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I am happily married to an amazing military man who spent 9 years enlisted and is now an Officer in the US Army. We have two amazing boys who are not so little any more! They still infuse every moment of every day with creativity and energy, and make my life an adventure.  I was educated at home, and am now teaching our children - second generation homeschoolers! I try every day to become more like Jesus Christ, and to love like HE does. If you want you can try and catch me at bethylovesandy@yahoo.com

My Blog Title Verse

"For the Lord gives wisdom. From His mouth come knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6 NKJV 
The Message translation puts it this way "God gives out Wisdom free, is plainspoken in Knowledge and Understanding."

Verse of the day

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Friendship

What defines a friend?

I have had a lot of need, over the last few months, for friends. Being unable to drive has put a pretty big crimp in my style.
We have only lived in this area for about two years. We are still newbies.
So, it would not be that unexpected, really, if people to take care of me were hard to find.

That has not been the case AT ALL.

I get rides to church and bible study. Homeschool P.E. class and the Commissary. People stop and grab a gallon of milk or a dozen eggs for me, since they are out anyway. They take me to doctor's appointments, and dentist's appointments, and out, just because I have cabin fever.

I haven't earned much love yet. I haven't been here long enough to have done much for them. Before I got sick I didn't drive them places, or watch their kids, or drop everything in my life just to run over to their house to keep them from losing their mind.
Yet still, they do these things for me.

That is friendship.
It isn't earned.
It is given.

Today, I had a chance to feel like I could reciprocate a little. I was able to do a couple favors for two of my friends here. Things that I am good at, and that don't require driving.
It felt good to "earn my keep". But at the same time, I would have willingly, and cheerfully done them, even if they had never given me a ride anywhere. Even if I didn't owe them a million thank you's, I would be happy to help them. Because,

That is friendship.
It isn't earned.
It is given.

We have moved over and over throughout my life. I have lived in 9 states, visited multiple countries, and am currently living in either my 30th, or 31st house.
Yet, there are people who have kept up with me through all those address changes. Forwarded letters across the country, and the globe. Back before E-mail was a common thing, we wrote our little notes on pink Strawberry Shortcake paper and mailed them back and forth. Two people that I love dearly have know me almost all of my life, despite my moving over and over. They could have decided I was too much work. They could have moved on to more convenient friends, who were close by, and easy to talk to. But they wrote their letters, and later their E-mails, and had me in their weddings, and call me up just to chat even now.

That is friendship.
It isn't earned.
It is given.

This weekend while my family was here all of us girls were sitting around my kitchen table, just chatting. Mom happened to ask my younger sister, Kelsey, how one of her friends was. A girl we all know, but that Kelsey sees most often.
She burst into tears.
Not the response we expected, to say the least.
It seems that last time they had been together this friend, and another friend, had been teasing back and forth about how much work Kelsey's wedding had been. She had chosen to go "green", thus had "real" dishes, and cloth napkins, and an outdoor wedding. After teasing her awhile about how much work it had been to prepare for and clean up after, the friend said, "I would never do that to my friends."

"Do that to your friends".... really?

If you have to "do that" to them, then they aren't your friends.

Friends happily, cheerfully, with everything within them sign up to help you when you need it. I think that along with sickness, and deployments, and newborn babies, weddings qualify as a need.

That is friendship.
It isn't earned.
It is given.

So, this Posting is a thank you to my friends. You have given me words of encouragement. Prayers for healing. Rides to doctor's appointments. Phone calls, just to say hi, on your way to Bible study. (you know who you are!) You have given me a lot, even though I haven't earned it. That is how I know we are friends.
Thank you a million times over!

(Side note: I believe that Kelsey's friend really is her friend. Don't judge her too harshly - she probably just wasn't thinking about what she was saying. However, anytime someone makes my sisters cry, I take is seriously! I may have to offer a beat down next time I see her!)

8 comments:

Josh'sWif said...

I love this post...and you are so right! I view friends differently now, especially being married now and having to move away from my friends. Its interesting to see how many friends drop...but I love the friends that have been there with me through everything and still will be despite me being so far away!

Marcy said...

This was a great post, Bethany! I am sure that Kelsey's friends weren't thinking when they were saying those things. I am sure they thought they were being funny, not hurtful.

autumnesf said...

Great post. I could write one almost exactly the same. There is just nothing like an unearned friend!

Carrie said...

And I have felt like such a complete failure the past couple of weeks! You are so awesome and I DO know that through your life you have given so much to so many people and that I know it is God providing the same for you in this time when you need it! I wish I was nearer so I could be of more help with the riding and SHOPPING! ha ha!!!!
I love you my sweet unearned friend!

Mel Eik said...

This is one of my most favorite posts you have written! I couldn't agree more. I am so thankful that God chose to place us, His children, in communities so that we can have the joy of serving each other! It is so beautiful and brings Him so much glory when it's done right!

EmileeHope said...

Great post Betsy!! You are such a talented writer! I love my sisters, they are the best of friends EVER!!! Thanks again for having us all over last weekend. Can't wait to see y'all next week!!

Karen said...

You have described true friendship perfectly....

Tricia said...

We've never met and probably never will, but you have been that kind of friend to me. Always willing to leave an encouraging message, usually when I need it most. I thank God I "met" you here. :)