I’ve got this friend…

Sometimes, a friend comes along that is so darn good for you, you just can’t help but grow as a person! I’ve a had a few of those unique ones over the years.

Several years ago, when we were at the University of Wisconsin, it was Megan.

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Megan has always been blazing the trail. I’ll be sitting around thinking about what I would like to do, try, explore and Megan will have already done it and will have tons of awesome advice and counsel! Talented, warm, supportive, and always, always 2 steps ahead! When we both moved away from Madison I truly mourned because I missed her, and missed the momentum she brought to my life. “Try it! Do it! You can!!” I still miss her so much, especially when I’m stewing about doing something a little scary!

I have a friend here in Champaign who’s pushing me into new territory again. I’ll keep her identity a secret, but if you live in town here, I bet you can guess who she is. She is a giver. I never leave her home without something – a coffee, a gift card… The other day we went out on a little shopping adventure together and she slipped me some cash so I could shop without thinking about the budget. Who does that?

Boy, is it UNCOMFORTABLE. It makes me squirm. It makes me blush. It makes me grow. I am learning how to receive – and how to shed some of the stinginess that has developed in my soul. It’s so wonderful to know how to be frugal, but it’s better to know when to allow abundance and life to reign, instead of self-righteous self-denial.

(Don’t you think God is doing something here? Remember I also got a BMW for Christmas for crying out loud!!!)

When you live on donor support you can begin to practice a very meticulous accounting in your heart. I constantly question my use of each and every dollar, as if each and every donor were standing with me in the check out isle. I know for a fact the wonderful people who support Ben and me and our family do not want us to feel that way, but it’s a way of leaning that subtly turns to a full-on bent and a heavy weight.

My friend is teaching me how to live with more freedom, more joy, more abundance. She encourages me to accept gifts meant only for joy, for beauty – without function, without accounting.

It’s hard. It’s good. I love you, friend.

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