National Lampoon’s Christmas Reciprocation

National Lampoon’s Christmas Reciprocation

Oh, the wonders of the holidays. I don’t know about you, but my holidays were pretty glorious this year. Not because I received a bunch of gifts or ate a bunch of treats (or at least not only for those reasons… *glances at treadmill and clears throat uncomfortably*). My holiday season was fulfilling because we made it a point to spend it with our friends. Since I was young the holidays–the week of Christmas in particular–was reserved for a lot of family-only activities. It was just me, my brother and my parents, and for a time just me and my brother. Eventually it evolved to include Andy, then to include Jack’s wife. Now, 2800 miles later, we just spent our third Christmas apart from any family. I have to admit that during this time of year my instinct is to gravitate toward hermitlike behavior. All of my immediate family’s birthdays and anniversaries of their passings fall within this two-month time period, so I don’t always know how the season will be for me. My belief and proclamation over my own life is always that God will use the hardest time of the year to bring the biggest blessings, because that is in His good nature. He restores. He rebuilds. He comforts. Yet, with all of my proclaiming, some years I hurt, and that’s okay. It’s okay to miss my family. This year however, we felt the Lord leading us to be intentional and pursue activities with friends during the holidays. We were invited to a few shindigs and we invited some friends to do fun things as well. It...
The Friends I Hold Dear

The Friends I Hold Dear

Seeing as it’s the holiday season and most people are full of cheer, why not start a series on friendship? It might be nice to take a break from delving the deep caverns of sexuality. It’s not necessarily a lighter subject, but maybe one that people will feel less inclined to hide from their Facebook feeds.  (Facebook tells me how many times my posts are hidden, and it’s always pretty funny to see.) As I’ve grown older I’ve valued and sought to understand friendship a little more–it’s nuances, it’s ebbs and flows. Being married, without children, and in my late thirties, there are opportunities for me to grow friendships that might not be as readily available to those with kids. I’ve often wrestled with the effects of barrenness in my life (which I am still believing will change), so after investing in my relationships with God and family, my friendships are naturally of great importance. Even when you have time to focus on and invest in friendships, one area that can be difficult to maintain is relatability. I thought this was my Achilles heel, but over time I’ve learned that it’s actually an area of great strength. It’s so easy to relate to those who see the way we see, and who have life experiences like our own. Jobs, family, faith, losses, victories, etc. all color our friendships. However, when you haven’t been dealt a similar hand in life to those of the people around you, and when you face the reality of your circumstances, there’s a real tendency to compare. Instead of being able to easily relate, you...