Thursday night I drove down to Philly like usual and spent 2 hours talking with my sweet sister before we finally crashed into bed at 11:15. I've noticed recently that I've had many opportunities to spend time talking with dear friends. One time it was after the Thanksgiving Eve Service with two friends (that one last until midnight!). Another time was last Sunday night while everyone else went to celebrate a missionary's arrival from Chile with a "Fiesta de Chile" party. My friend and I had good intentions to go over to join in the celebration but we just started talking and before we knew it, the assistant pastor was coming around locking up the building. Then another friend and I went walking three times this week so we got to spend time talking too. Plus I went to help a friend twice this week which resulted in more talking:o). And finally I picked up a friend from the airport last night so we spent the two hour ride (courtesy of I-76 and rush hour traffic!) home doing ~ you guessed it~ talking:). But this friend I hadn't seen in a while so I really enjoyed catching up with her.
It was no surprise then to see that my sister and I spent that much time just talking. I was surprised to see her get out of bed (she's a teacher so she goes to bed super-early since she gets up super-early!) and come talk but I really enjoyed it. One thing I've really enjoyed since my teen years is friendships with a wide array of people, including my sisters and sisters-in-law. I consider myself blessed, for I've often read stories of brothers and sisters who won't talk to each other at all. I'm glad I've not experienced that at all. And I'm looking forward to the opportunity in two weeks to spend a week (a whole week!) with my sweet sister (and friend!) and her family in Florida where we'll play catch up.
One thing about friendships is that little things (read: hurts) can happen, but they need to be dealt with in light of the Word of God. For example, yesterday morning my sister and I were trying to get ready to take Andrew to a doctor's appointment. We had a certain time in mind to leave by and as the minutes ticked by, we got a little more "rushed" with our actions. We were sitting at opposite ends of the couch doing our own things when my sister said, "Can you pass me a pillow?" Without looking up (I was brushing my wet hair ready to dry it) I reached over to the pillow and tossed it at her. Unfortunately for her (and me!) she had big bowl of honey nut cheerios and milk that spilled as soon as the pillow made contact. All I heard was "ahhhh... ahhh, ahhhhh, Annnnnnnnne!" I looked up and started laughing, which might not have been the best thing to do;). Here cheerios and milk were dripping off of her and onto the couch and floor. Andrew (who was playing on the floor) looked up and started laughing too, but I think that was because *I* was laughing. The situation grew a little more grave when she said that was all she could wear. With 10 minutes to go, I threw the outfit into the dryer with a dryer sheet and hoped for the best.
I really need to work on this, but I can't help laughing, no matter how serious the situation is. So I was trying to hide my laughter but little giggles would bubble out of me and she would just look at me. But there were no words of anger, huffs, or silent treatments from my sister. It was a honest, albeit funny, mistake and she recognized it for what it was.
Too often I tend to take a genuine mistake someone makes and get hurt that they did that to me. I mean, what were they thinking that they would intentionally hurt me? (that's said tongue-in-cheekedly!) One good tip that my Pastor passed along to us in Biblical Counseling class was this: we'll use the word "hurt" in place of "bitter". After that class when someone would say they were "hurt", a friend and I would have a twinkle in our eye and a smile on our lips as we gently but pointedly corrected them: "You're not 'bitter', you're just 'hurt', right?" Usually switching around those two words made a difference as the person would recognize what their true feeling really is.
It's funny what the Lord uses to teach and remind, isn't it? Cheerios don't just lower your cholesterol :o) they're also a visual reminder of friendships and how important they are to maintain. Oh, and the outfit was fine... no use crying over spilled milk!!!