I know the Bible is very clear about not having favorites. And when I was a child, I held a special place in my Grandmother's heart. I wasn't her favorite, I was just "special". Or so she would say to my parents or brothers or anyone else listening. So I could say these are our "special friends", or I could say they're our favorite friends. It's all really the same. (just ask my brothers) And just because I say they're our favorite, does not in anyway nullify or invalidate the other awesome, wonderful, powerful, fulfilling relationships we treasure. (Come on, people. Be secure. I like you, too.) But to end this month's worth of un-posting I want to tell you about some of our favorite friends.
This is Gretchen. Anyone who's been around me for more than a day will have heard the name Gretchen come out of my mouth. We've been friends since finding ourselves "Buddies" on a Spelunking Excursion Gone Bad back on one of those Youth Group Missions Trips somewhere in the Smoky Mountains. On that hot, muggy day in July of 1992 I never would have dreamed she would be my longest friend in life. But that is what she is. The friend who has seen me at my best and at my worst. Who I call when I can't find my coffee pot and who I call when my daughter cracks me up and who I call when I find out I'm pregnant and who I call when I'm in tears sitting on the side of the road the day after my 30th birthday. (Actually, I think she's the only person in the world who knows I was sitting on the side of the road crying the day after my 30th birthday)
She's that friend. And that kind of friend is in the top 5 most valuable things in life. Someone who shares my history. Who remembers parts of my life that I don't remember. The kind of friendship that doesn't happen overnight but instead through the storms of life. I treasure who she is in my life and count her as a gift from God.
If you want to have a friend like this, here's what you do:
1. Find yourself a regular old friend who's faithful. She must be more faithful than you, if you're prone to flighty-ness like me.
2. Hold on to her
3. Apologize for not being as faithful and wonderful a friend because of known personal weaknesses.
4. Work out your problems with each other.
5. See her as a gift worth fighting for in your life.
And in the story of my life that plays in my head, I would continue to sit here and blog about each member and why he or she is so wonderful. But the truth is, I don't have the time right now. Okay? So just know that the rest of Gretchen's family just sort of falls into place with ours. They're one of the those families where everyone in their family fits with someone in our family. We like 'em all. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Except no one's really ugly. Just look at this picture. What a fine lookin' group of people!
Wonder who they're photographer was? Wow. She does great work. (I've told you pride is my nemesis.)
They're also our favorites because they were our first house guests from Texas!!