“We pray for blessings, we pray for peace”

Yes, you can hold onto your joy during the sad times.  I know you can, because I do have the joy of Jesus in my heart.  Funny, huh?  What’s funny about this is a statement my boss made to me today, “…and if you did that, you would be happier”…I understand what he was saying, I sound like a bitter old woman at times, especially when I talk.  And maybe when I am writing about this pain I am feeling, I probably seem like Charlie Brown, “I’m doomed”…but I know I’m not because I do have faith.  And…I do have many blessings…so today, we talk about them…

“Comfort for family, protection while we sleep”

One big blessing is my boss, and the law office I work with who are a group of amazing people.  I’m sure you are thinking, “you are calling lawyers amazing?”  Yes, my dear reader, they are amazing…My boss has taken me from a beat up, self confident lacking, “I’m just a piece of the puzzle” type of worker, to someone who finally sees her self-worth in the work place, and now I know I do play an important part in the cog of a wheel.  He is a great Christian who I admire for his honesty, integrity, wise man.  I can literally discuss with him any problem in the world and he will give me not only his life experience, but his honest opinion on anything…and I do mean anything.  Without his support, I know I wouldn’t be where I am today.  For him, I would definitely pick the verse 1 Thesselonians 5:12-14 “Now we ask you brothers to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.  Hold them in the highest regard in love becuse of their work.  Live in peace with each other.  And we urge you brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”

“We pray for healing, for prosperity, we pray for Your mighty hand, to ease our suffering”

And when you think of him, you cannot NOT think of his wife.  Not only is she a fellow co-worker, but she is also a friend.  I don’t know her entire life story, nor do I need too, but she is that person who makes you feel welcome the first moment you meet her!  Her crazy antics, contagious laugh, and her gift of giving for no reason, will undoubtedly make you realize you can call on her for ANYTHING…painting, drinking a glass of wine, shopping (our favorite pasttime but don’t tell her husband when we go!! LOL), sharing a great meal, floating in a pool talking about life, or putting together furniture, she is a great woman, who I am honored to call my friend, and who is my sister through Christ…and  she has been a wonderful support through all my struggles, my joys, we have raised daughters together, and although our girls are all unique individuals, the struggles are still the same, the joys tripled and she has paved the path for me to walk behind in how to and not how to be a great mom, she gives her honest opinion if you ask, and  her advice is truly treasured.  She has hugged me when I’ve cried and continuously tells me I am strong, even when I feel so weak, especially during my most recent loss…Proverbs 17:17 is her…”a friend loves at all times”…she does…always.

“We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear, we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near”

Speaking of friends, there is my BFF from fifth grade.  She is the one who I can not speak to for months and call her up, and there she is…we pick up where we left off and I don’t have one single memory of my childhood or adulthood that does not have her in it.  Be it sharing love notes from our childhood, mothering advice, marital problems, dog stories, aging parent struggles, my gosh, the list goes on and on and on and on…she is definitely the one friend who is more like a sister to me than anyone…and I suspect it’s because she was there for my childhood and my entire adult life…She is my faithful friend, she will never leave me…she is Proverbs 3:3 “Let love and faithfulness never leave you…write them on the tablet of your heart”…

“We doubt your goodness, we doubt Your love, as if every promise from Your Word is not enough”

Then there is the first person I ever met as an adult…we taught Sunday School together, we exercised together, she named me the “Walking Nazi” beause when we would walk together I would get mad or excited about something I was talking about and walk faster and faster.  She has included me in just about every aspect of her kids life, she has included me in family functions, holiday meals, family pool parties…She was there for me every moment of my daughter’s life, the good, bad, her cancer days, her struggles with my divorces, and all those moments of teen age angst.  Her family welcomed me with open arms and I love each of them like I truly am “their long lost aunt.”  I know, without a doubt, she will correct me when I’m wrong, call me out when I have walked a not so correct line, and she truly is my Romans 9:25 “….I will call them my people, who are not my people, and I will call her my loved one, who is not my loved one”.  If I could hand pick a sister, she would be it!  She never ceases to amaze me with her strength.

“All the while, you hear each desparate plea, and long that we’d have faith to believe”

And then there is the Paul to my Saul, or the Saul to my Paul…she calls me out on my sinful nature, she does not judge me, she speaks truth to me in love all the time, she sees my very soul sometimes, and while this can be scary, she believes in me, supports me, listens with her heart…I don’t even have words to explan what she means to me…she is definitely my John 3:21 “But whoever lives in the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly what he has done has been done through God”…she keeps me grounded and focused on God.

“When friends betry us, when darkness seems to win, we know the pain reminds us, this is not our home”

There are neighbors, other friends, distant family members who I am so greatfful…the family who lives next door with two boys that I have adopted as my nephews, my neighbor I call “mom” who helps me with outdoor projects, and gives the best hugs and even though we have only known each other for 7 years I feel I’ve known her all my life and our lives intersect and seem so alike, I can only believe we are soul sisters.

There is my one friend I have followed from New Albany to Sellersburg who always, always brings sunshine to any day, and her smile and her stories make me feel at home.  She has also seen me at my worst of times and best of times and always lifts you up…even during her sadest moments, she makes YOU feel better, she is unique, beautiful and she is my CAW – I love her like a sister….

Last but not least, there is my Naomi.  There is always that ONE person you open up to finally, after years of holding all the “bad” in…

“what if my greatest disappointments, or the aching of this life, is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy”

the one person who sees you at the best of times, and worst of times, who saves you times and time again, not just figuratively, but literally.  She saved me from an abusive marriage, made me see I was worth WAY more than what I was receiving, she kept me from self-destructing, from going crazy, from checking out when I wanted to check out, who has held me up when I have cried too many times to count

“cause what if your blessings some through raindrops”,

who has forced me to get up every day during some pretty trying times and told me to pull my act together and go to work, stay the course

“what if Your healing comes through tears”

she tells me – like everyone above – that I am worthy no matter what ANYONE in my past has ever said, has stayed up late with me to talk even when I repeated myself 100 times, and has supported every dream I’ve ever had.  She also includes me in any family gathering and her family has accepted me and loved me like I never knew family loved.  She loves my friends, and has the biggest heart I’ve ever know.  She nutures, cares, loves everyone, supports her family and friends equally, no judgement, no expectations…she is my Ruth 1:16…”don’t urge me to leave you…where you stay, I will stay…your people will be my people…”

“And what if 1000 sleepness nights are what it takes to know You’re near?”

So you see, I have many blessings and I recognize them, apprecite them, and love them unconditionally, I don’t judge them…

even during terrible pain – when I know i seem I lack joy, I seem angry, bitter, unhappy…

“the rain, the storms, the hardest nights”

when you are surrounded in every aspect of your life by people who love unconditionally, who show you and tell you – you are worth my time!  When you are at your lowest, when you think you are all alone, these blessings overflow your heart with love and life…

“What if trials of this life, are your mercies in disguise.”