Blessed – Advent & Christmas Photos (2015#27)

26 12 2015

Although gift giving and receiving is not what defines Christmas Day, for most of us it is certainly part our our celebration tradition. There are some things that we wanted, hinted for, or in some cases bought for ourselves and told our spouse what “they” had gotten us:-). It’s fantastic to get something you wanted and needed, but if we’re honest, there is something extra special when we’re surprised by a gift – when receive something that we hadn’t even known to ask for, but after receiving it, we can’t imagine doing without it. Friendships are often that kind of gift. We find ourself sharing a particular place and time with someone, and as our life paths overlap, we begin to discover a relationship that we hadn’t realized our life was missing.  

The word blessed means divinely or supremely favored, and that absolutely describes my life. But of all the blessings that God pours into my life, friendships are the one gift that continually surprise me. See, I know me. I know that I’m an odd duck. I know I can make it challenging to remain connected, and yet there are some people in my life who choose to remain there, just because they want to. They don’t have to, they have no family responsibility to meet, but they choose to be my friend. Across time, with varying degrees of connection, but always there. I’m still surprised by it, and I’m ever aware that I am indeed blessed! When we participated in the relocation of Highpoint Nazarene Church to its current Pollock Road location back in the 90’s, of all the things I was asking God for, a friendship with a newly relocated from California, recently retired couple never once crossed my mind, let alone made it onto my list of petitions. Now, in 2015, looking back on a business partnership, purchasing our home from them, countless meals, years of science experiments between Jylian and Mr. Hendershot, I cannot imagine not counting them among my friends. One of those surprises that God has gifted to me.

It’s impossible to photograph all of the relationships that equal blessing to me, so I’ll just allow this one, taken following our early morning Christmas carols to our friends and neighbors, Bill and Bobbi,  to represent all of those unexpected surprise gifts of relationships. Friendships that give me the encouragement, laughter, accountability, and comfort to keep pressing forward. Relationships that reflect the companionship that Jesus modeled for us, in His life here on earth. I hope you have opportunity to enjoy friends during this Christmas season, and that you keep your heart always open to the surprise gifts that our Father knows we need. I pray that you too are blessed with true friends.




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