Monday, March 05, 2012


I did not buy one piece clothing you see Brooklyn wearing in this photo. (Okay, I bought the socks, but you can't see them, so there. ;). Every piece was given to us either as a hand-me-down or as a gift. And although I didn't plan it this way, I cannot think of a better way to depict this past week.


For many reasons, the past few weeks have been emotional for me. Really emotional. Nothing major happened, I guess. It was just the pile-ups of many smaller things -- burdens -- I was carrying, that suddenly seemed too heavy, too much to bear alone.

But one of the many things I love about God is that He often uses your weakest moments to reveal some of the greatest blessings in your life. And this week, that blessing was my friends.

These past two years have taught me a lot, but one lesson I have really learned is what it means to be real friend. Don't get me wrong, I am no where near the perfect friend -- I am absolutely horrible at phone calls! -- but I do know what it means to be on the receiving end of friendship when something happens to rock your world.

I know how it feels to have thoughtful care packages delivered at exactly the right moment; what it means to have someone just listen; and how healing it is to see tears forming in your friends' eyes because they love you enough to hurt with you.

Too often, we back away from being there for someone because we don't want to bother them. Trust me, I have done that way too many times. But I have learned that there are many ways to let someone know you care, and let me tell you firsthand, they want to know that. And many times, they need to know that. 

It is really, really easy to isolate yourself when life throws you a sucker punch. The pressure to put on a brave face -- to be strong -- and then suffer behind closed doors. But God encourages us to share our burdens. With Him, of course, but also with others we love and trust.


I have taken that lesson to heart as both a giver and receiver of friendship. Seeing my friends love me makes me want to give more to them. It inspires me -- convicts me -- to be a better, more compassionate friend. To them and to others.

Nothing changed this week -- nor likely will change any time soon -- to take away some of the burdens I have been carrying. But I can definitely say that the load felt lighter, more manageable after I removed my mask and shared my heart.

There is no greater gift than knowing we are not alone. God is always there, yes, but I truly believe He puts people in your life for times when you need the warmth of a hug, the sound of a voice that says nothing more than "I'm here," or even a text to remind you that someone is praying right along side you.


The sweater Brooklyn is wearing was given to me by a friend that once showed up at my door during a very stressful time with brownies and my (extremely detailed) Starbucks order. The shirt and shoes are hand-me-downs from my sister-friend who joyfully watched my girls more times than I can count during my many OB and specialist appointments. The jeans are a hand-me-down from a friend that I know with all my heart has prayed for my children and wasn't afraid to text me the day after Brooklyn was born to see how I was doing. And the necklace is from my other sister-friend who did everything in her power  -- including ridiculous taxi fees -- to be there for every one of my girls' birthdays.

All precious gifts that were given to me out of true, God-given love. Gifts I treasure with all my heart.

Gifts I fully intend to share.


1 comment:

Jamie said...

Hand-me-downs are the best!! I love looking at my kiddos clothing, knowing that they came from people who love them :). Great post!