Thoughts about Friendship

Below is a page I follow on Facebook “Sister I am with you” ~ as I read it yesterday my mind started thinking and the tears started falling…feel free to skip the post and continue to my thoughts below…

Sister I am With YOU!· Sometimes I’m a bad friend. And look, this is a safe space, so let’s be honest here—sometimes you are too. I’m not saying it’s okay, but I’m saying…let’s have some grace for each other. Life is hard, and we are walking around waitress-style balancing four plates on both arms, glasses in both hands, probably a tray on top of our head and a set of napkins in our mouth. We’re wife-ing. We’re mom-ing. We’re daughter-ing. We’re working. We’re volunteering. We’re giving to about ten thousand different areas 27 hours a day, which is insane, because there are only 24 hours in a day. But yeah…that’s kind of what it feels like most of the time. We are trying. But sometimes, something just gets dropped, because we are all just ordinary people. It’s not because we don’t care. Not because we don’t love you. Not because we are trying to hurt you. But because..life. Sometimes we forget to respond to that text. And yeah, I know, they only take ten seconds to send, but when you get them while you’re in the middle of making dinner while also trying to convince your toddler to put on pants and help your older kid with their homework, sometimes you just forget. Sometimes you need an hour after everyone’s in bed to catch up with your hubby without a phone in your hand. Sometimes we have to decline that invitation even though it breaks our heart internally to reply with a “sorry, I’m out tonight.” Kids get sick. Obligations arise. Money gets tight. Schtuff happens. It doesn’t matter how much FOMO we may have, or how much our soul is craving that sisterhood, we just can’t be in two places at once. Again, ordinary people. Sometimes the situation is even worse and we are battling depression and anxiety, and we pull away and go into hiding, even though that’s probably the time when we need our friends the most. Whewwwwww.We are trying. But, I’ll tell you what: If you’ll make a promise to me, I’ll make the same promise to you.To do the best I can. Always. To reply as often as my extremely exhausted brain will allow. (Seriously, I threw my keys and my wallet into the trash today. Sometimes, it just ain’t staying on top of things.) To pick up the phone every chance I get. To say—not just yes—but hell yes, as often as I possibly can. To cheer for you. To help you often. To listen. To include you. To talk good about you behind your back. To think about you. To tell you the truth. To be nice. To be fun. To be there in an emergency. To love your family. To love you. To not make you feel guilty. To not add drama to your already full life. To talk directly to you when I’m upset, and not to go to somebody else. To try. And also, and maybe most importantly, to forgive you when you mess-up too. To go easy on the unrealistic expectations and chill out for a hot minute. To give you the benefit of the doubt. To remember that I KNOW YOU, and I know that sometimes, crappy behavior doesn’t mean you have a crappy heart, it just means you have a lot going on. To make sure I do my part to make this the kind of un-delicate relationship that doesn’t sway back and forth when the wind starts to blow, or walk away the second things hard, or make you feel like you need to walk on eggshells to make me happy. I don’t want you to walk on eggshells. Life is too short. I don’t need you to make me happy. That’s an inside job.I don’t need to be the only thing going on in your life. That’s completely unrealistic and unbelievably selfish. I don’t need you to be perfect. I just need you to be yourself, and to be a part of my life, as often as you possibly can. Love, Amy Follow Sister, I am with you.

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I wrote this yesterday morning in response to the above post: Friendship is a two way street, right now I feel like I have forgotten what way the road is being traveled…I know I am loved by many but some days, even weeks go by and my mind asks how is so & so? Why has it been so long since I have chatted with them? I feel like I’m failing as a friend. Going to just leave this here as I feel a long blog post coming to my mind…So too continue with my thoughts…

“let’s have some grace for each other” I have to remember to extend the grace that I give to others to myself. Which is so hard to do at times.

“We are trying. But sometimes, something just gets dropped, because we are all just ordinary people. It’s not because we don’t care. Not because we don’t love you. Not because we are trying to hurt you. But because..life. Sometimes we forget to respond to that text. And yeah, I know, they only take ten seconds to send, but when you get them while you’re in the middle of making dinner while also trying to convince your toddler to put on pants and help your older kid with their homework, sometimes you just forget.” I need to remember to tell myself “it’s okay because I’m trying. Trying to be a mama to 11 boys (that number changes often lately it seems), to stay in touch with our granddaughter ~ which has been more hit than miss, trying to keep in touch with our boys…I remember when we were first married I would ask Ron “have you called your mom lately?” now it’s have you called your sisters or your brother or your Aunt Tiny? or ???” and so I want to be the mom that calls her kids, to see how life is going and yet lately I seem to fail more than I succeed.

And yes life gets in the way. Life for me lately includes a sore foot that doesn’t seem to be healing correctly, that the PT is thinking the orthopedic doctor should look at my foot. PT is thinking with the hard lump in my foot is that it really is broken and if that is the case maybe surgery and recovery will be part of my future. UGH…was reminded by a coworker yesterday, don’t worry about the what if until I know for sure. Life includes being a foster mom to an ever changing population, dealing with sick kids, possibly Covid ~ waiting to hear back on one test, have two more getting tested today! For the most part Ron and I love our job, love our kids here at AKP even the ones that seem to be on a collision course with school, with us and life in general…it’s hard to see them struggle so much. And also feeling like I am failing as a wife…life has been stressful for Ron and I have been focused on my crap and not him. I know he loves me but sometimes I need to put my stuff aside and focus and be there for him!!

Life gets messy at times and we need to just acknowledge it and keep moving forward. That is what I am doing today…moving forward. Taking a little bit of time for me while 3 sickies are still sleeping and allowing the 4th one to play on the computer to give me a few minutes of quiet and focus time.

I have also been reflecting on my word from a few years ago + I was reminded by my Bestie ~~ to be FLEXIBLE and how even in the midst of all this sickness in our home, sick boys and a sore foot how I’ve tried to stay flexible and just go with the flow…thanks Bestie for reminding me how far I have come!!!

Today is a new day, two more sleeps and we are off for a week. The first few days of our off time will be busy as we prepare the trailer for travel on Thursday and then move to a new campground on Friday ~ remember the one with a

Swimming Pool Heating | Department of Energy

Not sure if we will have time to get in on Friday but for sure sometime during our off week I plan on floating and relaxing in the pool for a couple of hours!!! If not more like days!!!! I do have two doctor appointments on Monday and a PT appointment on Wednesday but that still leaves time to hang at the pool!!!! And I can’t wait.

In the meantime, today I am doing laundry, making burgers for dinner and loving on these boys!!!

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What are you doing for yourself today??

One more thing, if you don’t mind, please say a prayer for a friend who’s mom needs some healing, another family has the sickies and for all our teachers and school administrations across the country facing so many obstacles and responsibilities that are not the norm! Thanks

And it’s Monday again!!

Whew! We made it through the weekend and only 3 more sleeps and we are off! Not sure why but these past four days have just been emotional and stressful…well I kind of know why ~ having sick kids means we can’t go on any outings and we love to take the boys on outings to hopefully make some good and fun memories. But alas, four sick boys from Friday to Sunday meant no outings. Lots of time was spent on electronics, watching movies, some boys were able to go outside to burn off some energy, watching more movies and having a Pizza night for Saturday night. So thankful for the gift cards for Dominoes that we were blessed with. The boys enjoyed some special pizza’s ~ Meatzza, Dbl Pepperoni, Vegetable (thanks TS for choosing this one!) and a half sausage/half pineapple. This morning, JK said as he was walking out the door…Ms Ali thank you for the fun weekend! And off he skipped to catch the bus…what I thought was a boring, stressful weekend was not that to at least one little guy ~ Thank you Jesus for that encouragement. This mama’s heart needed that.

I opened my little prayer journal geared to the school year and this was the verse for today:

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And I was reminded that my attitude and behaviors are being watched by many little (and not so little eyes) and I thanked the Lord that even though I was feeling anxious, had what I call a “stinky attitude” God showed at least one of our littles something positive. So I pray Lord, help me today to remember that they re watching and to help me to be a positive influencer of these precious souls. And to be thankful for the little things…today I am thankful we only have two boys home sick instead of four! That I slept hard last night – had some strange dreams but that’s okay as they weren’t scary just stuff to think about!!

As I continued with my devotionals this morning I turned to 2 Thessalonians Chapter 2 and Titus Chapter 2again.

Titus 2 - DailyVerses.net

And am reminded that God’s grace is one of the best gifts I have ever received. Even though at times I might feel jealous of someone else or wished I had the perfect makeup style or coveting someone’s lifestyle that I am who I am and where I am is where God would have me to be. Lately I have found myself telling CP to stop comparing himself to the other boys isn’t that just what I do when I envy or covet something or someone else? And

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And that my focus needs to be on me, my relationship with the Lord, trusting him for guidance for decisions and choices we make. I can wonder what if we had stayed in the military? what if had never left Blaine? but through it all what I do know is that God has walked beside me every step of the way, through the valleys and on the mountain tops and that we made decisions and choices based on what we knew at that specific moment and time. And through it all we have put our

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We may not understand the why’s or what for’s but we do know God is in control and in charge of our lives and we are

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and for that we are

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How do you challenge your thinking when you begin to compare yourself to others?

Do you have a favorite Bible verse or saying that you cling to during difficult times?

Do you play the “What if?” game? And if so, how do you feel about yourself and your life now?

It’s Been A While…

I can’t remember the last time I wrote on my blog and I’m too lazy to go check the last date and it really doesn’t matter anyway…I just know it’s been awhile. It’s been awhile since I picked up my Bible, it’s been awhile since I last wrote a special aunt, it’s been awhile since a lot of ….. and like I tell our kids (right now it’s 9 boys) it’s okay, God’s grace is new every day and today I am going to just give myself the grace that I try to freely give to others.

I went to bed just after 7p last night. Woke up just before 6 and finally feel rested. Thank you Jesus and NyQuil!!! It seems like a lot has been happening but also like nothing is going on…on July 30 I had a stool fall on my foot…it hurt like the dickens. Yesterday I went to my first PT appointment. When I left the office I was feeling frustrated and tired. The doctor had said I didn’t break the bone in my foot, the PT says differently. The doctor says yes I can go back to work, standing up to three hours a day, the PT says stay off your foot for a good week or two. Who do I believe? What do I do? What I do know is that the heat the PT put on my foot, the exercises he had me do in the office, the heating pad I used for most of the afternoon yesterday and the four or five times I have done the foot exercises this morning my foot is feeling much better. I did the exercises before getting out of bed this morning…guess what? My foot didn’t hurt quite as bad when I stood up on it!!! Thank you Jesus and the PT for encouraging me.

Last night before going to bed I looked at an email from one of the many “self-help/diet/eat right” I get every day…I was encouraged to just do one thing. This morning when I woke up be 0 dark thirty and came out to the living room I picked up my Bible (I can’t remember the last time I opened my Bible. I know I have carried it to work for two weeks and been off one week so it’s been at least three weeks since I sat down to talk with God, to read His word…oh my gosh…did I just admit I don’t read my Bible every day?? What kind of person must I be??). I turned to the back where the daily devotions are listed. I turned to 2 Kings 25. The devotion is titled “When You Can’t Make Sense of Devastation.” I felt like the Lord had just sat down right next to me and said “hey girl, let’s talk!”

So much has happened in the past few weeks…first the stool and my foot, then hearing that a friend lost her husband in a freaky accident, then having issues with a credit card, hobbling around like a 90 year old woman for the past two and a half weeks, moving into a new house at work, dealing with kids who are hurting, who are dealing with so many changes and even though the changes are for their good they still sting, they still hurt, they are still changes, meeting new house parents (which we are thankful to have a full team in Sammy House) it’s still another change, new admissions and another move by another boy bringing to 10 boys in our Sammy House!!! Lord, where is the little girl I so desperately want??? Covid is on the rise, Afghanistan is being devastated, I’ve been battling bronchitis and dany my foot hurts and my little home on wheels is cluttered and messy and, and, and, and…So much has been going on YET the Lord met me right where I am today, in this moment!!!

From the devotion this morning: our grief looks the same. We’re deep in ash and dust and we can’t make sense of it, sense of God. Maybe it even feels like our faith is out there in the ash heap with everything else. (Just what I shared with a friend earlier this week!) In 2 Kings 25:27-30 I am reminded that no matter how bleak the circumstances, hope is never lost. God does not abandon His people or His promises. God doesn’t abandon me!!! Instead we are told, “in the midst of devastation, look for the small mercies” they are there!!! For me, this week has been a week of rest, lots of naps, not a lot of walking!! If we didn’t work our 7/7 schedule who knows what my foot would look like or feel like?

“Loss is not where I find peace.” God is holy, His ways and thoughts are beyond our comprehension. It’s not when I’m hurting that I find peace…it is in the love of God and those around me that I find peace. Loss of being able to be up and about, loss of doing…the peace comes from BEing (thanks for the reminder Charles), just resting in God’s love, resting in the care of Ron’s love and care of me.

And “we have been raised to a living hope and all of God’s promises are secure.” And my hope is in the Lord!! It’s not in what I have or what I do…it’s in the Lord…the Lord gives me hope for each new day. And my mind keeps going back to “loss is not where I find peace.” This past week is full of memories, some horrible and sad memories but when I step out and look at what has happened since the circumstances of those memories I am filled with peace, love and joy…and maybe that’s what the past few weeks have been for me…look at the hard stuff but celebrate the good things!!!

Hard stuff ~ 44 years ago we lost a precious baby boy…Royce is always near in my heart, even though I know the truth about his death, it still stings 44 years later BUT, BUT, the joy of the past 44 years…seeing Jamie become the man he has become, the loving husband and father, the good worker and caretaker of his wife and daughter!!! Who would have thought 44 years ago that that little 3 lb 12 oz baby boy would grow up to be a wonderful son, who calls us way more than we ever called our parents, a loving husband who encourages his wife to grow and be strong in her own right, a daddy who works hard to give his daughter all that she needs to live a full life…that’s the good stuff!!!

And even though I joke with our boys about following the rules…I’m so thankful for Brandon and his sweet family. For Max, becoming our first grandchild on 8/11 – taking a hard day and giving us a day to celebrate! Celebrate our Marine!!! A young man who loves our country, loves his family, spends time with his Grammy & Grandpa when he could be off hanging with his sweet girlfriend!!!

I just want to shout “Thank you Lord for the hard days, for the hard stuff because it lets me celebrate the good things, the blessings you have shown me!!!”

I have much to be thankful for and I truly am!!!