known is very great adventure (Gal 4:9)
  • Keeping Jesus as my central & core relationship keeps me healthy
  • No one is perfect

  

Chick Chat, so FUN!!

tabletalk

I had a BLAST!!  I was recently on Joni Lamb’s tv interview program, Table Talk & had an awesome time with ladies who are every bit as wonderful on as well as off camera.  I love these women & was totally honored to engage in this conversation – I know you’ll love it as well! 🙂

watch this!

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!