Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

“So I have one friend?” she asked me nervously.
“Yes,” I answered confidently, “I am your friend.”

This conversation happened in the jail (like most of the ones that make the blog). We were talking about how scary the idea of getting out of jail was. How hard it would be to start over since her husband was divorcing her and she couldn’t go back home after this. Since her addiction had kept her from building any positive relationships in the past. Since she didn’t have custody of her children. Since she wasn’t sure what her relationship with her parents was anymore.

She asked how to make friends. She could do it in a bar, she said, but followed that thought up with the fact that she couldn’t go to a bar because she knew if she took one drink of alcohol all her hard work of staying sober would come crashing down. She knew she still doesn’t have the power to stop after one drink or to say no if offered a drink. She knows if she wants to stay healthy she cannot be around it at all.

“I’m your friend.” I said, and then continued with my list of friend making ideas, “You can go to the park, the library, the same coffee shop every week,” I told her. She said she loved the library but didn’t know how to start talking to people. “You can come with me to church and I can introduce you to people there.” It was here she stopped me to ask about my first statement. “So I have one friend?” It was so meekly asked that I wanted to cry. I wanted to hug her. I wanted to say, of course you do and I know so many more who would love to be your friend. I know the people who don’t care what your past holds and how many more times you mess up. I know the people who will love you with Jesus’ love. But I knew that would be too overwhelming, so instead I gave her a simple yes. “Yes, I am your friend.” And I hope and pray that one day she has so many more.

Today was beautiful.

There are so many reasons why. I’ll probably blog about lots of them individually, but I’ll give you the quick list now:

  • IMG_5883It started strong when soon after I woke up my phone reminded me to have a good attitude since I knew I’d need a reminder after getting very little sleep.
  • I got to talk to my Mama in Tanzania for a minute.
  • My phone didn’t break even though I dropped it down a flight of stairs and it bounced on every step.
  • We got to feed 50+ artists breakfast and they were so very happy about it.
  • I heard stories from people who live all over the nation.
  • We got to hand out hundreds of free water bottles to strangers on a hot day.
  • Several friends came to visit me and hang out.
  • My kitchen and bathroom are both clean.

I could go on…there are so many reasons today was beautiful! But the one that stood out above the rest was getting a small white flower from a sweet little girl. After we gave her a bottle of water, I complimented this (maybe 4 year old) little girl on a flower she was holding. She paused, looked at the flower, and then slowly raised it up to give it to me. From someone else, this might seem worthless, a frail flower they grabbed from the side of the road somewhere, but from this little girl, it was clear she gave me a treasure. And by doing so, she reminded me to be intentional about being aware of my perspective. Life is full of moments. I don’t always see the treasure in each one, but I want to. I hope your day was beautiful too.

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You’d think having grown up traveling the world that I’d be pretty good at it. You’d think I’d just get on my planes and off of them the way normal people do, but for some reason, I can’t seem to do it. So instead I have random airport adventures while I wait for different flights to come and collect me.

This time it was much calmer and shorter than the last airport adventure.
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This time I felt very alone.
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I had the halls to myself,
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the walkways to myself,
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the bathroom to myself,
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the closed stores to myself,
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but when I laid down to sleep,
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I was in good company.
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I also got to Skype with my brother-in-law for a while and catch up. One perk about having family in all different time zones!

And wouldn’t you know, when you are stranded somewhere other people usually are too. In this case, it was some friends I hadn’t seen since three years ago in Tanzania! It was great to see them and meet their new-ish little guy!
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And the possibly the greatest surprise was getting a first class seat on the plane when I finally did get on! I didn’t know ahead of time because they wouldn’t print my boarding pass until it was time to get on the plane (made me a bit nervous that I wouldn’t have a seat, but I did, and it was a great one). The man next to me even gave me his blanket so I had two. I don’t know anything except a few moments of chatter before I fell asleep right before take off and then a few more words exchanged right after landing. A wonderful flight indeed! It was also the first of 4 to not have a child within 2 rows of me screaming the entire flight. Such a win!
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It was a crazy trip, but so worth it! I had such a blast celebrating Kelcey and Jordan with old friends from New Zealand! Some of the best in the world!
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And now I’m spending some quality time with my family in Michigan before they fly back to Tanzania…and waiting for my suitcase to catch up with me.