Monday, March 7, 2011
Here is Sukie wrapped in the gorgeous blanket that my bosom friend, Crystal, sent her from a world away. Crystal calls it The Tiffany. Having knit an afghan once for my mother, which I calculated based on my hourly rate as a P.A. would have cost me about 1400 dollars, I am highly appreciative of knitted gifts.
The Tiffany got me thinking of how blessed I have been with wonderful friendships with godly women who support me, inspire me, pray for me, love me. There's Janice, who saw me through tumultuous college years and has shared with me in the biggest sorrows and joys in both our lives. There is something about a friend of your youth and as my mother's beloved Miss Read says "No matter how long their partings, on meeting they fell together as sweetly as two halves of an apple." There's Crystal, who thinks nothing of packing up a family of seven and moving to Kuwait and still finding time to send care packages to me. She's preternaturally curious about life and theology and our mutual love of books and bonding over breastfeeding our baby daughters in the church nursery cemented a friendship that withstands thousands of miles of distance and many missed Skype calls. There is Cam, who is moving away from me in the next few months, taking with her the only person who has ever cleaned my toilets other than its owners and a friendship that is deep and solid enough to enable us to ask forgiveness of one another. Though she has thought through a range of people to take her place ("now the interesting thing about her, Saskia, is that she never had a cavity in her life until she got pregnant and then she had seven of them. You can't tell me there's not a connection there, Saskia."), but it is a futile enterprise. And then there's Carley, the unflappable mother of three who bears my burdens while I bear hers and who pours out her love for our family in ways ranging from Cheeseburger soup to insisting an additional three children for four hours at her house is nothing. And somehow I believe her.
There are other friends. There are the built-in, whole-other-can-of-worms-wonderful relationships I have with my mother, my father, my sister. But I am especially thankful for these women because they don't have to love me, by accident of birth or circumstance. But they do. It is no coincidence that each is a believer in Jesus Christ, indwelled by the Holy Spirit. He is the third party in each of these friendships, the One who makes them not just fun to be with, but people who stretch me and challenge me and make me a better wife, mother, friend.
I am grateful. I am thankful.