Today I am thankful for friends. Not the facebook kind of friends, but true, blue, I know you kind of friends. I've been blessed with many of those through the years and just let me say that life has been so much happier, easier and fulfilling because of them. They fall into all ages, denominations and social statuses. Can I share about them with you?
There's my church ladies. Our church is full of wonderful, diverse ladies and I love every single one of them! They are all so different but somehow we all just seem to mesh. I love these ladies for so many different reasons. They all love God and that is what brings us together. As a Pastor's wife, I don't have the worry that so many in my position have when it comes to "cm's" (congregation members). I can just be myself and they love me in spite of it, as I do them even though we are quick to jump to one anothers aid when one of our weaknesses becomes obvious. Some don't say much, but they are quick to give a smile or a hug when they know I could use one. Others just are full of good deeds and seem to have this ESP about what to do and exactly when to do it. Others I don't spend a lot of time with but their interactions with me are so practically simple and pertinent that I don't know what I would do without them. Some just pour into my spiritual life without even knowing they are doing it. When we all get together, it's a sure bet that it will be a good time. They all love to laugh, play and pray and mostly our gatherings include a little of all three.
There's my "old" friends. Not old in age, but longevity of our friendship. Some of these are the ones that awe me the most. I have a couple of friends of over 25 years that I rarely ever see or talk to. There is the Christmas card, an occasional birthday card, an email or two and if we're really being "diligent" a phone call once a year. Every coon's age or so (that's mountain lingo for every couple of years), we may cross paths by traveling through on our way to somewhere and stop for lunch and a chat. The thing that amazes me the most about these girls is that no matter how long it is between actual conversations, it never seems as if we've ever been apart. Even with a span of 15 years between this conversation and our last, we just pick up where we left off last time. I LOVE these kinds of friends! These are the kind that really know you so well that they know you down to the fuzz that covers your heart and relate to you on that level no matter how much time has passed or what has transpired in your life. They know ultimately what really makes you tick, what is the essence of who you really are. They are a rare gift. I just happen to be blessed with several of these kinds of friends. A true extravagance in good fortune and blessing, in my book.
Then there's the smaller crowd. I have several "little" friends. These are mostly children of my church lady friends. There's just nothing like finding a plastic baggy with a hand drawn card with a message that just makes your heart feel like a newly poured cup of hot chocolate with a big, gooey marshmallow floating on the top. Inside there may be a primitively shaped cookie, a necklace made from macaroni or purchased from the discount store that was purchased with prized birthday, leaf raking or babysitting money. You can bet it didn't come easy! These are the truly "priceless" gifts and I am so blessed to be the object of their generosity and love.
Then there's the friends I've never met. What, you say??? How can that be? With the dawn of technology there are these things called blogs, chat rooms, and groups of every shape and size you can imagine. And crazily enough I have made some pretty neat friends with people I've never actually seen in person. There's my Pastor's wives group and my Cafemom friend who I playfully call "the best friend I've never met". We just connect on the level that counts the most-Christ, His Word, and how to practically live out this life in a way that honors and glorifies Him!
And I'd be remiss not to mention my sister, although she is not technically a "friend". She is my blood relation but never has anyone ever found such a loyal, loving, caring friend as her! She ALWAYS has my back. She ALWAYS tells me the truth, even when I don't want to hear it. She ALWAYS makes me laugh.
I don't know how people with no friends make it through life. They miss out on so much! Friends are the fancy, gawdy, funny, colorful, necessary embellishments of life!