Friday, February 28, 2014


I have wanted to write this blog for a long time.  And I have drafted it in my head over and over, but I don't end up writing it because I know I will fall short of expressing what I want to express.  Even now I know I will probably fall short, but I want to try.

My brother, Jason is so many things to me.

He gets me.
There have been many times where I am filled with an emotion I cannot express and try and fail.  And when he is around he soaks it in--and then at exactly the right time he talks to me about it.  He understand me better than anyone.  Better than I know myself sometimes.

He strengthens me.
I don't remember a lot before I was five but when our lives changed forever with the divorce of our parents Jason was my constant friend.  Ecclesiastes says that two are better than one because if one falls down he has no one to help him up.  We didn't talk a lot about the journey we were on but I always knew we were together in it.  Even if no one else understood--he did.  I think I really realized how much I depended on his steady presence when he left for college and our schedules were different.  It was shattering.

He also challenges me.
Now, these are not always fun.  In high school he challenged the way I dressed, what I listened to, and watched.  I was not an easy person to talk to about my behavior and I would fight back with words.  He didn't back down, didn't use harsh words with me, and in the end the Holy Spirit used him to help transform the inner and outer-workings of my life.

He waits for me.
This summer we got our 50th state together.  Montana.  When we were planning how to get out there, he wanted to know if I would want to get there at the same time.  He knows things like timing are important to me.  

He celebrates with me.
For all the pain or hard times we've been through he is always there in the front to celebrate the big moments and small moments of happiness.

He calls me beautiful.
I have been so broken and ugly to my brother.  He knows my worst sins and has felt my anger and misery.  But I cannot remember one word he has spoken to me in anger.

He inspires me.
I see so much of what I want to be in my brother.  He lives out Jesus to others.  He dreams the dreams I'm afraid to dream.

I love my brother Jason and this doesn't show all he is to me, but I hope it gives a glimpse.  I have been, am, and will forever be blessed to have him as my brother.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Yes and No Friends

A friend of mine posted this on my facebook wall a while back.

It reminded me of a picture I'd saved from Ann Voskamp's facebook.

And I wondered, is it true that friends love your "no" as much as your "yes"?

Yes.  I think it must be.  But maybe that helps define what a friend is.

A friend is someone who drives hours to visit you and ends up helping to make their own guest bed and clean the kitchen.

A friend is someone who texts you a new "anti-nausea" idea they've heard about, just in case it might help ease the constant sickness.

A friend is someone who drives hours to for a few short hours of celebration.

A friend is someone who sends messages of prayer and support even though we haven't seen in each other in person for years.

A friend is a guest who doesn't even ask, but hand-washes the dishes that won't fit in the dishwasher.

A friend is someone who sends you a box full of candy that has been helping the nausea, just because.

A friend is someone who keeps sending you get well cards, even though they were hoping it would only last 3 months.

A friend is someone I'm not afraid to tell, "I don't feel well enough today..." or "I can't do that."

Sometimes I think I'll look back on this section of my life with painful memories.  And those will be there.  It has not been easy.

But other times I think I'll look back at this time and see all of the beautiful people and their acts of service and love and see how truly blessed I was with real friends.

Lord, thank you for the gifts You've given me.  Give me eyes to see and a heart to focus on them.