Hold my hand, Nicole...

That scream could only mean one thing...
My 4 year old "princess" had come face to face with a bug.

He was poised in the dog's food dish and he was by far the biggest grasshopper I had ever seen. Joshua, being the brave 2 1/2 year old brother, walked right up to him and picked him up. (I am sure if he had been a little older he would have thrown it at her, but fortunately he hasn't learned about those things yet). My husband called for back-up...a glass jar so we could keep him as a pet! Hooray! So, we sacrificed our one and only glass jar
(typically used for storing homemade marinade) for the sake of a "classroom pet." (I guess I should get used to that as I prepare to home school our children. At first the kids were excited. We put grass and leaves in the jar for him and punched air holes in the metal lid. But by the end of the day...the excitement had worn off!

I had just finished changing Joshua's diaper and instructed him to take the dirty diaper to the trashcan. He started to walk that way, then started to panic. As I looked over in that direction I noticed that the grasshopper was sitting on the counter above the trashcan. I again instructed him to take the diaper to the trashcan and he insisted, "No." Preparing myself for the battle of the wills, I asked him, "why not?" He replied with a quiver in his voice..."Joshua scared!" Well, no little boy belonging to my husband could get away with being scared of a bug. Daddy told him to be brave and get over there. And then...melting our hearts once again...he looked at his sister (the one who screamed with full on drama at first sight of the grasshopper) and said, " hold my hand, Nicole?" Much to our surprise, she did. They held hands and crept towards the trashcan. Joshua quickly opened the lid and threw in the diaper, then made a bee-line for the play room. There was no way he was hanging out near the grasshopper any longer than he had to. And yes, we did return the grasshopper to his natural habitat the next morning.

Oh to have a friend like that...one that will hold your hand and help you face your worst fear. Even if they are also afraid of that thing you are facing together. The Bible tells us that friends are good, they are necessary, and that one is indeed the "loneliest number."

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-13

However, friendship of this caliber takes work and quite frankly, most of us don't have a lot of time for that. Between our homes and husbands, cooking meals and folding laundry, our ministries and homeschooling and sick kids and on and on and on...How is a mother to maintain these friendships?

And let us consider how we may spur
one another on toward love and good deeds.
Let us not give up meeting together,
as some are in the habit of doing,
but let us encourage one another—
and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Hebrews 10: 24-25

Unfortunately, when the tough gets going around my house, the first thing I must "give up" is my friends. And in most cases, they are the very ones I need the most during those times. I need their encouragement, their understanding, their prayers, their hugs and their "spurring on" so that I can continue to stand firm in my faith.

Seeing the closeness of my two older children has helped me to realize that I need to give a little more attention to these friendships. God has blessed me with some amazing women in my life - some "Grandma" friends (Carol), some "more experienced" mom friends (Diane and Chris), and a select few who just plain "get it."(Tami) While this season of my life may make it difficult to get together on a regular basis- it is still wonderful to be praying for one another and helping each other out any way we can. I especially love the phone calls that say..."I am running in to Walmart, can I pick anything up for you?" (Diapers, hangars, bathing suits...you name it) I love you all so much and I hope that we can maintain our friendship throughout the years.

If you have a friend, especially a sister-in-Christ, who you have let slip away...call them today and let them know that you still love them and purpose to encourage one another any way you can!

Thank you Lord that you have blessed us with women who can give us a small glimpse of you by their loyal friendship. Thank you for equipping us to spur one another on towards love (for our families and for You) and good deeds. Help us to nurture these friendships so that they may blossom and grow over the years.

Click here for Grasshopper Picture Above


Leah said...

leah that is so sweet... what a great big sister and such a cute little brother! i plan on homeschooling reagan for a while too...just to give her a good foundation...and you're right..i so often neglect my friends when they're the ones i need so much.

Carol Brown said...

Dear Leah, You've done it again!! If you are not going to write and publish a devotional (with David's editing, of course) then I guess I'm just going to have to print them off your blog and compile them for my own devotional. It always amazes me when someone can take an ordinary occurence in their life, and turn it into a beautiful life lesson. I saw a huge grasshopper in my yard the other day, too; but did not have one inspirational thought about it! I just felt like screaming, like Nicole. Thank you for the HONOR of being your "grandma" friend.

Milk Mama said...

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