How would you best describe your best friend? Are there specific characteristics you would use or personality traits? What might be attributes of a best friend?
For me the idea and meaning of a best friend has changed as I have grown and experienced different stages of life. I remember my childhood and the group of neighborhood kids that I spent countless days riding bicycles and playing baseball or kickball. My teen years were spent trying to be “cool” and “accepted” just like every other teenager. Friends become boyfriends or girlfriends and best friends are those we share our deepest secrets and dreams with. The college years sometimes means a stronger bond with your friends from high school or the creation of new “best friends.” What I’ve learned so far in my life is that I’ve been blessed with some amazing friends while traveling on this journey called “Life!” I have also learned that the qualities of a best friend while in high school or college can be quite different from a best friend later in life. With that being said, I believe that the one thing that never changes is the trust component of a best friend.
I have a favorite poem that has been very special to me for several years and it continues to teach me to this very day.
“Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same.” ~Flavia Weedn
I have been so blessed to have had wonderful friends throughout my life, some I have been able to maintain contact with and some I have not spoken with for a very long time. I have beautiful memories of all these individuals who left footprints on my heart.
My best friend encourages me through actions and thought-provoking questions. She doesn’t provide answers to my questions, she encourages me to search. She is truthful and honest, she is patient and thoughtful. She is intentional in her actions and her words. She is respectful and sincere. She would caution me to tell you that she is human and makes mistakes just like everyone else, she is not perfect. After all, we are all human!
The best word I can use to describe my best friend is “humble” she displays “humility.” A phrase that makes me think of her is “Trust in the Lord” and “Trust the Plan.” The fall season/foliage, the turning of the leaves makes me think of her and the joy she receives as she views the many shades and hues of yellow, golden, red, crimson, brown and green, as fall settles in before winter chases it away. Her anchor verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 and she has a thirst for knowledge; giving and receiving it. She’s a daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, a cousin, a friend, most importantly she is a child of God! She’s brave and strong, responsible and reliable, trustworthy and honest. She’s creative and resourceful.
Best friends are special gifts from God! I encourage you to tell your best friend just how you feel, pray for them and thank God for them. 🤓
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6
~Blessings and Peace~
Hello friends! My hope is that you experience the world in a new way today. Every day is unique and never an exact replica of the day before. Each new day provides new information that was not available to us the day before. Some days may seem to be a repeat of the previous day, but please resist that urge to discount the day based upon similarities. When we decide to settle for the “same ole same ole” we are cheating ourselves of priceless opportunities. Most of us can relate to the processes we go through everyday that they seem to be robotic and planned out to the tiniest detail. A favorite movie line of mine seems perfect for this kind of existence, “A life that is planned is a closed life, my friend. It can be endured perhaps. But it cannot be lived.” (The Inn of the Sixth Happiness).
A life lived for me includes recognizing and believing in God as my Creator and the “Creator” of all things. In believing comes “Trust”, trusting God and trusting God’s Word. It really is that simple! So simple that our human(ness) tricks us into doubting the simplicity of it all, we try to rationalize and critique every little thing that we overwhelm ourselves! With each new sunrise comes a new day with a clean slate to “trust” in the Lord, a new day to “Trust the Plan!” God wants only good things for each of us, God loves you and me unconditionally. God loved us so much He sacrificed His son to pay the debt/penalty of sin.
Sometimes I forget and take for granted that I was fortunate to have godly and God-fearing individuals in my life from a very early age. While many lessons I learned came from attending church some lessons were a result of watching others actively living by being respectful, saying grace before a meal, through helping someone in need, holding a door, by saying “thank you” and “you’re welcome” by sharing joy and sometimes just smiling to someone for no reason at all.
I am sharing all this information mostly because I needed to hear this message of “Trusting in the Lord” and secondly because I’m feeling overwhelmed. It was a day filled with unexpected news and uncomfortable circumstances both professionally and personally. I have been resisting the urge to self-implode because well, that would be a stupid and selfish sabotage of myself! Secondly, it’s too messy and energy wasted. I did feel an urgency to write about all this, a “Spirit” thing. If this cracks a window of hope in a moment of despair for someone it’s a win-win! I feel better simply from writing/blogging about “Trusting in the Lord/Trusting in the Plan” anything more is glory to God and the work of the Holy Spirit.
The events of the day are for me are winding down and rest is beckoning me for sleep…worry will only serve to rob me of rest and rejuvenation, “Trusting in God and His will for my life will bring comfort and relaxation.
In closing, I want to say “thank you” to a dear friend who challenges me and who inspires me daily through her faith and friendship.
~Blessings and Peace~
~Blessings and Peace~
Being different (?) (!)
This song came on the radio today as I was driving and the word “DIFFERENT” seemed to formulate in my mind in bold capital letters beckoning for my immediate attention. Initially I thought of different as opposite from anything or anyone else. I’m not exactly sure that’s the picture the artist is painting for us. The beautiful thing about music and art is it’s ability to meet each person in unique and remarkable places. The vivid picture that was displayed for me today is that God is not asking us to be different as much as He is asking us to be ourselves, the unique person he created us to be, not opposite or in opposition from anyone else. I know for me personally I have sometimes thought being different meant being unacceptable and not fitting it. These are the falsehoods that Satan wants us to believe and sometimes the world we experience; however, I believe God wants us to celebrate our uniqueness and share it with the world, as written by Paul in Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I sincerely believe we all desire acceptance on some level, too often we rely and seek this approval from the world, our friends, family and coworkers. In a general sense I don’t think any of this are particularly wrong the part I question is “why” do we seek their approval? If it’s merely to receive verbal praise and worthiness in “their” eyes I would say…STOP! The only true acceptance in placing value on yourself has already been said and established by God before time began. The hardest thing I have ever done is believe in myself: not what I can do, not what kind of job I have, title I hold, my training or my education; these are additions to me, upgrades if you will. Believing in myself because God made me and loves me PERIOD! God loves you and He loves me! Nothing more nothing less. Of course, God wants our obedience, time and talents but Hos love is not dependent upon us doing any of these things, His love is unconditional for everyone.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Rom. 5:8
“He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1
Prayer: Thank you God for your unconditional and relentless love. Amen
~Blessings and Peace~
When I took this picture of my mom on May 22, 2012 I had no idea it would be the last one I would take. My mom would unexpectedly pass on June 22, 2012. It’s not good quality but I cherish it as being priceless.
So, here we are May 22, 2018…I miss her every day. Today, I am blessed to be able to share the day with my Aunt Helen (my mom’s sister) and my cousin Teresa (Aunt Helen’s daughter) doing something we shared with my mom, placing flowers in cemeteries across Indiana in memory of our beloved family members. This has been a family practice for as long as I can remember. It’s such an honor to be able to do this small task every May as it brings back a flood of happy memories and the retelling of old stories and most of all, thankful hearts for all the blessings God has given us. Life is so very short, tell the people in your life how much you love them, don’t wait for s special day, they are all special. Smile more and stop to smell the flowers, stand in the rain and looks to the Heavens and thank God for His Love and for all your Blessings.
The poem below was written about a month after my mom passed away and I was grieving losing her. Grieving is a part of who I am now, it is more than sadness it’s all emotions intertwined in a beautiful tapestry of all the moments I shared with her. She is my hero and I am so very thankful that God blessed me with her as my mom!
~Christine Valters Paintner, PhD
Dreaming of Someone
Thinking of my mom today and remembering all the Mother’s Days we spent together. She is greatly missed and I know she’s in Heaven and that she loved me unconditionally. I thought I would share a poem I wrote for my mom way back in 1985, just a few years ago!
gives me blue skies,
and tells me no lies.
gives me strength when I am weak,
and wisdom to be meek.
fills my darkness with light,
on a cold winters’ night.
makes me laugh,
and leads me on my path.
is this so true,
it is you, Mother, YOU!
Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!
I was having breakfast at the Denny’s restaurant today and had just started to work on a mother’s day blog when an elderly couple walked in and sat at a table near me. I saw the lady and literally did a double take looking at her. She looked like my mom, so much in fact I took a picture of her sitting at a table. I immediately sent it to my cousin with a note saying, “at a glance who do you see?” My cousin responded with, “that gave me chills!” Followed by a picture of goosebumps on her arm, followed by, “now tears!” This lady without even knowing it touched at least two lives today. My cousin and my mom were very close and often has visits from my mom in her dreams. I was so glad to share this experience with her, her mom and my mom are sisters and there’s such a strong family bond between us, I am extremely blessed. This will be the fifth mother’s day since my mom passed away, she is greatly missed. I’ve been thinking of my mom recently and I believe seeing this lady that resembled my mom was a message telling me that my mom is still a part of me and that she knows I struggle sometimes but to remember I come from a long list of strong and caring women. I am also reminded that I will see her again in Heaven.
I am celebrating my mom and all her accomplishments this weekend! She will forever be a part of me. Here’s a photo of my mom and the lady I saw today.
Here’s a new song out just in time for Mother’s Day by Matthew West I hope you like it.
Here’s something I wrote after my mom passed away, I have shared it before but think this is a good time to re-post it.