Saturday, July 28, 2007

Attitude of Gratitude....

Today I am thankful for my friends.

Yesterday, I was missing my Cheryl. She has always been a constant in my life...someone that portrayed God's love more than anyone else I know.
Five years ago, when my first precious daughter was born, Cheryl was my nurturer. God's love in human form.
Let me explain.
I am a unique person. Lol. You kind of have to get to know me to really understand, and most say, really LEARN to love..ha. God made me different, and a bit quirky. But I'm okay with that... I am strong in my belief that God made me just the way he wanted me, and it's up to me to "perfect" the characteristics that I have learned, inherited or developed over the years that aren't quite like him. I'm a bit anal. In some ways a bit of a perfectionist. I am a tad controlling I don't like to ask for help...quite frankly I enjoy doing things myself. I like my schedules. I don't like change much. I like everything in it's place. But a God of grace and mercy overlooks those. He loves me true, pure and genuine.

So, you see, when my firstborn arrived, I felt like I did real good...and I still feel that way. She was a great baby. I had a GREAT year. I looked at the "season" as one to enjoy, and one that would be shortlived--(although at the time, may not seem that way!) I did not experience post partum, any new mother, I had my days..
That is when my Cheryl stepped in.
She was aware at how intent I was to breast feed, and even though, as a nurse, she new my premature baby might need a bit more milk, she stood by and showed me how to latch Hannah, how to wake her up when she didn't want too, etc... She always made me feel as though I was doing the right thing for me and my baby. She never disrespected my scheduling and always encouraged me, even when I knew she thought I might need to do something a different way.
Most of all, when she left, or hung up. She ALWAYS made sure I was okay and I knew that she was visiting only for me..(Hannah was a bonus!)-- she loved me just for me, and was genuinely concerned at my well being.
I remember Hannah's first "flu". We had thought with a bit of medicine, Hannah would work it through her system. On about day 5, at around 9 at night, when her fever had reached an alarming high, I called Cheryl. I was calm, but very concerned. Cheryl arrived shortly after (somehow finding a babysitter for her handicapped daughter???) and began nurturing both me and my daughter. She explained about a cold bath, gatorade, and how I could administer both advil and tylenol following directions. She comforted us. She prayed with us. And the whole time, while she doctored up my daughter, she made me feel as though she was primarily there for me. Because she loved ME. Sure, she liked seeing Hannah..alot... and she was helping her get better.. but ultimately she wanted to make sure that I was okay.
Loving like so few know how. Like God does.

On Tuesday night, after waking later than I should have to nurse my newborn, I discovered I had developed a very painful infection. After becoming quite sick, and in a lot of pain, I tried to research possible remedies on the internet.
I cried. And I prayed. Wishing my Cheryl was a bit closer than BC.
And then I remembered a friend Jen, once telling me of her experience with her 4th child..and the same infection.
So yesterday, with my 3 kids in tow, I set out to take Hannah to VBS. That is where I spoke with my friend Jen.
She gave me some great information. She studied the infection. Looked at the baby. Told me to rest. To look after me.
She gave me a hug. She even took my oldest children for the afternoon so I could sleep!!!!
But most of all, she loved me for me.
I could tell that she was genuinely concerned for my well being. That it mattered to her that I healed. Sure, she liked seeing Aliah...alot...but ultimately she wanted to make sure that I was okay.
Loving like so few know how. Like God does.

And today, I realize, that I have alot of friends like that. For all of the people in my life that judge me for my decisions, disrespect me with my scheduling, make me defensive by just visiting---God has blessed me with so many more friends who will love me like God does.
True, pure, genuine.


Holly said...

Yeh-hoo for FRIENDS! Amy, I am so glad that you got an afternoon to get some much needed rest. Praying that nasty infection away and for more rest for you. YOU ARE LOVED (that includes:respected AND appreciated)!

Cheryl can't be replaced can she?! There are "others" out there, that are also heaven sent! ;o) THANKS JENNY, FOR BLESSING AMY!

Jen said...

You brought me to tears...

And Sweet Aliah....she is SOOOO perfect!
I am so glad you had some time to help speed up the healing...and my kids and I genuinely enjoyed Isaiah and Hannah. They are very sweet children, and you and Mike are doing a wonderful job with them...IT SHOWS!!!
Even if you don't LIKE to ask for help...there are those of us, that would love the privilege of doing what we can...when you NEED to ask for help. We have all been there, so CALL!!
Loads of Love...and continue to take care of YOU!

Cheryl said...

Ok now I'm crying a ton now. I miss you too sweet Amy........
I'll email you my 1-800 number, and you can ALWAYS call, especially when you miss me, cause you know I miss you too!

I don't know what to say......... this was a pleasant surprise and gift to me........ I'm feeling so blessed to read this.
Just today, in staff devotions I was asked, what 2 things would you like everyone here to know about you, and I said, I really love my family and I really love people.

Thanks for noticing and honoring, I am speechless. I am rich, and love you loads.

Cheryl said...


I love your quirky ways. I love your confidence for being you and not trying to fit in. You don't say much when you disagree in publice or to anyone in private ( although i am sure you talk to Mike about a few things) this speaks of your heart of integrity. You and Mike are good friends to Cheryl and I, but more importantly you are friends of God.

I also love Mike's blog. Great story.

Be blessed my friends.


redeemed diva said...

You're back!!!! I'm so glad. I love your genuine blog posts.
And this one was great. Convicting, really. Sometimes I am the visitor to mothers who judge them for their way of doing and God so spoke to my heart as I read your blog post. God has made us all different and those differences express themselves through our mothering. Thanks for reminding me that LOVE never fails.

Tammy said...

I, for one admire you very much. Friends are very important at these times in our lives. Friends that know what to do and what to say. Very rare and very special. You get better!!!
Here's to FRIENDS!!!!!!!

Maria said...

The old saying is true

" You don't know what you've got till it's gone. "

Shari said...

It's wonderful to have friends there no matter what happens!

joy... said...

Ah, I'm SO glad you've got friends who bless you in Belleville. I wish I was closer...
You are LOVED and BLESSED and I know I'm not the only one who has been blessed by knowing you and calling you friend. MUCH love and hopefully I'll be closer one day! I miss you lots...

Roxanne said...

Amy, you have treasured friends because you have invested in those friendships.

Inkling said...

Amy, thank you for stopping by my blog. It's funny, you blessed me too! When I saw where you were from, read about "your" Cheryl, and then visited your blog roll and found a Cheryl just a few hours north of me, I realized that God was trying to show me something. Even though I just moved to Canada a year ago, and even though I often like the "ugly American" who always sticks her foot in her mouth, it was like God was saying, "See, I've got some awesome women who belong to Me here in Canada. You aren't alone. It doesn't matter if you're American or Canadian. What matters is whose child you are, and you're mine. So that's what counts." Thank you for showing me that moving doesn't mean moving from sisters in the Lord. I needed that today. Thank you!

Tamatha said...

aaaaawww! Warm fuzzies....what a kewl post:o)