One of my overarching prayers for this year is that God would burn in me a desire (and the grace) to be a better friend. Like many, I love people and love having friends. But I have been convicted lately that if I want to have friends I need to be a friend. For the last two years I have used the excuse that life has been crazy trying to adjust to parenthood (and with twins, no less). However, I am not the first (nor last) woman to mother twins--so I can only use that excuse for so long.
In my single days, my roommates and I kept an article from John Piper on our refrigerator as a daily reminder to fight the sin of comparison. I was reminded of it last week as we wrapped up our summer bible study on John with the women of our church. As Peter has just been restored to fellowship with Christ, he is immediately pulled into the comparison game as he looks at his fellow disciple, John. Piper says this about Peter's question to Jesus.
The subject of race has been a polarizing topic in our country for longer than any of us have been alive. In many ways, the lasting effects of the racism that divided us are still entrenched in many communities. If we move into the church, we find that even among God’s people, diversity and freedom from race divisions is still a longed for reality.
It's been over a year since God opened my womb and gave us these twin boys, which means it's been over a year since I've felt the daily sting of infertility. All throughout our struggle to get pregnant, and in the months following our pregnancy, I have wanted to write something that would help others know how to help their friends in this difficult trial. I have written about how to help after miscarriage and I have written to the infertile woman, but I have never written to an outsider looking in on the infertile couple.
Every day I stare at a big stack of thank you notes from my baby shower. And that’s pretty much all I do with them. You see, my baby shower was nine days before the boys’ unexpected arrival. I barely had time to unpack and put away all of the gracious gifts before our doctor told us “it’s time to have these babies.” When the whirlwind of their birth happened even more people poured out abundant kindness to us through meals, more gifts, and rides to the hospital. There were many days that we were moved to tears by all that people were doing for us.
We have all been on the receiving end of insensitive comments from well-meaning people. In fact, I know I have even been the communicator of such comments. The truth is it is hard to know what to say to someone when they are hurting and even harder to know how to respond to the awkward comments. Yesterday, I tried to tackle the issue of our response to hurtful comments in a blog post on the CT women's blog. Here is how I set it up: