Thursday, June 7, 2012

Friends Forever - the finale!

It’s time for the wrap up!!!! Well…almost. First I have to tell you about one more friend. I have saved the best for last. I will be brief…maybe.
I met Heath in the summer of 1998. I married him in the summer of 1999. Over the last 13 years he has been the constant and the chaos in my life, and both of those have been wonderful. We have lived in 5 homes in 4 states, walked through him going back to school for his bachelor’s and then his masters, me giving birth to our 4 children, both of us losing people we love, and so many dirty socks and budget busting shopping trips that I can’t even count them all. He never, ever yells at me, even when I am yelling at him. (He does, however, have a face that I have dubbed his ‘yelling face’ When he makes that face, I immediately know he is hollering, even though his volume never increases) He tells me I am beautiful every single day. He thinks I am a wonderful cook and he doesn’t care if I am a wonderful housekeeper or not. He laughs at me, he cheers me on, he believes in me.
He is my best friend.
My favorite thing about Heath (besides his beautiful smile and his talent on the piano and his smart mind and his quick wit) is how he is the strong, steady person in every situation. Not just in our marriage, but at his job, and in both our families, and with our kids, and among our friends. He is the steady WITHIN the crazy. He does so many things…SO MANY THINGS…and keeps doing them without getting half the recognition he deserves. You know how there are just some people who keep life moving forward? Heath is one of those people. He won’t tell you that about himself…those people never do. But you just know, if you spend more than 5 minutes talking to him, that Heath can stay calm and take charge even if there is a nuclear crisis. He will know what to do. And if he doesn’t, he will just smile, and remain calm, and tell you it’s all going to be okay. It’s one of my favorite things about him.

What, you may ask, is the point of this whole exercise in friend descriptions???? Well, I promised you there would be a point, and there is. After careful re-reading of these lists, I have put together a snapshot review of my favorite qualities about each. Here they are, in no particular order.
1.      Thoughtful
2.      Joyful
3.      Real
4.      Accepts without judgment
5.      Speaks words of kindness
6.      Strong when I am weak
7.      Takes time to KNOW me
8.      Shows that they love me
9.      Servant-hearted
10.  Loves the Word
11.  Steady
12.  Down to earth
13.  Protective
14.  Giving
15.  Honest
16.  Good listener
17.  Willing to laugh
18.  Open
19.  Courageous
20.  A ROCK
So, take a look, ladies and gentlemen. I am 31 years old, and so far in my life I can boast some pretty remarkable friends. Each of them, at one time or another, has impacted my life greatly. And this isn’t even all my friends!! I am blessed.
What I want you to see, though, isn’t the people I have mentioned, but the QUALITIES about them. When put together in a list like the one above, they make up a pretty good template for the kind of friend I WANT TO BECOME!!!!! No two friends are alike, and I find I love different things about all the fabulous people in my life, but more importantly, I find I want to be more like them!!!! I want to be thoughtful, and giving, and accepting, and strong when a friend is weak, and honest, and REAL, and a good listener, and all the rest!
I look at the friends I have, and I see the friend I want to BE! Here is my challenge to you and to me. Take a look at the people in your life who you treasure. Take note of something you really admire about them, and then ask yourself if you are extending this trait to the rest of the people around you. You LOVE IT about someone, so don’t you want someone to love it about you?
Let’s BE the kind of friends we want to HAVE!!!
 Thanks for sticking with me through this whole mini-series. Its kind and thoughtful of you, so you can check off those friendship trait for the day. :)

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