Thursday, March 31, 2011

Friends with Benefits

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" ~ Jeremiah 29:11

I know what you're thinking and STOP! its not that kinda blog. But I got your attention, right? heee heee

A few weeks ago, Tam received an assignment to go to California for her new job. She invited me to join her on the journey. At first, I was hesitant. Afterall, I'm not working right now, still waiting for MY next assignment. But, I talked things over with my husband and he agreed that if the price was right, I could go. Knowing that we paid nearly $700 last year for my daughter to travel to California, I seriously doubted this was going to happen. Its amazing what God can do when He has a plan. Would you believe that Tam found tickets for $300??? Its impossible, with gas prices going through the roof, but seriously she did! And so our journey began!

Day One

The alarm went off at 4:20 am. An unreasonably early time of day but when you're spending it with your BFF who cares, right? Although it was a long day of hour and half drive to the airport followed by a six hour flight to San Francisco followed by one hour flight to Burbank followed by a half our drive on a California Freeway to our was a day filled with moments I won't forget!

Tam and I spent the day chatting about our families, our struggles, our decisions and our dreams. We caught each other up on the little details in our lives and the big ones too. We bought coffee and read books and napped. We giggled (yes we still think we're 14 sometimes) and we just enjoyed the presence of each other's company.

As we left the airport and navigated our way through Downtown LA, things became more serious, we became more focused. It was important to pay attention, look, listen and communicate well. We did. As we arrived at our hotel, I was well, dumbfounded, I guess. I knew we were coming here, I'd seen the pics on the internet, I'd watched many episodes of The! The sight of the skyscrapers, the snowcapped mountains in the distance, the feel of the 80* sunshine on your skin. It was amazing.

Our hotel is beautiful. We're being treated like royalty. Valet parking, gorgeous rooms, a state of the art gym and fine restaurants. Speaking of restaurants. We ventured out last night and  found a "little" place called Border Grill. The head chef Mary Sue Milliken will appear on Bravo TV's "Top Chef" next week. I could write a whole food blog based on that experience alone. Let's just say the guac and the mojitos were to die for!

We walked to a roof top garden/park nearby after dinner. We laid in the lush thick grass, looking up at the glass and mirrored buildings around us, surrounded by blue skies. Breathtaking, seriously I didn't think it could be more beautiful. Until we went back to our room. I watched the sunset, reflect off all of those buildings and turn the loveliest shades of pinkish-purple, over the tops of those snowcapped mountains, amidst the twinkles and sparkles of the city lights. Incredible. Really, truly, incredible!

This is an experience that this stay-at-home-for-now mom wouldn't have had if it weren't for the generous loving spirit of her BFF. Tam's invitation opened my eyes to a window of the world I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise. I am so grateful for my friend.....and all these benefits. As I've said before, its taken me a LONG LONG time realize what true friendship looks like. I was blind, but now I see.

Tam left for work early this morning. I'm here in the hotel room, sipping room serviced StarBucks coffee and having my "quiet time" with God. I have the day ahead of me to do with as I please. I can read, go to the gym, go for a walk and do some shopping.

The realization came to me yesterday that Jesus is the ULTIMATE "friend with benefits". He alone has changed my life. He's changed my heart. I have such a different state of mind than a few years ago. A love, a peace, a joy and a thirst that I never thought possible. Forgiveness for people who have hurt me soooo deeply I thought I'd never stop bleeding. He has opened my eyes to a whole new world that I would never have seen. I was blind, but now......I see.

My walk with Jesus has been alot like this journey with Tam. There have been moments of absolute breathtaking beauty. There have been moments of astonishment. There have been moments where I needed to focus, listen, communicate. There have been tears and laughter and absolute AWE. I never thought I'd get here. This girl who was afraid to walk into a church, so broken, so hurt, so confused is now the girl telling other people how beautiful it can be.

If you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus, you're missing out on something absolutely amazing. A life adventure you don't want to miss. Are you blind? Do you want to see?

Dear Jesus~I'm not sure I can ever express how grateful I am. Thank you for changing my life, for showing me the beauty around me, and  for healing my very broken heart. I pray for those who don't know you . I pray that you will use me to speak truth to their lives and show them the way to you. Give me the courage and grace to share with them how you have changed me. In your name I pray~Amen

And so my friends, that was just Day One. I'm not sure what will happen today or if I'll even write about it. Maybe next week will be Tam's turn? Thanks for supporting and following me along this road. I love you all.



  1. Chel, am SO happy your trip to the West Coast is going so well and you are have a great time.
    Love Pep

  2. *giggle* you said 4:20 *giggle*

    So glad you guys are having so much fun. Can't imagine what it'll be like once you're dozing off and getting the giggles.

    <3 U both!