Sometimes I am amazed that I have any friends at all. I am not very good about spending time with my friends, I can not carry on a coherent conversation to save my life, I do not think before I speak, and I am brutally honest (somewhat related to that speaking before thinking thing). To be my friend, you have to put up with a lot.
I and my girls hosted another momma and her two girls yesterday. Our girls are only days away from being exactly the same ages--the two oldest being four and the two youngest being two. We have had two previous play dates and they all played so well together that we vowed to do it again soon. Only, I let the immediate get in the way of the important; so, several months passed between the invitation and the actual play date. Months! I can not believe she was still willing to hang with us, but I am so glad she was! And, if you know any of my friends, you can verify that this is not an uncommon occurrence for me. I am horrible, just shamefully horrible about following through with plans. I'm not sure why exactly, perhaps because I am terrible at planning ahead, perhaps because I am terrible at flexing my schedule, perhaps both and/or other reasons. Nonetheless, you stand a better chance of hanging with me if you call last minute and we aren't sick or napping.
Not only am I way too lax in my efforts to get together with the awesome people God's placed in my life, but I am also a lousy conversationalist. I bet I will start 15 conversations in one hour and never finish one of them. Face-to-face, or on the phone, I am constantly interrupting the other person, or even myself, to help a kid, reprimand a kid, or respond to a kid. By the time I get the kid squared away, I've completely forgotten what we were talking about. This is perhaps one of the reasons I don't put forth greater effort to get together with friends or even talk on the phone--it's a bit stressful because I spend as much time trying to remember what we were talking about as I actually spend talking. I've decided this is also the reason that play dates are thus adequately termed--they really are just a date for the kids to play, and only a date to play with the mommas' minds, making them think they will have some adult conversation when really they will just have kid chaos.
On top of being unable to sustain a continuous thought in conversation, I have a tendency to speak before I think. My mom once told me that I have no tact. And she is absolutely right. Whatever is in my brain comes out my mouth, and I'm pretty sure there is no filter in between. Although he has never used this phrase in reference to me, my man refers to this characteristic in others as "diarrhea of the mouth." Lovely word picture. Unfortunately, I can not find a more accurate description for myself. Anyone who has been friends with me for very long knows this is true of me. You'll never have to wonder what I am thinking; inevitably, I will say it. I may not even know that what I'm saying could be offensive, but later I will be recalling bits of my conversation and gasp, "Oh no! Why did I say that? I hope she didn't take it the way it sounded." Or, when my man is with me, he might say something afterwards like, "Did you realize what you said?" I have called friends so many times to apologize for thoughtless comments I've made.
Sometimes I'm brutally honest on accident, because what I'm thinking just pops out of my mouth. Other times, I am just brutally honest. I hold firmly to the idea that honesty is the best policy. But it's probably best to hold loosely to that idea because sometimes silence is the best policy. However, (as is apparent by the fact that I am blogging) I am not a woman of few words. You might not want my opinion, but if I have one, you're probably going to hear it. You may not want to know all my junk, but I am an open book; for better or worse, I am willing to share most anything. You might not think my kids should know the truth about Santa, the Easter Bunny, or sex, but if they ask, I tell them. (Which means if your kids ask mine, they will probably tell them the truth too. Sorry.) And my honest assessment of our relationship might make you uncomfortable, but as a dear friend learned this week, if I think something seems amiss between us, I am going to talk about it. I'm not a push-it-under-the-rug-and-hope-it-goes-away kind of gal.
I have some incredible friends who choose to hang with me and overlook my junk. My family too has proven to be beyond awesome as they put up with all this and more. But, my God! He knows the worst and Oh! How He loves me! How He loves me! Oh! And what's greater is He knew what I'd be like before He created me and choose to create me still. And, beyond all comprehension, He calls me friend!
"Greater love has no man than this, that He lay down His life for His friends," (John 15:13, emphasis mine).
I didn't even mean to go there, but what a perfect thought to end with as we enter the Easter weekend.
He laid down His life so we could have life--abundantly and eternally. And three days later, He rose from the dead! He joined His Father in heaven to serve as our High Priest, and He eagerly awaits our arrival! The chorus from one of my favorite hymns comes to mind:
"Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o'er His foes! He arose a victor from the dark domain and He lives forever with His saints to reign!"
And this one followed right on the heels of the one above (I think in songs):
"There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain,
Then bursting forth (!) in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sins' curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine,
Bought with the precious blood of Christ."
("In Christ Alone," by Keith and Kristyn Getty)
May you feel how great His affections are for you!
Blessed Easter, dear friends.