Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best when he said, "The only way to have a friend is to be one."

Isn't that the way it is, we all want to be understood, to be heard, to be loved and the best way is to jump in and make sure that you try to listen, and I mean the "proactive, get to the guts, don't interrupt all the time" kind of listening that takes patience and practice. This year I am trying to not talk as much, listen more and often just be present. I think we all feel that we need the right words all the time that willrock someone's world, or make it all better, when really most people want a friend, someone to show up, be present and listen. This past week we attended a celebration of life for a dear friend that passed away and also got sad, hard news that one of our family lost a little precious unborn baby. My heart was aching in both cases, and what I learned is there aren't "perfect" words that "change" everything; but prayer, listening and showing up DO make all the difference. I want to be the friend that shows up, (maybe shuts up) listens, and loves. It takes work and practice but I want to keep trying that's for sure!