Those special people given as gifts in our lives!

As we each travel the roads of our lives there are people who enter and make a profound impact on our very soul. Maybe it is all this gray hair, maybe it is standing on the cusp of this new chapter in my life, but I’m struck by the realization of the gift of friendships I have been given.

Last night I had the great joy of spending time with three women and their husbands who have spoken great truths into my life as well as giving me the gift of their friendships. Edith, Lois and Chip have joined me at various points on the journey to Kazakhstan, but each have added significantly to the process. Lois and Richard stepped into my life over 10 years ago and as a struggling single mother they came along side me in more way than I could ever list. Their compassion, empathy, and kindness not only made a huge difference in the reality of life, but encouraged me in ways I can barely articulate.

Edith and Rip came into my life when Edith was assigned to be my mentor as part of the application process to join Interlink’s staff. That was almost 2 years ago. For over six months Edith and I met almost weekly for her to get to know me and process through the large application package with a million and one questions. Edith and Lois were there when I cried about giving all my stuff away, when I was overwhelmed with grief over giving my sweet dog K.C. away and so much more.

Chip is one of the teachers/facilitators in North Carolina that I meet this fall. Her knowledge and wisdom in so many areas added to what had been building in my life these pass 9 years. Like building blocks each building on the other, my heart was ready to receive the new insights and wisdom. In a lot of ways I was like a sponge in North Carolina. For the first time in ever so long I was just me and focused on redefining who I was and what these next steps were really all about.

Last night Edith and Rip hosted us at their beautiful home for dinner. It was a time to laugh, have good conversation, enjoy good food, and celebrate where I am because of their willingness to join me along the way. We ate and laughed to the point of tears sometimes, shared fond memories, and hopes for the future. What a special time I will treasure in my heart.

I spoke to both my children yesterday and loved the chance to enjoy hearing their thoughts and ideas about various topics. To listen not with my “mom” hat on thinking “what wisdom do I need to impart.” or “what do I need to do or fix” but just enjoy their point of view at the place in life were they are. To hear the enthusiasm, hope and expectation of life as well as their apprehension and hesitation. I love listening to my children share what is in their hearts. Again I will say what a precious gift they have been to me.

May each of you take the time to connect with those special people in life. Don’t let the business of the everyday life steal those moments. Most of you probably aren’t closing up your life preparing to move to a new country, but take the time dear friends to let those around you who have spoken into your lives how precious they are to you. None of us know the number of our days. With all the material things, electronics, and “modern” conveniences I think it is easy to forget how special how valuable relationships are. That personal interactions between people. Put down the iPod, turn off the TV, step away from the computer and spend some time really listening to those around you who you love and treasure.

Enjoy today my friend.. Enjoy one another. Thank you for the gifts of friendships I have been blessed with..

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