Monday, April 30, 2012

1000 gifts: best friend's birthday

Continuing my list of gifts, blessings that I write down to remember all the wonderful things that God gives me along life's journey (from Ann Voskamp's book and her blog, A Holy Experience).

This list of gifts is in honor of K.A. and her fortieth birthday, and over 15 years of friendship.

439.  Sharing books
Early on in our friendship we discovered we could both spend hours in a bookstore together - well, sort of together - K in the history section and me in fiction. For many years we have sent each other books for our birthdays, and borrowed books from each other's shelves; she's even given me two books she got signed for me by authors. Here's just a small sample...

440. Dresses, lace, beads and quilts
K used to volunteer at the Territorial Park with a friend, and she has a beautiful Victorian dress that she made herself. She also made me a dress, complete with a tatted lace collar. Nearly every time we sit down to talk or watch a movie together, she either has a tatting or a hardanger project in her hands. Here's a beautiful piece of hardanger she made me. 

She also does beading, and one of my favorite necklaces is one that she made for me. Oh, and she also quilts - I have one of those she made me, too.  I love that there is something made by K in almost every room of my house, and my only sorrow is I have absolutely no inclination for anything crafty to give her in return. But, I did make this to give her...

441. Verse collections 

The little booklet on the right is something I put together in 1997 of all my favorite verses, organized by categories to such as "Security", "Salvation", "Waiting on God",  verses for helping with "Loneliness", "Discouragement", "Worry" and "Witnessing." K says she still has this booklet, and recently she sent me a bookmark (on the left) with some of her favorite verses. She also reminded me - I'd completely forgotten this - that for one of her birthdays I gave her a collection of all the 4th verses from all the books in the New Testament, because her birthday is May 4.  

442. Theological differences 
One of the interesting things in the past couple years of our friendship has been the diverging path of our theologies. We've exchanged long e-mail discussions and exposition of verses as we take turns arguing our sides (creating a rainbow of different colored annotation). In the end we agree on the Gospel, that we are saved by grace and not by works, and have agreed to disagree on finer points of theology. I consider our differences in this area a blessing in many surprising ways.  

443. Four kids each 
 Oh how far we've come from our single days, wondering what the future would hold in store for us! She was my maid of honor, I was her matron of honor; I have four girls now, and she has three boys and a girl.

444. Bikers 
K's husband is a biker and one of several pastors at a biker church (which is where her birthday party was held). I love how one of their biker friends has a patch on the back of his leather biker jacket that says "these are my church clothes."  I love hearing all her stories about biker culture and lives changed by Jesus.

445.Oswald Chambers
A quote by Oswald Chambers K sent me in 2010: "It does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not.  We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things."

446. The Princess Bride
We love almost all the same movies, and this one she used to be able to quote almost word for word, almost the entire movie. (Alas all I ever seem to remember is "My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die" and "I'm not a witch, I'm your wife!")

447. Sunsets
There's a long story behind K and why sunsets are so meaningful to her, but it can be summed up in this beautiful statement: "It was almost as if God spoke to me in the colors." -K

448. Shadow mission
There's a long story behind this one, too, but K shared with me how sometimes when God points you toward a purpose, a ministry, or a mission, there is often a shadow mission that you don't see at first that goes along with it. 

449. Teapots
The truest friend will always share a pot of tea with you. K has a collection of dozens of teapots and a selection of dozens more types of tea - so visiting her home is a teatime delight.

450. A map scrapbook
I turned 40 first, and K made me a scrapbook of 40 favorite things about me which made me cry when I read through it. Knowing how much I love maps, she had created and printed a series of Google maps showing the routes of all our road trips together, along with pictures: Estes Park and Zion Canyon and the Million Dollar highway up from Durango. The last map in the book was the route between her house in Colorado Springs and mine in Laramie.

451.  A-Z scrapbook
When K turned 40 this year, I made her a scrapbook too, 26 pages of memories - it wasn't hard to come up with something for each letter, because we've had so many experiences together.

452.  There is A Redeemer by Keith Green
We rarely sing this song anymore in church, but when we do, oh what a flood of memories it brings back. And oh, what praise it wells up inside me! 

There is a Redeemer,
Jesus, God's own Son,
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
Holy One,

Thank you oh my Father,
For giving us Your Son,
And leaving Your Spirit,
'Til the work on Earth is done.

Jesus my Redeemer,
Name above all names,
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
Hope for sinners slain.

Thank you oh my Father,
For giving us Your Son,
And leaving Your Spirit,
'Til the work on Earth is done.

When I stand in Glory,
I will see His face,
There I'll serve my King forever,
In that Holy Place.

Thank you oh my Father,
For giving us Your Son,
And leaving Your Spirit,
'Til the work on Earth is done.

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