Saturday, November 19, 2011

There is a Friend who Sticks closer than a Brother

 Upon arriving at the gym this morning, my cousin and I slowly forced ourselves onto the elliptical. We did our customary 5 minute warm-up and, rather than our usual routine, decided to stay on the machine longer.  As time S-L-O-W-L-Y crept by, we would think of something, anything to talk about that would expedite this whole ordeal.  We eventually got into a groove and at times weren’t even aware of the slow tick of the minute hand. Don’t get me wrong, there were moments she would say, “If you weren’t here I would be getting off this thing” and I couldn’t have agreed more! Regardless, because we were able to push and encourage each other, we stayed on that machine for a full thirty minutes. No, we were no Jillian, getting in each other’s faces yelling and cursing (Jillian never would have accepted a meager 30 minutes); most of the time we didn’t motivate each other with words at all. We were simply two likeminded women with similar goals who were there for each other.  Neither wanted to be the one to admit exhaustion; neither wanted to let the other down, both wanted desperately to reach that 30 minute mark. And we did, triumphantly!

As we walk, or jog, or run (heck sometimes we even have to crawl) through this life we call the Christian walk, I have experienced firsthand how important having likeminded friends and sisters are. There are times I want nothing more than to sit in my little house with my little family and be left alone because that is where I am most comfortable.  And, sadly there are seasons I do just that. However, the times I force myself to take that step, to have coffee with a friend, or get away for a weekend with a group of ladies, or commit to a weekly bible study, are some of my most encouraging stages in life.  These are the moments I am pressed, challenged, and motivated to push on in areas I never would on my own.

I am thankful God has given me my cousin for this season of life and that we hold each other accountable to simply put those tennis shoes on and get moving. I am thankful for the many likeminded sisters that spur me on to good works, encouraging me sometimes without a word, but simply by their presence. A dear sister recently posted on her blog regarding loving her children the way God desires; the way she desires. She concluded with the realization that she can accomplish this daily by simply praying for them. I was so encouraged by that!  So often I feel disappointment and regret with my lack of parenting skills, but this is something I can do daily! This is a way I can show and act out my unconditional love for them. This sister doesn’t even know it, but she spurred me on and encouraged me as a mother that day.

When I get a glimpse at where I once sat, and where I stand today, I thank God for the sisters that have held my hand and, when necessary, made me put my big girl panties on! We’ve laughed together and cried together; we’ve had times that were exhaustingly difficult and raw. I thank God for every moment and anticipate many more! Do you have one or more of these sisters?  Please share!  I would love to hear your stories of how God has moved in your life and brought you where you are today J

As iron sharpens iron,
So a [wo]man sharpens the countenance of [her] friend.
~Proverbs 27:17

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