Friday, November 13, 2009

A Tribute: 2009 Thankful Challenge...

Well, as I said before, number one on my list this year is my friend, Ashley.
Amanda, Missy, Heidi, Me, and Dawn.
Second is friendship as a whole. I am blessed to have so many wonderful women in my life. Just here in Ohio, I have a wonderful women's Bible study group. We meet every Tuesday night together either here, at my house, or somewhere in the community, like The Mocha House or Boarders Book Store. Each one of these women are wonderful and special in their own way. Amanda and I attend church together and our babies were born a day a part from one another. If it weren't for her, we wouldn't have a play group or Bible study. She approached me about the two of us getting together when she found out she was going to get to stay at home. From there, she introduced me to Heidi. And Heidi introduced us to Missy, and we have grown from there. Missy is our funny lady. And she is also very protective and loyal to her friends. Heidi has become one of my best friends here. We have so much in common and we spend the most time together, now that Amanda is back at work and we are the only two stay at home moms. We just clicked. We're always on the same page and we're always in each other's corner cheering each other on. We usually check in every morning with a phone call to see how the night went with the babies and just encourage one other. Dawn and I used to work together, and she is one of the best teachers I have ever worked with. She is remarkable with children. My own included. They adore her. She is also a wonderful friend. We both love history and nostalgia. She has taken us all over the area and shown us the architecture, all the cultural areas and festivals, and where the steel mills began. We are right in the middle of where America's melting pot began. She has really given me an appreciation for where we live. And we've taken the kids on all kinds of fun trips together.

Ms. Anne
Ms. Anne is our surrogate grandmother here in Ohio. We met while she was walking her dog, Tippy one day. We got to talking, and then we started talking everyday, as she passed our house on their walks. And we just grew to be great friends. She came to Anna Grace's and Trey's birthday parties, we would trick or treat at her house. I invited her to our monthly luncheon with the Warren Women's Connection, and she would bake cookies for the kids and come by for a visit. We enjoy going by her house in our little wagon to see her and Mr. Dick. They have been the nicest neighbors. Trey and Anna Grace think it is a treat to get to go and see them. I can even get them to take a nap if they think they are going to get to go down and visit Ms. Anne. She is one of their favorite babysitters. It is quite comical that Trey has told us on more than one occasion that "we can go now" once Ms. Anne is there. It is a blessing to my heart that even though we are hundreds of miles away from our family, God still provides for our needs, even the needs of our little ones. They get plenty of hugs and kisses from their Ms. Dawn, Ms. Anne and Ms. Datha.

Me and Datha with Anna Grace

Datha was my first real friend here in Ohio. We met at my first job. I was teaching music, Spanish and multi-cultural diversity at Hope Children's Academy. She also worked there, in the toddler room of the daycare part of the facility. She is the most loving care giver I have ever come across. I have learned a lot from her in that regard. She has since gone back to school and finished her early childhood education degree and teaches kindergarten now. But, I have never seen anyone so patience and loving with little ones, ever. She has such a nurturing character. When I moved to Kidz by the Riverside to start The Early Learning Initiative program, which is a lot like head Start, I asked Datha to come with me to be my assistant. Together, we built a stellar program, but it almost did our friendship in. It's not always wise to work with friends. We both are very, very strong personalities. But, we realized in time that we needed a little space. It was for the best to go our separate ways professionally. We are both Christians and we consider ourselves more like sisters than friends. We've even talked to my women's Bibles study group about friendship, communication and forgiveness. We can laugh about it all now. How silly we were being and how we know we just have to agree to disagree on somethings. But, we aren't going to let it hurt our friendship, or sow seeds of bitterness between us. And we're lucky that we have both have the Lord in our lives to remind one or the both of us of that. We are still the best of friends. And she is a wonderful neighbor. (Did I forget to mention that? She is my next door neighbor.) I will miss her so much when we move back home. I love sitting outside with a cup of coffee as we watch our kids play together.

Amy and Emily and their grandmother

Amy and Emily are sisters that I met when we lived in Kansas City. I did a post on them and their friendship here. They are both remarkable women and I miss them so, so much. I used to walk with them in the evenings around our apartment complex. We would laugh and share and talk about everything. The very best memory I have about the both of them is that I had the chance to witness to them. We were sitting in their apartment on night, and they asked me what it meant to be "born again", and what was "a testimony." Have you ever had that opportunity? I have to say this was not my first, so I was prepared. It was very exciting. Needless to say, we were up half the night, and my husband came looking for me after a while, but it was all worth it. And I love how no matter where you go across the miles, once the Lord ties your friendship together, it can never be severed. We still keep in touch and when we talk, we pick up right where we left off.

Shelia, Me, and Marci
Shelia and Marci were my friends and roomies in college. We were apart of a tight knit group we refer to as "the family." We've been through it all together; graduation, marriage, babies, changes in jobs, promotions, moves, adoption, death of parents, -everything. These are the girls that took a week off of work and had their husbands watch their babies and drove 900 plus miles to be with me when I lost my mother and had Trey with in two weeks. You know some people will tell you that if you need anything I will drop everything and I will be there. And then there are friends like these two wonderful ladies God has blessed me with that are there. I can't even express to you what that meant to me. What that will always mean to me.

Shelia and Marci holding Trey

Me and Peige
My best friend Peige. I met Peige on June 1, 1986, right in front of my house, the day we were moving in. She was walking by and I walked up and introduced myself and asked her if she wanted to play. It was her birthday. We have been best friends ever since. She lived two blocks away and we grew up together in our small town, swimming, riding bikes, singing in our hair brushes, falling in love with our first boyfriends, going off to college, getting married, having babies. We also have had a friendship built on the foundation of the Lord. Peige was one of the first people I ever witnessed to. We have a very unique friendship. I don't know if you have anyone like this in your life, but, I know that I could never lose her friendship. We understand each other, and we accept each other. We have spent hours on the phone talking and doing Bible studies and praying together throughout the years, or singing praise songs together. And we don't feel inhibited or insecure about it. We can pray and praise together and there are no barriers. Praise God. I am so so blessed that He has placed so many wonderful friends in my life, in so many wonderful ways.
Dena and M.C. and Me last Christmas!
I also have two wonderful sisters that I was blessed to find by marriage. They couldn't be more dear to my heart if we were blood related. We have said it many times before, but we have dropped the whole in-law thang. I love these girls! They are silly~crazy fun to be with, at all times. I've got their back and I know they've gone mine. We will be true blue sis-tahs til the very end!

I am so Thankful for that! More Thankfulness to come....... Blessings to you all!


Susan said...

What a wonderful blog about your friendships. You are indeed blessed and I know YOU are a blessing to them.

Anonymous said...

omigoodness. . . this is soooo sweet, love. thank you so much for including me. you know i am JUST as thankful for you, daaarlin', as you are for me!