Tag Archives: friends

Slightly burnt toast

I am enamored with the phrase “slightly burnt toast”. Although, I am not entirely sure why. There’s a parallel somewhere in there between my life experiences and the phenomenon of slightly burnt toast. I’m gonna see if I can suss it out.

I love toast. Golden, crispy, all melty with butter (and sometimesb jelly). There’s something about well-made toast that just makes me happy and all melty inside. I’m a little fussy about how my toast is cooked. I don’t like it undercooked. I don’t like it overcooked (Sam I am must be around here somewhere). I like it to be the perfect shade of golden brown.

I don’t own a toaster due to the fact that I have about 1 foot square of counter space to do all of my cooking and dirty dish stacking. So, we cook our toast in the oven under the broiler. This can be a little precarious if one gets distracted easily(ahem) and forgets they are cooking toast in the oven. Sometimes my toast gets all crispy and black. Yuck.

I’m sure you can imagine my disappointment if I burn my toast to the point of carbonization.

But I’m not talking about toast bricks here. I’m talking about toast that is slightly burnt. Not quite black, beyond golden brown, but still somewhat edible (Especially if I slather it with cream cheese and jelly). Slightly burnt toast is not quite perfect in my mind. It is slightly left of my ideal. Not burnt enough to hate, but too burnt to fully love.

I realized the last time I made slightly burnt toast (which involved a little bit of whining to myself), that sometimes I feel the same about myself as I feel about slightly burnt toast. Not bad enough to hate, but not good enough to fully love. Tainted, slightly to the left of center, just a little off, a little too sinful, a little too burnt.

Sometimes I don’t feel good enough to be loved. By God, or by other people (mostly other people). I’m not perfect enough, pretty enough, popular enough, witty enough to be loved. I’m slightly tainted with my sins, idiosyncrasies, weirdness, genetic makeup, acquired habits, weight problem, opinionated mouth. The list goes on.

Don’t get me wrong. I realize that I am not perfect because only one Man on this Earth was ever capable of being perfect. I also realize that I am a mostly okay person. But that slightly burnt feeling keeps me back from fully being who I was created to be. It keeps me back from fully expressing myself. Mostly because I crave to be loved by people. I am pretty sure God loves me the way I am, although sometimes I wonder. But that’s another story for another day

Sometimes I wonder why so-and-so doesn’t talk to me. Or why such-and-such (I have changed the names of people to protect the innocent) won’t even look my way. I imagine that it’s because I am slightly to the left of what I need to be to be their friend. But my Friend won’t let me settle there with my tent and campfire, burning my toast and cursing myself for it.

I get the feeling best place to be is right where God has me right now. Not looking for approval from those that aren’t meant to be my friends. Not comparing myself to my imagined “ideal” person. Instead, He pushes my thoughts towards the friends who approve of me. The ones who like and love me despite my deficiencies. The people who pick me up when I am down. The ones who make me tea and imperfect toast when I am sad. The ones who celebrate my successes with parties. The friends who take my delicate dreams carefully into their hands to encourage me. The ones to whom I can pour out my appreciation love and reciprocate with tea and toast. The people that God has put in my path. These folks help me to feel perfect, even when I’m not.

So, friends, don’t look for friends in the wrong places. Don’t compare yourself to your imagined ideal friend of those who don’t notice you. Rather, celebrate the friends you have. Make them tea and toast. Wipe their tears (or cry with them). Shout with joy at their successes in life. Tell them about your successes. This is what makes life golden and perfect.

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On Friends- 5mf

Having friends hasn’t always been so easy.  I moved around a lot as kid so I didn’t grow up with the same group of people.  I often wasn’t accepted at school because I wasn’t part of the “growing up together” friendship circles that existed.  I  had a few acquaintances that I talked to and hung out with, but not a soul friend that knew me through and through.  As an adult,  I had a few friendships that ended in disaster because I did too much, or they did too  little.  Or I picked the wrong kind of people.  I  had to be more deliberate and less needy to form some true friendships.  In the past 10 years I have carefully worked on being the kind of person that people would want to be friends with.  I stopped being clingy and needy, stopped trying too hard.  I was just there with all my quirks.  And eventually, my friends were there too.  Nowadays,  I have a few friends that know me through and through, that know my quirks and deep dark secrets, but love me anyway.  One of my friends even called me “sister”.  I cried when she said that to me.  Finally.  A true sister-friend.  Thank your Lord for true friends.  I Thank you Lord for the mamas-friends, the sister-friends, the brother-friends that I have now with good healthy connections.

The Garden of You

This post
is dedicated to a precious person, Jessica who has a beautiful blog.
Reading her blog is a delight, like visiting a garden.

Dear Precious Friend, I came by your garden today for a visit. I
saw you in the distance with the wind playfully attempting to
displace the little straw hat (You know, the yellow one. With the
polka dots) sitting prettily upon your head. You seemed engrossed
in your work as you hummed gently to yourself. Knowing you, you
were probably composing a song. Then you saw me. You turned and
laughed, then waved at me to come on over for a spell. On my way
over, I noticed a little pond you had put in. There were flashes of
red, gold and white making ripples in the water as if to welcome me
here, to your garden. In another little nook I noticed that some
fairies had been busy building a little home for themselves,
knowing in their hearts that you wouldn’t mind. You looked warm and
a little tired from your work, but happy. There may have been a
little stick or two in your hair, it was hard to tell amongst that
deep brown hair. Little clods of dirt had stuck themselves to your
legs. Honestly, the dried mud didn’t look very comfortable, causing
your skin to wrinkle and pucker. However, you barely seemed to
noticed the dirt clods because you knew they would meet with their
ultimate demise; to be washed away. You squatted down by some
recently disturbed earth. I noticed a multitude of hardworking
earthworms busily making their way back into the soft, moist earth.
Those little guys are a definite sign of good soil. They are always
working to soften the hard ground, just below the surface where you
can’t see them. You asked me to come closer and take a look at what
you had been doing. You explained to me that this little plot of
land had almost been swept away by a flood recently. But, you had
managed to keep it safe. You said your gardening teacher had been
by and helped you protect this area from the swift, unforgiving
waters. You told me he had said that this was a special little
place, destined for greatness and beauty. “And see,” you said,
“I’ve already planted the seeds.” Having come to visit your garden
a few times recently, I feel I understand that making this place
special has not been easy. Blights seem to pop up out of nowhere
ravaging your precious plants. Or, crazy weather comes screaming
into this place bringing darkness and flooding that attempts to
desecrate and destroy the life here. By no small miracle, every
little petal, blade of grass, and leaf survives, and, in spite of
the storms, thrives. Whenever I come to visit, you take me on a
tour of delights. The sweet, soft scent of those perky red roses
reach up and tickle my nose, daring me to smile. The gentle sway of
the weeping willow by the water allows me, for a moment, to safely
feel some sadness, which is a balm to my soul. Sometimes the little
rabbits come out to peek at us and twitch their noses as if they
know something we do not. We stopped at your new pond. You showed
me the little fish that you put there. “My friends” you said, with a slight tilt to your head.
They come to visit when you arrive, even when you have nothing to
give. Sometimes you sing them a song, sad or otherwise. Sometimes
you tell them a story. They absorb every morsel you give them then
radiate back love to you for your gentle gifts. Eventually, we
arrive at the heart of your garden, that most sacred place. Here is
where you sit, hours upon hours, with your gardening teacher.
Listening, learning, asking tons of questions. Sometimes, I come in
to visit, sometimes I don’t. And, that’s ok. Because that is your
special place. On the way out, we always pass the little patch of
earth that you intentionally leave untended. It serves as a
reminder of what this garden used to look like. You have
worked so hard ,my friend, to put your land back together. And it is
amazing. Even more amazing than before the hurricane that nearly
wiped this place of rest and beauty from existence. Thank you,
Precious Friend, for allowing me to visit your garden from time to
time. Stephanie