Tuesday, December 25, 2007

tis the season...

Oh my dear internet friends and intimate friends alike- Merry Christmas to all of you.

I'm afraid I have not much time for this post, but I felt the need to take a moment and send seasons blessings to all of you!

I got a jar from my mom that is called the "Give Thanks Jar". It was made by a local artisan, I love that, and she picked it up at the craft fair some months ago. I was really struck by this gift, first it's gorgeous, ceramic painted blue and green with the words "O Give Thanks" carved into it, but secondly, because the point of it is to write down things you are thankful for and store them in the jar. I was trying to count my blessings last night when I was going to to sleep and praying and I realized there are too many to count. God has blessed me in such an abundant way, with my family, my friends, and the life that I live. It allowed me to see how selfish I have been in recent months, and how my behavior reflects little, if none, of His glory. This is one thing that He has brought to my attention.

I just read my friend Marlee's blog post about family and blessings and faith through fear, it touched me and brought tears to my eyes. She words what I am trying to say here beautifully in the last few paragraphs. I encourage you to go read her post and do as she advises. She's under my links as Marlee I believe.

Again, Merry Christmas to all of you and I hope you find yourselves as blessed as I have!

"How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is my favorite.

Monday, December 10, 2007

hope. always.

I've been learning so much over the last few days.

I've been listening and watching a lot more than I normally do. I have realized that I should continue with this pattern of behavior, you never know what you'll learn.

A very very very (etc) dear friend of mine has a really big problem with drugs. I've seen him at his lowest. I have seen him at his highest. I have been with him through most everything. We have grown up together.

What a lovely picture I just painted for you. Now, let me tell you the story:
When he is up to no good we don't talk. Mostly because I am someone who will tell you what I think. Always. I will tell him exactly what I think about his behavior, especially when it is harmful, to himself, or others.

The situation came to a head last week. We have been dealing. But I knew he wouldn't want to call me because he wouldn't want to hear what I had to say. I've really been struggling with my feelings towards him. Was I mad? Was I just sad? Was I confused? How do you feel about someone you care deeply for that just cuts you off?

I decided that through this whole ordeal he would get enough anger and disappointment from his family. I also turned to God for a chat about it. I couldn't help but think of the organization called To Write Love on Her Arms. Their philosophy is "love is the movement" -- which is also what I have named this blog. Little did I know how applicable that was to my life. TWLOHA is all about love. They are a group dedicated to helping drug addicts, self mutilation prevention, and suicide prevention. I have read many great testimonies from what they have done. I decided that their way was the best way to approach my friend.

I called him. I left him a message saying simply: "I'm not mad at you. I love you. I am angry at what you are doing. I am angry that you have done it. But, I am not angry with you. I love you, I am here for you. Please Please call me."

He called. He is hurting. He is broken.
I am his church right now.

I had lost hope with my friend. Until I realized I was close to the only hope he had left. I have learned through this that there is always hope. Always. We should never lose that.

Another situation with one of my best friends in the world is beyond anything I have ever dealt with. For depression to strike this person in such an acute way is mind blowing to me. She got to the point where she didn't know if she had faith anymore in anything, including God. She doubted everything, "What if?" questions went round and round in her mind. When I spoke with her I recited my philosophy about hope. We must always hold on to it. It is so important. Today she is getting better. When she comes home for break we plan to spend lots of time together. She is so broken right now, and she loses hope sometimes. I'm so thankful that I can be here for her, I'm so glad that God is teaching me through this and that I can bring light to her darkness through Him.

That thought is beyond me.
It gives me hope.

"Hope" is the thing with feathers--
That perches in the soul--
And sings the tune without the words--
And never stops--at all
~Emily Dickinson