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>Gratitude, Day 9

November 18, 2009

>Enjoy the people around you. Take a moment to appreciate their unique talents, abilities and personalities.

I want to take a moment to talk about my friend Renae.

Renae has known me for so long, I almost have more history with her than my husband. In fact, I have known her longer than my husband. She supported me through an ugly breakup right after college. She stood up with me at my wedding. She cried with me when my mom got sick. We celebrated birthdays together. weddings together (I in hers and she in mine), births, and even deaths (and yes, in my world, death can be a celebration. I love you, Mom!) She knows so much about me, we start conversations in the middle. We’ve even survived hurtful words and torn feelings, and I think, we’re stronger for it.

We’ve shared sleepovers and baby showers; she coaxed me out of my post-baby coma into the fresh air (with both kids), she helped me rip out my kitchen carpet (yes, carpet. in the kitchen. gross.), she has prayed for me, cried with me, and she has loved me when I haven’t been lovable. she even taught me how to make Butternut Squash soup.

Renae has the ability to spot a lost soul from 50 yards. Her home is never empty. Her door is always open, her pool is always warm, her arms are always seeking out women who are hurting, lonely, struggling, and who need God. If there is a celebration to be had, it’s probably going to be at her house. Does your back hurt? Headache? In flash she’ll be on her knees in front of you, using reflexology and massage to work out the knots. (oh yes, she touches other peoples’ feet. on purpose.) She is a born cheerleader; she makes retreats come alive, and she never lets anyone be left out.

I am honored to be her friend.

I recently had the privelege to spend an evening at her house, and as I sipped a glass of wine (she always serves great wine!), leaning up against the island in her kitchen as fresh garlic and olive oil made a heady combination over the stove, I realized what a gift it is to be in her home, at her table.

Renae is one of the rare few who are born hospitable. She neither asks nor expects anything in return. Is her life picture-perfect? Is she so overflowing with happiness and joy-joy that she can’t help pouring it out on others? Did she miss out on the female worry-gene? Oh no. She has her own share of sorrow and struggle – she just chooses not to let it rule her. She carries wounds and scars that run very deep – in others, they would still be festering and spraying hurt and anger all around. But not Renae.

She doesn’t think about loving other people. She doesn’t work at it. She doesn’t do it ’cause she feels like she has to. She just does it. It’s who she is.

I am grateful for Renae. She is truly a blessing in my life.

And if you don’t believe me, come by our MOPS event on Friday night. She’ll be there. Massaging feet. I’m serious.
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