Writing Wins and Woes: Friendsgiving

Okay, I’m officially old. I had never heard of Friendsgiving until this year when my daughter told me she was having a Friendsgiving Party at her home. Apparently it’s a thing where you celebrate Thanksgiving with your friends. I’m not having a Friendsgiving Party but I am going to celebrate friends on my blog today. Friends are something I’m so thankful for right now.

Without friends and family, this year would have been a nightmare. My friends at our small group stepped in when we were at our lowest low. They gathered around us, offered their support and prayers. Although they might have been the first to judge our actions, they never once did. I remember saying to one of the couples of our group, “I keep wondering if I made the right decision” and they said, “You made the right decision, and even if you didn’t, God is able to work through that.” It was so comforting to me at the time.

Some people let me down during this time. I don’t want to talk about that because that is not helpful to dwell on.  Even those people taught me lessons. They taught me to cry out to God because He never leaves me, even when all others do. If I’m all alone, I will never be alone. God walks the paths with me and when I can’t walk anymore, He carries me. And sometimes we have to learn to forgive like God forgave us.

I want to pay special tribute to one special friend. She knows who she is. All through the hard times, she was there for me. She listened to me. She never condemned me. She had troubles of her own. But she still cared about mine. She sent me cards, telephoned me and messaged me. She was always positive when I was most negative.  She’s even dearer to me because we’ve been friends since high school. Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold.

Old friends are the best. I have a friend I met in college. My first orientation day she came up to me with her cheerful smile. I didn’t know anybody. I was alone, but suddenly I had a friend. She’s dealing with cancer now and she’s still my dear friend. Although she is suffering, she takes time to encourage me. She sends me home made cards and uplifting messages. She is an amazing person who is always laughing even through her pain.

I have friends for all occasions. I have church friends, writing friends, work friends, family friends, old friends and new friends. I’ve had friends for a season that came and went. I’m so happy I’ve met each and every one of them.

I’m so thankful for all my dear friends. I may let them down. They may let me down. The measure of a true friend is not perfection. Friends love us through our faults and our failings. Happy Friendsgiving, dear friends. May you be blessed as you have blessed me.friends

Writing Wins and Woes: More things to be thankful for

Happy Veterans day to all! I certainly am thankful for those who served and still serve our country. I am proud of all who put put their lives on the line to protect us. But speaking of those who put their lives out there to protect us, I can’t help but think of family.

I always thought of our family as a close family. My mom is my second best friend, next to my husband, and my children have always mattered more in my life than anything else. Now, my grandson is such an important part of my life. Then, last year something happened to turn my life around.

My youngest daughter moved to Iowa. It was the hardest thing I ever had to walk through. But it reinforced the idea to me that family really means so much to me. Whether far away or close by, I need my family. I need their love, support, loyalty and humor to keep me going, and I’m hoping they feel the same way about me. We’ve gone through some hard things and there are still some hard things to come.  But with the strong cords that bind, we are sure to pull through. Thank you, Lord, for giving my family to me.

the-three-of-them6921419papaw-and-miles-holding

Writing Wins and Woes: Things I am Thankful for

When I first thought of writing this series, I didn’t realize how difficult it would be. Not because I couldn’t think of things I’m thankful for, but because there were too many things I was thankful for. Also, I was thinking surely while picking and choosing for a month’s series, I’m bound to leave somebody/something out I should have included. As I considered this, I began to think that I would need to be more inclusive when I wrote this blog. I definitely can’t be thankful for just one thing. So, for this particular blog, to make it more relevant for the times, I decided on God and country.

God and country sounds like a country western song. In fact, it’s lauded in a majority of country music.  But when I thought about my thankful list, God was definitely at the top. I’m 100% sure I would never have made it this far without my faith in God. God gives me strength every day to begin the day and end the day. My personality is melancholic. I have these days where I soar and these days where I’m down, and I’m not bipolar. I’m just prone to fly by the seat of my emotions. Every put down, real or imagined, from a person is a dagger in my hide. Every compliment is like a flowering garden. God is the steady anchor in my life. If everyone seems to have neglected me or let me down, God is always there. He is my guiding light. Every decision I make is colored by is this the one God would choose for me. Or it should be.  God is my shepherd. He’s not the dictator in my life. He doesn’t crack the whip. He just leads me. He wraps his arms around me and lets me cry. And sometimes he gives me a gentle nudge so I can move on forward and not backwards in my life.

I am also thankful for my country. Right now, I’m not at highest hopes for it. This election has been a sad time. People I know as well as myself are afraid to mention who they are voting for. Nobody likes the candidates. And they’ve both descended to new lows on how they ran their campaigns. But beyond all that, our country which is so flawed is still a great country to live in. We have freedoms. I can go to church every week where I want and talk about my faith, and nobody is going to beat me up or throw me into jail. I can succeed or fail as I desire and work for, because that’s built into the framework of how we live in this country. Although there are bad people in it who make me sick inside, there are also very good people who reach out and help others in need. There are people who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in and they can because we live in the greatest country in the world, the United States of America.

So when you go out to vote, and I hope you do next week, just be thankful for the privilege that you have to vote, and for the God this country was founded on. We are truly blessed beyond all measure.1535