Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

The Life-Giving Phone Call

Monday, February 19th, 2018


I rushed to the emergency room because my friend from Honduras was doubled over in excruciating pain. She needed someone to translate her Spanish into English. Wheeled into a CAT scan and a sonogram, my friend discovered she had a 14-centimeter mass on her uterus, a cyst in her ovary, and the organs in her abdomen were swollen. At that point they didn’t know that her appendix was full of pus and was about to burst.

Meanwhile one specialist after another came in and out of the room, asking questions. I found out that in Honduras, years ago, her last C-section had gone bad. It had opened up, and her intestines had come out of her body. She held her intestines in with her bare hand for 6 hours before she could get an operation to put them back in and sew her up.

After translating for 10 hours with no food, I was exhausted. Another friend from my Hispanic church called and asked if I needed anything. Food, I said. Within a short time, I was eating delicious Cuban food as far away from my friend as possible, since she was not allowed to eat or drink in case she needed emergency surgery.

When I looked into my friend’s anguished face, all I wanted was to take that pain into my own self to alleviate her. I realized this is what Jesus does for us. He loves us selflessly and takes all our anguish into Himself. I saw the cross in a new light, and I felt that Jesus was shining out of my face.

The lab assistant noticed. She said I had a gift, and that she had noticed my selflessness a year ago as I was taking care of another Hispanic woman who was alone at the hospital, in an emergency.

When she pierced my friend’s arm with a needle, I petted my friend’s head and told her that it was all for the best because now she was going to get the surgery that she had needed for years. “Hold on,” I said. “God is providing for you to be healed. Not many hours from now, you will be healthier than you’ve been for years.” Her eyes filled with hope and joy in the middle of her moaning pain.

I called home and told my son to make spaghetti for dinner. I texted my husband that dinner would be ready when he got home, but that I was at the hospital with my friend.

Later that evening, I answered my cell phone; it was my husband. We had been in some recent arguments, and depleted as I was, I braced myself. I didn’t want to be told that I had to go home and abandon my friend who had no way to communicate with the doctors and surgeons. I asked questions of the doctors that my moaning, almost unconscious friend wouldn’t have thought of asking, and I knew enough of her story to be able to add vital information that was needed for making the decision to go ahead with the surgery.

I was pleasantly surprised that the phone call was life-giving.

My husband asked if I wanted him to bring me some food. I told him I had just eaten, but it was kind of him to think of me. I wasn’t sure how much longer I would be at the hospital, because my friend was going to be transported to another hospital for the night, to have surgery the next day.

I was so exhausted from making life and death decisions for my friend, answering social workers and countless other people what her situation was. On the phone with my husband, he gave me the strength I needed by cracking jokes and then staying on the line and not hanging up. I was transported back in time to when we were dating, and he cared and wanted to be with me.

I felt refreshed after the phone call. It was exactly what I needed.

After following her ambulance to the other hospital, I settled her in for the night and went home. The next day my friend got the surgery she needed, and she has been recuperating ever since. I’m exhausted from spending a full week at the hospital, and I’m glad things are sort of back to normal.

2:1 Conference 2016

Monday, October 24th, 2016


This is the first time I’ve attended a 2:1 Conference, and I loved it! This conference is for Christian homeschool bloggers, so all the other women at the conference are similar to me in that they love to blog while homeschooling their children. This year the conference was in Sandusky, Ohio on October 7-9, 2016.

If you go to this conference next year (which will be in Washington DC), I recommend arriving a day early so you don’t have to focus on workshops the same day that you traveled and have jet-lag. I arrived a day early and was able to get to know other bloggers before the weekend began.

When I found out the theme of this conference was “Revival,” I was overjoyed! I have been praying for revival for my church and local area for the past couple of years, and I feel a burden in my soul that the American church has become worldly.


Here are my two rommates: Lara from Everyday Graces and Misty from Joy in the Journey. I told my husband I would be bunking with Grace and Joy. They were wonderful! They truly have hearts for the Lord, and they love to blog. It was so fun to get to know them in person, after seeing them online for years.

On Friday night, 7 Sisters invited us to their hotel room for soup and other snacks. I was able to meet many other bloggers, and we had some fun conversations. Afterwards BJU Press hosted a dessert night. We actually roasted raspberry or coffee-flavored marshmallows over a low fire and made s’mores out of them by adding chocolate and graham crackers.


Zan Tyler from Apologia gave the first keynote, “Revival and Servanthood.” Here are some takeaways from this session:

  • Rejoice in the way God made your children.
  • Our kindness to others heals them. Teach our kids to be kind.
  • Jesus came to love and to serve, so these two lessons are the most important lessons we will teach our children.
  • Recognize others when they are in need. Show your kids a picture of disaster victims, and point out who in the picture is suffering. (Maybe during the break between church services, I can ask my children to look over the crowd of people and see if they can pick out someone who is suffering. Then go minister to that person!)
  • Teach children how to interact with the elderly.
  • Our children are not here on this earth to have fun; they are here to use their giftings to serve God.
  • Do something good to someone who has wronged you.
  • Selfishness and hedonism pervade our culture.
  • Develop servant leadership in our children.

After the keynote on Friday night, we had the option to go to a prayer group. I spent some sweet time of encouragement with Hal and Melanie Young. This was my favorite time the entire weekend.


The next morning, we had our second keynote session by Carlisha Williams, “Choosing Faith Over Fear.” Here are some of the takeaways:

  • Share my authentic self to bring God glory.
  • For us to experience revival, we need to put down the cup we are holding out that is wearying our lives. The cup may be full of resentment, anger, and/or grief from crisis and tragedy that we have endured.
  • Cast our cares on Him. To receive everything God wants to give us, we have to open both our hands to God without holding baggage.
  • Tackle your fear. “If we aren’t willing to risk our reputation, we will never establish God’s reputation.” – Mark Batterson
  • Define the dream. We’re afraid to ask God for those bold promises in His Word. If God asked you, “What do you want Me to do for you?” what would you say?
  • Manage your time. Identify and eliminate time-wasters. Is it efficient, or is it just time-consuming? Where is your time going?
  • Yes-criteria: what top 3 things must be true for you to say yes to a new activity that someone is asking you to participate in? What will bring you closer to your mission and your vision? Does this promote your spiritual development? Does it build or does it steal away from your family? Is it one of my unique strengths?


The breakout sessions were wonderful, and I chose workshops on the craft of writing, on newsletters, and on marketing. The session on writing by Brian Wasko made me want to write more personal pieces that include stories and illustrations to make a powerful spiritual point. This is my favorite kind of writing, but it takes longer to come up with those spiritual posts than the hands-on learning ones.

Heather Bowen makes a full-time income as a homeschool blogger, so she shared how she uses newsletters effectively to make her tribe happy and engaged. This was a helpful workshop with lots of ideas that I could implement right away.

Heather Aliano taught a workshop on marketing: how to plan a social media campaign. This was another highly helpful session because when you have created great products for homeschoolers and you have a limited budget, you need to be more creative in letting people know about those products.


The last keynote was Brooke Taylor, who delivered the message “Serving God with Joy.” Here are some takeaways from this session:

  • Choose joy in the midst of suffering. Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Understand who you are in Christ.
  • Expectations–wake up like it’s the best day ever. Rejoice in what God has in store for us.
  • Live deeply, as if your life is limited. It goes fast, and you might not ever have the opportunity to do what you will do today.
  • Look at all the things we miss by not slowing down. What kind of a legacy are we leaving?
  • Things are not what they seem. If your life looks messy, it doesn’t mean you are not successful. After all, Jesus looked helpless and hopeless on the cross, but it was His moment of greatest triumph. By being faithful, we are accomplishing way more than we think!


I enjoyed meeting the authors of many homeschool products. Everyone was so friendly and uplifting. We were able to look over the products from the different companies to see if we wanted to use their products for homeschooling our children. I saw a high school government curriculum from Notgrass that I loved, so I ordered it as soon as I got home.


On the shuttle bus back to the airport, I was able to talk to the author of Grapevine Bible Studies, and I realized that we have similar hearts about teaching children God’s Word. We were fed up with the shallow Sunday School materials and wanted kids to understand the deeper things of God, which is why we both created our own materials to do so. Grapevine curriculum enables kids to retain the Bible lessons through drawing stick figures on time lines. I love it! And I love this precious woman who is truly committed to the Lord.

I enjoyed this 2:1 Conference so much! It’s just what I needed. I met bloggers in person that I had only known online for years. I highly recommend this conference to Christian homeschool bloggers because for once you will feel normal! You will be surrounded with people just like you who love to serve God through blogging while homeschooling. I walked away refreshed and encouraged.

True Friendship with Your Husband

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

true-friendship-with-your-husbandHow do you get to a point where you have true friendship with your husband? First you have to die to yourself. I asked God to show me my selfishness, and God showed me. You must ask God to give you a love for your husband that is greater than your selfishness. Even if you love God with all your heart, you are selfish to the core. I’m speaking about myself.

My prayer was, “God, make me holy. Do anything.” If you can’t pray this prayer, then Jesus is not functionally Lord of your life, and you will never love others with the supernatural love that causes you to be one on every level of your being with your spouse. If you don’t like that prayer, “ease” is lord of your life, since you want your own comfort more than you want God. It’s true. Don’t deceive yourself into thinking otherwise.

So God answered and painfully showed me my sin. There were about 30 different categories of sin I had no idea that I was guilty of. It was horrifying to me, since I’ve been saved since I was 4 and always was obedient and pure to the best of my ability, repenting whenever I knew of any sin. The fact that I had ungratefulness towards my mother, for example, was something that I was blind to. But the ugly claw of the sin of ingratitude caused me to react to my mother with venom, which caused her to not be able to love me properly. Since I didn’t feel loved by her, this was all a vicious cycle. God broke the chains, I repented of the ingratitude, and we began loving each other for real. And now my mother is one of my closest friends. This is a testimony of God’s grace in my life, since this would have been impossible 10 years ago. God is a God of miracles.

In the same way God will show you your sin toward your husband, because all of us have sin. I know, you think of your husband as being the one with faults, and of course he has faults. The only thing you can do besides pray heavily for your husband is to ask God to change you. I’m serious. You think of yourself as godly and selfless, and your husband as lazy and fill-in-the-blank, but in reality, you are blind to the stench of your own sin before God. Most Christian women think they are more godly than their husbands, and then they talk bad about their husbands behind their husband’s backs, ruining their reputations through their ugly sin of gossip. Meanwhile the husband is quietly enduring your nagging and being disrespectful. I see this all the time. I should write another article titled “How I Sort of Overcame Nagging.” That would be a correct title. Ha!

So when God transforms you by showing you your sin, repent of it and ask God to change you. Your face will radiate beauty, and you will be more attractive to your spouse. Then he will react differently to you, and your marriage will be sweeter than you ever thought possible.

Whenever God convicted me of sin and transformed me, my husband would tremble and see that God was at work. It frieked him out to the point that he asked God for wisdom to lead me spiritually. Then he began to lead me spiritually. It wasn’t until I asked God to change me that through that change, God caused my husband to become the man He wanted him to be. And my husband grew spiritually by leaps and bounds. Of course, he always loved the Lord and accurately handled Scripture before. What was different was the deep oneness that we had spiritually and emotionally. It’s worth having!

True Friendship

Monday, February 4th, 2013

true-friendshipI am so grateful to God for my true friendship with Christie. I grew up with her in Guatemala, and we’ve kept in touch all these years over the phone and through letters. Recently my husband bought me a cheap ticket to go visit her. I hadn’t seen her in at least 6 years, so when the plane landed in Texas, I was overcome with emotion. This woman has a strong walk with God, and we’ve shared our painful trials with each other throughout the 40 years we’ve known each other. When Christie introduced me to her church friends and co-workers, she said, “We’ve known each other for 40 years…” and I kept looking at her, saying I don’t even look 40. She just laughed and insisted that it was impressive to be friends for four decades.

My friendship with Christie reminds me of the bond between Jonathan and David, where they made a covenant with each other because they loved each other more than their own life. When Christie went through agonizing pain in her marriage, I felt her pain as if it were my own. Sometimes I just wept with her. Other times I have been in distress, and one phone call to my friend would change everything and give me a quiet confidence in God. Yes, Christie has always drawn me closer to God, and our spiritual gifts are brought out full blast with each other because we have no secrets, we know each other’s weaknesses, and we want the best for the other person no matter what.

So what makes my friendship with Christie so deep? I know that I can trust her, and that she is for me. This is huge. She takes in what I say so that she can fully understand me. Lots of other people in my life listen to a small bit of what I say and then misjudge me and attack me, and I feel like I have to defend myself. It’s because they don’t truly know me. If they knew me, they would know that I love God with all my heart, and that anything that doesn’t fit within that is something I’m not aware of. I continuously want to grow in holiness, so I don’t mind at all when my friend says to beware lest I get prideful. I instantly take the rebuke to heart, because Christie wants my best and would never say something that would intentionally harm me.

Christie has said to me, “I don’t know what I would do if God hadn’t given you to me as a friend. You are such a gift from God.” I feel the same. My life is better for knowing her. Just this past visit I was reminded of how she treasures the Lord, as we both walked by the Spirit the whole week, prodding each other to walk holy, and to live a life more fully surrendered to the Lord. We want people to say of us, “God is with her,” like they did about David in Scripture, who was a man after God’s heart.

Many women expect their relationship with their spouse to be like this, and they don’t have the much-needed female companionship with other members in the body of Christ. Men can’t handle the way women chat on and on about something, so Christie is the valve that releases all the words that my husband is too tired to handle. On the other hand, my husband is also my best friend and knows me really well, and we are one in every way. I do not take this for granted.

How do you get to a point where you have true friendship like this with your husband? (Stay tuned for True Friendship with Your Husband….)