Today I was in the middle of telling a random story from my LU years (that's Liberty University, aka "The World's Most Exciting Christian University," according to our late Dr. Falwell...although, how exciting can it be now that we are no longer there?) when I got all misty-eyed and nostalgic for my college buds. I've maintained for the past 12 years that the greatest decision I ever made in this life I've been given--other than accepting Jesus--is trusting God & moving over 500 miles from Warner Robins, Georgia, to Lynchburg, Virginia. Because once He brought me there, He blessed me far beyond my imagination...with the greatest friends in the world, and eventually, with my husband...which then led to my daughters. All roads lead to and from Liberty...
(Me, Beckie, and Kelley--visiting our Alama Mater, Oct. '03)
I am so grateful for the friends I have...some of them, like Tori, Sarah, Lauren, Vicki, and Jennifer, are gals I've known most of my life...they are part of my roots and my heritage. Then there are the ladies here who make Pennington Gap truly my home...Shannon, Cindy, Joy, Kim, Susan, Lacey...I couldn't imagine life without y'all in my neighborhood!
And then there's my LU girls...more specifically, Kaley, Beckie, Sarah and Kelley. We are scattered across the globe...southest Virginia, upstate New York, Indiana, Maine, and Honduras. Thought miles separate, we remain close because of this wonderful invention called the internet, and more importantly, our bond in prayer. These are the girls I turn to in times of crisis...whenever I need intecessory prayer...whenever I have to whine about my latest situation (and they always know who that's about!)...in the moments when I'm completely broken and battered. They always seem to know just what to say--these are smart women, I tell ya. Their wisdom amazes me. And these are also the girls who keep me focused...encouraging in all things, permitting me to be real and not a plastic version of what I think I ought to be...and basically putting up with a lot of my crap, to put it delicately. I am amazed that God has blessed me with friends such as these...and I really don't deserve them. But I'll keep them just the same!
(October 2003--Our Reunion/Road Trip!)
So here's to you girls, whom I love dearly...Kaley Ehret, Beckie Farrant, Sarah Pomerleau, and Kelley Arevalo. This is your 5 seconds of Lulaville fame (for this post, at least!)...but you all deserve so much more than my simple shout-out. I was just thinking about you today and remembering all our fabulous times. Kaley..."Word!" Beckie...the chaperone for my 1st date with Scott...Sarah...my "comfortable" friend...and Kelley...well, for writing smiley faces on your booty with red ink and mooning us at Pizza Hut...and for a million more things. You girls freakin' ROCK. And, hey...Beck...this one's not about LOST! I love y'all!
(Here we are, 12 years later & miles from Liberty University, with 5 husbands and, at the time, 7 children between us. Nicholas is not pictured--but he was there and we love him, so I gotta include his name, at least! Since this picture was taken in April of '07, we've added 2 more children to the mix, with another due in August. Is that awesome or what?)