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About pots, plants and people

I love what my friend Katie wrote on her blog:

Several times during my various trainings to prepare for moving overseas to work with Cru, we worked through an analogy of transition that involves replanting a flower. Moving it from one home to another, so to speak. I found the analogy quite helpful, and refer to it often when people ask me how my transition to life in Germany is going.

One day this past fall shortly after I had moved into my new apartment, I was strolling down my quiet street and discovered a green succulent with pretty pink flowers that had once been potted (on someone’s balcony, I assume) lying on its side on the sidewalk. The pot had broken and was completely gone, but the flower seemed to be hanging on. It’s roots had even kept the shape of the old pot it had been living it. It seemed like it might have a chance if it made it into a new home soon, so I decided to rescue it, re-pot it, and see what would become of the pretty little thing. The first few weeks in its new home on my kitchen windowsill, my transition flower stayed alive but was visibly struggling. The tiny pink blossoms dried up and fell off, but the leaves stayed green. I kept watering it, watched patiently and went about the business of settling slowly into my new surroundings myself. The roots must have been deepening and taking hold, because one day I noticed my transition flower was seeming a little more lively than it had been. Then one by one, I began to notice tiny, waxy leaves where there hadn’t been any before. Then a bud or two. Now, this week, the first few of the new blossoms have unfurled in a sweet baby pink. I think my transition flower still has a ways to go before it will be completely settled and thriving again in its new home, but it seems to be on its way. I think I am, too.

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I wish that little plant was able to talk and we could compare notes!  I can relate so well: the roots that are trying to adapt from one shape to a different one yet often still feel oddly out of place.  Leaves that looked quite healthy suddenly shriveling.  But in time new ones growing as well, and even tiny little flowers appearing.

I wonder what the process feels like for a plant?  For me, it’s painful.  And fun.  And exciting.  And sad.  And exhausting.  And so much more.  All at the same time.

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Yay for friends!

This is reposted from another great blog, A Common Woman.  Check it out here

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Half as Hard, Twice as Good

It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love spending time with my girlfriends. Sometimes we laugh, sometimes we cry, and sometimes we just act stupid. Mostly, we just enjoy being together.

Through the years, God has brought many special women into my life that I am blessed to call girlfriend. These girlfriends span the years; some have been my forever friends, and some are new. There are stateside friends, ex-pat friends, and national friends. Each group has filled a particular niche in my life.

I have girlfriends back in the states that have served as surrogate mothers when my kids returned stateside to attend college. They have thrown graduation parties, wedding showers, and baby showers in my stead. A couple of weeks ago, I was back in the states to meet my new grandson and help my daughter plan a wedding. Even though the wedding was still a few months away, two special friends threw a wedding shower so that I would be able to attend. They have loved me from near and far away.

Then there is the special group of girlfriends who have followed God’s call to live in a new country and culture. We commiserate together about the lack of Wal-marts, missing family, and raising children in a new culture. But, we also spend a lot of time laughing at our language blunders, cultural faux paux, and our blessed, yet crazy life.

God has also blessed my life with national girlfriends. They loved me through the process of learning language and taught me how to live in their culture. We walked side by side in hard places and I am blessed by their willingness to befriend a lonely American in a strange place.

So Girlfriends, I dedicate this song to you. You are the ones I have laughed, cried, and prayed with through the years. You have truly made my life “half as hard and twice as good.” I love you.

A friend knows the song in my heart and sings it to me when my memory fails.  ~Donna Roberts