Wednesday, February 10, 2010

tenderly speaking

Monday was my birthday and usually at my age it's like any other day. But when something happens that makes it, not-so-ordinary it's really nice. I went down to my favorite Italian place to meet up with some of my very favorite girls. It was so much fun just to all get out together. There were thirteen of us in all and as we laughed and talked, I felt so blessed to have such a tribe of amazing women. Some artists, some mamas, some teachers, all so diverse and each so beautiful in her own way. One, I've known since she was itty-bitty and I was her camp counselor, one was my college roomie, some were from the girls' group I've been in for years, and some are sisters. I don't think I'm alone in the realization that there is healing in the understanding between women. The conversations went from art, to Jesus, to birth stories, to dreams, to sex, to hilarious things our kids do. We stayed for three hours, laughed a lot and covered a wide array of topics; our poor waiter got an earful. And then they surprised me with this:

I wrote about it here. I suppose it's the goal of most artists to create something that communicates; that stirs something in the viewer. I loved "Tenderly Speaking"(by Cat Collier) the first time I saw her. The colors, the textures, her expression which to me seems simultaneously timid and bold,peaceful, mysterious, edgy and feminine all make her intriguing to me. It seemed fitting to be given it by all my girls and now means even more to me. I hung it on my wall and looked around at the various pieces of art I've been given. Little corners of beauty, reminding me of people I love, and making my house a home. They just make me happy. I was sharing what a blessing these friends and this gift was to me last night at small group and still couldn't say it with out crying.
I was brought up, not to ask, expect or take things from people and I find that being on the receiving end of love, gifts, or attention is still kind of hard for me. I get embarrassed and emotional. But being humbled and overwhelmed by love isn't such a bad thing. I think we all need that source of encouragement sometimes. That in all of my messiness and weakness, someone sees me for who I am and still likes me. Can it be? It's such a picture of Jesus and how He loves us in our brokenness. It's real and healing to be with these women who build me up and bring me closer to Jesus. The evening was just a reminder of the treasure these girls are to me. We've been through relationships and finding who we'd marry, growing up, pregnancies and the loss of them, figuring out motherhood and creative endeavors, lots of joys and lots of tears. One of them gave birth to her daughter in our bed! Two of them married my little brothers. One of them dated my husband many moons ago. Needless to say, there is some history there. More than anything though, they are loyal, strong creative women who I know I can trust with my heart. They know when to listen and when to advise, they don't judge me and they make this journey easier and so much more pleasant. Thank you all for the treasures you are.

My little Dove-bird niece made her mama buy me tulips and a candy bar. She knows me well.

I came home to some of the loveliest home-made cards from my babies and Van Gogh yellows from my love. Lots of pretty paper, cards and fresh flowers made me one very happy girl.

"Happy Birthday. I love you. I wanna have a whole lot of fun with you. I give you this rose. I love you with all my heart. I love you more than the whole planet loves the moon.
Love, Juden"

Be still my beating heart.