I recently tagged along with my husband on a business trip so I could bop around some of my old stomping grounds and visit some dear friends.
Gravel roads crunched under my tires as I made my way to friends' houses nestled into farmland that's been in their families for generations.
Barn kittens circled about my feet at one house. A dog I've known since puppyhood greeted me enthusiastically at another.
I was blessed to spend time with a fairly new acquaintance-turned-friend and learn more about her tender heart for her family as we collaborated on her vision for her #biblequiltjournal.
When we're engaged in a hands-on creative process together, there's a vulnerability that opens us up and we share more deeply from our hearts. Stories of legacy and unexpected twists of family life pepper our discussions when we craft in community.
I'm thankful for these little nuggets of reflection the Lord keeps dropping upon me as I travel this journey with Him and the women He places in my path along the way.
What a treasure to have friends that you can text a day ahead of a roadtrip and reconnect in a heartbeat!
Whether it's staying up late or getting up early to go for a walk-and-talk, it's soul-filling to get caught up on the chapters that have been missed...and be able to move that bookmark of friendship forward a smidge further along!
I enjoyed seeing a sweet friend that mutually endured a very hot summer of pregnancy 17 years ago until our boys' were born just days apart. We reminisced about preschool playdates, VBS adventures, and boisterous 4th-of-July swim parties. In some ways it seems like just a blip of time, but our teen boys' deep voices are a vivid reminder of how far we've come.
My jaunt down #memorylane continued with a walk along a very familiar path in town with another friend who has been beside me for many miles of friendship. Our footsteps and conversation echoed so many previous heart-to-heart talks we've had, weaving our connections even tighter as we realize how closely we're still aligned despite the physical distance between us now.
As I wandered about the town landmarks that were important to my family when we lived here, I was struck by an interesting blend of familiar yet different. Some things seemed just the same with fond nostalgia bubbling up as I passed through these areas. In other ways I felt like a visitor, a bit out-of-step as I noted things that had changed and more faces I didn't recognize.
Wrapping up at a dinner with girlfriends, I absorbed the synergy of this little group that has shared so much life together. We bonded in a unique way by challenging ourselves to do a half-marathon several years ago. We laughed about our amateur training days and admitted we still carry some disbelief that we actually pulled it off! Our stories collided as we attempted to fill in many gaps we've missed. Eventually we pulled ourselves apart to go our separate ways, yet felt like we had so many stories still lingering within us to share.
I'm grateful for this spontaneous trip filled with such a bombardment to my senses and soul.
fields of wheat & old red barns
distinctive aroma of feed lots
sweet fragrance of wild honeysuckle
frolicking of bleating goats
scratchy warmth of eager puppy kisses
old bridges and train crossings that make us pause for a bit
squeals of delight from a 3-yr-old birthday girl
an ice-cold chai latte served up by a young lady who reminds me of a whole passel of kids raised in our church family
tears of grief & loss shared between friends
tight hugs that say what words cannot
a beautiful sunset over the open plains
a faithful chauffeur-husband who always gets me home safely.