Tuesday, April 24, 2012

focused on Glory (forever friendships)

I met Jennifer (the other half of focused on Glory) in 1988, and I know God smiled when he made that introduction. She was part of the singles Sunday School class at Woodland Heights Baptist Church. I remember noticing her because, as I recently told her kids, she was just so nice. There was something pleasant and refreshing about this girl, and I thought it would be fun getting know her.

One day this nice girl announced that she needed help teaching a children's class on Sunday nights. I jumped. I had been looking for an opportunity to get involved at my new church, and getting to know Jennifer was just frosting.

We had so much fun teaching Mission Friends. It was a blast coming up with creative ideas to go with the lessons. A sisterhood was born, and I knew Jef would share my heart for all time. There have been more tears, hugs, heartache, and giggles than can be counted over the last 24 years.

When I moved to NW Arkansas we kept in touch with cards (some actually mailed to each other), letters, a few phone calls (long distance was expensive), and the occasional visit. It wasn't long before Jennifer moved to less than and hour from me, and the heavens rejoiced.

Soon it was time to part again. I returned to college to finish a long awaited goal. After graduation I moved out of state for almost 12 years. Jennifer and I went about 7 years without seeing each other, but that didn't matter. 

Now I'm back in AR and get to see Jef and her ridiculously awesome family about twice a year. Can you feel the grin on my face as I type? It's there!

Jennifer has grow into a whole group of people to love. She married Billy (who is the bomb-diggity as far as husbands and fathers go), and they have four cool kiddos. It goes without saying that they are not a perfect family, but they are pretty great. Billy could teach young husbands about leading and caring for a family, and Jennifer is his compliment in every way. They work hard at equipping their children with knowledge and faith in God. And they are true examples of falling on their faith when it's too hard to stand. God's glory is most definitely in the testimony of this family.

Last Thursday we all met in Conway, and may I just say how cool it was to go back to where it all started. We ate lunch at the Cross Creek Sandwich Shop on Oak Street. It's attached to Jennifer's Antiques and one of my recent favorites. Since JBPBE&G hadn't been there before, it was perfect. The food there is so tasty! 

After lunch I got to snap a few family pics outside the antique store. The girls and I went shopping, and Billy and Peter went back to the hotel to swim. I put in a request for time to stand still, but that didn't happen. I'm grateful for the few hours I had with my beautiful friend.

It looks as if Billy is looking at his sweet wife. I love his expression.

Do NOT miss Jenn's blog this week. She has a fantastic post from yesterday. It's a long but excellent read. You can see it HERE.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Awww...*teary smile*

I am so thankful for that long-ago meeting and all that has happened since. Your encouragement and friendship all these years has been such a blessing! Wish we'd had longer last week, but I'm thankful for the time we did have. And I love the pics!!! You did a wonderful job...can't wait to see the rest. :)

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