My Friend Thought for the Day: Bucking Up

I woke up one Saturday, kind of wanting to avoid a few responsibilities I had. I wanted an excuse to cancel plans, to avoid doing what was hard.

I don’t like going to things alone.

I don’t like attending soirees and events and showers where the only person I know is the host. I also don’t like going to things that don’t seem like they’ll be worth my time. Anyone else feel me? Surely you do, because I know a lot of people cancel – or simply skip out – when they think they’ll be uncomfortable. I’ve done it a lot, citing some lame-o excuse as to why I couldn’t make it (a headache, having something else I forgot I had to do).

Even if the other party is understanding when you tell them you can’t make it, I think they can usually see through the bullcrap. Because – and you know this – if you really wanted to be there, you would go, even with a headache, even with a previous engagement, even with a mound of homework or paperwork at home.

So that one Saturday, I had a party to attend where I only knew the guest of honor. I was nervous, and wished for a way out. But I got in my car and left for it anyway.

Well, and then I got horribly horribly lost, which is it’s own story for another post. In the end, this example didn’t provide the meat I was hoping for, but it did remind me, sometimes you just have to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. For your friend.

It’s one of those instances where it’s not about you. Oh how many times do we need to tell ourselves that. I’m certainly no expert on this. I’ll probably skip out on something this month my closest friends have planned because one thing or another will make me antsy.

But I shouldn’t be proud of that. I should be proud of coming through for my friend. That’s what counts.

The Best Quotes About Friendship, Part One

Photo by Mike Baird [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Photo by Mike Baird
[CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Writers, philosphers, politicians, musicians. They have expressed the inward soul of a man seeking the solace of a companion. Below are timeless friendship quotes. Pick your favorite.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .””
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.”
― Jon Katz

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

“Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
― Abraham Lincoln

“Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.”
― Ally Condie, Matched

“The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image. If in loving them we do not love what they are, but only their potential likeness to ourselves, then we do not love them: we only love the reflection of ourselves we find in them”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island

“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“This is how it works. I love the people in my life, and I do for my friends whatever they need me to do for them, again and again, as many times as is necessary. For example, in your case you always forgot who you are and how much you’re loved. So what I do for you as your friend is remind you who you are and tell you how much I love you. And this isn’t any kind of burden for me, because I love who you are very much. Every time I remind you, I get to remember with you, which is my pleasure.”
― James Lecesne

“Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.”
― Oscar Wilde

What are some other great friendship quotes? Feel free to leave some in the comment section below!

Why My Husband Is a Good Tipper

Courtesy via Flickr.com Francisco Osorio

Courtesy via Flickr.com Francisco Osorio

He was filling out a check for breakfast at Cracker Barrel. No judging! That place has some great pancakes. Anyway, back to the story. My husband was signing his name and then moved the pen up to assign a tip to the server. I watched as he calculated a 50 percent tip and added that to the total.

“Um, Adam?” I was a server myself, so that money he was throwing away was my own hard-earned tips.

He gave me a look that basically told me he was listening, but he already knew exactly what I was going to say. Because the discussion was nothing new.

“Are you sure you want to leave that much? We don’t really have a lot of money to do that.”

I love my husband. We’re young kids that got married before most even think about settling down. And times like these, my young husband impresses me with his insight. I hate it sometimes. Maybe it’s because I don’t like being wrong, maybe it’s because it’s exactly what I need to hear. I don’t know, but this situation was no different.

“Kim, we’ve been blessed. We should bless other people with what we have; it’s our responsibility to do that.”

So he left the tip. And I wondered why we went out to eat if it cost us so much money. But he was right.

He’s always been a good tipper. I thought maybe it was the way he was raised. His family tips well, that’s true, but he’s taken it to a whole new level.

A friend once told me that the first thing you’re attracted to about your spouse becomes the thing that irritates you most. That’s not necessarily untrue for me. I was first impressed by Adam’s generosity—his willingness to pay for people’s lunch, his unique gifts, his large tips—but once we were newly married I became concerned with finances. I had to learn a lot about trust.

So as I watched him tip server after server generously, I missed the lesson in all of it.

What my husband taught me indirectly is something I wish more people would understand, not just about tipping well, but about God.

When Adam tips, he doesn’t tip based on the server’s performance. What he’s saying instead is: “I care about you, and nothing you do will change how much money you get from me. I want to bless you with what I have.”

That gave me a deeper understanding of grace. Grace is giving us something good we don’t deserve. God is saying “I love you, not because of who you are, but who I AM. And I want to bless you with what I have.”

The Top Five Most Unusual Places to Get Married

Today I bring a guest poster from over the sea. Jennifer Smith of Ivy Ellen Wedding Invitations has a great post about very interesting wedding locations. So if you or someone you know is feeling a bit bored of the typical wedding traditions, you may want to try one of these ideas out.

Getting married means legally dedicating yourself to the one you love, having a wonderful day of smiles and laughter and most importantly, organizing a wedding that completely reflects you and what makes you happy.

The environment you get married in needs to make you feel comfortable and should have a personal touch.

Bride and Groom

Courtesy of Shutterstock

It is understandable that many couples prefer to stick to a traditional style wedding with church bells and a beautiful pure white dress. However, it is becoming a popular trend in modern day culture to have a wedding that reflects your “crazier” side.

Some of the best weddings are the ones that bring something new to the table for the guests to enjoy.

So, you’ve opted for a unique style wedding but you don’t exactly know what choices you have in terms of venue. Well, for the craziest of the crazy people, we have collected the 8 most unusual places to get married.

The Museum

There are museums to suit everyone’s tastes. Getting married in a venue that holds everything you’re interested in will really give your guests a feel for what you and your partner are really all about.

  • The Great North Museum – Located in Newcastle, this museum is available to hire for weddings in any of their gallery rooms and exhibitions. This means that it is completely up to you which exhibition you wish you marry in the shadows of. You could say your vows with the huge Dinosaurs or in the space room! The museum comes with gorgeous backdrops inside and out ensuring that you have the best and most beautiful day of your life!
  • Warner Bros. Studio – Massive Harry Potter fan? Hold your reception in the real Great Hall of the film at the studio in Watford! Make the most out of your time there and get your guests involved in a guided tour and their own wand waving lesson!

Underwater

Marry like a mermaid and a merman in an underwater wedding! (Don’t worry I assure you that you won’t have to hold your breath through your vows!)

If you’re a lover of the water, make sure you’ve got water-proof makeup prepared and clothes that won’t get ruined, because an underwater wedding will give you the best experience of your life!

  • ProDive – Take your wedding to Florida and have a full package organized and plunge into the water! ProDive will supply you with underwater masks with high technology devices that allow you to breathe and hear you and your partner say your vows.
  • Wine Cellar and Dining – Head to the beautiful Maldives and experience an underwater wedding in luxury and class. You will dine and say ‘I do’ under a glass separation between you and the sea life! The ceremony will include a full package of a 5 course meal, a wine menu, professional photographers and hair and makeup stylists.

Carnival Wedding

If you and your partner love to be different or you just happen to have an interest in carnivals, why not look into a real funfair setting where you and your guests can have a night of fun and games to celebrate your newly wedded life!

  • North West Funfair Suppliers: this company will organize and bring you a fun fair and carnival themed wedding as small or as big as you would like. They will join you in making a decision on the land you would like to hire and offer you a great amount of entertainment for your big day. From stilt walkers to carousels, this business can give you it all!

Theatre

Dramatic and theatrical? There are theatre and event venues that are more than happy to put their exquisite stage settings up for hire. Get married in a way that turns your love story into a piece of dramatic art and hire a theatre!

  • La Fenice Opera House – a beautiful venue in Venice, this opera house is sure to give your wedding class and sophistication. Feel elegant walking down the aisle onto the stage to say your vows. Not only is the venue incredible, the idea of getting married in Italy is truly romantic!
  • The Lowry – Get married in style at the Manchester Lowry and enjoy gorgeous dining in their available spaces. You can hold both the ceremony and the reception here with the help of an organized wedding planner that can fit around you and your dreams for your wedding.

The Zoo

For the animal lovers, the zoo would be a fantastic and unique place to have your wedding. You can enjoy a day of fun around the people you love and the animals you love too!

For anyone who wants to completely divert from a traditional wedding, opting to wed in a zoo would be absolutely wonderful!

  • Edinburgh Zoo – Spend your day in the beautiful nature of Edinburgh in the zoo’s fabulous Mansion House. You will be welcomed on a red carpet into a country house covered in nature and luxury. You and your guests will be catered for by their top chefs offering a diverse and delicious menu. The zoo aspect of it comes in after the wedding, where you and the guests will explore the animals free of charge!

Other unusual wedding venues include:

  • Football stadiums such as Old Trafford
  • The Gherkin
  • The mimes
  • The Hard Rock Cafe
  • Disney Land
  • Wine Cellars
  • Alton Towers

Be unique and let your personality burst through on your wedding day.

It’s not every day you get to hire out an amazing venue like the zoo or a cinema!

What do you think of this blog? Can you think of any other unusual wedding venues? Let us know in the comments.

This blog was written by Jennifer Smith on behalf of http://ivyellenweddinginvitations.co.uk, the wedding invitation and stationary providers.

A Letter Changes Everything

Maybe you saw this floating around the internet:

Indianfunnypicture.com

Snail mail may someday disappear; until then I will squeal when I get a letter from a friend.

Remember chain letters? Remember pen pals? Remember having to wait a week until you heard from a friend or family member?

It’s a dying art. Maybe that’s why getting a letter means so much. Maybe it’s because words are powerful anyway, and it just means so much more when you know the other person took the time to handwrite those words and send the letter in the mail. Maybe it’s because we know they were intentional when they sent it.

Do you want to make a difference? Send a letter.

Send a letter to a friend you’ve lost touch with. Send a letter to a friend who is traveling. Send a letter to someone who you thinks needs to hear words of life.

This week, sit down and write a letter. Go out and buy stamps. And by this next Monday, have the letter waiting in the mailbox to zoom across town.

And then tell me about it in the comments.