They Sat Together…

Recently I saw a new angle in a verse from the book of Job.

I used to think that Job’s friends were not very empathetic and did not know how to relate to him and his tragedies.  Now I see a new perspective.  In the beginning of the story, Job’s friends actually sat with him for one week not saying anything.

“Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was”. Job 2:13

Just being with him. Not giving advice… Not criticizing…They showed up.

We might ask, “Didn’t they know what to say?”

Perhaps they should have kept their mouths shut!  Just being with someone in a crisis is a powerful healing tool.  Maybe that’s what gave Job the capacity to actually listen to their human faulty words and to seek God and to feel and express himself even though he was self-righteous and defensive with his friends’ accusatory tendencies.  In the long run, Job understands that God is good and that even though there is pain, the Lord is our redeemer and He is mighty and knows more than anyone or anything here on earth.  And let’s face it, his friends were present.  They showed up.

The joy and healing of connection
There is something to learn about our human interactions and about exposing ourselves to others.  Yes, we can be hurt if we vulnerably expose ourselves to others, but if we don’t we may not experience the joy of human empathy, comfort and connection.

The power of being present
We can learn about comfort and how “just being with someone” can prove powerful and show commitment.  Being present gives margin so mistakes are not always devastating to the relationship.  Grace flows freely to the friend who shows they care…who keeps in touch and is present in times of need.  We can forgive awkward moments and soak in the comfort the Holy Spirit brings to us through them…but only if they are present.

Be Present Today


Proverbs 10:19

When there are many words, sin is unavoidable,  but the one who controls his lips is wise”. 


In times of deep grief and pain there may be no words or few words…  It’s OK if we don’t know what to say.  Healing and comfort will come with:

More Time

Less advice

More listening

Less judgment

More affirming

I want to be a present friend – able to lend a listening ear, a comforting word and a shoulder for tears.  I’m thankful for friends that tell me the truth even when it hurts and am thankful friendship’s treasure is present in my distress.

Are you longing for deeper more meaningful human connections? 

Prayers for the bravery to walk deeply into the waters of friendship…-Madge

Dog Days At Our House

puppy post of JuneIt is time for a puppy fix. Hot summer days require refreshing water nearby. June is our neighbor’s precious golden retriever pup.

puppy post from CAThis is one of Canine Assistants’ puppies. I imagine Tahoe looked much like this pup…wish we had early photos of him.

another puppy post from CAPirelli was born at Canine Assistants without a foot and is now 11Alive’s morning mascot. Certainly Tahoe was this cute as an older pup. Wish I had pictures of him at this age.

puppy post with neighborsTahoe meets neighbor ‘June Bug’ for the first time. He loves other pups…as long as they don’t interfere with his meals or play time. After all, he’s the one who gets to go everywhere.

puppy post with friends from churchTahoe loves children and helps them overcome canine fears.

puppy post with davis girls

…and he loves more darling little visitors.

Hooper, a friend’s golden doodle, recently stayed with us for several days and decided to dominate and take over the bed. He’s a snuggler and almost makes Tahoe jealous.

Zeek, a neighbor’s German Shepherd, loves Brent’s attention when he comes to the Williams hotel. Yes, Tahoe is patient with company and his dog whispering dad.

Our nieces visited for a week and when we were waiting for their departing flight Tahoe was sad and needed comfort. See how he suffers.

Leah gives love as she says good-bye. She has a special bond with Tahoe.

Now that all the company is gone, at least for a few days, Tahoe just wants to go inside…run to the backyard…

…. play some Kong

…and happily go to bed with mom and dad and no visiting dogs, kids, friends or cousins.

Happy dog days from our house to yours. -Madge

A New Year – Honing Some Habits

Welcome to 2012!  As I bid farewell to 2011 I’m hopeful about our new year.  I  enthusiastically enjoy this warm first day of January with keen awareness that the thermometer will not read 66º  tomorrow.  Before I get bogged down in creative ways to stay warm, I want to re-invite you to join me this year in one or more habits, practices, goals…whatever you like to call the little things I do to stay centered on God.

1.  Journaling.  Come on folks, even if you don’t participate in my ‘spiritual/religious/relationship’ habits, you can appreciate this invitation.  Journaling is just plain good for the body, soul and spirit.  Go ahead – google the benefits of journaling and you’ll find article after article touting its value.  Enough said.  Get a journal – I use my iPad and iJournaler app (although I’m seriously considering a change in app so I can cross multiple devices and platforms – suggestions welcome).  Confession: I listed journaling first because I’ve struggled most with daily consistency in this area.

2. Bible Reading Plan – There are so many choices from Youversion.  I wrote about it here.  Also, if you enjoy audio, check out my Daily Audio Bible review.  I can’t say enough about the power of consistent relationship with God’s living word.

3. Scripture Memorization – I’m starting with verses from James this year, but last year I was all over map. Looking over last year’s verses brings sheer goodness to my heart – some of them have seen me through tough times.  Like I shared here, memorization is good for more than the brain…and my first 2012 verse is…If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

I planned to hold back and leave the list at three, but my wise husband suggested I include the all important act of (#4) Goal Setting.  That’s obvious, I thought.  Certainly goals are discussed, written, reviewed and measured in our house and they’ve served as a catalyst for progress and success in our family and for us individually in many areas. We don’t always achieve our goals, that’s life, but we know if we don’t have them we will lack direction and focus.  Goals are the reason habits 1-3 exist.

My husband, Brent, blogged on goal-setting the day after I wrote this post.  He runs circles around my writing!  Check it out here!


I would love to hear about the strategies you use to set goals and keep your focus.  And if you are so inclined, pray about joining me in one or more of the above.  Life’s more fun with friends!