Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Iron Sharpens Iron...I Wanna Be Like You...

You have someone you admire, right?

Where my life is right now, I don’t spend much time around other adults.  I spend every waking moment with people, but the oldest is nine.  This does not sharpen my iron, if you know what I mean.

So, in an effort to meditate on all things good and lovely, I want to tell you about some of my friends.  Friends I admire very much.  Of course, other people are not our ultimate model but we each have gifts, shadows of perfection lived out in practical daily life.  When we live out our gifts in front of each other, it lifts all of us up.  Iron sharpens iron and we all become better for it.

For Michelle, 
I want to be like you in your transparency.  There is no guile or misleading in you and though you are reserved, you let people see you.  This gives me great courage for myself, courage to let others see me, my heart, my dreams, and my struggles.  Most of all when you hosted that group of moms, you were transparent to us, and in your transparency, I saw a friend, a friend that I very much needed.  Your very transparency showed me that I was not alone.  I hope one day I can be like you…

For Kristi, 
Oh girl, how you persevere.  The events in your life would fill a trilogy of books and I don’t even know if anyone would believe they all happened to one person.  Well, perhaps Job would believe.  And like Job, you lifted your eyes upward, you blessed and looked for blessings and sister, you found them where a less faithful woman would have found only questions and pain.  By surrendering so much, you found even more.  And one other thing, how did you face such trials and still look outside at the rest of us, care for the rest of us, give to the rest of us?  So many times I sat by your side whining and you listened, and you cared and you gave.  Oh girl, I wanna be like you…

For Sharilee, 
I wish I had your gentleness.  You are so gentle of voice and touch, reserved and yet when you laugh, you fill the air around you with joy.  I have heard you fuss a kid out, making your point and wielding your authority as a mom, while using tones appropriate for a library.  Even more imprinted on my mind is your devotion.  You have done so much for your kids and family, always thinking of those around you and making them know your devotion to them.  Even when we were in grade school, you talked and lived family.  As a side note, you are the kind of girl I hope my daughter grows up to be…completely beautiful and feminine but able to hit really hard when you have to…I wish I were more like you…

This is for you, Laura.  
You set a great example, very powerful and far reaching, when you sat in your office and said (way before Nike) that when there was something to do, just do it.  And you lived it.  Time to get a project done, just do it.  Got a long drive, just do it.  Need to get your car fixed? Clean the cat box? Buy a house? Just do it.  I think of this almost daily and I don’t even think you would remember it.  As for me, can’t get pregnant without going through hell?  Just do it.  Have to move again?  Just do it.  Another toilet to clean?  Just do it.  You inspire me to quit making excuses and just do what needs to be done with grace and intelligence.  Elle, I have always wanted to be like you.

Kirsten, this is for you. 
I believe that you are completely without selfishness.  Never seen anything quite like you.  I have heard people say that so and so would give the shirt off their back but I think you would really do it and then throw in everything else in your closet.  And you pay attention to people around you so that you can give them, not just a shirt, but the kind of shirt they would like most.  It seems to me that you are always on the lookout for a way that you can give to someone.  And it isn’t just stuff, but you give YOU.  Your time and energy, all given just because someone asks and you give it cheerfully.  I miss our walks and hope to grow up to be more like you…

For you Tamara, 
I love the air of peace that surrounds you.  Now this is going to be hard to explain but here goes.  You, your home, your children, your hospitality…it is all filled with peace.  I don’t mean that it isn’t wild, how could a home with a school and all those kids and kitties and driving not be wild.  But YOU, are peaceful.  When you had all of us over for an evening of talk and comfort and food, you made a place of peace.  No worries, obligations, shoulds or oughts.  A place where we could just be and as your kids came and went, there was peace, an absence of strife or angst.  As I grew to know you that seemed to be how you approached challenges that would make my heart race…with peace.  If trials entered your life, you prayed and moved ahead, with peace.  Tamara, I hope to be like you, a peacemaker…maker of peace.

I am writing this because I hope you know that when I think of you, I always think of, well…good.  Though we live far away, we made lots of memories together and when I think back, I am struck by how much good you did.  You chose to do good things, not because of what you could gain, prestige, popularity, materials for college applications, but because those things were good.  While I was trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do, you did good to those around you.  You invited friendship with a new girl for no reason that I can imagine except that your heart is so good.   While I struggled with right and wrong, you just did the right, kind, grown up things without judging me.  One day Kathy, I hope to have a heart as good as you do…

This is for you Sandy, 
because you inspire focus and excellence and pursuit of your dreams.  I am so glad we were roommates in college.  You inspired me to diligence and to be more than just good enough but to strive for excellence.  And then there is the pursuit of your dreams.  How often I have labored under the obligation to do what I thought I should do but neglected my dreams and gifts.  And then you come along and start your own Pilates studio, making your dream a reality powered by gifts that I well know you possessed when we were in college.  Thank you Sandy, your example of focus, excellence and pursuit of your dreams fuels the genesis of one of my own…and so I write because I want to be like you, realizing a dream.

These things I have written, I don’t even know if my friends know this is how I feel.  These things, they are simple and short but don’t you think these beautiful women ought to know this is what others see in them?  Don’t you think they ought to know how they mold me, sharpen me?  I bet these little things I wrote today would fit on a postcard or in an email.  Let’s do it, let’s transparently and gently do something good and give to our friends, maybe a moment of excellent peace by writing or calling and simply say…I wanna be like you.

Thank you,


  1. And yet Michele, I hope to grow up to be like YOU!!! You are so AMAZING! You homeschool your children, take them on adventures, make wonderful homemade soap, lotion, and lip balm. God is ALWAYS first and your family is always very close by. You amazed me with your gentleness the first day I met you. Your warmth and friendship too. Oh, to be like you....

  2. Michele,
    You don't know how much your words affect everyone's lives! You are one special person! Children take so much of our time these days that is wonderful to know you are loved by others. I miss the walks too! Jesse says hello too! She turned 13 this year. LOVE YA GIRL!

  3. Michele-
    What a wonderful gift!! As we often tend to do, I was thinking and talking about you the same day this was delivered to my inbox. I was sharing with Brian my hope for Abby to meet a best friend this upcoming year (her freshman year), just like I met you. As I told Brian, you were such a gift from God to me. Our friendship was so easy and simple and, to use your word --Good. I knew from the beginning that you were kind and super smart and loyal and tenderhearted and Lots of fun. We really clicked from the beginning, didn't we!?! You brought me out of my shell and made me enjoy life more! Also, I always knew you were a great person --beautiful on the inside and out. So many great memories in high school and college. And, your perfect wedding in Charleston --what an honor to be there! I'm hoping that some day soon you, Sandy and I can get together again. I agree with your assessment on Sandy. The only part you left out was that she was a founding member of FARG and had the ability to make any activity WAY more exciting and fun! Thanks again for including me. Love you!! Kathy