Reason #53123 for the friend group

I’m going to be posting A LOT about community.  The longer I have been without it, the more important I see that it truly is for basic human survival.  We can do nothing, I mean nothing, completely on our own.  We NEED friends.

Now, I am in no way trying to downplay the hurt that friends sometimes cause, but in all my years of experience, the hard times make you closer and the good times far outweigh the bad.  I’m not talking about toxic friendships, that’s a conversation for another day.  I’m talking about TRUE COMMUNITY.

That said, let me begin.  My husband is a professional man.  He’s got all the degrees.  He’s a successful attorney.  We’re talking suit and tie type.  If you met my husband on a random Saturday, however, you would never know all that about him.  Not because he doesn’t sound intelligent, but because he was raised in the literal sticks (among other places), and he still holds very strongly to those roots.  He’s the hunting and fishing outdoorsy type.  He relates well to his clientele in this rural area of Mississippi.  They like a man they can relate with on more levels than their reason to be sitting across from him at his desk.

One of my dear friends (from the FG I mentioned in previous posts) had a skunk in her dog’s house this week.  Horror of horrors if you ask me.  It was an all day event which kept her and her children imprisoned inside their home for all the long hours.  When my husband came home from work that afternoon, I told him about her dilemma.  He said,”Tell her I’m coming to take care of it.”  Just like that.  He went and changed out of his work clothes, grabbed his gear and headed over.  No questions asked, no dreading this experience, no telling her to call animal control.

This is just what you do as a friend group.  Her husband is the one that put stitches in my kid’s face late in the evening a couple weeks back, my husband took care of her very smelly unwelcome guest.  I’m so grateful for our diversities.  All the strengths and weaknesses make us a strong group.

 

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Book Review

I love a reading challenge list.  I scour Pinterest and Instagram to find exactly the right one with exactly the right amount of variety to start the year.  This year, I found one on Instagram that I thought I would really enjoy, and so far, I really have enjoyed the list and the challenge.

What I don’t enjoy, is that the creator of said list hasn’t posted about anything they’re reading on Instagram since posting the list.  What?!?  Why?!?!  I’m a little put off by that, so I’ll have my own list for 2017.  Until then, I’m just trucking along through this one.

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Excuse the 2 am screen shot…

My theology when it comes to book lists is quite simple.  I NEVER read through the list in order, even if it’s numbered.  And I basically read what I want and find a place on the challenge list that it fits.  I may start a book thinking it will be one item and finish by marking off a totally different one.

That’s exactly what happened when I read The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson.  She is one of my most all time favorite authors.  Her first book gods in Alabama  was recommended to me in college by my mother (I’m sorry if your mom isn’t as cool a reader as mine), and I haven’t missed a single new book she’s put out since.  I look for her books to come out every year although they don’t come around yearly.  I have a radar of sorts that starts alerting me that it could be time to look for a new book from her.  You can ask my husband, it’s weird.  I’ve recently gotten my work friends hooked as well.  Maybe you’re hooked now, too?  You’re welcome.

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So I bought the book just dying to devour it, but I’m working on this book list.  It didn’t seem to fit anywhere on the list, so I was going to mark it off as “a book of your choice.”  I read the first line.  Maybe it could pass as “a book with a great first line,” but it was no Tale of Two Cities.  After finishing the book, turns out, I can mark off “a book about siblings!”  Woohoo!

I loved every single line of this book.  I can’t imagine the research that had to go into it about the Hindu religion and all the different gods.  I was captivated.  It devastated me, made me laugh, made me cry (like ugly cry a little).  Heads up, there are some super broken people in this book.  The broken kids were the hardest part for me, but only because that is reality for lots of kids in this world.  It ended exactly how I wanted it to end.  That’s really saying something.  I rarely get that in a book.  I cannot sing enough praises for this book.  RUN! Don’t walk.  Get the book.  Make it yours.

Hard Questions from Little Minds

My husband bought a bike.  For anyone who knows my husband, you know that this may or may not end well.  So far, so good, for him.

After all the ballgames on Thursday evening, my husband and children mounted their bicycles for a nice evening ride.  I don’t have a bike, so I walked.  My husband, on his large road bike, obviously struck out at a much faster pace than the kids or me.  The kids, being faster than me, were instructed to please just stay together.  I walked on, looking forward to being lapped multiple times on the short circle by all my cyclists.

The kids and I made it to the top of a fairly steep incline when they went on ahead of me out of my line of vision.  Then I heard it.  The screaming and wailing.  My daughter was screaming for me to hurry.  I cut out at a jog (I’m no athlete), and when my kids came into view, they were both there and standing up.  Ali was off her bike and wandering in the middle of the path screaming.  I couldn’t wrap my head around what could’ve possibly happened!

As I drew closer, I could see the blood dripped down her chin and the gaping hole in her cheek.  She had apparently hit her brakes too hard and run into a tree on the side of the trail.

Remember that friend group I talked about in my first post?  They truly are the best.  With my husband nowhere in sight, I had to gather up the bicycle, find her glasses, and start herding everyone to our vehicle whilst trying to calm Ali, keep Spencer close, take a picture of her wound that obviously was going to require stitches, and call on one of my dear friends to talk to her husband (a doctor).  I was overwhelmed, not to mention out of breath from my jog!  So when my husband was about to come whizzing past, I know we looked awful.  He was shocked at our scene.  By that time, though, we had instructions to go to the clinic’s back door for stitches.

Y’all.  I can’t say enough about my friend group.  Yours may not include a physician, and that’s OK.  The whole point of your FG is to be there when you need them just like you’ll be there when they need you.  They are the absolute highlight of my life right now, and I want to encourage you to get a FG fast if you aren’t engaged in one right now.

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After the whole thing was over and we were 4 stitches closer to healing, my Ali piped up in the backseat, “Mom, who made me run into that tree?”

Me, “You mean God or the devil?”

“Yes.”

This is a theme at our house.  God controls everything.  But in her little mind, if God is good and controls everything, why would he make her run her bike into a tree?  Why would a good Father want pain for a beloved daughter?

And so, I learned a lesson, too.  As I thought long and hard about God’s sovereignty and control, I explained to her that I didn’t think that God or the devil either one necessarily MADE her run into that tree.  I told her that it was an accident, but I quickly reminded her of Romans 8:28 that says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”

ALL things.  EVERYTHING.  We talked about all that we learned from this accident–bike safety, listening skills, the love of friends and a testimony of how God protected her from how much worse that could’ve been!  She was comforted by the revelation that God was, in fact, in this whole thing and would use it for good.

Sweet friends, can we remember this today?  Can Romans 8:28 become a life verse for all of us?  Whatever it is that you’re walking through, big or small, please know that God can and will use it for GOOD.

Thanks for reading!  And I would love to hear your feedback, your stories of how God used a situation for GOOD.