A Servant’s Heart in Friendship

A wise sage friend once told me, true lasting friendship consists of an ebb and flow.
Sometimes you give more than you get.
Sometimes you are in the seat of taking more than you can provide.
But in the tidal flow of life, it all equals out.

IMG_2118 IMG_1490 IMG_0362

A servant’s heart in friendship doesn’t keep track of whose called whom the most.
Instead, we savor the blessing of this thing we share.
This friendship that is our ‘walking diary’, our support system when the rest of the world fails us.

For women, our friendships are what keep us sane. What keep us whole.

My Grandma lost her husband when she was 37.  She never remarried, raising 4 young kids and running a dairy farm solo. As I watched her spend countless hours on the phone with Mrs. Bristol, one of her closest friends, I wondered if perhaps women’s friendships aren’t one of the most important building blocks in a woman’s life?

Whether from divorce or widowhood, marriage isn’t necessarily the longest relationship you will have in life.

If that’s the case, shouldn’t we all strive to strengthen and deepen the friendships we share ‘woman to woman’?

IMG_8775 IMG_0868 edited888

In the days following my brother in law’s suicide, I’m not sure what I would have done without my closest girl friends. From dropping everything going on in their lives to be with me, giving me advice as the estate dragged on for forever, bringing me meal after meal, answering my phone calls even though they had to know I was going to have an endless pity party of what my life looked like.

Friends are what get you through the roughest days. Friends are what keep you rationale and help you process the muddled understandings in your brain. Friends are your biggest cheerleaders with never ending whispers of encouragement…

Want to read more on this topic…read my 14 Tips To Building Strong Friendships.



{Today’s post is day 23 of the #write31days challenge! Click here to view all my post in the series titled 31 Days to A Servant’s Heart.}


Spewing Evil – The treacherous game of criticism in marriage

There are numerous qualities that I think comprise a servant’s heart…

Trusts the good intentions of another…
Serves without seeking praise…
Doesn’t keep a list of whose done more…
Lets go of resentments…
Seeks other’s comfort first…
Does not criticize…

When you pledge your life to another, do you think it’s going to be a bed of roses?

Well, as Gran informed me on my wedding day…

Wedding day bliss cannot be contained but as time rolls into years and years into decades, this person we’ve promised to serve and encourage begins to dim a bit in our eyes. Eventually, we find ourselves compiling lists of their flaws, of all the things we just KNOW they need to change.

At least that is what happened to me.

But what has taken me a decade long of learning to realize, is that no amount of criticism makes any situation better.

Criticism wears a person down.
Criticism weakens my marriage.
Criticism breaks the threads of friendship we share.

While we all have areas in our life we need to improve, is criticism the best way to go about it?

Is a loving, kind, constructive word not always more readily heard than a word meant to destroy and destruct?


Perhaps I should be focused on improving myself rather than my husband.

Jesus knew what He was talking about when he spoke of how people judge the specks in other’s rather than focus on the log’s in their own lives.

It is infinitely easier to focus on a spouse’s ‘wrongs’ and ignore my own.
Because if I focus on my own shortcomings then I actually have to work on me, be disciplined, have self control.
{All areas I sorely lack in.}

I can criticize, rant, and harp all day long.

But hold my tongue in a bout of anger?
Stay silent when I’m bursting with evil words?
Put a smile on my face and instead give LOVE abundently?

Those actions take work and seem insurmountable.

Christ reminds me though that the work is not for me to accomplish alone.
God wants me to depend on Him for the changes I long for.

As I lean on God to sculpt my heart with gratitude and grace, I strengthen my relationship with Him.
When I remember it is not my job as a spouse to change and fix my partner, then my marriage grows stronger.

Christ, would you show us today all the wonderful ways our spouse loves us.
Give us eyes that see all their fantastic attributes.
Help us appreciate all they do as a parent, friend, and spouse.


{Written as part of my 31 Days to a Servant’s Heart series. Click here to see all post within this series.}


A True Servant is Focused on Giving rather than Getting

Unfortunately, I sometimes {more times than I’d like to admit} utter up phrases that sound something like this…
“If I do this whatever it is, then will you do this other thing for me?”

What better description of a non servant’s heart is there,
than a servant who only serves so that they in turn will be served?

IMG_2140 IMG_2118

If my service to others is about what I’m going to get in return, then it is all for naught.

As Tim Keller writes, “When you say, “I’ll serve, as long as I’m getting benefits from it,” that’s not actually serving people; it’s serving yourself through them. That’s not circling them, orbiting around them; it’s using them, getting them to orbit around you.”

Part of putting other people before yourself means that we aren’t looking for what we will receive on the flip side. Instead, we care more about the needs of other’s than caring about what they can do for us.

One of the best examples I’ve ever read on this topic, especially with it related to marriage, was written in a viral blog post by Seth Adams Smith. He writes “You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy… a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?”

So when I’m stuck in my rut of keeping track of whose done more or what can I ask for in return,
I have to remind myself to pray.

Asking God to keep my heart focused on giving rather than focusing on what I am receiving.



{Day 12 of the #write31days challenge. Every day I get more & more excited as I inch ever more closely to October 31! Click here to see a listing of all the posts written in this series. Or click on the right sidebar link to receive these posts in your inbox.}


Love Each Other As I Have Loved You


{Image Source: fiercemarriage.com}

Day 8 of 31 Days to a Servant’s Heart