A good friend is hard to find

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We all know that good friends are hard to find. Relationships come and go. They endure many ups and downs and as I get older the ones that last become fewer and farther between. I don’t know about you, but I NEED my homies! Ladies, there are just some things that the fellas don’t get. We need each other and sadly, most of us have a hard time reaching out when we need help or a shoulder to cry on because we don’t want to appear as if we aren’t holding it all together. I’m realizing more and more that exposing the ugly bits and being honest and vulnerable about them build more intimacy in my friendships than I could have ever imagined. The walls we build fall down and we realize we are not alone!

This last weekend I was given one of the most precious gifts I’ve ever received. A dear friend of mine decided to compose a poem for me as a gift for my birthday. It touched my heart so deeply and I was extremely humbled by the thought and care that went into it. It has reminded me that my efforts of transparency have not been in vain and has encouraged me to keep on fighting the good fight here at Realology. To keep chasing after a meaningful makeover. To keep
pressing on to be the me I was created to be.

So a very HUGE thank you to the author of this poem ( you know who are) for sharpening my sword.
And a huge THANK YOU to all of you who have remained true friends to me despite all of my flaws and craziness. I am blessed to have you ALL in my life.

FRIENDS

Some are sweet, some are sassy.
Some are earthy and some are grassy.

But no matter how long or short you have been friends,
You always somehow know who will be there till the end.

This is the kind of friend I can call mine.
Even though they are a rare gem to find.

She is funny as can be when you need it most,
And she is quite the servant at events she hosts.

She can cook, she can bake and even clean,
But it’s her infectious personality and love for Jesus I want to glean.

She stays home with her babies and often feels bad,
Because she has a restless soul that sometimes drives her mad.

She wants to conquer mountains and cross the vast seas,
Anything else but be on her knees.

But as I have watched this dear friend of mine,
She has many a mountain she has already climbed.

Her love for Jesus is amazing to me,
Her heart is always willing once she makes a plea.

She has picked up the pen again and started being a writer,
This is where you can see and feel she is such a fighter.

All her writings are so real and so raw,
Every time I read them, I am always in awe.

She speaks of things most ladies might deny,
But there is such healing in the truths she tells, I cannot lie.

She just wants her aches and victories to be heard,
However, so many “friends” now think she’s absurd.

Her words roll into the paper like silk from a butterfly,
Her words are so encouraging if you’ll just give them a try.

The Lord has used her in many a way,
Once you know you’re not alone, this helps get you through the day.

She has a name that none will forget,
You all probably know her I bet…

Her friendship is loyal and true,
Mandi Holden this poem is for you!

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Love covers over a multitude


“But LOVE. Love is eternal. Love never ends. The love we offer and receive in this world we’ll carry with us into the next. The greatest of these is love. When in doubt, I choose love above any particular ideas offered to me about faith.
And that means that I love my gay friends, without agenda. And I love my friends who believe that homosexuality is a sin, without agenda. And I love my friends who are terrified for my soul when I write this way, without agenda.”
– Glennon Melton, Momestary

This quote couldn’t be truer for me.

I used to be filled with agenda. I still battle my agenda creeping in and rearing its ugly head from time to time. I’ve allowed other people’s agenda to navigate my thoughts and actions. It has taken work to deprogram. I have had to trust in God and pray for faith and confidence to just go ahead and stand for what I believe, even when people think I’m crazy. It’s funny, when people get self righteous about their agenda, that’s when we see the ugliness start to ooze. I know I have been guilty of it, and I have friends in both camps of this issue who I’m sure have had similar experiences.

It boils down to this: I wouldn’t know how I’d feel if someone or groups of someone’s told me it was wrong or disgusting for me to be in love with my hubs. He is my very best friend, my partner, my love. I believe he is a gift from God in my life. His love makes me better. His love shows me God’s love and grace in a tangible way. Who would I be to make judgements on anyone else’s LOVE? Who am I to say I understand anything? Who am I besides someone who believes that God has called me to love…love Him, His people and myself?

I’m just gonna have to go ahead and believe that Gods love is big enough and mighty enough and supernatural enough to cover ALL sorts of loves. I’ll have to gulp down the furrowed brows of disappointment from some, but what is that compared to the harassment that so many gay people have endured in the “name of Jesus”?

On her blog, Glennon also writes,

“I don’t know much. But I know that each time I see something heartbreaking on the news, each time I encounter a problem outside, the answer to the problem is inside. The problem is AWAYS me and the solution is ALWAYS me. If I want my world to be less vicious, then I must become more gentle. If I want my children to embrace other children for who they are, to treat other children with the dignity and respect every child of God deserves, then I had better treat other adults the same way. And I better make sure that my children know beyond a shadow of a doubt that in God’s and their father’s and my eyes, they are okay. They are fine. They are loved as they are. Without a single unless. Because the kids who bully are those who are afraid that a secret part of themselves is not okay.”

It’s like she crawled into my head and perfectly scripted my heart.

Read the original post here:
http://momastery.com/blog/2012/01/22/a-mountain-im-willing-to-die-on-2/

Survival of the fittest

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”
-C. S. Lewis

Textures, layers, richness.
Friendship adds all of these things into our lives, but as a great and wise woman said to me this morning, “you love and value people but, gosh darn it if it’s not taxing sometimes!”

I hate letting people down more than anything. Call it people pleasing, or whatever, but it’s just the way I am. What’s worse, is when I expect the same loyalty from people and I come up short. Maybe everyone else has really solid boundaries and I am out of whack? I don’t know. It just seems bunk when I try to respect others and what they choose to believe and how they live their lives and am not afforded the same respect in turn. I’m sure I’m guilty of it too. Aren’t we all? I guess in the name of growth I will try to keep the sting fresh and tender as a reminder to be careful…as not to harm anyone else.

Becoming friends with someone is a process. The initial meeting and introduction. There is a swapping of interests and bullet point facts about our life. Then the shared mutual laugh about something ridiculous and voila! You’re well on our way to inside jokes and years of laughter and rich friendship. You open up your heart and share struggles, opinions, memories, obstacles. You live life together. The season may last a lifetime or for only a quick moment in time. Each relationship giving and adding to your experience as a human. Sometimes even jarring you and taking away a little piece of your heart.

That’s the risk we all take, right?

Investing in relationships is a messy business. We can all cause pain and hurt, most of the time without even knowing it. I am tempted at times to fold up shop. I would be absolutely content with my husband and siblings as my only adult relationships sometimes, but that is not how life was designed. As a woman who claims a life of faith, I am called to love and serve those around me. I am called to lay my life down to honor the life that was laid down for me.
May I be vigilant in truly putting others above and before me.
I want to make that the great practice of my life.
Evolving into who God wants me to be…not whom others expect.

The heart of life is good.

” Anger is a cover up for pain. Its how we act when we can’t or don’t want to show our hurt feelings.”

One of my favorite people in the world said this to me in a conversation this last weekend. The funny thing is, we were talking about someone else, but these words were for me.

Our lives are intertwined with long held friendships and newer ones. Family that you see regularly and family that you don’t. Acquaintances from old jobs or past seasons of your life. People who you went to high school with, which in my case is always a toss up because I was such a dork in high school I’m not quite sure how people remember me. However, there is a natural progression through everyday living that prohibits you from being able to manage all of these relationships at one time. Thank God!
Seasons change and so do people.

Except now there is Facebook and social media.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Facebook, but sometimes if you let
yourself go down the rabbit hole it leaves you feeling…well…hurt.

I might just be a big wiener and no one out there can relate to any of this, but it sucks to see relationships with friends or family that have faded away. It really sucks when those relationships have died when you have tried everything to keep them afloat. It kinda hurts to see them carrying on without you. Sharp little stings of jealousy? Hurt?

Sometimes it may even be that YOU say something or post a picture of your surprise birthday party without thinking of the “fringe” relationships out there that may get hurt by having not been included or offended by you, or your clever post that you thought was so funny. People force feeding their opinions and judgements… It’s just too much sometimes. We are not meant to be accountable to this many people for what we say and do. If “comparison is the thief of joy” then we are in trouble.
It’s easier to feel pissed off than admit someone hurt your feelings.
If we hide our hurts with anger, that is the birthplace of bitterness and that is toxic to our whole life! Bitterness ruins the taste of everything in your life so that there is nothing left to enjoy.

Lately, I have been experiencing some freedom in this by learning how to care for myself and respect myself. I can’t stress this enough, you really can’t love anyone if you don’t love on yourself. When you are ok with who you are, it’s easier to feel okay with letting some relationships go. Sometimes that’s all that’s left, and that is ok.

At the end of the day I don’t think we are trying to hurt each other, well most of us anyway.

#mygirl was the official photographer for my club @anytimefitness_northreno free workout event today...she got some great action shots and video...but this sneaky selfie she took is my fave.  #mybaby #mydaughter❤️ #thosefreckles

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