everybody needs a home team. here is the definition of one... from the book bittersweet by shauna niequist.
shauna wrote one of my favorite books ever, cold tangerines. if she and i ever meet we will become best friends forever (she will have NO choice in the matter). here was her definition of the "home team" from the book bittersweet...
everybody needs a home team. it's the people who, near or far, know everything that's wrong with you and love you anyway.
there are two reasons you need to know who your home team is. first, you need to know who they are because they need you. these are the people you visit in the hospital no matter what. these are the people whose weddings you attend, no matter how far the destination is or what terrible thing they have chosen for you to wear). these are the ones who tell you their secrets, who get themselves a glass of water without asking at your house. these are the people who cry when you cry. these are your people, your middle-of-the-night, no-matter-what people.
the second reason you need to know who your home team is, because then you know who your home team is not. everyone else is everyone else.
one way you can tell if someone's on your home team is if you'll let them walk right into your house without picking up dirty dishes and checking your hair before they get there. if there's makeup on every time you see someone, that doesn't really sound like a home team to me.
great friendship does a lot of things in our lives, but one of the best things it does is tell us the truth about ourselves when we need it most.
when you allow someone past all the doors you were taught to keep closed, what you find behind those doors is a kind of friendship i didn't even have a category for. i've spent most of my life and most of my friendships holding my breath and hoping that when people get close enough they won't leave, and fearing that it's a matter of time before they figure out and go.
and every time i told a friend the truth, or asked for something difficult, or opened a scary conversation, when i though she would back away, she walked forward. and by walking forward, she changed me. and now everywhere i go, everywhere life takes me, i'll be looking for this kind of friendship.
i have found that kind of friendship with those three gals in that photo. we all were together for the deeper still conference in birmingham a few weekends ago. it was miraculous that we were all able to be there. and it was a time that i will treasure forever.
and speaking of treasure... beth moore talked about rediscovering the lost art of treasure.
she talked about it from mary’s perspective in the verses from luke 2:19 and 51. where mary pondered and treasured the events happening around her. her talk had 6 points... and wouldn’t you know that i took notes!
1. there ARE treasures out there.
2. they aren’t MY treasures until they make it past my defenses.
3. treasures are far storing up and treasures strung together can bring healing. “if we never learn to treasure the only thing we have is the obvious”. i love that. i don’t want to only have the obvious in this life. i want to mine for treasures. we have to “understand” by stringing together the small pieces of the puzzle that He hands us along the way and treasuring the small things that we know until we know the whole picture.
4. it takes time to treasure. we need margin in our life. where we have no time, we have no treasure.
5. we’ll miss the most valuable treasures if we don’t look for them in the times of hardship and pain.
Isaiah 45:3 I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
6. if we store up offenses, we have no room left to store treasure. great truth in that.
7. when you feel like you have lost the treasure, look for Jesus. He has all the pieces to our puzzle. He holds the riches of the Kingdom.
priscilla shirer spoke next and she is also going to be one of my best friends when i meet her (again, no choice). she said, "we pray for miracles, but we are often unwilling to go to that place, to step forward with the resources we have, and experience the miracle." she taught fromrom 2 Kings chapter 13. she spoke of our need to get to “the faith place” and discover the God-margin, which only the power of the Living God can carry out what He has asked you to do. God has given us resources, like the arrows in a the king’s quiver in 2 kings 13. when He tells us where to use them, do we expend them all or do we hold some back, just in case (like the king did)? we need to prepare to shoot our arrows (our small step of obedience) and then God will put His hand on ours (as did the prophet elisha) and we await His next instructions. the victory is God’s. we just do our part and He bring the miracle. our favorite quote from the weekend was “you never know where the ripples from your small step of obedience will reach”. she spoke about having friends with “the right kind of faith”. tiny mustard seed faith that they are willing to plant and see grow into an oak of righteousness.
those are the kinds of friends that i have. that is my home team. women willing to take tiny steps of obedience. the ripples from their faith have kept me afloat for years. and those ripples send me out deeper into the sea of His love and grace.
They saw the works of the LORD, His wonderful deeds in the deep.