High School, the late 70’s was an interesting & happy & busy & rushed time of life for me. Some thirty plus years ago and my days were full to the brim with well, everything that I thought was important. I did way too many extra curricular activities. I stayed up way too late. I was involved with my service group, The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. I liked to flirt but did not want to spend my “free” time hanging out with boys. I loved my 8 hour a week job at the Fabric Tree. Oh my goodness, that was a dream job if there ever was one. I love even the smell of a fabric store, oh the possibilities. Must be some kind of addiction that started years ago? I spent so much time running here and there, playing tennis, volunteering for hours and had to make contact with my family, sometimes. Oh and the homework, ugh………… I had a typewriter. I would take it into the garage and set up the card table and type away. I was staying up way too late and did not want my parents to hear me typing and cramming at the last possible moment. I guess in among all the things I thought were important, I did not do my best to seriously connect with friends in my class after say Junior High School. Sure, hello and greetings, friendly yes, quick and hurried for sure. Somehow, I thought I had all the time in the world to spend time with my friends. The class of 1980 scattered. We went here and there. Some joined the military, some went onto college , technical school, community college. Some went right into the work force. Some moved far, far away. Oh sure, we would write. Okay, that did not happen much. Each time home for a vacation I found less and less time to connect with old friends. Time marched on. Wedding rings were purchased and babies started arriving and the Army started sending us to strange and interesting places for years at a time.
28 years later enter Facebook. Silly, goofy, waste of time…….maybe………….wait, hold on…………….a friend request just popped up. Kathy wants to “friend” me? Kathy from Monday Night Quilters in Lawton, Oklahoma? Hot dang! Now that made my day a bit happier. Hold the phone, another friend request………………..Donna wants to “friend” me? Donna from second grade? Donna with nearly the same birthday as me? Oh my, another happy day coming my way! The list of friends goes on and on and on……………………….Jerry wants to friend me? He and I walked to Kindergarten together. What? He has a great family and lives near by? Oh man, my stomach is doing flip-flops. I am giddy with happiness. Patti wants to be friends? Patti from High School? woohoo, love her spirit. This person saw my name, that person remembered something funny. Hey, Pat wants to share a joke. another smile coming my way. Another quilting friend finds me. A Rainbow girl is now a grown up woman with girls of their own and wants to reminisce. I have some friends, who by their own choice and life don’t have a lot of spare free time. I am lucky enough to snag a couple minutes of their day. We quickly connect and get the jolt of happiness and they flutter away until the next nugget of goodness.
I have a friend on Facebook that shares a scripture or two a day. I like that. It makes me think and smile. A friend who shares grand baby pictures and I share with her. Those pictures make me grin ear to ear. I have nieces that live in another country and a niece that lives on the opposite side of the country. I get to be “friends”. It is not just an in person relationship once every 5 years or more at a family gathering that I get the chance to talk to them. I am smack dab in the middle of their snowstorm , purchasing a summer place, late night study time or listening as they set up their first ever apartment. I get to experience the joyful highs and sadly sometimes the lows. Instead of being just “Aunt Daleen” I have the honor of being friends.
Because of the nature of the small buisness that I own, I don’t have daily interaction with a lot of people, face to face. However, for a quick 15 minutes of my time, I am privileged to see an updated grand son photograph, read a scripture (the same scripture my friend is pondering today), I get to share a laugh or a joke or listen to a video of beautiful music . I choose to be bathed in Grace every single time I see a friend’s name and connect with them.
Don’t misunderstand me, sure I would love to sit with a cup of joe or an icy tart glass of lemonade to visit, share & giggle for an afternoon, face to face. Time marches on. Face to face just doesn’t happen like it did years ago, or in the movies or television where you see people sitting for hours upon hours drinking coffee or wine. Those moments do indeed happen, every once in a while and you bet, I treasure those. However, we all live in a world of movement. So I try every single day to find a snippet of grace where I can. I like being connected to old friends, family and people I am still getting to know.
My “guest blogger” slipped in that he thought the internet was a miracle. The truth of the matter is the internet is a miracle. Yesterday morning, I listened to a British military wives club sing an amazing song, directed by a gifted Choir Master of the London Orchestra. I viewed a video of my husband marrying a young couple, I looked up yet another recipe, I found a coupon to print, I read about a friend and her troubles. I went on to pray for and sent a private message to a friend recovering from surgery. She knew instantly that I was praying for her, lit our prayer candle and wrote to send my best wishes. My husband composed a letter to the editor of his hometown paper. It was a heartfelt and sincere glowing comment about a wonderful expose that the paper wrote about his brother. Mr. Right wrote the letter, sent it and it was waiting for the editor of the paper to read it when he came in to work on the other side of our country.
This “miracle” I type about allows me the luxury of instantly conveying my CONGRATULATIONS to a friend whose son is about to marry. She shared the news by way of a private message on Facebook. I wrote back and celebrated with her and her husband. Of course, I follow-up with hand written cards to celebrate or to let my friends know I am praying for them. I love to send postcards that say, we are praying for you. We celebrate you. We are thinking of you. There is nothing like being in the moment and shouting hallelujah with friends, friends who don’t live next door. We live in a world of movement & instant information. I for one love it and try to embrace it daily. Oh don’t for one minute think I don’t hop over to my local library twice a month for my 15-20 “new” books to read. Yes, I own a Kindle. Yes, I love to read the newspaper on-line daily. However, this screen that I am typing on, opens so many new worlds and adventures and knowledge to me, it really does feel like a miracle.
It is a grateful way to live, to light a candle instead of cursing the darkness. A Facebook friend shared the recipe for Roasted Brussel Sprouts ( thinking I may have to remove my comment on my blog title?). I tried the recipe. When Mr. Right wrote about the BS (oh yes, the roasted sprouts of goodness, changing my ways is harder than you think), he said “thanks to the miracle of the internet, new ideas are readily available and I for one think it’s a blessing.”
While our children were growing up, one of the lessons we tried to instill in them was to continue to make their world BIGGER. The thought here is to try to open up your mind and your life to include new people, friends & new ideas. If you are judgemental and unkind, people will fall away. If you don’t treat others with kindness and Grace they will fade away. Pretty soon you will end up all by yourself, alone. Sure you might feel you are right, “they did this wrong”, “they did this poorly”, “why don’t they do it my way”…………………Do you want to be right or happy? That is your choice. period. done. Facebook makes my world bigger, happier for the most part and I find goodness there every single day.
I am not a Pollyanna. I am making an informed choice. I choose to see Facebook (yes, it has some bumps & issues) as a grace filled blessing. One blessing that I am lucky & thankful to be a part of. Sometimes, I save a message or re-read something someone sent to be. Like the “olden days” when we used to save hand written letters and re-read them to feel good all over again? I like to re-read an uplifting thought a friend has shared with me. I get to do it all over again and again if I want to. Brings me twice the joy.
The unthankful heart… discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! henry ward beecher~