Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Love my People

There's something that feels like pure and plentiful bounty when someone outside of my family makes a decision to love my people. The same is true within family of course, but the relationship feels more expected somehow when bloodlines are shared. But when someone who (doesn't have to) has a pure love and delight for me and mine, well my heart can hardly contain the goodness of it.

Mary and I have been friends for 22 years. We now have a lifetime of shared history. Her presence and care for me is threaded through every bit of the tapestry of my adult life. But there's something I prize above all of our common memories, and that is the way she loves my girls and Dirk. She is as much a part of our family as she would be if we shared a mother. We used to be housemates but now nearly 2,000 miles separate us. Still, we make sure we know what's going on in one another's days through scheduled phone dates, spontaneous texts, and visits to one another's homes. We were fortunate enough to have her with us last week with us and miss her presence already.

She's that dream house guest who doesn't feel like a guest. The one who helps themselves to what they need and helps out all the while. She requires nothing and brings everything. After she was here a week, Dirk said to her "You bring such joy to us, and that's such a welcome thing." Isn't that what we all hope for? To bring joy wherever we unpack our suitcase in someone else's world? May it ever be.

This isn't just the way Mary travels. This is the way she lives her life. She has keen insight into all angles of a situation, but always speaks of the bright side. Her words leave me (and everyone in her company) better for having spent time with her. She lifts, restores, encourages, and brings hope, all while cracking you up with her quick wit and great humor. Proverbs says that what we say can mean life or death -- that words really do matter. I can attest to this truth after having my cup filled to over-flowing through life-giving words from my dearest friend.<

During her visit we had the sumptuous pleasure of a day at the spa

and an overnight (alone!) in the gorgeous Eilan Hotel and Resort,

lunches together, workouts at the gym, long chats, evening swims together with Dirk and the girls, but by far my favorite part of our week together was watching her love on and care for my daughters.

I have a little catch in my throat just typing the words. I cannot describe the delight this brings to my bones. To have someone so stellar in love and full living pour into my family - well, that's just more than I could have ever hoped for in a gift. What makes it all the more beautiful to receive is that, much as I want it, it is not something I could readily ask for. We cannot really ask someone to love us well, and even if we did, we couldn't be sure they would be able to deliver. This kind of outpouring only comes from a willing heart - we cannot squeeze it out of someone, no matter how much we extend love to them. But when it is freely given, I will drink up the unmerited favor of God delivered through the life of one of His darlings. Oh, how He loves me through my Mary.

4 Comments so far - Add yours!

  1. Um, this is my favorite post ever! Haha. You're a dream Melinda and so are those babies! (Dirk too!)

  2. Tearing up. What a treasure to have a friend like that. What a beautiful blessing and thanks so much for sharing. You have a poetic way with words… I especially liked your intro to the link on FB: "When Auntie Mary comes to town, expect a fountain not a drain." Beautifully put.

  3. Beautiful! Such a joy to have a friend like that, and that the whole family treasures and vice versa.

  4. Aw, thanks girls. There's something extra wonderful when love is a choice and comes when you least expect it.

    Cheers to love! <3