Last night in Woman of Worth, we discussed friendship. As an activity, we made friendship soup!
We discussed the importance of choosing friends wisely, forgiveness, and the number one friendship killer–gossip. Someone asked Jesus how many times do we forgive a friend?
Jesus says to him, “I say to you not up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven! Matthew 18:22
Meaning…..we know up front we will hurt others, and they will hurt us, so get your forgiveness game on. Recognizing that consistent, harmful relationships should end. We challenged ourselves to remember this guideline:
The best way to handle conflict in a relationship is to go to the person and talk it out. If you need guidance on the matter go to a trusted adult, not another friend and gossip about that person.
As we went through the lesson, we wrote characteristics and qualities of a good friend and made friendship soup:
Able to be trusted
Would never harm you
Has your back
Sense of humor
Influences you in the right way
Similar values and grow together
Not ashamed to be with you
To be loyal, faithful
Good listener; Someone who won’t judge
Take the time to help you
Keeps your secrets
Someone who thinks of others
Someone who will hold you accountable to the Lord
Can act like “the bigger man”
Competitive to challenge me
Doesn’t gossip a lot
Doesn’t tear you down
Not afraid to say it if they think you did something wrong
Helps in your time of despair; talks to you
undramatic: who brings happiness and no guilt
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
WOW! What a great reminder of friendship. We began and closed the lesson reminding each other that God is our first and perfect friend who can help us be a true friend to those He puts in our lives.
Before we start the journey, we wanted to share our wooden, bread board story. My grandmother Emma Lloyd made biscuits and her famous pound cake on this board. We were given the board as a memory, and we continue to cook on Emma’s board. We have a legacy of good food that started its beginnings on this board.
3 1⁄2 to 3 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (1⁄4-ounce) package active dry yeast
1⁄2 cup whole milk
1⁄2 cup sour cream
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1⁄3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
The next day, Parish made the Orange Sweet Rolls. If you click on the link at the beginning of the post, you will see the recipe. I could not decide which one I like better–they are both DELICIOUS!
This was a definite snow day hit!
Adelaide Louise tried her hand at softened apples. I look forward to the day she can help her Ace (or grand noodle) cook. 🙂
Yesterday we talked about clinging to what is good. This morning through a series of readings in my devotional time and a text from my oldest daughter to watch a video on Millenials, I’m bursting to share. I’ve been married for almost 28 years come this February 4. When we said our vows in our 20s, I really don’t think we had a clue how words like to cherish, to honor, in good times and bad, sickness and in health, and for better or for worse would play out in our years to come. We were in love, and “love is all you need”, according to The Beatles.
I was reminded of how habits form when my husband and I tackled taking down the Christmas tree and decorations for the season. After almost 27 years, you would think we would be more considerate. It’s not a knock-down drag out fight, but we have our ways– a comment here, a jab there, selective hearing, and eye rolling commences. It’s so ridiculous, and we end up laughing at each other and promise that in the years to come we will be different.
Our brains are wired for habit forming. Most habits are good. If you desire to become an accomplished pianist, the daily habit of practicing creates an expert. A growth mindset has become the new area of focus in education and psychology. We have put into words what we know through experience–old habits die hard, and new habits take concentrated practice. Patience.
Most of us want what Gary Thomas calls a “watch marriage”. I want to put you on my arm as needed, and when I look at you on my wrist, I want you to fulfill the purpose or role. If you don’t, I’m frustrated or angry. I can quickly put you on the nightstand and walk away. Too harsh? Maybe. There is some validity to the metaphor. Love is great, but do we truly cherish our spouse?
Husbands and wives often treat each other according to whatever roles they expect from each other. “Just do what you’re supposed to do and try to look reasonably attractive while you’re doing it, and everything will be fine.” Gary Thomas
Cherish means to hold something dear and to delight in them. We can love out of obligation and duty, but do you cherish each other? If you are single, think of these words. Our culture supports the practice of going to school, finding a career, dating, getting married, having children, and buying the house. You can be so tied up in the practice you are blindsided by the commitment you are truly making to the person standing next to you speaking vows. To cherish someone and to build a meaningful marriage takes time, sacrifice, and something deeper than the giddy feeling when you hold hands.
My oldest daughter sent me this video talk on Millenials. I believe it’s spot on, but even at 50 something, because I use technology at a high level, I’m guilty. You must watch this–
God knew we would be a people of instant gratification. Jesus told us that if you want growth or fruit you must
hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance. — Luke 8:15 NRSV
There is that word again with another word added to it…..
Maybe it would help if you understood that God delights in you–He cherishes you. We all know God has to love us even when we mess up, but have you ever pictured God cherishing you? He has your picture on his refrigerator and calls you up just to say, “Hey– I miss you. Let’s do lunch.” He wants to spend time with you no matter how good you’ve played out your role that day. He adores you.
For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17
Talk about patient endurance. Thank you, Jesus.
Here is a love dare for you.
Examine your responses and actions to your spouse and ask if you cherish them. If you are single, ask the same question about those who are closest to you in your life right now. How do you express this commitment to cherish?
What is one action you can take to change an old habit? Your brain can change, but it takes patient endurance.
Spend time with the One who perfectly cherishes you.
Take a hiatus from technology, and dare yourself to delete some social apps.
For the creative spirit:
Download the app Flipagram. Create a video with pictures of you, your spouse, and some of the blessings from your marriage. Choose a song that represents your love for the background music. You will have to download the song to your music library and select the song once you are done with uploading pictures. If you do this, CONSIDER SHARING WITH ME! I’D LOVE TO CELEBRATE YOUR LOVE WITH YOU!
Here is my Flipagram of Parish and me–ENJOY! Each picture has a special memory that we cherish…..
Cling to what is good. “Hold on tightly” to what is good. Remember your grip on the monkey bars at school? You were determined to swing to the other side without falling. Clinging to something for dear life conjures up in our minds the physical and emotional. Our muscles tighten and our determination to hold on to what we know to be right, true, and desired becomes our desperate pursuit. Paul, in Romans chapter 12, reminds us to hate what is evil and to cling to what is good. There is no way around it. We know the goodness of “good” because of the evilness of “evil”. This side of heaven both will exist.
Cling to what is good. In my prayer time this morning watching the sun rise,
God reminded me of His goodness. Before heading outside, I noticed the word cling:
I literally rounded the corner and saw the sun shining on memories and moments to which I cling. Cling is a word we often use in a negative sense. Don’t be too clingy. If you love something, let it go. I want to assure readers, that I’m not discussing desperate clinging, but a purposeful and grateful heart that acknowledges the goodness that is already there. In Philippians, Paul ended up in prison for sharing the love of Jesus. While there, he wrote a letter. The letter was filled with the reality of his chained and broken situation, but he knew how to cling to the goodness of God.
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
Life’s curve balls, interestingly enough, can cause an array of emotions–fear, shame, hopelessness. Paul clung to eagerness, hope, courage, and the power of God’s love. I’m not sure what curve balls have come across home plate for you. I closed my eyes and listened to the birds this morning while breathing in cold air and feeling the warmth of the magnificent sun. I selected a Chris Tomlin song, Good, Good Father, and prayed for our world, for you, and my family to know God’s goodness in the midst of a broken and confusing world.
Today–cling to what is good. Take notice. We will notice the irritating, the hard, the same-old-same-old, but can you notice the good?
Remember that God knows you are not perfect, and He is pleased with you. He adores you. You are precious in His sight.
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
Tom Lloyd, Polly’s brother, singing a song he wrote, Heaven’s Avenue
Polly’s treasured song through the years. As I went through her scrapbooks, I was reminded that I sang this song at her retirement party! She loved the Gaithers.
Polly’s favorite expressions:
“You are a peach!”
“I could just smack your jaws.”
“Up-to-date and highly satisfactory!”
“Just Kidding Lady!”
“Anna Peets” (her endearing term for me)
My sweet Vivian asked if I were okay during the service. I expressed to her the void we were missing from someone who deeply loved us and expressed that love through the years. Vivian so wisely shared that, “It’s our turn!” We have the opportunity to love like Polly and make a difference in that love.
Polly loved to share the story of my birth. She awaited the call–boy or girl– at work. When she found out a little red-haired girl was born, she weaved a story of hysterical laughter and tears throughout the office. From birth on, Polly brought joy and adventure to our lives. Her love for music, travel, people, and Jesus wove a beautiful story that will always be a part of us.
Polly truly was a lady. Her character and principles were important to her.