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the kind that lasts a lifetime

The older I get and the longer I journey in this life, the more I am beginning to understand something.

Deep, meaningful, unconditional friendships are a gift! 

It’s certainly not some new revelation to me.  I have always valued friendships and the amazing people God has put in our lives.  Anthony and I have been exceedingly blessed.  We have both had the amazing opportunity to travel and see many, many places around the world.  Since being married we have lived on three continents and more houses than I can even remember.  As I reflect on the last fifteen years together, one of the greatest things that stands out are the people.  The incredible people who have entered our lives.

Many of those stayed in our lives for a season.  But others will last a lifetime.  And for that I am so absolutely thankful.

Pics all from the last few days.

When we moved away from Colorado last summer we left some pretty awesome people behind. It was hard. If there is one thing that I absolutely hate, it is saying goodbye…and we have done it a lot.  I don’t do goodbyes very well. I remember being a kid and spending wonderful times with my extended family over the summer. When the time came to say goodbye, it just about ripped my heart out. I cried all the way home.

Today I am still the same.  Goodbyes make me cry.  I dread them.

I cannot wait for heaven.  Never having to say goodbye to the ones I love will be so fantastic.

So when we left Colorado, dear friends told us, “We’ll see you next summer.”

Staying true to their word, they came to visit.  They made the long trek across the country to come and hug us in person. 

And it was wonderful!

What a blessing for our family to be able to spend time with kindred hearts.

A gift from the Father, that’s for sure.

We had the best time. We visited historical sites, sweated it out on some hot days, swam in the pool, went to the beach, ate out, and spent hours and hours sharing hearts and just catching up.

You know what I love the most about good friends? Years can go by–but when we’re together, it’s as if we were never apart.

I love how God does that.

Friendships definitely look a little different when you have a large family.  When Anthony and I had two kids, we always got invited out.  We had dinner at various homes at least a couple of times a week.  But as we began to grow in size, that changed a little, as we knew it would.  Some are just not comfortable having a bunch of little kids running around their homes.  We understand that, and it’s perfectly okay.

But then there are the others.  Those who love us and care about us…no matter how many kids we have, no matter how wild and crazy things are.  They open their hearts and their homes and couldn’t care less if a plate accidentally gets knocked off the table or a drink gets spilled on the rug.

I am so thankful for these families.  The ones who travel long distances just to come and love on all of us.  The ones who cannot wait to wrap their arms around my children’s necks and make them feel special.

They love like Jesus loves.

Friendships are such a beautiful gift, aren’t they?  They are not governed by time, nor distance, nor anything else.  They’re just there for you–anytime you need them.

The timing of our friends’ visit could not have been better.  They loved us, they served us, and they blessed us abundantly, simply by being who they are.

Yes, I do believe….

…that the Father cares so deeply for us, His glorious creation, that He hand-picks for us those who will run this race with us–holding up our arms when the battles rage, speaking words of encouragement when we feel weary, laughing with us when we laugh, and always being willing to lend a shoulder to cry on.

These are the friendships that last a lifetime.

So thankful for the many people around the world we have the privilege of calling…friends.

For a lifetime.