Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Celebrating 40 years of friendship

I have many wonderful friends and more than a few friendships that have spanned decades.  But I have two sister-friends that are priceless to me.

The backstory:  We met when we were all starting college at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma.  It was 1974 – when Nixon resigned his presidency, Earth Wind & Fire was on the radio and The Waltons were hollering good-night to each other on tv.  There we were in our REI 60/40 coats, embroidered tunic tops and flaired jeans, eager to make new friends.  I think we met via mutual friends in our dorms (Liane and Karen lived in the cool old dorm that looked like a mansion) and later were all involved in Young Life.

Liane, always the initiator (she’s from southern California), called me one night during Interim (January term when lots of students are home for an extended Christmas break) and asked if I wanted to come over for popcorn and hot chocolate.  This was awesome because I knew she was someone who everyone loved – and she wanted to hang out with me!  While I was getting my coat on, the phone rang again.  “I just realized I don’t have any cocoa… do you have some?”  Of course I did and I grabbed the can.  Before I locked the door behind me, the phone rang again.  “I don’t actually have any popcorn… can you bring that too?”  I smiled and asked if she had a popper.  “Well, no but I hoped you did.”  She ended up coming over to my room and the rest is history.

Karen came all the way from Colorado Springs, had thick blond hair down to her bum and her own car – an Audi Fox.  I was in awe of her for all those silly reasons but as we got to know each other, I found someone who was always up for an adventure and who loved to laugh as much as I did.  She genuinely cared for her friends and we had lots of great talks about the Lord. 

We went to Malibu (a Young Life camp in British Columbia) together, took vacations to California, back-packed through Europe (we used backpacks instead of suitcases – but ‘back-packing through Europe’ sounds very cool), cried on each other’s shoulders and laughed for more hours than would ever be possible to record.  We have always found the same things to be incredibly funny.

il_340x270.355437682_bawqAt some point after graduating from college, we all bought a little plastic groom (the cheap kind people put on wedding cakes in another era) and began to pray for our husbands and for each other’s husbands.  We talked about what kind of men we’d like to marry and offered each other lots of free advice on what kind of guy we thought the others needed.  We continued spending a great deal of time together, though they lived in Washington and I was in Oregon.  We had many weekend get-togethers in either Seattle or Tacoma or Portland or at the beach.  We all went back to school for graduate degrees and we supported each other through those stretching years.  Karen got married first and her ‘little man’ (as we affectionately called them) had a rug fuzz beard glued onto his chin as he perched on top of their wedding cake.  Brian is a one-in-a-million and we welcomed him into our family.  Then Liane started dating Mark, who is a also a genuine gem and a great compliment to Liane.  At 28, I became certain that I would be spending my golden years having quality time with my little plastic man, when God absolutely astonished me by giving me the man I had loved for the last 11 years.  We actually got married before Liane and Mark but only because Mark didn’t want to steal any of our thunder.  He’s nice like that.

Along came babies – three for each of us – and despite the fact that we moved to California, we continued to find ways to get together at least once a year.  We began calling these weekends our ‘jubilees’ and they have been a highlight for all of us.  

June 92007 Sept 94017 Lee, B & K1 38IMG_1404
Sometimes the guys have been a part but mostly they have been girl-times, filled with talking, shopping, talking, eating out, talking, laughter and talking.  We’ve been to exotic places like San Francisco, San Diego, Victoria BC and to familiar places like Sunriver, Whidbey Island, Manzanita and Bay Lake.  It doesn’t really matter where we go, we always settle right into a place of comfort.  Our photos record our bad hair periods, our weight fluctuations and our crow’s feet but what hasn’t changed one bit is how known and supported and loved we feel with each other.  These women pray for me, laugh with (and sometimes at) me, compliment me, challenge me and love me unconditionally.

The three of us couldn’t be more different… which is a very good thing.  And is also something we laugh about often.

Last month we celebrated 40 years of friendship (which is clearly impossible because we aren’t that old) with a long weekend at Young Life’s Malibu Club in Canada.  It was a women’s weekend so we stayed in a cabin with 11 other women we didn’t know.  We had gorgeous weather and lots of great shared memories.

Our view each morning

The women who unknowingly got to share our jubilee!

The Malibu Princess – the only way (other than sea plane) to get to Malibu
This was likely the last summer the Princess will operate so it was a bittersweet trip!


I loved this quote, which sums up how I feel about this gift of Liane and Karen in my life:

“When I am feeling as exposed and vulnerable as I have ever felt, you are gentle… You put me on a stretcher and cut a hole in the roof where Jesus is and lower me down.  Herky jerky with sawdust in my hair, singing show tunes and complimenting me on my outfit, feeding me and praying for me.  Laughing and crying with me.  Thank you for getting me to Jesus.”
                                  ~Leeana Tankersley, Breathing Room

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Links I Liked

Please forgive me for posting yet another set of links to other people's good stuff.  I am in a blog slump.  A creative funk.  Everytime I think about writing I just cannot bring myself to do it.  I think about all seven of you and I decide I just can't subject you to another silly or meaningless post of mine.  Maybe I'll rebound and hit my stride once again (whatever that was).  Until then, here you go...

2014fallfoliageFall Foliage Map
Find out when the peak leaf color is in your neck of the woods!  I'm so happy that we aren't yet to our peak in Oregon.  Here’s a link for things to do in Oregon to enjoy Fall’s glory, including the Oregon Fall Foliage blog, but I’m sure there are similar resources for every state.  This is awesome.

LEGO Minifigures as Cable Holders
Do you know that LEGO minifigures hands are also a perfect holder for your Apple Lightning cable and other types of cables?

Oddest Things You’ll Find on Amazon
… including Unicorn meat and a nickel that costs 25¢ + $4.49 shipping

A few age and perspective posts:

Sight of the old man
Boomer’s Bodies – And Yours
All of the 10,000 people in America who turn 65 each day have wrinkles. Our skin is more flaccid. Our complexion is more mottled. Our equilibrium is more tenuous. And our hair is more scarce. The effect of aging on our appearance and our bearing is universal. No one escapes. Except by death… He intended to make clear that, even if we ignore the dreadfulness of a sinful heart, we will not be able to ignore its witness in the debility of the body.

Parenting as a GenXer
We’re the first generation of parents in the age of iEverything… My generation, it seems, had the last of the truly low-tech childhoods, and now we are among the first of the truly high-tech parents.

What Millennials Really Want From Church
Don’t be put off by the title of this post (as I was at first).  I really appreciated this perspective.

That’s Offensive
I was watching the news as I got ready this morning and, during the span of about 30 minutes, there were FOUR stories that talked about people or groups that had recently been offended by one thing or another.  Now I'm not talking about serious things that go against our spiritual beliefs......we won't go there.  I'm just talking about petty issues that keep people's undergarments all up in a wad.

Made me smile:

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Helping me to worship

What helps keep you aware of God’s presence right in the middle of trouble and difficulty and even in life’s daily-ness?  One of the best for me is worship music. 

It redirects my thoughts onto what is TRUE instead of on how I FEEL.  It lifts my focus from my circumstances onto Jesus.  It reminds me of who God is and what He can do.

These songs – a few new but mostly not-so-new – have been on my playlist lately.  These words help bring me right into God’s presence.  I’d love to hear worship music you’re listening to in the comments – please share!

Big Daddy Weave
I delight myself in You, captivated by Your beauty
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You
God I run into Your arms Unashamed because of mercy
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

Who, oh Lord, could save themselves
Their own soul could heal?
Our shame was deeper than the sea
Your grace is deeper still…
For when our hearts were far away
Your love went further still
Yes, your love goes further still

Lord I Need You
Matt Maher
Where sin runs deep Your grace is more
Where grace is found is where You are
And where You are, Lord, I am free
Holiness is Christ in me
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You

Phillips Craig & Dean
There are no words to describe
Who You are, Jesus Christ
No one compares
You leave us speechless, breathless
Jesus, worthy, worthy
There is no one like You, God
No one like You, God

What can we say to describe just a glimpse of Your Glory
How can our words portray but a thread of Your Majesty
But still we praise our Savior in Spirit and in Truth
For we cannot say enough about You

Great and greatly to be praised
Name above all other names
Powerful and strong to save
Hallelujah, our God reigns!
Glory in the highest place
King of mercy, God of grace
Together let the earth proclaim
Hallelujah, our God reigns

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