Monday, January 9, 2012


And the year begins!

Here it is the 9th of January and I already feel a little behind. But because that's a common stance for me, I guess it works.

I did get to enjoy breakfast with a lifetime friend, Debbie Brown (Asheville, NC) on Saturday. She and her family were vacationing in Orlando so we met half-way at Cracker Barrel. Such a special treat.

Debbie and I served together as young (I mean really young) pastor's wives in Asheville. She and Mike were the senior pastors; Frank headed evangelism; I did the music; Wade and Brenda were the youth pastors; Bill and Edith covered finances.

Oh, what a team we were!

All in our late twenties/early thirties. Except Bill and Edith who brought wisdom and balance to our lives. (I'll never forget the day I accidentally knocked the front bumper off the church van while driving it. Frank took the bumper into Bill's office. Laid it on his desk. Opened his check book and sighed, "How much is this gonna cost me?!")

For nine years we all worked side by side.

It felt so odd to see the daughters we'd held as newborns now sitting at the breakfast table Saturday all grown up; starting families of their own. Of course, Debbie and I haven't aged a day. And we told one another that, repeatedly!

So much water under the bridge. So many lives impacted. So many memories made.

Two years ago when Bill and Edith's son (Andy) died unexpectedly, there was never a question of IF Frank and I would go. The discussion centered only around how quickly we could make the trip.

When Lindsey was undecided about college six years ago, she came to FL and attended SEU with Joy until she could settle on a direction. Lindsey was the only "friend" in Joy's wedding.

Wade and Frank have stayed in close contact even though we left Asheville almost twenty years ago. Too many youth camps. Too many hospital visits. Too many hilarious stories - which all translate to blackmail material.

I try to tell our young ministry students the importance of maintaining friendships; not burning bridges; keeping communication going. Some get it; others do not.

Me? I think it's incredibly satisfying to pick up the phone and start talking with someone you haven't heard from in over a year and have that feeling like you've just talked yesterday! Huge Sigh.

That's how it felt with Debbie on Saturday. Just like the years that have flown by were nothing.

Can you imagine what Heaven will be? I'll be busy the first thousand years just "meeting and greeting!"

I came home and sent a card I'd been meaning to send for quite some time. Maintaining friendships takes effort - sometimes a lot of it. But oh, the rewards! Oh, the rewards!!


  1. Oh, I love my "lifer" friends! A couple of them I met when I was 5 years old and a half century later (more or less), we're still solid friends. Some live nearby...some across the country. I, too, love picking up the phone and calling them and, yes, it's like there's no miles or years between us! Late summer/early fall I'll be doing a road trip with one of them! What fun that will be! Lots of laughter (probably the kind where you can't breathe or open your eyes), probably a few tears...most of all a friendship that has stood the test of time will continue to be cemented! These friends are incredible blessings!

  2. I have an eighty seven year old aunt who still is in touch with friends from kindergarten, from her first job, from her first apartment as a married lady, etc. When she and my uncle celebrated their 55th anniversary they threw themselves a party at a rented venue. She started telling the stories of their individual lives and of their life together, and as she did she would introduce entire tables of friends from the various stages in her life. There was not a dry eye in the place as her story touched the hearts of every single person in that room.

    You strike me as the type of person for whom relationships are taken seriously, with gratitude and an open and giving heart. Your relationship with Christ is most telling about the heart you so generously share. May you continue to be a voice for love--for His love--for many years to come.