Wednesday, June 3, 2009

HDG: Love is in the Details

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If you’ve been reading my blog very long, you’ve probably noticed me referring to my Faith Sharing Girls… and now you get to see their cute mugs for yourselves! Meg, Susie, Deb and Leslie are phenomenal women who show up at my house every other week to participate in faith sharing, chatting, eating and just being all around great friends. I’m so incredibly blessed.

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This is a photo of Susie’s mom, Linda, and Meg. Linda is the one who gets my groceries for me every week and puts up with Riley’s constant longing for attention every time she walks through the door. Because Meg is the only one in the group that doesn’t have a May birthday [Leslie and I were actually born on the same day], she and Linda decided to do a lovely surprise birthday dinner for the rest of us.

I was in on it, of course, since it was at my house, but the other three girls didn’t have a clue. Being in on it was kind of a present to me, because I SO love being in the know. :)

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Linda used to run a bed and breakfast before she moved to town, and showed up at my house with her own dishes, silverware, dainty glasses and everything. She loves collecting antiques and has the loveliest things… and it certainly changed the look of my table.

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The linens were given to her by her friend Dixie, who had brought them back from a trip to Italy. Trust me, when I found that out I was tempted to move my plate to my lap so anything spilled would land on my jeans instead of the table cloth. That Linda is obviously a trusting woman.

I’m sure some of you are looking at that table and noticing the fine stitching on the linens, the value of the plates or stemware, or the delicate pattern on the fork. And they are precious. But what I see is the love in the details.

It’s present in the way Linda and Meg thought about us, how they took joy in making us feel special. How each table piece was chosen, not to display Linda’s pretty things, but to display the affection she feels for each of us who love her daughter.

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Each one of my friends that sat at the table that night have the same qualities about them. They love in the details. They show up at my house every other week, not because they don’t have someplace better to go, but because they don’t want to be someplace better without me. When we sit in my red room to go through the chapter we’ve read, they sit in the spots where they know I’m not comfortable and leave the comfortable chair for me.

They leave their busy lives and faster pace behind them at the door and settle into my slower moving way of life. They don’t rush me if I’m out of breath while I’m talking and they fill me in on conversations they all understand because they see each other and out and about, but I miss while I’m here in my home. They show their love in the details, and they do it in an unassuming way that could easily go unnoticed.

But I notice. Every little bit of it. And I am grateful.

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Susie was giving me a hard time because I was taking photos of everything… the food, the salt and pepper shakers, the linens. I was capturing each detail to show all of you, and also so I would never forget them myself. Some may simply see a plate of food, but I see the love in the details.

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And apparently, so does Suz. I loaded photos from her camera onto my computer later that night so I could see pictures from a friend’s baby shower I had missed. She took detailed photos of another friend’s new home, of people and decorations and… yes, the plate of food they were served.

My first thought: “Oh, I’ve taught that girl well!” But really, I haven’t taught her a thing. She was just loving me with the details, as they are all so good at doing.

IMG_7386A friend is one who strengthens you with prayers, blesses you with love and encourages you with hope.”

I can’t imagine any details more important to friendship than prayers, love and encouragement, which is why this canvas fits my friends so perfectly. I’m passing it along to one of you today so you can hang it on your wall as a reminder of how to be a great friend, or pass it along to someone who has been all of those things to you. I’m lucky I didn’t need the quote to teach me a thing… I learned it from the best of them.

To win today’s canvas, leave a comment telling me how someone has shown you love by paying attention to the details. Make sure you comment before midnight CST, and I’ll post the winner tomorrow. [Only one comment per person, please.]

50 comments:

  1. So glad you have them! Just when I think I won't make it a friend will call or send a card. God is good!

    Recent blog post: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Recital

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  2. Great post and great quote.....
    I have to say one of the people in my lives that has been my "friend" is my sister--over the past year I went through some disappointments and she has taken the time to listen to me when no one else will, to encourage when no one else could, and loved me when I felt the most unloved.
    She's an amazing person....

    S.

    Recent blog post: Brother and sister.....

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  3. My friend, Sharon, is one that loves in the details. She is a friend I went to school with yet didn't know well then. Now as our faith has reintroduced us and drawn us closer I am amazed at how well she knows me and my quirks...and loves me anyway.

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  4. I am thinking of one friend in particular who I met through our church choir. She's just plain nice. Thoughtful. Goes the extra mile for those she loves. Gives more than she can afford to give, really. And is always ready to pray for me and my family when we need it. She definitely loves in the details!

    Recent blog post: Reasons I Love Chick-fil-A

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  5. Robin~All Things Heart and HomeJune 3, 2009 at 7:20 AM

    This is great on so many fronts...I love seeing everyone! Putting faces to your precious friends.
    Next, Wow! Linda has the gift of hospitality doesn't she? I love that table and the food. How much fun!

    Recent blog post: Adorable little Coasters ~ DIY!

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  6. God has so richly blessed you in the details. When I was going thru treatments, my dear friend, Pat, was in the details for me...always praying, always encouraging, always strengthening me. I'm so thankful for her friendship. Blessings, SusanD

    Recent blog post: The Door

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  7. Several years ago I started my first real job, as a teacher. Justin and I had just moved from my home town and it was an exciting, but difficult time. I had two assistants, but one of them can in beside me and truly became my friend. After years of infertility, she celebrated my first pregnancy with me. Even now that I've moved away, she writes me emails to keep me up to date on what every one is up to and help me on my mothering journey. I'm so excited I get to go back to see her daughter get married this month.

    Recent blog post: Bless You

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  8. How blessed you are to have such wonderful friends!! My college roommate has been encouraging me in all kinds of ways these last few weeks... I so treasure her as a friend... You're so right- it's all in the details :) Thanks again for sharing another beautiful canvas!

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  9. When my oldest daughter was in the hospital a few years ago when she was not even 2 years old, MANY of my friends and family showed me love by showing my baby love with many details. Bringing her favorite blanket, her favorite stuffed animal, going out of their way to bring her McD's chicken nuggets. The list goes on and on but the comfort those things brought to my child showed me how loved I am too with those simple little details. I'm so glad you had an incredible meal with your incredible friends!!

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  10. Love, love, love this canvas!! You are so lucky to have such wonderful friends in those girls.
    I am very lucky to have become wonderful friends with my neighbor. She was one of the first people I met when we moved to Arkansas (and she had only lived here one month before we arrived). She is so kind and is always one step ahead in thinking about how she can help out, especially where the kids are concerned. I know she is one of those people that would bend over backwards for me at any given time...and I would do the same for her.

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  11. Back when I was teaching and expecting my second daughter, my husband and I were in the process of selling our house and preparing for a move out of state. The reason for our move stemmed from a "bad" business investment which required us to sell our home to pay off loans. It was a scary and quite depressing time for us. The day before I began my maternity leave, my coworkers presented me with a tremendous gift. They had donated enough sick days to my account to see to it that I would be PAID for the remainder of the school year, despite knowing that I wouldn't be coming back. I'm in as much amazement today as I was back then, at how selfless and generous people could be ... and how they just KNEW what was going on in my life without me ever really fully explaining it. Because they had paid attention to the details.

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  12. Wow! That just warms my heart. I have friends like that and understand that blessing and tremendous gift! Thank you for sharing those "love details." What a gorgeous group of women ... their heart shines through in the pictures and in their very presence in your life. Wow!

    Love in the details ... I have a friend who has been a friend for many, many years. We have been in and out of each others lives, but most recently very much in (thank you, Jesus). She and her husband very selflessly live out lives that scream grace and Jesus. We are in a trial right now and yesterday she went out of her way, with 4 month old baby in tow, to bless our family with cookies and a gift that made me cry. God is good and when He "invented" the body (we call them friends, sisters, brothers) He was, as always, right on the mark.

    Have an awesome day Sara!

    Recent blog post: Marbles

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  13. Sara...what beautiful friends you have, but you're a great friend to them also!!! This was beautiful post....peace and blessings to you and your friends.

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  14. One way I know I'm blessed to have such dear, sweet friends is every year when my birthday rolls around, they never fail to flood my mailbox with birthday cards!

    Also, my husband is truly one of my best friends and he always pays attention to detail. For instance, I never put my dress clothes in the dryer. I always hang them up to dry. One day my sweet husband thought he'd help me with laundry while I was out running errands. He realized he had put my white blouse in the dryer and SHRUNK IT. What does he do? Takes a picture of the blouse with his camera phone and then heads to the mall and buys another one very similar.
    Of course I couldn't be mad at him after all that! :D

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  15. Your post is a beautiful tribute to your wonderful friends. It reminded me how lucky we are to have friends.

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  16. I am so glad you have wonderful women in your life! What a sweet thing.

    When my daughter was born one of my friends really went overboard making sure I had wonderful beginnings to memories and cherished special things to pass to my daughter when she is older. My friend makes jewelry so she made a tiny newborn bracelet for my daughter, that maybe she can pass to her own daughter someday. When my daughter was born she brought a lilac bush to plant in the yard (my daughter's middle name is violet and lilacs bloom right around her birthday). We plan to take a picture of my daughter with that lilac every spring. These special touches have already given me, and will continue to give me, precious memories with my daughter. The thoughtfulness is just a blessing.

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  17. I have a friend who buys me little things from thrift stores and garage sales that she knows I'll LOVE. If I win, I'm giving the canvas to her!

    Recent blog post: God Wows Via “Vicki” Once Again

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  18. Love this post and the canvas. I guess I would have to say my friend from High School, even though we aren't as close as we were back then. We still do get each other gifts for Christmas and birthdays though. I am sad to say that I don't have many good friends :(
    Thankful that you do though. :-D

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  19. Hey sweet girl, How sweet your post was! It has me thinking of how I could show love in the details. So many have been in and out of my life that has shown me this but I never did catch on.... I was too selfish, lost in my own misery. I think my parents are the ones who have shown love in the details: they fed me even when it was frustrating because I never liked to eat and money was always tight and I was always wasteful. They gave up their dreams so that I could have a great life and sacrificed everything to come to America. My dad especially. He was the stern military type that instills fear from me most of the time growing up. Once in a while though, I remember sitting on his lap and him straightening my untamed crazy hair, and him buckling my seat belt after I decided I wanted to play with it on the plane... Each day, I'm starting to remember more and more..
    Love you girl and always praying for you..

    Recent blog post: Bowl for Kids Sake 2009

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  20. What a fun party and what sweet friends! This canvas is great - and I think I'm going to buy one for my best friend. She's moving back out of her parents' house and into an apartment this summer, after she finishes school. I think it will be a great gift!

    Recent blog post: A List of Important Things You Need to Know

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  21. Your friends are a reflection of yourself. I'm sure you are a blessing to them also. I would love the canvas for my daughter, she is such a good friens and blessing to me.

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  22. Another amazing and very incredible post! It was so much to see the faces of some of the friends who are so near and dear to you. What a blessing they are!

    My best friend, Nikki, is one who pays such close attention to details. She is ALWAYS thinking of others, no matter what the circumstance. She takes the time to get to know both the big and small things about the people in her life and I love her for that!

    This canvas is beautiful! I love it! Every week I find a new favorite...but this is totally at the top! :)

    Sending HUGE hugs, friend!

    Recent blog post: Wordless (4 months) Wednesday!

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  23. It's wonderful to have friends like that, isn't it? I love when special friends remember the LITTLE things that may life enjoyable (or comfortable!) for you. When I was having a cancer treatment, a friend of mine brought over a gift bag of things for me and it included tons of things that I just love to do...puzzles, books, cards (to write letters). It was a special treat and only a good friend really knew what I LOVED to work on in my free time. :)

    Recent blog post: Quick Visit

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  24. Oh, Sara, what a nice post....you are truly blessed to have such great friends and truly wonderful to see their real worth! The canvas, too, is beautiful.
    Take care,
    Cynthia

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  25. I LOOOOVE details!! I say "the love is in the details" all the time when I'm making something stupidly detailed for someone.

    The first thing that came to mind for me was my bridal shower - my incredible neighbors put together a gorgeous bridal shower, and one of them made this crazy banner that said "Jack and Mandy" in script, another made a bustier cake, and another wrapped plastic-ware in napkins and tied ribbons around each one!! It totally made me feel loved.

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2458317&id=8331742&l=20077458b2


    Recent blog post: Okay, TAMU, you got my freaking attention

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  26. I would give it to my friend, Carrie. My husband and I were new to the church, and she took me under her wing, let me spend time with her and her family, lets me play with her kids! (whom I adore!), encourages my faith, and saw real potential in me. She asked me to take over her place as children's ministry director. She lets me be me; crying at the littlest things, being shy in large groups, she prays for me, and the most important detail... when we come over to eat, she always makes stuff without onions because she knows I hate them! ha! My Nana doesn't even do that, and it's so sweet to me!

    Recent blog post: I'm seeing things

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  27. That quote is SO true. My best girlfriend (my husband is my BESTEST friend!!), the maid of honor in my wedding, is absolutely amazing at details. For the past several years she has helped to "pick me up when I'm down" and just be there is all the 'little' ways she can. When I'm having a bad day,m she'll randomly show up at my office with a funny card and some peanut M&M's so brighten my mood... or little random things that we call "mulch" to keep our friendship alive and growing. She was a God-send during my wedding -- don't know how I would have done it without her. Even down to driving to the jeweler mere minutes before the wedding rehearsal because a diamond had fallen out of my ring while getting cleaned two hours before I had to be at the church. She it truly amazing. But above all, she prays for me, which is the greatest of all details. I consider myself SO blessed. True friends are rare and precious indeed.

    Recent blog post: Bloom

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  28. I've recently begun a women's group and it has been such a blessing in so many ways. One has been manifested recently in a strange tooth/sinus pain I have been having! OK, the pain isn't the blessing per se, but the friend who has called and emailed to check up on me has been. It is someone I never thought to connect with and I hope it is the start of something long lasting!

    Recent blog post: Monday Makeovers

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  29. My neighbor/friend exemplifies this to perfection. She accommodates every one with every detail she gets just right. She is always saying, "Remember, I am here for you even if its the middle of the night!" There is no greater way to love on someone than to meet them right where they are, and that is where she shines :)

    Love reading about your friends! The table is beautiful. And I'll bet they get as much from you as you feel you do from them! You are the respite from their busy lives and provide them with the opportunity to escape and gather with you for fellowship. Wonderful post! Thank you Sara :)

    Recent blog post: The fifty dollar lesson.

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  30. My friend Jen comes to mind for paying attention to the details. I went to her house for dinner one night and she gave me a movie that she knew I'd love. She was at a garage sale that morning and saw it and remembered seeing a little doll from the first movie on my desk at home.

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  31. Hi sweet lady...life is in the details, and we usually miss the living of it by always searching the big picture for something more.

    I have a new friend, Jess, who has been loving me in the details lately.
    The first day I met her she cut off a hospital bracelet from a test I'd had so that I wouldn't be embarassed in the waiting room of my kiddos new dance studio. Two weeks ago, she showed up to help me move fieldstone (two tons of it) with kids in tow and flip flops a-foot. She's not a yard work woman, but she blessed me with her help and companionship b/c she knows me well enough to realize that I am not asker, and I probably wouldn't walk the next day.

    She blesses me with her humor, her love, and her knowing of me...she allows me to be honest about who I am and what I am going through, and she respects me enough to do the same. Amazing women around us are priceless, just like friendship.

    "Love doesn't make the world go 'round, it makes the ride worthwhile."

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  32. Gitz - what a beautiful party! So GIRLIE!!! We don't do that often enough around here. I need to. DO NOT enter me as I just won and am writing to say THANK YOU!!!! Can't wait to put it up today. So sorry I have been out-of-pocket. Miss You!!

    Oh, and my Bo showed love yesterday by washing walls without being asked. We never wash walls. That was huge! lol

    Recent blog post: Mea Culpa...Mea Crazy Woman of Many Cousins

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  33. oh i love getting to know the special people in your life. my friends do much the same as yours. i could completely relate when you said they take the seats that you are not comfortable in. everyone knows where my "perch" is and i love that about my friends.

    Recent blog post: Absolutely NOT!

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  34. What a great group of friends! My sister is also my best friend along with my husband! O.K. I have to have a group best friend. Both of them seem to know how I'm feeling at any given moment. When I'm distressed, I call my sister (because my husband is usually at work). She's a trememdous comfort to me, really to anyone who knows here. My husband makes me laugh and loves me even when I'm a teeny bit unlovable! He puts up with me even when I'm moody, maybe that's because Moody is his middle name (for real). I'm thankful to have them both. They are wonderful gifts from God!

    Recent blog post: Dear Anonymous

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  35. I got teary-eyed when I read your blog today Sara. I'm very lucky to have 3 great friends/sisters in my life. One is the god-mother to my 2 children. All three of them have always lent their ear/shoulder when I needed to cry/let off steam/deal with my post-partum depression. I always apologize for crying in their ear and they always say, "Ubah, that's why we're here. We're your sisters. You do the same for us." God bless my friends because they are the family I don't have close by.

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  36. Great post. When I read the canvas I immediately thought of my friend Cathee. We actually work together but she is the one person who I go to for support and prayer when Im faced with some sort of problem. She always gives me hope and comfort when I need it. If I am the lucky winner it will certainly be gifted to her.

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  37. What a sweet story! I have tears in my eyes. :) Love your blog and your great canvases, and even more the heart that shines through!

    Recent blog post: The Hair

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  38. Love in the details. Would have to be my buddy Tammy. She moved away recently and often invites me to her house. When my hubby and I show up she gives us her bed because it is the best in the house. She always makes sure to have the drinks we like even though she doesn't drink them herself. And her Christms gifts are always thoughtful and appropriate for us.

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  39. used cars sioux fallsJune 3, 2009 at 4:42 PM

    Those linens are absolutely gorgeous! That is such a heart warming idea to have faith sharing girls.

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  40. GIRL! The creepy factor just keeps rising! I have the SAME quote on my wall in a frame only it says "FAMILY" instead of friends. I kept staring at yours thinking "I have this. I've seen this. Where in my house is this?" haha!!

    My answer to your question is really truly this: when you sent me a canvas. you paid attention when I told you at some point what my favorite quote was. you got the colors SPOT ON (that itself was way creepy), and the card you sent with it was perfect. Seriously.

    Something my husband did though deserves to be told. For our anniversary (your bday!) he got me this mirrored votive holder. I loved it and immediately thought of places to put it. A minute later he came back with ANOTHER one hidden behind his back and he said "I know how much you like things to be even (I do, it's sick) so I got you another one." HAHA! I laughed so hard because he knew me so well, and really, that was a huge detail to me. I am anal about things being even. LOL

    Recent blog post: Here they are….

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  41. This last Christmas, my family was all really low on funds so my mom made our gifts. I love the Starry Night painting and she made me a leather purse and beaded Starry Night on the front of it! It is absolutely gorgeous!!! She had never done anything with beads before. I cried. I love it so much! She spent hours and hours on it. Way better than anything she could have ever brought! :)

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  42. That is a beautiful table setting, the most beautiful part being the friends who were seated at it. You all are blessed with each other.

    That is great looking sandwich, and I want one of those pineapple/strawberry skewer things.

    I am confident you could keep a secret, I am not so sure about Riley.

    He does look like one happy dog. I am guessing he was thinking about left overs, unless of course he had his own plate.



    Recent blog post: Poetry – The Music For My Eyes

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  43. My best friend Meredith definitely pays attention to the details. She knows me better than anyone, and has been there for me through ALL my ups and downs. And just when i think she wasn't listening to my meltdown or whatever, she suprises me with a fun package in the mail to lift my spirits. I feel so blessed to have her as my friend!

    Recent blog post: Spring is in the air…

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  44. It's all in the details... I have a friend that just "knows" me and puts up with me and helps me see things in a better light.. she remembers me, my children and family... she is very giving of herself and she is a true friend.

    Recent blog post: Mothers...

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  45. My friend Sandra pays attention to the details. And by details I mean my kids. I often get a bit down that I am not friends with many gals that have kids (I'm an older mom this time around). Sometimes it's hard to get together with others because well, sometimes our greatest blessings are also a handful. My friend Sandra looks them in the eye and talks to them like they are people. They adore her and I adore her for taking the time to enjoy them right along with me.

    Recent blog post: Circus Comes to Town

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  46. I have been thinking about your question today. I have seen in my life the ways God shows His "love in the details." My friend Angela reminded me of this recently. Her husband was unemployed and she only had one dress to wear. (For physical reasons she can only wear dresses.) Various friends help provide her with some dresses after finding out about her need. I was sitting beside her (with my journal) when she saw the clothes and I wrote down this quote:

    “My Father knows me, and He loves me! He knows what I like. So many blue dresses…blue is my favorite color. When giving gifts to our children we try to do things they like. How much more does God try to give us what we like! God pays attention to the details.” Angela

    I have enjoyed reading your comments on this post. You have great readers!


    Recent blog post: my lips

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  47. I've had a really tough week. A return of the killer disabilities in my face, a failng self-confidence.... And Dave has been so wonderful as to point out the things that I do RIGHT and that make me beautiful. I still feel like crap, but Dave is reminding me that God gave these struggles to me as gifts and they are beautiful, because I rely on God, and Dave, to take care of me!

    Recent blog post: MPM 5-31-6-6

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  48. I love it that God blessed my family with an "Angel" named Phyllis. She takes care of my grandparents on a daily basis each week. When I had a surprise 80th birthday party for my Granny last August, Phyllis was the one to make the serving table beautiful by adding just the right silverware that she drove quickly back to her house to pick up!! She has been a true gift from God!!!!!!

    It's the little things in life that sometimes make a world of difference.

    Laura W. (Rocky Face, GA)

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  49. One of the best things I can get is just the gift of time. As a post-graduate student my friends and I stay really busy and it's easy to retreat within one's own sphere of busy-ness and forget that there's still a bigger world out there. Sometimes just a surprise call or instant message to say hi and check up from a friend totally makes my day. I have an aunt who creates exquisite greeting cards and getting one in the mail is always uplifting, just to know that I've been loved and thought of. It reminds me to pass on the favor!

    Recent blog post: Not Me! 6/1

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  50. Having great friends is such a blessing! I have been thinking a lot about friends these days too. Last weekend, I had the opportunity to meet up with a "blog friend" turned "real life friend" and we had a great time! I would definitely count her as one of those friends who pays attention to the details. One example--I sent her little girl a note pad and pen and she made sure to let me know her daughter HAD to use that paper and pen to write a note to her sick grandma. My $2 gift was much more than that to her and she made sure I knew that.

    I recently used this poem in a post--
    "A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.
    A friend is the one who will always be beside you, through all the laughter, and through each and every tear.
    A friend is the one thing you can always rely on; the someone you can always open up to.
    A friend is a sanctuary.
    A friend is a smile.
    A friend is a hand that is always holding yours, no matter where you are.
    A friend is a feeling of forever in the heart. ~Collin McCarty

    Looks like you have amazing friends (and I love all the pictures!) Praise God for friends!

    Recent blog post: Not MY "green thumb"

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