i buckled in just moments before taking off as the passenger beside me flagged down the flight attendant to ask for….a bag. a barf bag. let me tell you. i am nothing if not a sympathy vomiter. i wanted to be all gracious and being a former rn forcryingoutloud you’d think i’d offer some words of comfort and mercy. but no. all i thought was dear jesus tell me this is not about to happen. so i slowly slid my suede booties over because who wants throw up on her suede booties. well not me sister. then i rallied and really did pray for her because that’s what anyone having just left a conference called HOPE SPOKEN would do right? good grief.
she wasn’t much for conversation anyways as my enthusiastic “hey how’s going?” wasn’t reciprocated. earplugs with loud rap music was her mode of dealing with her pending situation. so she began to unfold and open her bag, sorta in prep mode, and i realized this was just not the ending to my great weekend i was looking for. i know. call me grace.
once we reached our “cruising altitude” she folded that puppy up & slipped it into the pocket in front of her. small victory indeed. i’m certain she sensed my posture begin to relax.
i got a little more comfy & began to finish up melanie’s soon to be released, Nobody’s Cuter Than You. this couldn’t have been a more perfect way to bookend the weekend. ( did you see what i did there?) this charming memoir on friendship is delightful! i’m not necessarily a conference girl but i am all about friendship time kinda girl, especially with precious friends that live here, there & yonder. primarily yonder.
jeanne is one of those rare friends who the actual meeting live part isn’t necessary to feel connected. & kc is besties with emily but when i traveled to photograph their families, i fell in love with her as well! so the laughter we shared as roommates, along with some heart talks too, was truly life giving to me.
jeanne is generous & hilarious.
kc is warm & including.
that recipe would have filled me up in & of itself. but there’s more.
each of us can feel loved & valued in different ways. we can spend a lot of time talking about love languages ( the way in which you most feel loved–ie: physical touch, service, words of affirmation, quality time & gifts) & how we show love as well as how we most feel loved.
let me share some of the precious ways friends loved well this weekend.
~come sit with me. there’s room at my table.
~can i buy us both a bracelet to wear? you know, like a friendship bracelet? would that be okay?
~seeing you was the highlight of my weekend.
~i opened my friday & sunday up for you. i am available to take you anywhere & help you in anyway i can.
~oh hey paige, here’s a little welcome to texas gift for you. and that package ( so beautifully wrapped ) is for your birthday.
~and the time my sweet friend reached back and just laid her hand on mine during a sweet talk about africa.
~next time you’re in dallas, come stay with me. there’s always room at my table for you.
as i was settling in, seemingly all safe from the throwing up of my neighboring passenger, i began to choke up over those moments. each of them. and you wanna know something else? basically my primary love language is “gifts”. let me elaborate on that lest you think i need a blue box from tiffany’s to feel loved. i think there’s always been something about someone thinking of me and thinking what might i like…then going to the store or amazon and gifting me something. anything. a card. a note on my car. a candle named after my friend’s town. a chocolate bar wrapped with ribbon or a bag from her latest release. the actual “it” isn’t always the biggie as much as the process.
but the way the lord used precious friends, many whom i had never “met in person” before to show me love. to show me loving well. to show me HIS heart for me…well, they touch on all of them. a text with the words “seeing you made my weekend”. the intentional touch of my sweet friend. the friend who says, girl- this weekend, whatever you need i gotcha! physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time & gifts. maybe my love language is all of them!
as i thought over all those i felt the warm tears begin to fall. i smiled to myself & thanked jesus that a RADICAL talk by my friend jen hatmaker and a weekend full of friends & hugs & wanna take a picture together was worth every penny that i technically didn’t have any business spending on myself right now. every penny. priceless are those days.
you may or may not recognize some of these beauties…. the fabulous carissa, aka browneyedfox. jeanne oliver. wynne elder. sarah harmeyer, the founder of neighbors table. the fancy ashley.& jenny collier. each of these beautiful souls are actually responsible for one of the aforementioned comments. i debated mentioning that as i would never want to embarrass these ladies, but each of them has such a beautiful godly character that surely lifting the curtain for you to see a little more of their hearts is okay.
since the rodeo goat was in walking distance and since there was fabulous weather and since they served moontang ( think frozen orange & moonshine) and since we can all talk forever, dinner & then lunch the next day were heavenly with these ladies. shannan, meg & kimberlee you guys are the real deal. and meg, you’re bravery and transparency left an unforgettable impression on my heart. shannan, give robert a fist pump for me. does he do that? its probably an old lady thing. and kimberlee, thanks for including me too…maybe one of these days i’ll enjoy some of your legendary treats!!
romans 5. 1-5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, wehave peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
the weekend held hope-filled story after hope-filled story. stephanie holden’s letter to her 16 year old self had the entire room in what i’m sure was the teariest moments of the entire weekend. gosh. what a story of hope, love & loyalty.
meet my blog friend turned real life friend, peach…who i think honestly looks like part of the kennedy family. she’s delightful, funny, generous and absolutely gorgeous!! the fact that she eats fried chicken liberally and drinks sweet tea should make you as frustrated as it makes me. i’ll have a diet coke thank you very much. ( she knows I’m kidding. ish.) and because you’ll want to know, her cole-hans are from nordies. you’re welcome for that one too.
the last thing before i boarded the I’m-so-glad-she-didnt-puke-flight peach had four of her best friends meet us for prickly pear margaritas and chips & queso. because she’s good people. and we sat outside for 2 1/2 hours and i felt like i’d known all of them all along.
hope was spoken to me all weekend long. sometimes from a gorgeous green eyed brunette to an artsy pierced nose red-head. speakers, small group leaders, new friends and petite glossy lipped blondes. it was delightful. all of it. and the lord knew i needed each & every moment. for all that & more, i am so very very grateful.
while i was away my two graduates had dances to attend. emi had sadies….
& savannah had her senior formal…gosh it ’bout killed me to not be there with my camera!
i’ll share more about melanie’s book but for now, you may pre-order it here!