Monday, November 5


If the Lord's the Lord of them...remember that song? Ridiculous, tho it may be, it STILL makes me cry. Especially when I think about the friends in my life that have either left this leg of their journey for heaven, or those who have, for whatever reason, been removed from my life. I feel incredibly grateful to have had friends in my life - they have my MY journey a richer, more amazing experience.

Remember a few posts back I was telling you about my artist friend Deb who passed away in October? Well, yesterday, November 4th, was her birthday. It was a tough was especially difficult because that's where she would have been...singing and dancing her heart out to the Lord. Instead, she's singing and dancing her heart out in heaven. I'm jealous. And sad. I MISS HER SO. Deb was such a unique combination of giftings...I know I will NEVER replace her. Not that I will try. But artists, unique lot that they are...are a bit of a rarity here in Podunk, USA.

Then there is my friend Mary Ann. She's a pastor's wife. I know, I know. You must be thinking, "What IS IT with this chick and pastor's wives?" Well, I don't know. Perhaps I feel theirs is such a unique place in life they NEED a friend who can help them "keep it real?" Perhaps I can, in some ways, "Feel their pain" (as the infamous Bill Clinton says). Deb was a pastor AND a pastor's wife. Mary Ann is a pastor's wife. Truly theirs is a difficult calling...I digress.

Mary Ann moved away about 3 years know the expression "Opposites attract"? Well, she and I were that formula...IN SPADES. I mean, the more we got to know each other, the more different we discovered we were...but there was one great Unifier in our relationship...Jesus. HE is what we've had in common. And because of Him, we managed our differences with grace (sometimes) and much love (always). Mary Ann an d I were friends in photography and scrapbooking. Here are a few layouts of the two of us "back in the day"...

One of the things we used to LOVE to do is go hiking (Camera in hand, of course). Here we are at Giant City State Park.

Here we are hiking (AGAIN) at another state park: Garden of the Gods in Southern Illinois.

And finally one of us in her dining room...her husband (and my dear friend) was ALWAYS being asked to take pictures of the two of us...not by ME of course...but now I'm glad she always insisted!

And then there is my friend Debbie...cohort in crime, mess making, and running amuck. Debbie and I have ALWAYS been more like sisters than friends...there was just something there that really "connected" when we first met...she's a riot...and alot like me. (Unlike me and Mary Ann...we were polar opposites..."She said ToMAto and I said TOmAHto" but rather than "call the whole thing off" we kind of decided God may have put us together for a reason...and if He did, then we'd better be sure to learn the lessons He intended for us to learn. She became a bit more spontaneous...I became a bit more scheduled.) Anyhoo, for Debbie and's a friendship that allows us to finish each other's sentences. We "get" one another. It's truly a miracle...

I like to think myself a "low maintenance" friend...and Debbie always seems to know what/when I need someone around and when I don't. I am grateful for that wisdom, because I can be very TESTY when my "alone time" is intruded upon. She always knows what's a "biggie" in my head and what really doesn't matter.

Here's a photo of us at my Seminary Graduation when I received my Masters Degree:

In the "New Friends" category, both my husband and I have met two of the dearest, most beautiful people we've ever known.... They live in B-E-A-UTIFUL Antigua, West Indies. It is simply one of THE most gorgeous places we have ever had the privilege of visiting.

This is the view from our resort your hearts out!

This is us on the wall of the fort at English Harbor.

Anyhoo, I'm not sure if it's the "Antiguan Way" or if Ali & Darren are just the most amazing, hospitable people ever created...but they invited us to their island...and then gave us several "tours of the locals" around the island. Antigua is known for it's 365 beaches...YES, that is one for every day of the year. Can you IMAGINE? While we are watching the last of the
warm weather months fade away, Antigua remains a temperate 80 degrees. It's just so lovely you cannot fathom it.

2 Views of the Beach at Jolly Harbor

Anyway, I just wanted to say how GRATEFUL I am for my friends...both past and present. I am reminded of the scripture in Ecclesiastes:

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"

Amen and amen!

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