Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Summer Recap: Tending my garden

I made a new friend in June on our mission trip to New York City.
She often refers to her friends as blooms in  her "friendship garden."
She recently put it this way:

"How beauty-full is the fragrance of the bouquet of friendship 
the Lord has given to us through the years! "

The Lord has just enriched my life as well with precious friends.
Like the lush variety of beautiful flowers found in a well designed
bouquet gathered from our garden of friendships.
Some wither and choke and we lose that friendship
because of the weeds, the cares of this world, that distract
us and cause us to not tend to that flower.
Others just keep coming back over and over
and delight us and brighten up our day whenever they blossom again!!
Some of the blooms the Lord surprised me with this summer:

 I didn't get to make as many trips away from home as 
I usually do during the summer months to visit my friends and family.
I did not get to make a trip home to Ohio, nor did I get the chance
to attend summer camp as a sponsor for my children either.
But as I looked back on that interesting turn of events,
I was reminded that this year, so many of my dear friends,
who live thousands of miles away,
came my way and made time in their travels to visit me!
God is always good and bountifully deals with us!!
My Mom (as pictured above) came to us this May for our first homeschool graduation!!

My dear missionary friend and her daughter traveled all the way from Thailand
and they stopped in for dinner with us and shared lovely treats
from that country!
What an absolute joy to get to share their victories and sorrows
from the last several years of their work on a very difficult mission field.

This friend from high school who recently moved home to Ohio from Alaska
was traveling through Texas to see her son!
We so enjoyed a girls night together swimming and roasting marshmallows
with our kids!!

In July, this sweet couple traveled from Michigan to spend a long weekend
with our family.  We have known them since
she was a teenager in our first youth group
in Michigan way back when we were first married.
So much fun taking them out for dinner on their wedding anniversary!!!

Finally, my very dear friend from South Carolina was
flying through Dallas on her way home from speaking at a conference
in California.  We've been friends for over 20 years and the Lord has
used her to richly bless my life through her amazing gift of encouragement!
We were able to sit for about an hour between her flights
to visit, and share, and pray together before she flew home.

What a gift to get to carve out time
 to tend my garden of friendships this summer.
Their sweet fragrance uplifts my spirits and encourages my heart!
They are all beautiful in the way that God has crafted their life stories,
and I'm blessed and enriched every day with how they embellish my life with their
beautiful blooms!

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