Yesterday my brother shared a post about People of Grace in his life and it inspired me to do the same. He also noted these were “People God has deliberately put in your life”. The first people I thought of were my birth family and extended family.
Dear’s side of our family. (Photo by Jeremy Leffel)
My side or our family. (Photo by Jeremy Leffel)
Over the years different siblings have played a more significant role in extending me grace. For my “Washington” years my youngest siblings have been the most consistent grace givers in my life with lots of phone calls and touches in my life.
The next obvious grace giver in my life is my Dear.
I’m very thankful to God that my children have extended me grace over the years for my failures in parenting. They are a huge encouragement to me. (Photo by Jeremy Leffel)
Now I start looking outside my family circle and consider others along the way that God has used in my life and blessed my life with. Maybe they also were those who God used to sharpen me. Those who challenged me to become more Christ like by words and example. Of course these friendships only remain if that grace is extended both ways.
Some of my earliest good friendships started in junior high with Nanc and Judy. Just before Dear and I moved back to Washington I was able to reconnect with Nanc through Facebook and we got together a few times. I’m happy that God brought Nanc back into my life and we were able to fill in the gaps of what had happened to us over the last 40 years.
Heidi my best buddy from Bethany Baptist Church and Jeanie my best buddy from Cal-State L.A. Jeanie ended up marrying my cousin Jim. I love how God brought the 3 of us and our hubbies to a close friendship with each other.
When we moved to Washington away from both Dear and my families my dear friends and walking buddies Jan and Jody were the grace givers in my life. They became family to me. We all attended the same church and we went on a few great vacations together. We supported each other through thick and thin and through a lot of suffering.
Our son Dan became best friends with this young man, Jamie, in grade school and through Dan and Jamie’s friendship a grace giving friendship was formed between Jamie’s parents and us. Beth and Dave along with Jamie’s family will be joining us for our Thanksgiving celebration next week. Grace friendships are enduring friendships.
Most of my early and mid life friendships and encounters with Grace givers in my life came from junior high, high school, college, church friends, and neighbors. Now God has used another means to deliberately put people in my life. I’m still amazed at the friendships and grace givers God has given me through the internet.
My dear friend and walking buddy from Camarillo, Willow. We met through our mutual blogs and then were brave enough to meet over coffee in person. God had this friendship in mind for us and after that coffee meeting we walked regularly every week for the years Dear and I lived in Camarillo. I miss my walking buddy and grace giver, Willow.
Another internet miracle of grace God has given me are the Mennonite Girls. God deliberately plopped me in the middle of this group of ladies. I’m thankful to God for these girls that have filled in the gaps of friendship for me. They are true grace givers and sharpeners in my life.
I have so many other bloggy friends that are gracious to me and encourage me. I’m thankful to God for using their words on their blogs to sharpen me and inspire me to be more Christlike. Pam, Cori, Karin, Rosemary, Pondside, Kathie, Sandy, Kathleen, Miss Debbie, Rosella, LaDonna, Karen, Elle, Lisa, Vee, Sara, Ann, Wendy, Jill, Pat, Gumbo Lily and more…thank you so much for sharing God’s grace in your lives and extending that grace to me.