Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oldest Best Friend Reunion...

Twenty years ago, my family moved to Atlanta where my dad was becoming the pastor of a new church.  As a young, 10 year old, I was nervous and my little tummy seemed to constantly be full of jittery butterflies.  I remember at our "meet and greet" at church, a sweet lady came through the line with her daughter, Katie.  They were so welcoming and talked about how they wanted to plan a slumber party for me to come and meet a few new friends.  I was of course a little scared to spend the night away with new friends...and I'm sure it took a few weeks of begging before I finally accepted the invitation.  I had no idea at that little slumber party I would meet three of my life-long best friends.  Starting from the left...Betsy "Bets", Emily, "Em" and Katie have grown to become three of my dearest...as Anne of Green Gables would say "bosom friends." =)

We had many slumber parties....played on church league teams (thank goodness for Bets and her amazing athletic abilities!)...countless mission trips, summer camps, retreats and adventures together.  Over the years, the one thing that has remained constant in our relationship is the foundation that our friendship is rooted in Christ.  We had the opportunity to be in a small discipleship group together from 8th grade through 12th grade.  The most formative years of a young teenage girl.....and we shared that journey together.  Weeks and weeks of praying together, holding each other accountable to scripture memory and learning from our wise mentor Keri.  I am forever grateful for the hours that sweet Keri prepared her lesson each week and invested in each of us.  Whew!  All those years when we were just a bit distracted by boys and petty things.......

I pray that my sweet Bella will be blessed with a Godly group of girlfriends who will love her unconditionally, hold her accountable to the high standard that Christ calls us to....and friends who will rejoice with her on her wedding day....and cry with her through the hardest of struggles.  These dear women of faith are some of my strongest prayer warriors.....it just takes one quick text or an email and we know that we are on our knees praying for each other.  At some point during our weekend together, we were once again reminded we are each on a journey "home"...this world is not our home and is not promised to be easy or perfect by any means.  We have each been abundantly blessed...but yet each of us are enduring various struggles.  Praise the Lord that we serve a sovereign God who orchestrates the events in our lives....we know we can trust Him every step of the way!  This weekend blessed my heart and encouraged my soul!  I love these dear friends...their husbands and precious babies too!

Betsy with her two twins Hannah and Eli, Emily with Abby Jane and her twins Blythe and Joy, Katie with Carlton and Clara...and me with Isabella and Jackson

the two sets of twins relaxing on the dock...

my little handsome enjoying all the extra attention and entertainment

love, love, love my little guy!

daddies helping the girls feed the fish

Blythe and Joy sharing fish food with Bella...

Bella LOVED swinging...and giggling the entire time!

Katie's sweet Mamma cuddling with Jackson...

Bella Boo and Blythey Boo hit it off from the start =)

a totally non-posed picture...how precious!

a fun night of swimming and grilling out!

sweet friends...

all the kiddos except for baby Jackson!

Em and I spent many a day by the pool together.....now our girls enjoy doing the same =)

After a lovely breakfast with our mentor, Keri, we ventured out to the splash park!

Bella loved every minute!

After returning home......we all enjoyed a nice, long, Sunday afternoon nap =)

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