Tag Archives: friendships

I Assumed

I Assumed

Back in December I made a mistake. I’m sure I made more than one. But this one hit me in the head.

Every December for many years I have spent one evening out with a group of friends. We exchange gifts, talk about the year past and the year coming. We laugh. And cry sometimes.

This year most of December flew by, and I had not heard from anyone about setting up our usual December outing. So I sat down to write a quick email.

See, I had figured things out.

I assumed that I had not heard from anyone because they were all too busy this year. I figured it this way. Karen had a new job, a busy husband, and two busy teenagers with lots of Christmas concerts. Karyn had piles upon piles of papers to grade at the semester’s end added to a trip home to see piles and piles of nieces and nephews. Melody had lots of Bible Study Fellowship commitments as well as teenage kid activities and a busy husband.

I assumed finding a time together would add to their stress levels. Didn’t want to do that. So I suggested, in my “I’ve-figured-it-all-out” email, that we move our December tradition to January.

Their response? No! Everyone weighed in with some version of, “I look forward to this every year. I want to do it.”

We eventually settled on a night (after about 20 emails), and I offered to pick everyone up. As I chauffeured my friends to the restaurant, I apologized for my “I’ve-got-you-figured-out” attitude.

On the way home, after good food, good conversations, and a small gift exchange, I said, “I really like our time together. I would like to do this on a regular basis. Like every month. Could we pick a day and just put it on the calendar? Whoever can come, comes.”

These women challenge me, encourage me, strengthen my faith, make me laugh, and help me keep perspective. I need them in my life on a regular basis. Despite busy schedules and changes in life stages.

I refused to drop anyone off at home until we settled on a monthly day and time. Oh the power of being a chauffeur! We landed on dinner out the second Friday of every month.

We have had one Friday together. With many more to come.

So, Dear Reader, do you have a friendship (or friendships) that needs a bit of a tweak? Perhaps you have a friend whom you long to see but just haven’t connected because of schedules. What will you do about it?

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A Storm? What Storm?

Here in Illinois tornadoes appear frequently and devastate randomly. I respect them. And so I head for the basement when I see or hear the warning signs . . . well . . . usually.

One night my husband and I woke to the sound of our teenage daughter knocking on our door: “We have a tornado warning! What should we do?” We should have jumped out of bed and rushed for the basement. We should have grabbed some bottled water and a flashlight on the way. We should have turned on the radio. Instead, one of us muttered, “It is okay. Just go back to sleep.”

Sadly, I often take a similar approach to the storms of life. If I don’t react to this difficulty, maybe it will just go away. And, truthfully, I often go back to bed.

What would happen if I—if we all—took more of a tornado-aware approach to life? What if when the storms come, rather than trying to downplay them, we instead gathered those we love and headed for shelter? Together. What if when the storms come, we could turn to a store of ready provisions, including friends and faith?

What do you think?