Friends {Five Minute Friday}

Tea Party The best thing about my best friends is that we don't talk much, and we're okay with that

That sounds harsh or sarcastic but it's not, it's really what I appreciate at this stage in life. I appreciate that we are friends when we have time for coffee or time for praying together or time for a weekend away. And I appreciate that in all those in between times, the months where we don't talk and lose track of each other's lives, in those times we are still friends.

It can be months in between. There's no hurt feelings and no pressure. No pouting or excuse making. Because Moms know this: that friendships change over the years and the ones that are meant to last are the ones that you don't have to work hard at, the ones that step aside for your family, pray for your family, and pick up wherever they left off.

That's the beauty of having friends in various seasons of life.

In high school there were unspoken rules about who you could really be friends with. Artificial friendships formed because you were all thrust into the same experiences and forced to endure them together - those aren't typically enduring or endearing relationships.

But real life? Real friends who pray in the in-betweens and who've endured births and deaths and diapers and empty nests along side you - those friends are the real deal. 

 

Sharing five minutes on the writing prompt Friends (which is a ridiculously inadequate amount of time but I'm trying to follow the rules) and linking up with Lisa-Jo and others for Five Minute Friday.

If you're still reading, let me just add that one thing I've learned over the years is that I don't have to be just like my friends in order for our friendship to be true and lasting. Comparison kills, and I never loved a friend because they were just like me. Rather, I love them because they are different from me in ways that I can appreciate and grow from.

People are like dirt. They can either nourish you and help you grow as a person or they can stunt your growth and make you wilt and die. ~ Plato

Five Minute Friday: Cherished

Cherish  

For all the struggles and squabbles, there is a grace to keep going.

The moments when you play legos though you're "too old" for that. The two, three, four of you down on the carpet, building your colony and being good neighbors.

The spontaneous moments a mom could never plan, when a tug on your sleeve from little brother or sister brings a softening and relenting, when you give in to the playing and the time is quality. Pure quality.

There is grace to keep on when I catch you snuggling during the movie, or when I peek in the door Saturday morning to see you all piled up and listening to Odyssey.

When you read that story together, when you share that memory, laugh at that joke, and even when you join sides in coercive plots against me.

Trust me, I see. Because I'm looking for it, looking and hoping and filling the ears of God with requests for this: that my children would be friends.

And you are.

Friends who live and work and play together almost 24/7 and yes, friends who rub on each other and annoy the heck out of one another sometimes. But friends, nevertheless.

I wonder, and I'm pretty sure, that God cherishes when His kids are friends, too. A mother's heart comes from the Father.

For every disagreement and stomp of the foot, for every selfishness and self-will and Precious Self, there's something in the memory to pull out and cherish. I forget a lot of things, but I remember the things I cherish.

And we're all growing up together, making moments to forget and ones to remember. Here's to remembering more.

 

Linking up with Lisa Jo and the Five Minute Friday community. Follow the link and write with us for five off-the-top-of-your-head minutes!

What Does it Mean to Not Have Regrets?

It was one of those parties where I always feel inept.  A party where the host sells home decor and all the pretty things in the catalog look great...in the catalog. Home decor and I are just not close friends, and one of us is always feeling out of place. I say that I'm a minimalist, but that's really just a facade to hide my anxiety about pretty things in just the right places.

I can enjoy the decor in others' homes, could spend hours looking around a catalog or store, but I have huge. blank. spaces. in my home. (Kinda like this blog, but I like it.)

blue sky with jet, minimalism, fear of mistakes

I prefer blank spaces over decorating mistakes.

Thankfully, the Lord has placed women in my life who are very tight with decor.  Like, professionals.  They held my hand and offered lovely advice, and when the one item I ordered does arrive, my talented friend will even come over to help me place it just right.

So maybe I'm not really a minimalist, but a decoraphobiac. That's not in Webster's, yet, but it's legit. It's a fear of decorating.

A fear of making mistakes.

One of the pretty things in the catalog was a canvas full of sayings and inspiring mottoes for your family. Don't Regret Anything, one of them said. A whole cute picture with all these great sayings, and then that one.  My brain couldn't interpret the phrase in a way that made sense.

Don't regret anything.

What does that mean? That we make no apologies and don't look back? Sort of a deal-with-it attitude, and not necessarily something I want to instill in my children. I think the world is full of enough of that kind of living, that kind of tolerance.

"Accept me as I am,"  but didn't Jesus say to take up our cross daily? If we're fine the way we are, what's all the dying to self about?

I know. It's just a phrase on a cute canvas, but it ruffled my feathers.

My husband and I talked about regrets a few weeks ago, before this sign. I know about regrets because I have lots of them, but I tried to talk all mature and spiritual-like about asking forgiveness and moving on. About not living in the past but making right choices today.

Sounded good. The trouble is that dying daily is just so everyday.

So I get battle-weary or forgetful or lazy, and this is where regret steps in. Because I can ask forgiveness, I can pray and move on and attempt to make better choices, but I have this memory that works too well at all the wrong things.

Don't regret anything could mean that we don't do anything that we will regret, i.e., we don't make mistakes. We are so careful to do things right that there is never any need to regret.

What would that be like? (Pause for dramatic effect).

desert, minimalism, blankness, fear

But maybe I regret not taking risks, with decorating or speaking or writing or loving. Who knows what might have been, if only I'd had the guts to follow through?

What if I had done that thing I felt prompted to do? What if I had gotten out of The Comfortable Place and said the words that burned in my throat, all fumbling and messy, but obedient?

Maybe I hang on to too much mommy-guilt, and regret is really just me stewing over the woulda-coulda-shouldas when I really need to move on.  Do it right from this point forward. Cling to Christ and don't look back. Take my own advice and all that.

Truth is, I could never hang a sign in my home that says Don't Regret Anything.  I'd have to have another sign next to it with a disclaimer, or at least a definition of terms.

Would you hang that sign in your home?  What does "Don't Regret Anything" mean to you? 

(Because it was a really cute sign.)

Sharing at Imperfect Prose and A Holy Experience.