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Susan Wanderer has worked with families in kids ministry for 20 years, with the last ten years serving as Kids Minister at Mount Ararat Church in Stafford. Susan and her husband Ed reside in Fredericksburg and have three amazing kids who joined their family in 2011 and who fill their days with adventure. Come join the conversation over at www.susanwanderer.com 

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My Stomping Grounds

friends

I am human. So are you.

Similar and yet different.

We will agree on some issues while fully disagree on others.

Things I love about you:
Your jokes are funny.
Your storytelling is epic.
Your life is inspiring.
Your words spur me on to be a better Mama, Wife, Friend and Employee.
Your cooking creates a relationship-nurturing dining experience.
Your friendship brings fresh life to weary parts of my soul.

When did we forget these qualities about each other?

These qualities create and inspire relationships. They are life-giving. They are important. And relationships remind us we are better together.

I have never 100% agreed with my friends. Or family. Or co-workers. Or husband.

This can’t be a shock to anyone. When we examine our relationships we have to see that there are moments where people don’t land on the same sheet of music. There are moments where the dance of relationships is steady and beautiful and in step with one another. Then, the beat changes and the awkwardness arrives.

My first big disagreement I remember was in First Grade with my friend Sarah. We had matching Baby-Beth dolls. We could not agree on how to do beauty shop on our beloved dolls hair. She had a strategy called “The Formula” and I was more of a “let-it-flow-wild-and-free” type kid. Which explains my disorganization skills as an adult. “The Formula” was this complicated system of wash, condition, add mousse. It sounded too far fetched for my seven-year-old, curly-headed, non-organized personality to embrace. I didn’t even take that good care of my own hair. Why in the living world would I invest such time, care and energy on Baby-Beth? I understand now that Baby-Beth’s hair would have been less of a hot-mess had I given into Sarah’s formula.

Somehow, even though Sarah and I disagreed on how to be a fabulous stylist to our dolls, I still loved riding bikes with her after school to the 7-11 for a Slurpee, roller-skating through the neighborhood while tackling the legend-of-all-hills (and spraining my ankle) and enjoying summer afternoons playing in the creek behind our neighbor’s house.

I am aware that Baby-Beth’s hair is a distant problem than what adults disagree on in today’s modern culture.

However, I think the mantra is the same: We can disagree and still love each other.

Living in Northern Virginia, near the capital of our country, we enjoy a beautifully diverse area. On a daily basis, we rub elbows with people from every nation on our globe, as well as Republicans, Democrats, southerners, northerners, athletes, couch potatoes, gay, straight, married people, singles, tourists, bloggers, social-media lovers, government employees, homeless, suburb-dwellers, city-slickers and our military members.

With that large array of backgrounds, how in the world do we think we will agree on every single issue?

We won’t.

When exactly did we start believing the lie that we have to 100% agree on all-things in order to love each other well?

When we want to change someone’s mind on an issue, why do we think that anger, wrath and nastiness will win their heart?

We need more people in the modern day to stand up and say “I will not stop showing love to someone because they have differing opinions, viewpoints or lifestyles”.

Social media has given us the ability to publically shame and humiliate someone simply because we stand on two different beliefs.

If we want our kids to love and live well, then they need to watch us love and live well, despite our differences.

Friends, Love never fails.
“If we speak with human eloquence... but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.” (1 Corinthians 13:1)

We can do this, friends. We can be more than a creaky rusty gate. We can love others while we disagree.

We can remember that:
Your jokes are funny.
Your storytelling is epic.
Your life is inspiring.
Your words spur me on to be a better Mama, Wife, Friend and Employee.
Your cooking creates a relationship-nurturing dining experience.
Your friendship brings fresh life to weary parts of my soul.

Because love never gives up.

Go love well today, friends.

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Pouches' Community Corner

Pouches is ready to kayak on the beautiful Rappahannock River. She’s also ready to learn more about how she can protect the river’s health using the Friends of the Rappahannock new River Report Card, sponsored by a surprise grant from the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region (CFRRR).

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