Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Friend Karen

Today is the birthday of my friend Karen.  Sometimes when we are together, people ask if we are sisters, which I consider a grand compliment.

After we returned to the Northwest in 1995, I longed for a close friendship.  One Sunday morning, after a three-year wait, Karen and her family visited our church.  When I saw her, I knew instantly that the Lord had answered my prayer.

Karen and I have a lot in common: she's a writer, we both love photography, she's worked at a Christian camp, she was a missionary.  She is also a nurse and a gardener, two distinctions I do not share with her.  We like to go out to tea or to explore used book stores and knock around interesting Seattle neighborhoods.  She uses words economically -- she has a quick mind for taking a rambling phrase and exchanging it for the perfect succinct, colorful word.  And she's a wonderful listener.

I am impressed with Karen's ability to tackle projects.  Whether she's teaching a Spanish class for the homeschool co-op or participating in a fundraiser for church, chaperoning a youth group missions trip or coordinating the kitchen at a women's event, Karen is diligent and gracious.  She takes the scripture to heart and allows it to challenge -- and change -- her.  And when she prays, she prays God's Word.  She has a precious gift of getting to the heart of the matter, and she freely offers hugs and words of encouragement.  On more than one occasion she has prompted me to record my thoughts in a blog.  Thanks, Karen.

A few months ago, Woman's Day Magazine ran an essay contest with the theme, "How the public library can save you money."  Karen's submission was selected and her article, along with three others, was printed in the March 2010 issue.  You can see her article and a photo of her with her handsome son Jonathan here.

Today is Karen's birthday, but I am the lucky one.  I was given the gift of Karen!

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