Gather your friends and weather the storms

My napkin lifted off my lap and the raindrops flew sideways stinging my face even though I was under cover.  Another Alberta thunderstorm interrupted an idyllic and relaxing supper outdoors on the covered deck.  We had watched it brewing all around us for a while and decided to take a chance on eating outside.  We were able to sit in safety watching a magnificent lightening show and listening to the thunder crack. There was no rain or wind to complicate life.

We thought we might ride out the storm as spectators, without having to make any changes in our behaviour or activities.  It was kind of exciting.  We had the pleasure of the company of a former colleague, now a friend.  The three of us were visiting and sharing a simple supper together.  It was an impromptu storm party complete with burgers and friendship, until the wind arrived.

The wind came up suddenly, as if a gigantic fan in the atmosphere had been switched to high in an instant.  The burger on my plate moved, and my salad turned into colourful pieces of edible confetti flying off my plate. There was little conversation when the wind arrived.  Each of us jumped to action, attempting to recapture our supper, corral our napkin, and get through the one door that stood between us and a calm, dry, environment.  We did what we needed to do.  We figured out plan B.  We carried on, and we were reminded that sometimes life feels like that night on the deck.
Pick your friends carefully.  Strong, faithful, friends are precious.
There are times when we watch the storms around us, thinking we are going to get off scot free, only to get hit by pelting rain and battered by the winds of circumstance.  When that happens and you need to run for cover, it is nice to have a friend alongside.  Cultivate relationships that make you stronger, the ones that prepare you for the storm and carry you through.  One day you will need help to get through the door to sanctuary and the next you will feel strong and able to hold the door for someone else.  Some days you will just want someone brave enough to sit on the porch with you while the storm rages and the confetti of your life creates a blizzard.

Find those friends and keep them.  Be that friend and don't give up.  Surround yourself with those who are prepared to face the storms with you and who welcome you into sharing their storms.  Living fully requires we be more than storm-watchers.  We need to be storm survivors, and sometimes we need to provide shelter to others in the midst of their storm.  If there are people in your life, who only fit one of those descriptions, move on.  Make it your quest to surround yourself with friends who are able and willing to live in all three realms.  Those are the strong, the faithful, and the precious - we all need storm-watchers, storm survivors, and storm shelters and we need to be those things for others.

If you are able, we welcome your support for 
as members of the extended Monsma clan and friends ride in the Alberta Ride to Conquer Cancer.


  1. When reading this blog, I thought what is happening with Joy, such a self centered blog upon friendship, and than came the clue: Doug's Storm! Lovely to give me such a twist! I wish all of you succes with the bike-ride. In Europe we have the same sort of anti-cancer-tour. Willemien

    1. Willemien, it was one of those serendipitous things. I had no idea I would end up on Doug's Storm. I just started and then near the end that puzzle piece fit nicely into place. I was as surprised as you!


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