I woke up this morning, even after staying up until after 1, unassisted without an alarm in just enough time to get ready to go to church. This was unprompted by friends, family, God Friends... it was all... I would say me.. but no it was God. Today's sermon was about the salt and light, (Matthew 5:13-16) to be the pleasing salt and light in life. I am going to borrow a little bit of the Children's Sermon here I am sure Pastor Betsy won't mind, she is amazing like that. She purchased a jar of unsalted peanuts, I know YUCK RIGHT??? There is nothing pleasing about unsalted peanuts, they are very hard to swallow (at least for me). Pastor Betsy tried them, she didn't like them, her husband tried them, he didn't like them, she poured salt in there with them, only to find out that they were still unsalted peanuts, but now had salt in the bottom of the jar, she even tried to feed them to her poor father in law.. no go. No one liked that jar of unsalted peanuts, so she tossed them out. In the trash.. let them go. They had no salt or light in their jar. Me, I am a bit different, I would never have thrown that jar of peanuts away, it would have sat on my counter for months, years maybe and every time I ran out of salted peanuts, I would try to make the unsalted peanuts pleasing. One point here is I don't ever learn my lesson, the second point is always have a jar of salted peanuts around.
My blessings from God have been numerous and many, more than I can recount here. Unfortunately I have found when you have a jar of unsalted peanuts on your counter sometimes you find yourself not giving the salted ones that you are enjoying enough credit because even thought you try to keep them on hand sometimes you run out and the only thing left is that jar of unsalted and you try yet again to make yourself like them, or you grab them by accident even though you said you were going to never touch them again.. and still YUCK!
God has provided me many amazing strong beautiful women who have been here for me since that dreadful day, I am not discounting any of you, from Aunt Ann and her daily emails, to my mother who I can't see eye to eye on on a daily basis but when it gets nasty she tries to understand, to my God Friend, who I can't begin to express my love for, a sister in law who in just a few short weeks will be giving me a beautiful gift that only she could provide, a brand new baby nephew, but, right now I need to give some credit where it is due.
Amanda... she is my friend, my comfort, my confidant, my amazing glass of wine, my walk on the beach, my quiet, my laughter, my partner in crime, my biggest fan (after my daddy I would say), my cheering section, my tissue hander, my wrath watcher, my chef, my you really need a shower so I am telling you we are going out tonight during a weak moment because you have no energy to argue and I know it, so you will take one, my would you like to XYZ but if not we can stay in and ABC, my sure lets watch this B movie, wait this is stupid lets change it..
I can not count the number of nights she has been here, we have watched a bazillion shows, movies, read books, played skip bo, gone for walks with the puppies, she has watched me cry, heard me laugh, given me countless hours of comfort and not once have I asked her to. She is just here. She is here when I am having a good day, here when I am having a bad day, here when the house is half way straight or when it is a complete total disaster. I don't remember how many times she has been to Mathews with me, I don't keep count and the best thing is neither does she, not once has she asked me to do one thing for her, nothing. I can never repay her... not in twenty life times.
I met Amanda shortly after moving to OBX through Bootcamp and Knuckleup, seriously the first day I met her it felt I had known her forever and that has never changed. Since then we have run half marathons, we have participated in bootcamp, dance classes, kickboxing classes, long walks, road trips, we have sat in the rain on the beach and talked (see the pic above LOL)... the one thing I wish we had never done together was deal with De's accident. The moment she heard the news she had no thoughts of I need to pack, I need to take of the dogs, I need to do anything.. her only thought was "GET TO RE!". It takes a huge heart to not for one second think of what do "I" need to do for "me" so I can get there. Amanda has that heart. She is amazing and beautiful and kind, she is all kinds of goodness wrapped up in a soul that could only be sent to me by God.
She does have some faults, she isn't very good at Science when she is figuring the tip at dinner, she will accidentally fart, but then she does at least warn you she did it, she will laugh her butt off when you sneeze and accidentally fart, she is an amazing amazing chef so she will force you to over eat when she cooks, she spoils Banx to high heaven and when she is here I am invisible to him, she will yell SQUIRREL at the same exact time as you when running a race and spoil your element of surprise, she will laugh the whole way through a haunted trail, ok that isn't exactly a fault, but then you end up laughing all the way through too and isn't the point to be scared? She will also remind you that you are old enough to be her parents when arguing with your boyfriend, by screaming "MOM! DAD! Stop Fighting!!!" She will cause your Daddy to sit in his truck for an extra 10 minutes or so while he watches her run and dance around the yard with the puppy. Ok so these aren't "faults" they are things that make Amanda, Amanda and each and every one of them I love.
But above all she is the salt and light in my life, sent by God to be my angel on earth, Amanda YOU are my salted peanuts.
I don't say it enough my dear sweet friend... but I love you and I appreciate EVERY THING YOU DO!!!!
I hope you all have a blessed Sunday!