Kristen Kill, sweet baby Harris and I had a great weekend together in California at the Renew My Heart conference.
Early this morning, exhausted from another weekend with hundreds of sweet women, I sipped my tea slowly and breathed in rest, while relaxing alone for a few minutes. Reflecting on how much the regularity of gathering with my friends to remember our ideals together, I realized how, by God's grace, without meaning to, I had built accountability into my own life.
Gathering with sweet friends for many years in a row, working together to reach out to other moms, becoming friends through the misadventures of many conferences in many hotels with thousands of women, had knit our hearts together.
Most of us have lived in friendship through all sorts of seasons including cancer for one, heart break in our children's lives, miscarriages, marriages, joys of new babies, and the sweet, deep fellowship that comes from sharing deep places in our hearts together.
I need my girlfriends. I need my sweet daughters. There is a strength, a fresh love, a communion and closeness that comes from sharing favorite lipstick, admiring a cute pair of boots, to praying deep prayers and talking of lessons learned from the sweet practice of spending time with our Lord.
My friends breathe oxygen into the life of the ideals I cherish. When I am weary, they make me want to be faithful, they care about my heart. They give me lots of giggles, pleasures and a feeling that I am not alone.
This year, we chose a sweet and charming French cafe where we all ate delectable real Quiche Lorraine--(my favorite) and a fresh salad, 3 gigantic gorgeous deserts shared with multiple forks and strong coffees. Eating and drinking and resting in the comfort that comes from friends who have invested for years, gave freedom to sharing ways we needed help, places we were struggling, sadnesses we shared and the joy of celebrating our great life events of our year since we last gathered together.
Meeting Kristen's precious baby and kissing his sweet head over and over again through our days gave me great pleasure. He is the squishiest baby in the world. :)
None of us knew each other until we gathered for a mom heart conference. But the event provided a place where we could know one another, grow together over the years and share what is now the sweet fellowship of marking many years of serving sweet women side by side.
Create some purpose for you and your friends, gather regularly, keep traditions and end up with a legacy of sweet girlfriends that you will have to enrich your life through all your years.
Every year, friends who have gathered to serve at Mom Heart conferences to serve together, celebrate by eating some place wonderful together and having a walk at Laguna Beach.
As it happens, each of us have someone "Different" in our lives or are "different" ourselves. Even in that, I enjoyed and shared in the stories so many sweet ones who identified with our new book. I so appreciate your many notes, emails and facebook messages about how you are enjoying Nathan's and my book. I see, once again that when we bear each other's burdens, we give each other the grace to keep walking in faith.
Hope you enjoy the podcast we recorded of some of our stories on stage at the hotel this weekend.
Be sure to buy your copy of "Different" and join Kristen and me in our podcast as we discuss it.