Have you ever received a bag of goo that you need to nurture until it becomes bread? I have, and 4 of you will in the very near future! My friend dropped in for something that I cannot remember and dropped off my little batch of Amish Friendship Bread. She did alot of the work. In fact, we were already on day six when she gave it to me. She did a good bit of the work for me and even included the pudding. I have to be honest, I knew I wanted it, and I knew it would be yummy...but it had to sit on my counter! I'm trying really hard to keep my counters/house clean...so it was just something like, "Oh, yeah, the bread, that stays there." Well, today was the day to bake it. So, after dinner Julia, Ella and I headed into the kitchen to get this bread off of the counter and into the oven (and then into our bellies). While were were getting it together I started thinking about friendship in general and how it also needs to be nurtured. I wanted to hug some of my best friends...this is the best I can do.
You see, each day I had directions for what I was supposed to do with this bread. Squeeze it, add some stuff to it (Kelli did that for me) leave it on the counter, let the air out. Sort of take care of this mush so that I could enjoy the bread. There would be a reward.
I have some sweet, sweet friends. I think of my "teacher" friends all the time. I wish they could see me now. I'm not as scattered and I am a little more structured...they would be proud. I think about my college friends who watched me lay down some serious loves of my life. They watched me struggle with all His energy as I worked out my salvation with fear and trembling (and continue to work it out). I have High School friends who were my company for some pretty crazy times, that make for fun stories now, "GIRLS, IT'S TIME!!!" I have some friends that were patient with me as I warmed up to being a new wife and making new friends. I have some friends that were with me as I was a new mom in a new place. They assured me that everything would turn out alright and they confirmed that my son is, indeed, a genius. I've wept with my friends as they shared their deepest regrets, I've celebrated while they have overcome some intense obstacles and fears. I've watched marriages be reborn, and I've seen them disintegrate. I've welcomed new babies, mourned babies we never kissed, and hoped with some friends that they would be called, one day, "Mom." I have some incredible friends. I wish I could call them all by name. I wish that when my bread comes out of the oven I could cut up a piece for everyone of you and we could laugh and cry...we'd wear pajama bottoms and go back for seconds since we were wearing elastic!
I want to work at my friendships. I want to squeeze them, and add to them, and share them with others. I want to enjoy the reward of a friendship that is not only maintained, but is enjoyed and cultivated. I started to list some of my friends and what we would talk about, then I stopped. There is no way I could acknowledge all of the fabulous women who have contributed to me.
I wish you could smell my house. It's warm, and sweet...just like friendship. I'm not sure how to end this...I guess it would be appropriate to not end it, like so many of my friendships...it's just not over...
"A friend loves at all time." Proverbs 17:17