May 5, 2011

Forever Friends

So, did I mention that Echo is going to India??? I got news from her yesterday that a large donation was sent for her trip two days ago, and she has met her deadline for the halfway mark. She still needs $2,000.00 before sometime in July (details to follow in a later post), but the hurdle of half is met, AND furthermore, we know that God is on her side and will continue showing her his favor and grace for this trip.

As you must be able to imagine, I am beside myself at His swift response (at least for my prayers). I do not want to diminish the long and agonizing wait Echo has endured for this half of the money, but how much do you want to bet that Echo is not going to struggle quite as much in this last half of this portion of her race? He is so faithful.

Once again, if you want to help Echo go to India, you can click here,
and search by ID#2630486.

Now, I want to abruptly and sharply change topics. I want to talk about comfort!

Well, perhaps it's not a huge leap from honoring Echo to honoring some other friends. I have some really great friends, and being so far away from "home," I have been pining a bit for them today. Now, I'm going to mention some by name. These are a few of my most special friends.

If you're reading this and you're my friend and you're not on this list, please understand that I do not value you any more or less. You are also one of my many high-quality friends, and I am grateful for your love and the way you speak into my life and pray for me and read my blogs and everything else that you do for me.

It's just that I had these three special ladies strongly on my heart all day, and I need to let them know how much I love and adore them. They have especially stood out in my life as the epitome of God's nature as Comforter!!

Kittens: Forever Friends
First, Alana! You can read her blog here: Fragrant Devotion

I first met Alana in church. I was new...she had been there awhile. I saw her and thought, "I need to know her." She saw me, and she and another bosom friend invited me to join their women's group. I accepted the invitation, and it changed my life. What started out as a buoy in a raging sea eventually amounted to a full rescue at sea.

Alana is what she calls a "high-quality" friend. She is in my corner all the time, but she always tells me the truth. She loves me, and I love her, and that makes it all right for her to tell me the hard things. I trust that she gets me...she can read between the lines when my soul is gushing without thought for what God or anyone else might think.

She always knows just how to say what she has to say without cutting me too deeply, and it's okay with her if I don't always agree. The best part is, she doesn't know how truly great she is. I am graced with the most humble and gracious of friends in Alana.
Forever Friends
Next, there's Sarah. Sarah and I met in a different Bible study. One thing I love about Sarah is her laugh...especially when I'm the one who has elicited it. Her laugh is quick and comes with a grain of though she was just not expecting to find anything funny at the moment. I love that!!! I know that seems superficial, but it's not...I consider it a high honor to make her laugh, and I do it often.

We've had a long history of late-night talks...we rode to Bible study together a lot and sat for hours in her driveway talking deeply of life, love, and God. Even after that ended, we hung out late at night at Shari's weekly for months, leading right up to my move.

Even now, when I talk with her on the phone, if I close my eyes I can picture our booth (we nearly always seemed to be seated at the same booth). I can be transported  right back there with her. We've cried together, seen visions for each other, for sure laughed together, and definitely have prayed together.

She has a way of disagreeing with me that seems more like an invitation to agree...I love that the most about her. She always surprises me with the way she sees things...the way she hears God. And she has the most incredible visual imagination I've ever known to exist.

She's living in my old house now, and there is nothing that makes me happier than one of my favorite people living in one of my favorite houses, especially since she coveted the opportunity to live there just because I had lived there first...that is such a high honor!
Forever Friends
Third, there is Jodi. She is the friend I was talking about earlier...the one who formed the women's group I attended with Alana. Jodi is the best listener. It took me awhile to get used to being listened to so well. Sometimes it still catches me off guard.

I start thinking, surely she has gotten lost in all my ramblings by now, but then I'll take a breath and let her say something. And of course, I'm blown away by the depth of wisdom and insight that comes from her lips; I'm struck by how keenly she was listening to me.

I have quite possibly missed Jodi the most, since we had fewer opportunities to visit before I left Washington. She is an inspiration as a mother, enduring with great joy and patience (yes, I mean that, Jodi) some of the toughest struggles a mother can face. She is an inspiration as a wife and as a working woman. Most importantly she is an inspiration as a friend.

Jodi has always had the ability to call me higher...reaching out to the greatness that dwells within me and encouraging me to exceed even my own highest expectations.

Guys, I miss you so much, and I love you in a thousand different ways!! Thanks for being you!

I love you guys!

P.S. For photo credits, please click captions.
Some of them will truly add to your experience.


  1. Hi my dear friend!

    Thank you for your sweet words, and thanks too for the wonderful greeting I received today when I picked up the phone. I felt incredibly special hearing you say with such strong emotion, "I miss you so much!" Ditto times infinity. ;-)

    And just remember, you are Daddy's beautiful princess. And he is holding his arms out to you with a big smile and warm embrace to welcome you. And he'll kiss all your boo boos until they're all better. (Sappy enough for you?...)

    Insert big smile and lots of love,


  2. Having such wonderful friends is a treasure indeed. You are greatly blessed! Love, Mom