I love how we met. Of all the God ordained friendships in my life, having you and your husband reach out to my husband and I asking if we would be okay with you joining our small group was one of the most unusual and complicated to orchestrate. Of course we would want you in our group. That part is not unusual. We met some of our dearest friends hosting that small group so many years ago. The special part was that you were not sure if we would be comfortable since you had just bought your first home from us. My first thought was if you are comfortable, I am since you are living in the house now... just hoped that the roof wouldn't suddenly start leaking.
Funny enough that same small group had sat in that living room, the one that was once ours but was now yours and prayed for the right buyer to come along and make an offer. You did and we accepted. And then you joined that small group, meeting in our new house just a half mile away. I love how God took care of both our families through that exchange and then brought us together to become friends.
Our small group needed you. I needed you. Because you showed me what it really means to be in community, to do this life thing together. With your simple but amazing strawberry salad to the texts checking in on me, from loving my kids to asking how I am really doing, you came alongside me and taught me how to really connect. I know you credit your Mennonite upbringing for how you are so good at being in community, in sharing life with those around you but I think part of that is just in your DNA.
You care about people deeply. Not just your friends and family but everyone you come in contact with. And you are committed to the people in your life. You are not a friend in name only. You are there when it matters. You have a knack for getting real without getting dramatic or being invasive. When you know there is a need, even sometimes before the other person (me) does you step in the gap either for them or with them. And you do all this with a sense of humor that keeps me laughing. You recognize that life can be dark and hard but you also find the fun and the funny amidst it all. I still miss meeting up at Claim Jumpers and laughing all evening.
So many fun memories I share with you... prenatal water aerobics, line dancing, hanging out in one of our homes while we shooed our kids upstairs so we could really talk... finding sports bars in rural Wisconsin, antiques shopping, our exciting at finding wifi...
You show up to play, to listen, to support, to love even after a busy day at work, even if it means leaving our husbands in charge while we head out for the night, even when it means driving two plus ours to meet me in the middle of nowhere for a girls weekend. You show up. You build community. You love your neighbor. You show me Jesus.
I am so grateful for your friendship. Even after all these years and being so far and now less far apart.
I love you!