Tag Archives: friend

Rebecca Kathryn

…or Kate as the world knows her.

She is my sister-in-law, my husband’s little sister.  (Incidentally, it’s pretty great when you marry an amazing man who comes with an incredible family who loves you like their own!)

Truthfully, I started this post to push through some writer’s block.  Kate has always been an “emotional portal” of sorts for me.  You see, I’m not an overly emotional person.  I’ve been asked before if I ever cry.  I’ve been likened to a robot and had my heart compared to that of a cow.  Clearly, I’m not very sentimental.

There are many times when I desperately need to “lose it” and can’t.  When I know I’d feel better to ugly Oprah cry for a few minutes.  When I need to feel awake or alive or you know, human.  Whenever I’m really stuck, I can think about Kate and it takes no time at all for my rusty tear ducts to get to work, for the words and inspiration and feeling and life to come back.

My first memory of Kate was in the den of her parents’ home in Columbus, GA.  She was reenacting some scene from Drop Dead Gorgeous.  She was just as silly and beautiful and fun when I met her at 16  as she is now.  I don’t know anyone else like her.  She is this rare breed of fun and spontaneity mixed with thoughtfulness and sensitivity.  She is sassy and passionate as the day is long, but she is the most tenderhearted and loyal friend you could hope for.

I turned 33 a few weeks ago.  Kate surprised me with a birthday cake made from scratch.  If you don’t know her you can’t possibly appreciate that sentence.  This is the girl who just a few years ago had to call her friend to ask how to make boxed mac n’ cheese.  It’s like THAT.  She made me a two-layer homemade cake with homemade icing, y’all!  It was the sweetest and messiest gift ever.  As I sat across the kitchen table eating cake and laughing with her, my heart was full.

Kate is most known for 2 things:  dancing and laughing.  She’s been dancing for 20+ years and any time I see her on (or off) stage dancing, my heart leaps.  She’s a Rouse, so she’s been laughing from birth, I feel certain.  That laugh is unmistakeable and infectious!  It melts away self-consciousness instantaneously.

She’s one of the only people I’ve never tired of.  I’m always happy to see her and always sad to see her go.

Seems to be a bottomless ocean of love I have for that girl…even if she does keep me waiting and is always dressed better than me.

She makes me better.  She makes me grateful for life in all its beauty and complexities.  She’s one I could never do without.

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Who is home to you?
Who is your “emotional portal”?
Who brings light with them on your darkest of days?
Who are the people in your life that make you feel alive?
Who are the ones who make you want to be more yourself than you’d ever dare to be otherwise?

Those are your Kates.  There can’t be many.  Probably just a handful.

In fact, one is enough to make the poorest soul rich.

rouse gallery (220 of 242)

Confronted by Love

Lately I’ve been haunted by the reality and necessity of confrontation in true friendship.

I put a lot of equity in friendship.  I pay it a lot of lip service.  I have always been fiercely protective and loyal to handful of friends in my life who are as family to me as family.  The problem I’m having these days is this:

I hate conflict.  I like for people to like me.  I like for people to be happy.

Except none of those things have anything to do with love, really.

I love my daughters.  I don’t want to fight with them.  I want them to like me.  I want for them to be happy.
Yet, if I see them doing something wrong, I correct them almost instinctively.  I don’t want Lucy to burn her hand on the stove if I can help it.  I don’t want Penny to run out into the road.  I love them enough and am secure enough in my relationship with them to care more about their own well-being than their opinion of me or even their own immediate happiness.

I love my husband.  I don’t enjoy fighting with him.  I want him to like me and my company.  I want him to be a happy man.  But if he is doing something destructive to himself or to me, I tell him.  (Okay, let’s be honest.  Sometimes that’s even hard for me in the safe confines of the covenant of marriage, but usually doable because I know he isn’t going anywhere.)

The conviction comes when I watch friends- men & women whom I deeply love- make poor choices or believe lies or run buck wild and I sit quietly and politely in my ringside seat.

I want to be the supportive, easy, encouraging friend.  I want to tell you to chase your dreams, find yourself, do it your way, go for it.  I want to believe that what you want is what is best for you, simply because it’s what you want.  I want to believe it will all work out for the best and that you can’t screw it up too badly.

Except none of those wants have anything to do with love, really.

Real love not only warns you when you are out of your depth, it comes to get you when you are over your head and don’t even know it.

It says “Please stop doing that.  You are going to get hurt.”

It says “I love you, but you are making a mistake here.”

It says “Your personal choices aren’t made in a vacuum.”

It says “That’s a bad idea.”

It says “That doesn’t sound like the Lord to me.”

The circumstances are endless.  The loving confrontation in any scenario has to come from a place of tenderness and compassion and assuming the best of someone.

To quote singer-songerwriter Derek Webb, “It’s not right or safe to let your conscience down.”

It’s not right or safe to let your friends down because you couldn’t bring yourself to say what they needed to hear.

I Corinthians 13 is always quoted in weddings and marriage books but was never intended to have such a narrow purpose.  It applies to our friendships, to our fellowship, as well.  And if it’s true that love bears, believes, hopes and endures all things then surely hard conversations and potential risky confrontations are covered under “all.”  Surely.

That’s what I’m choosing to believe, anyway.  That’s what I’ll stand on and remind myself of before picking up the phone or stepping into the restaurant or opening my door.  I’ll choose to trust that the Lord will go before me.

I’ll choose doing what is best for my friends over what is easiest for me, because that’s what love does.