Christmas for Four Friends

12/16/2014

Christmas for Four Friends

These are a Christmas present to the four friends I spent the most time with in Chile. I love all my friends, even strangers, but due to circumstances and the factors that control them, these are the four I saw the most. They will best be able to read this from a computer screen, due to distance.

Because Christmas presents often come wrapped, I have decided to take a moment to write about their gifts. See what I did there?

I will be writing about each friend’s gifts not because it matters, they’re fabulous people, and I love them to pieces and am very proud of each of them. 1st Corinthians 12 obviously applies, because it gives descriptions of gifts that are way less personal than this.

Robin,

From a girl who said that is was a miracle we’d be friends (given my directness), we’ve sure got a lot in common *clinks crackers*. You are the one person that I knew would believe in ALL of this romance, ESPECIALLY when there’s no way in hell I would. Remember that dog’s head in proportion to its butt? I know you could quote me whatever derpy thing I said, because I know you still think about it sometimes when you think of me.

Well, there’s going to be more wine in our future. And a LOT more bread. When the right boy comes, you’ll know for sure and it will be TOTALLY worth it. And all that stuff that was daunting as shit will make it all that much more hilarious, just wait.

Did you know that after the Quakers moved to Philadelphia (Philly—the one with the cheese steaks you told me about 😉  ) when Benjamin Franklin moved there to help establish the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Hospital, and the library, it was the most peaceful of all the colonies, because it discriminated least against Puritans? You can check Revelation 3:7-13 for why that matters; they don’t call it the city of brotherly love for no reason.

As for the things you know but don’t talk about: trust that they are known to others, and dare to dream. Reality was always what you make it, and your reality is delightful because it’s a lot more like God’s than you think.

You can trust in the things you just know. It’s okay; they’re not going anywhere.

And at the end of the day, neither are the trufas.

So much love and chocolate,

Haley

Rachel,

There’s a lot riding in a name, Rach, and you’re one of the most patient people I know. When I was young, there were teachers I had like you that I adored because they took care of me and knew just by looking, and they did it with no words. You are like that.

To this day, I don’t think we’ve ever fought. There have been confusing moments here or there, but you are one of the rare people I trust and ask absolutely no questions except when I really want to, and I know there is a lot riding in the answer. What a difference that makes.

You will meet many children, and hopefully, someday you will meet mine. The only difference between a child and an adult is time, and when I watched you interact with your host nephews (Spanish translation fail) in Chile, I knew that you knew that. It has blessed me as I learn how to teach.

Teaching is survival, and it is the one gift that never expires and can get wedged very far down, even when you’re so lost you physically CANNOT remember. It rises back, resurrection. And if Christ wasn’t good with children, who is?

I love you Rach, and I know you know that,

Haley

Nikki,

It’s funny how God puts the people that you need to learn from in your life when you aren’t even paying attention. Welcome to Chile, Adventure Buddy, and take a seat.

You have taught me so much about love, friendship, and trust as a whole. If not for your listening, I would have prayed March 26th alone. Funny how time was irrelevant then just as it is now, in retrospect and comparison to how quickly everything can change (for all of us).

Where will we go? I know that if I was blown around like a dandelion seed, if I ran into you on the street in Prague, I’d still lose my entire mind. It’s a strange peace to know that I was completely wrong about most things. Thank you for being a part of that.

The good, the bad, the ugly, like seeds in the same packet. I’m glad that he who chooses which light to send and the growth for all never meant to make that about either of us, any of us, or the world. Life is too sweet.

You know that if it were the right time, I would have already made curry chicken nuggets for your family. I am glad to know that regardless of where life takes me, I first improved that recipe cooking for you. Life is really weird, but cooking isn’t, and it’s nice to be known, appreciated, and cared for in the things I do well, in comparison to all the things I don’t. Such is life.

I’m excited for this new season. It’s going to shake all of it up. I often wonder if life isn’t just one continuous chapter of Revelation that is working its way into the folds in our faces. But I’m grateful for being clueless, because that is the same way we met on the bus, and that is just how it is.

Love you,

Haley

Stania,

Do you know that when I think about humility, what it means to be a good wife, mother, and patient young woman in progress (if not warmth in general), I often think of you?

You are the first person I would ask for advice I need on love because you are the first person I would ever listen to. The kindness that was earned and blessed by sacrifice, that is you to me.

You are endurance in a way that never scared me. It’s like a second skin that never came so comfortable. I know you love the girls you work with and minister to, but you need to know that by just setting an example, you are changing the routes of their lives forever, even as they stumble. We may all fail, but at least they know goodness. And given how so many of us grew up, what a gift.

If I was with you, I’d cook with you. Never in my life have I enjoyed spontaneous cooking with friends so much as when there was Manjar, Jesu, and your mama in the audience. Some things never change, and I’m glad that Jesu could have been close to you for just that little while, as a teenager. It matters.

I trust you. I trust you for months when I don’t hear from you, and seriously, if I didn’t, you would know (regardless of whose ego). If I didn’t hear from you for upwards of 50 years, that would never change. You’re one of those people I’d meet for coffee all over again in late age and just savor the company as we tell the stories of our lives. If nothing else changes, or if everything goes up in flames, I trust God to take care of you seamlessly, that was never hard. It is a gift to have you care.

Stania, the funny thing about this is that for all of your goodness, you still don’t even know how much healing you’ve brought your family. Just ask.

All the love,

Haley

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haleylol

I am a teacher-to-be who loves people. I am not afraid of many things. I like to explain my thoughts logically on a very birds-eye view level--I was born thinking that way. I follow Jesus Christ, and I accept only that label to describe my identity--that I am a child of God, as are infinite others, regardless of their other identities. Christ is my one thing.

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