We Go Together Like Coffee & Coke

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There are some friends in your life that come along and it’s like they were there all the time. Its like they’re automatically part of your family. I have one of those in my life ~ in fact, she’s even got my maiden surname now. I was C Bradley and she’s the new C Bradley. We’ve gotta be something special.

Charisse and I met when we started working together, I think it’s about 8 years ago now. Since that day, we’ve practically been sisters. Ok, Charisse has two sisters already, so she basically gained a third but I never had one. God knew, that day way back when that I needed one and along came Miss Charisse.

Today is my bestie’s birthday. My porker (no it’s not derogatory, I call her that) ~ when you were born, 28 years ago today, God knew that you’d make up half of one of the most precious relationships in my life. And I think, that if I look around, a friendship like ours is hard to find. Pretty rare, we are. Crazy too, but whatever.

Along the way, friend, you’ve taught me so many things and I have so much to thank you for. So seeing as it’s your birthday, I wanted to say thank you for a few things that you’ve given me over the years.  (I’m a huge believer in expressing people’s worth to them while you can ~ not getting all sad now but you just should never hold back on telling someone what they mean to you)

THANK YOU (I don’t think I’ll ever be able to tell you how thankful I am) for being the first person to know and for not freaking out. I know you were inside, but you put on a brave face for me, sucked up all your strength and stood by me. I wouldn’t have been able to make it through most days if it hadn’t been for you.  I remember you calling me those nights before you went to bed and telling me “If you need to talk to me in the middle of the night, my phone is on. Call me. I’m here.” And I did and you always answered. Sometimes I wouldn’t even say anything, I’d just cry and you’d also cry but I knew, that whatever happened, you would always be there. Not to pass judgement or pretend you had the answers ~ just to let me know that it was going to be ok. That’s priceless.

THANK YOU for teaching me so much about sacrifice. When Noah arrived, we both were clueless about babies. It was like the blind leading the blind ~ and he’s grown up all ok 🙂 ~ but again, we did it together. Every night, you’d come over and make dinner for Matt and I and do our grocery shopping. Twice a week, you’d sleep in Noah’s room and feed him so I could sleep through the night and then you’d head to work after that. Part of the mom I am today, I owe to you. You’re the epitome of loving people before yourself.

THANK YOU for becoming a mom when I did. Me being thrust into motherhood might’ve changed our friendship. It was sudden, unexpected. But you didn’t let it. We went from going to the hairdresser together and having Vida coffees, to having to cart a pram and car seat for the routine run to Dischem or Baby City. When I was thrown in the deep end, you were right there treading water with me. You’ve always been my right hand man, my partner in crime and my fellow warrior.

THANK YOU for never wanting to change me, even though we’re so different.

THANK YOU for showing me Jesus when I didn’t think I was worthy enough. You’ve taught me more about grace, generosity and kindness than I think you’ll ever know.

THANK YOU for always telling me you’re praying for me. I always know that when the going gets tough, or any time really, you’re one of the people on your knees carrying me and my family to Jesus.

I think we’re a testament to honest, unconditional friendship. We share without reservation, and we know, whatever happens in this life, we aren’t alone in it. We have husbands, of course, and they’re awesome. (You can thank me for the introduction to your husband another day 🙂 They get us, and they kinda have a fab friendship going on themselves, which is grand!

People always say “Friends are either for a reason, a season or a lifetime.”  You’re all of those in one. We became best friends, and I think we know the reason why God did it to start with. He’s my firstborn and I’m sure they’ll be many more in the years to come. We’ve walked through seasons of happiness, sadness, grief, anticipation, gladness, stress, loss – the list is endless. But we always know, this is a friendship of a lifetime.

So for my bestie, here is the revised version:

Best friends like mine enter your life for a reason (or many reasons), they walk with you through all the seasons of life’s journey and form part of a friendship that lasts a lifetime.

Happy 28th birthday, friend. You’re one of the greatest gifts God ever gave me. I wouldn’t be half the mom, friend, daughter, wife, sister I am today without having shared these past 8 years with you as my best friend.

You’re the best flat footed, gown-loving, coffee-obsessed  little duck I’ve ever known.

xxxxxx

Motherhood ~ The Miracle Station

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Couple of years ago, my brother told me “There’s at least one miracle that happens every day in your life – you just have to be aware and look for them.” That’s stuck with me since then.

It means even more to me now that I’m a mom. I feel like most days I get too caught up in the small stuff. Life just passes me by in a blur of cleaning, picking up, dropping off, feeding, washing, dressing, rocking to sleep, singing and the list goes on. I forget that when I take a step back, God is intimately involved in my life. So much so, that miracles are happening around me all the time. In the life of a mom (not just moms, anyone really), miracles happen all the time and believe me, miracles don’t have to be mind-blowing, outrageous and drastic.

Mine would list something like this and each and every one of these, no matter how trivial some of them sound, is miraculous in my life:

  • The miracle of Noah sleeping through the night, without waking me.
  • The miracle of Tyla putting her own shoes on – even if it’s on the wrong way, she’s getting it!
  • The miracle that both my kids wanted to share today ~ much less refereeing!
  • The miracle that both my kids brushed their teeth without me having to remind them
  • The miracle that both my kids got into bed and they didn’t fight about which DVD they wanted to watch! Bliss!

Then there are more serious ones:

  •  The miracle of having a sibling – that God intended Noah to have Tyla as a sister, and Tyla to have Noah as a brother. (And as a mom, the miracle of loving two kids equally)
  • The miracle of child-like faith – that when my kids pray, like they did last night that the rain would stop, they truly believe it’s going to happen.
  • The miracle of self-sacrifice. Next time you get to the end of the day and are just feeling like you’re at the end of yourself because you’re busy taking care of everyone else but yourself ~ think of that miracle. You’re willingly placing your kids/husband before you, without even knowing it. God gave you a natural ability to ensure their wellbeing before your own. Miracle!

If you’re aware of God’s constant involvement in your life, you’ll see it all the time ~ in the small things. Yes, He works in big things, course He does. But that doesn’t mean He’s not directly involved in the seemingly mundane, trivial little victories we as moms experience every day.

The other day, I was walking with Noah and Tyla to my mom’s house and there was a beautiful yellow daisy in our neighbour’s garden. Tyla says to me “Mommy, look! A yeyyow flower. Pretty.” And Noah says “God makes sure that flower gets water, Mommy, that’s why we have the rain.”  Tyla says “Yes, Mommy, God looks after everyone. Even a yeyyow flower.”

Now if God can look after a little daisy on a pavement in suburban South Africa, and be so involved in its wellbeing, why would He not be involved on a daily basis in yours ~ someone who is so precious to Him, made in His likeness, someone He sent His Son for?

The thing about kids is, is that they look to bring God into everything. If it’s raining, it’s because Jesus is watering the plants. If someone is crying, Jesus can make them better. If they feel like they can’t do something, they say Jesus can help them do it. I’m trying to learn from my kids. God is here, with me on this unpredictable, sometimes-heartbreaking-but-always-worth-it, rollercoaster ride of motherhood and He gives me signs every day that He’s here. I just need to step back and recognize them.

The miracle of motherhood should daily, just over-awe me. That God would give me two little people, who were created and formed BY GOD HIMSELF, and entrust them to my care. That’s mind-blowing. He didn’t give me my kids and leave me to raise them without Him. Yes, He entrusted them to me but He’s right there with me every day ~ He’s intimately involved in my life, as crazy as it is, on a daily basis.

He’s there. In the small things. I just need to look for Him.