Lost Puppies and The Miracle of Friendship

deeclarknz.comAt the end of the 90’s, I was struggling. My marriage was failing, I felt lost and I was tremendously lonely in my circumstances. Oddly enough, my ex-husband whispered, to an acquaintance, that he felt I needed a friend. And I did. This young woman walked through my office door, sat down -friendly and welcoming. She was full of compassion, and genuine warmth. That day, she extended an invitation and I accepted. We became friends.

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I didn’t know much about friendship. Most of my life I had never lived in one place long enough to develop anything long or lasting. I envied other kids who had known each other since the first year they began attending school. I had much to learn.

I had no freedom of expression. I rarely shared deep emotions. I maintained a consistent protective distance. All the while longing for the very thing I was pushing away. I possessed no self-esteem or confidence or sense of identity even though I worked diligently to produce a well put together exterior to hide that fact.

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Once my marriage began failing, often people would tell me that they thought I had it all together and lived a perfect life. That’s the problem with the perfectionist tendencies that consumed my life…they caused me to create a false reality -a facade – to hide away the mess that was on the inside. I was great at hiding. I desperately wanted to be invisible as if that would prevent the pain or ease it in some way. But it didn’t. It never did. In fact, I had an appetite for good things in life: laughter, joy, sunshine, celebration, and happiness.

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Instead I was like a wounded puppy afraid of everything I desired. 

 My new friend was thoughtful and sincere. she possessed a curiosity that seemed to drive her to explore new things. I found warmth of heart. I think at the beginning of our relationship she was more like a mentor. Although I didn’t want to be a project or someone for her to help, I was. She began to teach me how to live a full life out of Wisdom. We spent hours praying and searching for practical ways to live a healthy, vibrant life from the best source of Wisdom I had ever found. 

She encouraged me to change the way I thought about life and living in a non-constricting way that was freeing to my spirit, body and mind; relieving repressions.

Wisdom stimulated my creativity, ambition, and drive. Enthusiasm  for life began to fill my heart. I found a willingness to embrace new ideas with enjoyment and a sense of exploration and creative play.

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The more that wholeness and well-being began to take place, the more our relationship changed and deepened from mentorship to friendship. We became peers. We challenged each other to be better versions of ourselves. We disagreed at times. We applied forgiveness when necessary. We supported and encouraged each other. And then I moved to New Zealand, some 10,000 kms away. It was a huge adjustment for both of us. 

I miss her in my day to day living. Now, we meet across the miles via technology, sip coffee together, and share our hearts in a different way than when we began. 

This little figurine sits on my dresser reminding me: I don’t feel like a lost puppy anymore and I am blessed with the miracle of friendship.

One Word Photo Challenge: Melon

  

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acts of kindness opportunity: one person can’t do everything but everyone can do something.

BooneI’d like to introduce you to my friend from college Boone Bureenok.

I met Boone when I was in Bible College.

He returned home after school and is now pastoring a church in his homeland which runs an orphanage.

They provide a home for children whose families are unable to care for them for a variety of reasons.

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Boone’s heart is heavy.

He needs help to save their church, property & orphanage.

There is much going on Thailand at the moment as we can see from a distance via the news.

Firstly, he has asked for prayer. The dream he has to provide a home to orphan children is under threat.

The weight of responsibility in itself will be great.

Secondly, the bank has required that he meet a $3800 payment by 21 March 2014.

To many this does not seem like an overwhelming amount but for a small orphanage in Thailand in might as well be millions.

To date they have raised $2000 and they still need $1200.

Another college friend, Dora Walker, has put together a plea for help from fellow Tomlinson College Alumni.

Dora and I talked the other day and we concluded that maybe we as individuals can’t do everything but everyone can do something.

It is this simple. To raise the remaining $1200 by the deadline it would take:

100 people who could give $12 each.

In NZ, that is less than the cost of a meal out.

Boone has a pay pal account set up and everyone can use his email address if they are able to give. 

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Many of us around the world are blessed to be able to hold our children close and feed them their favourite meal today.

I think we could honour that blessing by taking advantage of this act of kindness opportunity and sharing with children who do not have what we have today.

I have been blogging now for almost a year. My heart’s desire was to be able to reach out to the hurting hearts of this world.

Although, I am not known to ask for money, I am asking today that you once again…

look inside your heart…

does this situation speak to your heart and can you help?

if you can please give generously.

you can contact Boone via email to donate directly at boone180001955@gmail.com.

Remember, no act of kindness, no matter the size, goes unnoticeable or unrewarded.

God Bless!

D

24 proverbs that are just plain common sense

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the Webster dictionary defines wisdom as

knowledge that is gained by having many experiences in life.

it’s interesting to me that Solomon found common sense that -after all the centuries that have passed- is still common sense today.

check out these proverbs that are just plain common sense.

giving advice:

Some people like to do things their own way, and they get upset when people give them advice.

the stuff that comes out of our mouth:

The tongue can speak words that bring life or death. Those who love to talk must be ready to accept what it brings.

Foolish people don’t want to learn from others. They only want to talk about their own ideas.

Foolish people hurt themselves when they speak. Their own words trap them.

Foolish people say things to start arguments. They are just asking for a beating.

An insulted friend is harder to win back than a city with strong walls.

People love to hear gossip. It is like tasty food on its way to the stomach.

The words of a discreet and wise man’s mouth are like a gushing stream sparkling, fresh, pure, and life-giving.

Let people finish speaking before you try to answer them. That way you will not embarrass yourself and look foolish.

Your words can be as satisfying as fruit, as pleasing as the food that fills your stomach.

The first person to speak always seems right until someone comes and asks the right questions.

results of our actions:

Do something evil, and people will hate you. Do something shameful, and they will have no respect for you.

Someone who does careless work is as bad as someone who destroys things.

Giving gifts can open many doors and help you meet important people.

justice:

You must be fair in judging others. It is wrong to favor the guilty and rob the innocent of justice.

attitude:

The rich think their wealth will protect them. They think it is a strong fortress.

A proud person will soon be ruined, but a humble person will be honored.

A good attitude will support you when you are sick, but if you give up, nothing can help.

The poor are polite when they beg for help. The rich are rude with their answer.

Wise people want to learn more, so they listen closely to gain knowledge.

communication:

The best way to settle an argument between two powerful people may be to roll dice.

Arguments separate people like the strong bars of a palace gate.

relationships:

If you find a wife, you have found something good. She shows that the Lord is happy with you.

Some friends are fun to be with, but a true friend can be better than a brother.

As Life Goes By

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what seems to grow fairer to me

as life goes by is the love and grace and tenderness of it;

not it’s wit and cleverness and grandeur of knowledge

-grand as knowledge is-

but just the laughter of children

and the friendship of friends,

and the cozy talk by the fire,

and the sight of flowers,

and the sound of music.

-author unknown

The Journey of Friendship

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there are many routes into a person’s heart

which makes you a treasured friend.

each act of kindness.

each moment shared.

each word of praise or comfort.

these are the ways-

the paths, which through time become highways, along which lie

the journey of friendship.
-Stuart and Linda McFarlane

4 ways to improve dependability as a friendship

20130824-214038.jpgit is important to understand that when we give our word to a friend, they depend on us to be reliable. they trust us to follow through with what we commit to do. most often, they will not truly know if they can depend upon our offer until they really need it…

how refreshing to the heart to realize there is a friend they can count on.

to improve dependability as a friend:

1. do not offer help out of emotion. although your heart may be sympathetic, emotion alone is not the best motivation for making an offer you may be unable to follow through with.
2. count the cost before giving your word. your friend will respect honesty.
3. listen. often, your friend needs a safe, caring place to share -they may not need you to do anything more than “listen” to their heart.
4. follow through to the best of your ability.

it truly is refreshing to have a friend you can rely on when you need them…it is also refreshing to be that friend when necessary.

do you have a friend that you have been able to depend on? might be a great time to let them know they are appreciated…

thank you, friends, for being faithful readers!
D

it’s alive…the washcloth that lived on

Rag dog/insight from a woman's heart

“it’s alive…it’s alive”

actually, the washcloth isn’t alive but a simple gesture of kindness that involved that washcloth is…after 22 years.

you have heard it said that a smile can change someone’s day. it can.

i woke this morning and waiting for me was an email from a friend i have not seen in years. she has just gone through what she described as a stressful move. in the midst of the move she came across a little washcloth.

this friend and my sister came to my house to bring my daughter back home after a visit. i don’t even remember if she was visiting my sister or my parents. funny ,at 52, my memory is not what i would like for it to be. the girls had stayed overnight and as they prepared to leave, they did the usual girlie stuff…showered, put on their make-up and did their hair. as they were packing their belongings, we realized that my friend had a hot curling iron. my usual remedy is to wrap my curling iron in a washcloth to prevent damage to the other articles in the bag. so, i offered her a washcloth. no big deal. it was just a washcloth. this is a 22 year old act of simple kindness. one long gone from my memory.

as my friend stood at her sink to do dishes, the only thing she could find to use for the task, was this little washcloth that once served as a heat shield given to her by her friend’s sister.

the entire event flooded her memory, the trip, the little girl they were taking home, meeting me and the gesture. she stated, “as…. stressful as that move has been…seeing your cloth gave me a moment to breath and remember a nice memory.”

i smiled, wrote her back and thanked her for sharing this experience with me.

i took out my calculator (no, i do not do math in my head) and calculated how many years had gone by since the morning i handed her that little washcloth…22 years.

a simple gesture of kindness, long forgotten in my mind, had life and continued to speak long after it’s “use by date” was up.

you will have them, too. simple gestures that have just flowed from the abundance of your heart that have lived years beyond what you coud imagine. they might even live on in the heart of the person long after your journey on earth is complete.

just imagine the living acts of kindness wondering around in the world…just because of you and your kind heart.

it’s not always the major accomplishments in life (although they are fabulous as well) but don’t underestimate or overlook the simplest of gestures…they take on a life of their own.

now, get out there and inspire someone…you have exactly what you need in your bag of resources today to make a difference!

i’m having a great day…hope you do as well!

D

BTW, the photo is used with permission…my sweet sister, Evie, loves photography and she graciously shared the photo with me today! Thanks, Sis! I love you!

forever and always treasures

forever and always friend/insight from a woman's heart

did someone immediately come to mind?

my mind went there…in a flash.

she’s the one that has seen my ugly hair days.

she’s the one who has seen my bad habits.

she’s the one who gets up or stays up in the late hours of night to hear my heart.

she’s the one who encourages me when i want to give up.

(actually, she’s the one who says, “throw up and get back on the track” – a running metaphor)

she’s the one that whether happy or sad,

puts her hand up to be “that” friend

on whom my heart can depend!

my heart holds deep gratitude

and

today is whispering, “thank you!”

the blessing of bridges

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brightening my way
regarding my heart
impacting with joy
dispersing my fears
gentle support
encouraging with hope

it’s breathtaking to feel a supportive lift when strength feels like it’s slipping away-realizing that help is near to ensure you make a successful crossing. friends, family, faith, a kind stranger are such blessings.

i love having the opportunity to help bridge a gap.

i am grateful for those who have lent a hand to help bridge mine.

supporting one another is a good thing. makes life better. makes the journey easier.

two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. but pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!- Paul