Thursday, October 20, 2011

Souvenirs From Paradise - Part 4 - Lisa Fernandez

Today, it's my turn to write about my friend Lisa Fernandez. As I mentioned before the Bahamas had a ton to choose from, but weeding out the junk and finding something within budget made this idea quite the adventure. Picking something out for Lisa wasn't necessarily difficult, but she was one of the last I bought for. My selections, within price range, were really narrowed down at this point. Lisa has become quite the girly girl lately and I figured I would buy her some sort of accessory because she is trying to gather a nice collection. I had no idea what style accessory Lisa would be interested in wearing, so I took an uncreative turn and purchased her the same item I purchased for Jody, just a different color bead. I figured, what worked for the accessory queen, would work for Lisa. I pray Lisa, nor Jody, didn't feel jipped that their souvenir was essentially the same thing. So... Lisa received a homemade necklace, strung with several layers of black beads. I have yet to see her wear it. YIKES! I hope that's not a sign that she doesn't like it :)

Dear Sweet Lisa,

Where do I begin? Just a funny reminder of how I recall our friendship starting out.... I had plans with Jody to go to Christiansburg, to shop at the Gap outlet. I remember Jody saying, "Hey, do you mind if Lisa Fernandez comes along?" I had no idea who you were and selfishly just wanted to go with Jody. It's so hard for me to "meet" new people. I get so comfortable with a few select friends and I am content. LOL! Needless to say, our friendship has flourished and I am soooooooo thankful for that. What in the world was I thinking? I should have known that a friend of Jody's would easily become a friend of mine. Don't take offense to this. In many ways, I am a huge introvert.

Okay, back to you... there are so many amazing qualities that you contain. All of which I admire to the fullest, some I hope to attain, and others I doubt I have the potential for :) What's so amazing about you is that you seem to be so well-rounded. I really value those types of people. You're not just known as Lisa the "host" or Lisa the "strict, but loving mother", or Lisa the wife that "goes the extra mile" for her husband", or LIsa, the friend that "esteems others as more valuable then yourself", or Lisa, the "follower of Christ", or Lisa, "the intelligent" or Lisa "the empowered", or Lisa "beautiful on the outside as well as on the inside", but you are all of those things and more. You do everything so well and seem to handle it all with every bit of joy that is commanded of us. I'm sure humbly you would say, "Please, that is not me." And start the horrible list of ways you fail, but I don't see that side of you.

You're this sweet, beautiful, intelligent, creative, loving and willing individual who truly does all things to the glory of God. It seems as if you never fail in this either.

I covet your ability to host an event with grace, love, and desire. I know the Lord asks us to "seek to show hospitality." You seem to have that command nailed. It's just truly no big deal to host an event at your home AND it's not always for family or close friends. Sometimes, it's truly for perfect strangers. Darren and I have noticed that you and Aaron do not know a stranger. IF you do, you make not only a conscious effort, but you also make an immediate effort to get to know that person. AGAIN... by inviting them to your home for dinner. What a true gift that is from the Lord. Thank you for being a wonderful example. This is one area I hope to grow... do I have the potential? Only God will reveal that to me :)

Another thing I love that you do is you search out ways to please your husband. You may bring him lunch or a smoothy to work, you wash your car weekly for HIM because you know he cares about a clean vehicle, and you create surprise dinner parties or game nights with his bestest friends, when you see he needs a break. You use the creative brain God gave you to spice up your marriage. It's so easy to live a selfish life. We are depraved and have tendencies to think only of ourselves and our needs, but not you. In addition, you don't hoard these great deeds, you share them with US, so we can be encouraged to take time to go the extra mile for our own husbands. How gracious of you.
The coolest thing about you that I have yet to see in an abundance of people is you esteem others as higher than yourself. How humble! I've seen you do this on a spiritual level, but you do it on all levels. I recall on my birthday you brought me a piece of cheesecake and some flowers at 10 pm, on a Wednesday night. I was telling you, "Gosh, I cannot believe I am eating this at 10 pm. I don't need these calories etc. etc. etc." I was talking about my weight and how my stomach could use some tightening. You started telling me I looked amazing. You said "I'm the one who needs to loose some weight in that area, not you." I said, "Lisa, give me a break you are skin and bones." You then lifted up your shirt and grabbed your "fat" and tried to make me feel better about myself. LOL! It didn't work because you are a skinny mini, but at least you tried.

Have you ever seen the "Little Miss" books? If not, you must check them out. I've been thinking about what character I would name you after and I think I would name you after "Little Miss Wise". I'm not sure I know a wiser female than you. You graduated from NC State with a 4.00. Who does that? That's remarkable. And for being so young, you are truly wise beyond your years in so many facets. I think Vivian has inherited that trait. Lucky her.
When you speak, I can see the wheels turning. You are careful and collected before saying what's on your mind, making sure not to hurt or offend anyone. You are slow to speak, and slow to anger. Just another great example in following the commands of our Lord.

Mothering your children is a beautiful thing to witness. You love your children whole heartedly. You are concerned for not only their safety, their health, and their hygiene, but you are also 100% focused on their soul. You teach your children about the Lord. You help them to learn scripture and see their failings as sin, not just "mistakes", and the evidence is plain as day. You help them to recognize situations that only could be recognized if a mommy pointed it out to them (ie. whining, eye contact, acknowledging an adult when spoken to, gratitude, etc). I've learned a ton from you and I am not afraid to admit it.
Finally, although you are serious (which I like because I am too) you also enjoy having FUN! You value family time and time with your girls, but you don't eliminate an evening out with some great friends or your hubby. I've seen you let loose at a Jazz Concert, pig out on a dessert, enjoy a glass of wine, and giggle/laugh your heart out. You enjoy the simplest things in life, but aren't opposed to trying something out of the ordinary. With that being said, I look forward to spending the entire day with you, on Saturday, while we watch our hubbies perform in the Tough Mudder.
It's amazing... although I have 5 really close friends, I benefit equally, but in different areas, from all of them. I love you and look forward to "growing old" with YOU :)

PS. I CANNOT FIND THE PICTURE OF YOU WEARING YOUR NECKLACE the day I gave it to you :( Take one for me so I can add that to this post.