I was reading the book of Sirach this morning and came across this passage that made me reflect on the wonderful friends that God has brought into my life in recent years. Nine years ago, when my husband and I were looking to buy a new house, I know that God chose the home that we live in now just for me. If I had not moved here, I never would have met my neighbor who is one of the dearest persons on this earth. She and I have much in common. I love that we can talk about our children, our joys, our worries and spiritual matters. She’s thoughtful and caring. When my car is parked in my driveway on a workday, sensing that something must be amiss, she calls to check on my family. We often sit in our lawn chairs “chit chatting” as we watch our children play in the yard. We’ve done this for years. Best of all though, we pray for each other. If I have a special intention, I know that I can tell her, and that she will bring it to the Lord during her hour of adoration on Monday afternoons. I truly respect this wonderful lady and cherish our friendship!
I attended the National Catholic Educators Association convention with another one of my dearest friends yesterday. It was so good to be able to spend some time with her and to get caught up! She and I taught together for four years, then I moved to another grade level which is housed across campus. We used to be able to poke our heads into each others’ classrooms several times a day. Now we’re lucky to see each other for a few moments in passing. We developed a special bond when the two of us were pregnant at the same time – and were scared to death because we were – let’s just say – not as young as we used to be! It has been a challenge to stay connected, but it has been worth the effort. We’ve laughed together, cried together and enjoyed watching our boys grow together. I admire her upbeat personality, her work ethic and her loyalty. She’s such a gift!
My “church friends” also hold a very special place in my heart. There is a small group of us who took a class together, every other Saturday morning at the parish for four years. When the courses ended, we found that we really missed the camaraderie we had shared. Our meetings with each other provided a great opportunity to learn more about our faith, pray with and for each other and share the surprises and struggles of parenting. We decided to reinstitute our gatherings. We meet once a month on a Saturday morning to go to mass together and have breakfast afterwards. Having this support group of moms who share the same priorities and values has been a tremendous source of grace.
I would be remiss if I did not mention my husband, my best friend, and my mother, my other best friend. These two know all of my secrets and love me anyway. They have held my head over the toilet and sat up nights over a hospital bed watching me sleep. They have been there through the really good times and the really bad times. If all I had were these two, I still would be most richly blessed!
I am so thankful for all of these beautiful people I call friends. They inspire me with their faith, their perseverance and their faithfulness to the vocation of parenting. They challenge me to be a better person. For this, I am eternally grateful!
Tell a good friend how much you appreciate them today!