Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tidbits from my Journal

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I am perusing my old Journals ...

I discovered a lot of quotes in them that used to help and comfort me, and I wanted to share a few with you.

Here is one I found from September 4, 2001. Read it, and feel it.
During this time I was nervous and uncertain because I was entering my last year of college and had just posted my resume online.

"Sometimes we wake feeling 'down' and we feel like that all day long for no reason that we can discover -- only it is so ... It is useless to try to feel different; trying does not touch feelings. It is useless to argue with oneself; feelings elude arguments. Be patient -- feelings are like the mists that cover the mountains in misty weather. The mists pass; the mountains abide. Turn to your Father; tell Him you know that He loves you whether you feel it or not, and that you know that He is with you whether you feel His presence or not..."

-Amy Carmichael-

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Garden of Friendship

Girl Reading a Letter at
an Open Window

Johannes Vermeer
Time to water our gardens again!
One fine day, when we still lived in our second floor apartment, I waddled downstairs (I was pregnant at the time) to get the mail.
I was delighted when, amidst the bills and circulars, I found a card addressed to me! It was from a very dear friend that I do not see often. The card was beautifully handmade, and inside was a handwritten note of friendship.
The fact that my friend took the time to make me a card, and write me a letter made me feel loved. This is a wonderful way to water our friendship gardens!
Here are some letter writing hints:
1. Use nice stationary, or even make your own!
3. Think about your friend while you write, reflect on how much you care for them and why.
4. Make sure you don't go on and on about yourself! Ask questions about your friend, or perhaps recall some fun experiences that you had with your friend.
5. Write with a special pen. I love the excitement of filling a crisp, blank piece of paper with bold script!
6. Hint to your friend that you would love to receive a "real" letter in return!
I close with the words of Paul to Timothy in his loving letter:
"To Timothy, a beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing, I remember you in my prayers night and day, greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy, when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you ... " 2Timothy 1:2-5a
Two reminders!
Next week -- the website will be updated ... take a look if you remember.
In two weeks -- we will be featuring an article from a guest blogger -- this article was a blessing to me when I read it, and pray that God will use it for all of you.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


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You don't have to be on a desert island to feel lonely. You can be in the midst of a big group of people, and still feel all alone. You don't have to be shy to be lonely. You can be the most outgoing person in the group, and still feel isolated.

I tried to think of some situations where loneliness can weigh us down. Some of these I have experienced, and others I can't say I have. Some of these situations may be combined in your life, or they may overlap. But I hope this helps a little bit. If there is something that I haven't thought of, feel free to leave it in a comment ... or email me. I wouldn't mind doing another post on this topic if I've left things out.

1. Feeling like you don't fit into one "group" and always feeling on the fringe or outside of the group.

Have you ever stood on the edge of a crowd, just wishing that someone would turn around and include you in their conversation? Have you ever tried to find somewhere to sit, but no one would meet your eyes? These are times where you feel the blood rush to your face, and you may feel awkward and unsure of what to do.

2. Feeling that no one shares your beliefs or convictions.

We have been called as Christians to be holy. This means that we will be set apart - different - from the crowd. I remember the first six weeks of my freshman year of college. I hadn't met anyone yet, and I was a commuter student. I felt so alone. I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. Even though things got better after those first weeks, there was always a difference between me and the others I interacted with at school. I remember eating numerous lunches with friends, and being the only one to bow my head before the meal.

3. Moving away to a new state, town, church or school.

Have you ever been the new one at a school, church or job? These can be lonely days for anyone. It takes a while to find your niche -- where you fit in -- in your new surroundings.

4. Facing rejection from a close friend. Feeling left behind.

When friendships go stale, it can be a great time of emotional loneliness for a young women. There are also situations where a friend has not necessarily rejected you, but may be moving on in her life and you are not. Maybe she is moving away, or even getting married. If you are not, you may feel that your life isn't going anywhere, and everyone else is hitting milestones while you stay stagnant. You wonder, "When will it be my turn?"

5. Having to take a stand

When I was almost 18, I went to New Mexico as a delegate for a Junior Science Symposium. I felt like I got along very well with the other four young people that I traveled with. We had fun eating together, shopping together, and spent time talking about all sorts of things. The last night there, we attended a fancy banquet. There was a dance after the banquet, where everyone was encouraged to enjoy themselves. I knew that I wouldn't be "enjoying myself" in this way. One of the girls in my group assured me that she "didn't feel like dancing" and would stay with me. But an hour later, I was wandering around the hotel by myself. It was a time of loneliness that caused me to pray for strength. Was I the only one among hundreds that wasn't dancing? But God sent me one person that long evening that loved the Lord as well. We sat and talked for about three hours. The Lord provides, doesn't He?

6. There just isn't anyone around.
Maybe nothing drastic has happened. Perhaps there is simply no one around that you would be able to befriend! These are times when our ability to wait on the Lord is tested. We should have high standards for friendship as Christians. Good friends are hard to find.

If you are lonely, my sister-friend, you must realize several things:

1. God has not promised us lives of ease. We must go through trials in our Christian lives. Loneliness is a trial, but through this trial God is molding us and helping us to grow in Him. Maybe in some cases, God wants you to cling to your parents, and spend time with them. Your mother can be your very best friend. I learned this in my teen years. We must not waste these times in our lives griping about the fact that we are lonely. I am talking to myself too! We must cling to our Savior and meditate on His word. Here are some verses. Please meditate on these things.
Psalm 37:4
James 1: 2-4 (This is a really good one!)
I Peter 5:6-7
Ephesians 3:17-21

2. Sometimes we are lonely because of the unkindness of others. If this is so, always remember to be aware of other's feelings. Because you have felt the sting of loneliness and exclusion, you will be able to minister to others who are going through the same things. Remember to put on a bright and smiling face so that others will know that you are open to getting to know them. If you have a group at church, for example, remember to introduce yourself to new faces that may show up. Make sure that you are showing integrity in your own life. God will handle those who have misused you. Proverbs 10:9: "He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known."

3. Stay busy. Going through an emotional trial may cause you to draw into yourself. This is a natural response, but not one that is pleasing to God. We can find our joy in helping others and finding little ways to make them happy. The busier you are, chances are that you will not feel so lonely.

4. Don't lock yourself in to a particular age group. If God has not sent you a friend that is your age, don't forget that you don't have to base your all of your friendships on one age category. There may be younger girls just waiting to learn from you, who would be blessed if you would befriend them. There may be older women who have a lot to teach you.

5. Take it to the Lord in prayer. Always, always, ask God to send you righteous friends that will benefit you in your Christian life. We should always take our troubles to the One Who can help us. Lamentations 3:25 "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him."

6. Know and take comfort in the Sovereignty of God. Our God has a plan for our lives, and will work everything out according to His timing and perfect plan. Psalm 62:5: "My soul, wait silently for God alone. For my expectation is from Him." Jeremiah 32:17: "Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You."

With much love, my sister-friends, I leave you to meditate on this post. Like I said, there may be things I have left out that you would like to hear about. You can email me at, or just comment here or on the website. In the next couple of weeks, I'll be posting new "stuff" on the site, so remember -- I'm looking for recipes for the "Put Your Apron On" section.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Garden of Friendship

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Would your friends say this about you?

"(Fill in the blank) is a great friend. I can always count on her, and I know she cares about me."

In the weeks ahead, I'll be posting some tips on ways to water the garden of friendship. Once you've planted those initial seeds, you can't just take off and expect the garden to grow. I haven't always done as much as I could to cultivate my garden, so let's learn together!

I guess from the graphic on the top of this post, you already know that I am going to suggest that you plan a little tea party for you and a friend. The above picture shows three young women, but why not pick one friend and spend some really great quality time with her?

It doesn't have to be elaborate or expensive at all. In these modern days of blogging, IM and email, maybe we don't communicate face to face as much as we could. Believe me, I use all these forms every day in my daily life, so I'm not putting them down!

Here are five steps to get you started:

1. Pick a friend that you haven't "caught up" with lately.

2. Send her a little invitation -- in the mail :-)

3. Brew a perfect pot of tea, make sandwiches, and something sweet!

4. Start your time with prayer. Pray that your speech would be edifying to the Lord.

5. Spend some time with her, talking and listening.

Enjoy yourself! You can get as creative or simple as you like!

If you have a tea party, and happen to get some good snapshots of it (I love pictures), email them to me at I don't know, maybe they'll get posted!