well, well, well...
It's a squint-your-eyes to look outside kinda snow day today.
Happy Friday Friends.
Snow just never gets old to me.
I now know what a real snow plow looks like after spending a year in Upstate New York and hold out hope that North East Ohio will need one and soon.
So I make sure I have Tim Hortons in the canister and milk in the fridge and pray for a blizzard.
Recently I saw a breath-taking view from our friend's porch in Washington state. Snow upon snow and mountains to boot.
I now have another place I'd like to be snowed-in, though they might not enjoy that as much as I would.
They mentioned that their well had stopped working and it brought back so many memories from my own childhood.
I grew-up in the suburbs with a few minutes drive to hills and wonderful parks with a spillway and lake to hike.
I didn't spend half as much time as I do now in the city and was content to enjoy a cup of well water.
Us De Leon kids may have been missing the dental association's allotment of Fluoride, but we had heaps of iron to make up for it.
I remember bags upon bags of salt to soften the water and even remember the time my parents had to pay to have another well dug.
I actually remember holding my breath waiting to hear that water was found foot after foot of dirt.
It was crazy expensive and made me sure appreciate expecting the faucet to fill my cup, my dishwasher and my shower.
I even recall as a ten-year-old watching television in horror as little Jessica McClure was pulled from a well in Midland, Texas she had fallen into.
I know a teeny bit about wells.
I think that's why it perked my ears recently when a podcast talked about a well.
The speaker spoke about tension between parents and their children.
He told a story about a daughter who just couldn't get her Mom to hear her heart without having a "three-step process" to fix whatever she was going through.
This daughter would default to her Father who listened instead of her Mother who instructed.
He went on to explain, as the well-meaning mother protested that she just wanted to help her daughter, with an eye-opening illustration.
He asked the Mother to look at her daughter as if she had fallen into a deep well and was sitting all alone.
He said, what your daughter feels is that you are looking down into the well and saying, "Honey, you're bright and strong and resilient. Climb up out of that well!"
He went on to add, "Now your husband sees her and jumps INTO the well, forty-feet down, picks-up your daughter, holds her and tells her it's dark down here, overwhelming and scary and I'm with you as long as it takes. We we will get out together. This is why she listens to him and not to you."
This Mother, cut from the same cloth that I am, kicked against this counsel holding to the fact that she needed to hear the truth.
This wise man added that, "Grace gives us the permission to give truth."
If they don't feel like we are in the well WITH THEM they're not going to listen to us."
John 1:14 gives us such a wonderful picture of the Lord Jesus: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."
"FULL" of grace AND truth.
Equal parts one and the other.
And just as I was mentally preparing a 180 degree parenting turn-about, this author surprised me by asking the listener to ask themselves these seven words:
"Who am I inviting to my well?"
He explained that if we are allowing others to sit with us, we will readily sit with our children.
And it kinda stuck in my heart the rest of the day until I had asked myself quite a few times, "Who AM I inviting to my well? My dark places, difficult places to speak grace and truth to me?"
This has been a season of navigating friendships for me.
And this is what this season has taught me.
The new and exciting is great for coffee and donuts, but the old and tried and true sit in the well with you, alongside you for however long you are stuck down there.
They pray for you and WITH you.
They give you their shoulder to cry on, or their last kleenex or a whole huge pack for Christmas because some seasons are leaky.
They aren't afraid of heaps of mud and cold, very dark places.
They give you their knee for a boost up to see the sun on your face and even knit you a rope to hold onto.
And they most assuredly bring chocolate.
The other day I literally found every item in my purse that I loved and would make my friend smile and just handed them to her when the weight of the day settled on her shoulders.
I love that she didn't think I was anything but loving her the best way I could right then and there.
These are my well people.
People who live out Proverbs 17:17 day in and day out. "A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."
They understand the text holding so much more than just replying, "I'm doing alright."
I pray that I can be called on to jump on in, to cry at the seemingly insurmountable and simultaneously laugh at things we did in college that no one believes.
I pray that I can be one who sees that the devil is just being nasty, trying to leave a ring of condemnation around their hearts, giving me opportunity sit and wash the ring away with beautiful promises from Scripture.
Promises that they forgot that they carried into the well with them.
Oh how often I have been reminded of this myself from dear ones.
So many have prayed for bumps and bruises in my marriage, telling me that they see us turning the corner and figuring it out. And sure enough there they are cheering when we do.
Some send a hilarious GIF to break-up a monotonous routine and remind me that they are there.
One amazing friend brings soup and rolls because the Holy Spirit tells her that I just don't have it in me to make dinner.
Others send a two-sided necklace charm that reads, "I hold you in my heart,"on one side and have a heart on the other, allowing you to wear a silent piece of lovely that no one else sees when your heart has been broken.
My well-wishing friends buy matching sweaters so we can wear a hug long-distance when homeschooling makes us grumpy and who needs Math anyway.
They send COVID meds, "Just in case," and listen to the same struggle a million times because it's yours and yours alone to grow through.
I'm so thankful for well-meaning friends.
Friends that jump in and just offer grace, Dove peppermint chocolates and homemade chai tea mix.
These friends have drawn my heart back the Lord more times than I can count.
They have helped me see that there's grace for each new day and understand that "This too shall pass."
I pray that I can be the kind of friend that they have been to me.
I want to bless their socks off and hug them into tomorrow.
My hope above all hopes is that the Lord would grow me into the kind of friend that they need when they are down-and-out, and needing a laugh with a side of soup.
Who are YOU inviting into your well with you friend?