Advent Devotions 2022

Sweet Friendships

Posted by Cori Brantley on


My favorite thing? How do I pick? There are too many! Hugs, time with family, my favorite food, my favorite song, my favorite Christmas tradition, hot coffee, warm blankets, laughing until my stomach hurts, sunsets, watching a seed turn into a zinnia, butterflies, chickens, long talks with close friends... Really, how do I choose just one?

Well, today I am going to choose rainbows. I love rainbows. Big ones, small ones, double ones, bright ones, faint ones. I love all of them. They are so beautiful to me and remind me of many things; hope, beauty after a storm, protection, promises, diversity, love, and friendship.

Before Chris and I moved into our new home a few years ago, we lived in a neighborhood in Lebanon for close to 17 years. In that neighborhood we gained many friends, but I gained a particularly special friend named Betsy. Betsy and I grew close and to this day, I consider her one of my dearest friends. We both had daughters in 2004 and we spent a lot of time together - supporting each other, letting our kids play, having coffee, and getting to know each other. We have laughed together, cried together, celebrated life together, and mourned losses together. Betsy and I are equal parts the same and different, but one of the many things we have in common is that we love rainbows. We get excited when we see them.  I’m not sure how it started or who started it, but we began calling each other whenever a rainbow popped up in the neighborhood sky. If I missed a rainbow and my husband saw it, he would come inside and say “You better call Betsy, there is a rainbow in the sky.” I couldn’t see Betsy’s front porch from my porch, but knowing that she was standing on her porch, same as me, admiring the rainbow’s beauty just made the rainbow sighting even better.

Both of our families have since moved from that neighborhood, but our tradition has remained. Every now and then, a text will pop on my phone and there it is - a picture of a rainbow that Betsy has spotted. And I do the same. I have even been known to pull over in my car and snap a picture of a rainbow I see, just so I can send it to Betsy. And there we are - no longer in the same neighborhood, but still able to view rainbows together.

I am thankful that the rainbow is a symbol of God’s protection and a covenant between Him and every living creature. I am also thankful for the way it reminds me of friends who always remain and can be counted on in every phase of life.

Thank you, God, for sweet friendships that remain constant in our lives. Thank you for the connection, comfort and encouragement they provide. Help us to remember the importance of friendships and to always work to nurture and protect them, just as you nurture and protect us. Amen

Cranberry Relish
Cori Brantley

1 c. cranberries, ground 
½ of an orange, peel and all, ground
1 c. sugar

Mix these together and let stand until sugar fully dissolves.

1 small box lemon gelatin dissolved in 1 c.up boiling water
½ c. chopped pecans
1 small can crushed pineapple, drained well

Stir this into cranberry mixture. Place in a 19x13 pan and refrigerate at least 3 hours or until congealed.


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