Ever read any of the Yada Yada Prayer Sisters books? They're kind of fun ... and inspiring ... and make you long to be part of a little circle of girlfriends who will be there for you through thick and thin. Kind of like the Christian non-sexy version of SITC. (But without the Manolo Blahnik references!) Anyway, I often think about groups like that and on paper, they seem so awesome, but in real life -- meh, maybe not so much.
But last night, I had a sudden inspiration. Sure, maybe real-life "sister groups" are not as 365 day-a-year, 24/7 supportive or as mystically connected as their fictional counterparts, but maybe they are actually even better! Because somehow by challenging myself to connect with people who aren't exactly like me, who don't think exactly the way I do, and don't feel things the way I feel them, I've found a number of unique "sister groups" of my own. And I'm drawing strength from them in ways I didn't expect.
From Mary, I'm learning to stop and think more - no, I mean REALLY think - to ponder deeply about things I have taken for granted in the past. She is definitely not exactly me, has had very different life experiences, is in uniquely different spot in her life right now compared to my own, and yet all of those differences are perhaps why I benefit so much from her being in my life.
From Amy, I'm learning to suck-it-up and keep going! No really, she just keeps on no matter what. Maybe that is the real meaning of "Dutch courage." But regardless of whether or not it is Amy's Dutch heritage or just an aspect of her own special personality, the ability to keep going in the face of adversity and trials and frustrations is something I deeply admire in her, and I hope some of it rubs off on me.
From Petronie, I'm learning to be truly thankful. Not just for the big things in life, but for everyday life itself. To be thankful that I woke up this morning and had the ability to jump out of bed. To be thankful that I live in a free country and get to make choices of my own volition. From my sweet Congolese friend, I am learning that life comes down to simply this: "With Jesus, life. No Jesus, no life."
And there are so many other friends I could share about, each of whom brings their own special gifts to my life along with the gift of their friendship. So I'm thankful for my own networks of life-sisters. We may not look as glamourous as Carrie et al, but what we have is real and meaningful and makes my life that much more wonderful. Yada, yada, yada .....