We Found Them

For the last couple of weeks Alex and I have been playing a silly game. He’ll walk up to me and say, “What’s your name?”

And I’ll say something silly like, “Snickerbottoms” or “Picklelemons” or “McTuttlenuts.”

And then he’ll feign surprise and say, “MY NAME IS SNICKERBOTTOMS, TOO! I FOUND YOU! WE MUST BE FAMILY!” and then he throws his arms around my neck and laughs hysterically and wants to play the game all over again.

He loves it. I do, too.

Last year – The Two-Oh-Oh-Eight – was wonderful and exciting and challenging and hard. It was overwhelming at times. There were some difficult patches for sure, and I’m being as vague as possible, you see, because LET’S KEEP IT LIGHT, PEOPLE. LET’S KEEP IT LIGHT AND THEN LET’S LAUGH ABOUT SOMETHING, THIS IS HOW I OPERATE.

So, in short: while there were definitely some bright spots, more often than not in 2008 it seemed like I was forever standing before God and just flat-out wrestling with all my stinkin’ sin and mistakes and selfishness and failures and stubbornness. And fear. OH my word at the fear. And worry. And etc. and so on and so forth.


In the midst of all that.

God did the coolest thing.

I have long contended that I have the sweetest friends and family in the whole wide world, and if you don’t believe me then you should meet them and then you’d see and then you’d probably want to be friends with them, too, and that is understandable, really, because they are all quite fabulous. Most of those sweet friends have been in my life since high school or college, and I kid you not that one of the great delights of my life is laughing with them about everything and nothing. Those girls know my faults like nobody’s business (I’m prideful. I don’t like to talk about my problems or my weaknesses. I’m moody. The list goes on and on.) and love me anyway. I love them to pieces.

So in terms of long-time friends, I’ve been beyond blessed. But truth be told, I struggle sometimes when new people come along because I feel like I’m not serious enough or smart enough or holy enough or laid-back enough or disciplined enough or whatever, not to mention that I’m irreverent and sarcastic (I’m going to start calling it “sarTASTIC,” by the way) and loud and waist-deep in the process of working out my junk and figuring out what it means to live a fully surrendered life (OH SWEET MERCY I feel that I’ve hit my introspective limit for 2009 already and PLEASE, CAN WE JUST TALK ABOUT BACON?).

Anyway, the bottom line is this: I can get pretty comfortable with (relative) isolation if I’m not careful. I can start to like isolation if I’m not careful. The fact that I don’t blog about all the ISH-AHS in my life and my family’s life doesn’t make them go away, and if for some reason you think I don’t have ISH-AHS, then please permit me to give you this piece of advice: OH PLEASE DON’T KID YOURSELF.

But in 2008, despite all the Life Junk, God just blessed our socks off through people. Old friends. New friends who were “hit it off” people to such a degree that it almost gave me whiplash. Their names aren’t “Snickerbottoms” or “Picklelemons” or “McTuttlenuts,” but almost every single time I talk to them I want to throw my arms around their neck and hug them to pieces and scream “WE FOUND YOU! WE MUST BE FAMILY!”

So while it’s tempting for me to look back on last year and think mostly about the hard things, what I want to remember about last year are the best things. Because I’ll tell you this right now and you can cross stitch it and frame it and hang it in your living room in the dead-dog center of your wall if you’d like: it’s a whole lot easier to walk through your ish-ahs when there are people in your life who you love and trust – and when they love and trust you right back. Whether they’re family, old friends or new friends, I don’t want to do life without them.

I don’t have some pretty bow to wrap around this post, no clever way to tie up all the loose ends. I just want to be more mindful than ever that even though life is stinkin’ hard sometimes, God extends so much of His mercy and His goodness through the people He puts in our path. I want to love people well. Whether I’ve known them for my whole life or for twenty years or for twenty days, I want to love them well, to be mindful that they’re a blessing.

And this post is a reminder to my own dadgum self.

The end.

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  1. I’ll just:


    and I totally get this. :)


  2. Well said…makes me want to say a hearty, “Amen”!! I will be re-reading this and re-reading it.

    Thank you!

  3. I really needed this today! I would say I’m thankful God put you in my life but you don’t know me so that would be weird. So I’ll say I’m thankful God put you in my computer!

    Have a great weekend!!

  4. Yep. You said it, Boomama. No man or woman is an island, and it takes a village, and people who need people are the luckiest people…
    I totally agree.

  5. Man…i’ve got tears in my eyes Boomama. Real ones…not the ones we just say.

    Let me simply “Amen” all that you said.

    Big hugs to you. God is so up to something beautiful in both of us…many of us…all of us.

  6. Wow…this is so dead-level honest and so right where I am. It brought tears to my eyes.

    “But truth be told, I struggle sometimes when new people come along because I feel like I’m not serious enough or smart enough or holy enough or laid-back enough or disciplined enough or whatever,” This is me…and for years, I held friends at arms length, only letting them see the parts of me that I am proud of. But, bless God, He’s brought some people into my life that can see right through that prideful wall and choose to love me anyway.

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Mary Kat's Mom says:

    Goodness! ! ! Thank you! Needed every word of all this!
    Love ya!

  8. Good stuff!! Thanks for your open honesty – we ALL need to hear that! Good job!

  9. Absolutely a wonderful post.
    I pray for those very kind of friends and I pray also to be one who loves well.

    Thanks, Sophie.

  10. Well AMEN to that, I hear ya sister! And I am not being “sar-TASTIC”! ;)
    Have a great weekend!

  11. Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

  12. Amen.
    Thanks so much for sharing from your heart.
    Blessings today and always,
    Matthew 21:22

  13. Okay, I’ve stocked your blog for awhile now, and I just have to comment. As I read your post I felt like you were speaking what I feel. It’s crazy the insecurities we all feel and the sin we deal with. Praise the Lord, He continues to shape and mold us. And hallelujah to the fact that he sends wonderful friends in our lives…that we can talk to about bacon! haha!
    Thank you again for sharing!

  14. Excellent. Absolutely perfect.

  15. Wow. You just said what I’ve been feeling for the last 8 months. 2008 was one of the hardest years of my life hands down. God spanked me hard to weed out some horrible selfish sins in my life and took some of my “sacred cows” right out from under me. And while others that I “thought” were my friends left me high and dry in the valley, He brought brand spankin’ new friends to lift me up, dust me off and love on me enough to get me going again. They are my people now. Loud, sassy and possibly a little obnoxious. But they love Jesus!

    2008 was the valley. Now there’s nowhere else to go, but up! ;)

  16. And this is where I would give you a big hug and a high five if we were standing next to each other. :-) Loved it.

  17. Thanks for that. I am a transplanted Iowan in California. I never really developed too many friends out here…not the lifelong ones anyway, but I am a teacher of Middle and High Schoolers and I thank God everyday that he throws those kids in my path. I am truly blessed to have them in my life.

    Thanks for the blog

    from Amy at http://www.allthingsaro.blogspot.com

  18. I couldn’t have said it better if I tried!
    Take care,

  19. we’re gonna have bacon at breakfast tomorrow.

    Just thougt I’d share about the bacon.

    I love coming here every day. I haven’t told you that in a long while.

  20. You and I are SO much alike. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

    Love ya, jl

  21. I heard the song I Am A Rock by Simon & Garfunkel yesterday, and when they sang, “And a rock feels no pain; and an island never cries.” I started to cry and I said to my computer, “NO. That’s SO not true.” Cuz I’m all emotional that way.

    Your post resonated so deeply today. I have suffered isolation because of chemotherapy and radiation and other treatments over the past 18 months, and if it weren’t for those life-long friendships and a few new ones, those people who loved me when I couldn’t be upbeat, those dear ones who saw the ugliness of my sin and the brutality of cancer in my life, I don’t know where I’d be. Sure, I felt the sting of people who retreated from my pain, but the true friends, the FAMILY of friends.. well, as you put it, I don’t want to do life without them.

    Thank you for posting with such honesty, Mrs.Snickerbottoms.

  22. Amen Sophie! You are preachin to the choir on this one. Bless you and praise God that He is so good and gracious and loves us way too much to leve us as He found us!
    much love,

  23. Beautiful post. I’ll say Amen too.

    And I love picturing the exchange between you and your son – “I found you! We must be family” – precious :)

  24. Aren’t kids a treasure trove of sermon illustration material? Truly girl, you just brought it. :)

  25. I sit in a hotel room tonight,in Paducah KY due to Winter Storm 2009 (the local tv station is lovin them some winter storm), anyway as I am about to lose my everlovin’mind with the husband and blessed three chilren and I bawled this am because we could be without power/water (I do love showers) for three weeks, I read this and think how blessed and rotten I am. Thank you for this, I wish I could just post this on the end of my nose so I could constantly see it. I do have my “family” and isn’t that all we need, except a hot shower, diet coke and chocolate, tv and …..

  26. Such a lovely reminder and very very well said!

  27. Your best blog ever and that’s saying alot!

  28. Great post, BooMama. As always, you hit many familiar notes with humor and poignant truth. “Loving well” is a goal of mine, as well, but I teach ninth graders, which makes this aspiration quite a challenge. Thanks so much for putting “your stuff” out there. You rock, girl.

  29. Wow, you hit a really big nail on the head….mine to be exact. I love people but have “hid” from too many things when they get just a little too uncomfortable or I don’t know what to do about it. Thanks for sharing your difficulty with this, too, but more importantly….your faith.

    God bless you, Boomama.

  30. Emma Kate says:

    We are the BLESSED ones to have you!! I love you to pieces too!

  31. Girl, that post just made me cry! I needed it, though. Thanks a bunch. YOU are such a blessing to so, so many people. Even the ones you never see, hear, or touch. Don’t ever forget that.

  32. Sweet Sophie,
    Although we have never met and may never meet, you are a wonderful awesome child of God! I am thankful for all the friends and family God has put into your life and although 2008 may not have been the ideal year for any of us (I’ve had my on ish-yahs as well) 2009 is the year of living positive and enjoying the blessings He has bestowed upon us. God Bless You and your family!


  33. Love this! Though I don’t know you, I’ve been reading your blog for about a year and just love your honesty and how well you put life into words.

  34. That’s so funny. I look at two-oh-oh-eight as one of the best years ever, despite the job loss, the selling of our house, the unexpected surgery for my father-in-awe and the long house hunt. God showed me that He is good, no matter what plans I have made or the way that he laughs at them.

    I’m hoping 2009 is even more ambitious and enlightening on the learning scale.

    Thanks for posting what was near and dear on your heart again. It’s always a good read.

  35. Thanks Sophie – this is wonderful. I, too, go face down before our God in thanksgiving for the people that love me enough to put up with my ISH-AHS! love to you !
    sister Lynn

  36. Sophie-friend, I get this. I probably can’t express to you enough how much I GET THIS. So, I’ll leave it at that…
    Love you, girl.

  37. I don’t know why all these people are crying over this post. I refuse to. Okay, so the tears started pooling up in my eyes, but I just blinked really hard a few (16) times, and it’s all good now.

    This was beautiful. All the way up to the pretty little bow at the end (you must be blind if you couldn’t see it).

    Love you for life!

  38. Oh, yes, and yes again! I love that when God planned the world, he graciously decided to put people in relationships!

  39. AMEN!!!!

    Beautifully said. Just beautiful!


  40. Loved this. Just Beautiful.

  41. I get so jealous when I read posts like this one because I do isolate myself. I really don’t keep in contact with anyone from high school or college…and we’ve moved so many times in our almost 20-year marriage that I can’t even remember where or who many friends were in all those places. Reading this makes me want to reach out to some of those friends that I haven’t talked to for a long time but I fear that we just won’t have anything in common. I don’t work outside the home and everyone else does. We don’t have a lot of money and everyone else does. We don’t travel or go on big vacations and everyone else does. (Boy, does this sound like a pity party!) Anyway, I wish I had the friend & family support that you do and I’m glad for you that you do…so, I guess what I’m saying is…I’m glad you appreciate them!!! :)

  42. Thank you Sophie!! That was absolutely beautiful. I’m facing my own ish-ahs and de-lurking to say you rock girl!!! One of your best posts evah!

  43. Kinda like our food court chat with Annie?

  44. Thanks for the reminder, I needed to hear that. Love reading your blog, just love it!

  45. Thank you for this, I think we all struggle in these areas!!

  46. I hope you don’t mind, but I sent a link to this post to a few of the friends I do life with…well said BooMama! Hope 2009 is blessed from beginning to end!

  47. While we all hurt when our “ish-ahs” get the best of us, you illustrated exactly WHY the “ish-ahs” are put before us: so we can find the blessings that were hidden to our hearts… And the whole “we are family” game you’ve been playing with your son? Reminds me of something I read: in some faraway tribe, (in Africa, I believe) when people greet each other, they speak a word that means–instead of “hello”–“If you are well, then I am well.” I have always loved that sentiment, and I keep it in my heart when I greet my friends. And I consider you my “friend from afar.”

  48. Well, my word! We MUST be family.. because we sure did live about the same life last year. Here’s to those wonderful, precious friends who help us bear our load, who make us laugh (and even make us dinner when needed), and who give us a tiny peek into what Heaven must be like. Thanks, Boo Mama… consider yourself hugged…

  49. Awww Boo….that is so true!
    I could have written that post myself. I’m so glad for the people that God put in my life. They really helped me survive and really thrive this last year.
    I’m praising Him for knowing just what to do with me and for me. When I look back…it was a rotten year. But friends and family blessed me (by God’s sweet design) even in the midst of gunky stuff.

  50. I think I’m not the first to say it, but AMEN. Thanks for sharing, thanks for uplifting, thanks for writing so well.

  51. Thanks for sharing. I may or may not have cried a little. But in a good way. Anyway, good timing with your writing and stuff. (:

  52. Yes, Yes, Yes!! Amen!

  53. “MY NAME IS SNICKERBOTTOMS, TOO! I FOUND YOU! WE MUST BE FAMILY!” Indeed. Sisters in Jesus Christ. I once was lost, but now I’m found. Glad we are both in the family of God! Blessings.

    Thanks for sharing.

  54. All I’ve got to say is…AMEN to that, all of it!

  55. We are none of us alone in the way we are, are we?

  56. Like most have said before me, Amen. And yes, my dear, I so badly needed to read this today. You are not in my life by accident.

  57. Thank you and Amen.

  58. I’m new to your blog which I means I must have been living under a rock.

    I LOVED this post because I yelled “Amen” through the whole thing – well, at least in my head I was yelling. I tend to retreat, too when my vulnerable side gets the best of me. My good, love me to the end of time, doing life with me friends are the ones that don’t let me retreat too far before coming in to get me.

    I’m thankful every single day for them!

  59. this is my favorite post of yours ever. you made me cry – and i’m at work (on my lunch break, naturally)! so embarassing… :}

  60. I can soooo relate! Thank you for sharing. I, too, am grateful for the real people in our life during some pretty difficult times. Thank you!