Sunday, June 6, 2010

Busy; but Blessed

Some of you don't know much about my history with my new hometown - University Town. Immediately after graduating from college (a rival college in another city), I moved to University Town in 2000. I interned with a ministry on the college campus, lived with Amber, and had one of the most amazing years of my life. Somehow, that one year (from 2000-2001) was a time of friendships that have sustained the past ten years of moves, jobs, and cross country trips.

Even though I only lived in University town for a short time from 2000-2001, I fell in love with my church, the city, and my friends. Fell in love! Little did I know that God was weaving together our story, a story that would have unexpected twists and turns, but would always turn back to his merciful hand.

Since James grew up in University town, we have visited frequently over the past ten years - always hugging necks at church during the Christmas Eve service or occassionally posting a quick note on facebook to our old friends. One of the greatest blessings of the past year is how the Lord allowed us to resettle - to rebuild - in this precious hometown.

Many of our friends still live here, settling down in marriage, building families, and pursuing careers and ministry. In the few short months that we have been back in town, these friends have invited us over for dinner, set up playdates for our children, and in the most amazing way - have included us in the life of University Town as if we never left.

In many ways, the ugliness of the past year has turned into the most beautiful part of our story - a story of God's grace, his redemption, and friendships based completely around Christ.

This past weekend has been a celebration of many of these University town friendships. On Saturday morning, we went to a Thomas the Tank Engine Birthday party for our friends and their three-year-old son.

The cake, The homemade cake! I am in awe.


Austin loved playing with all of Grant's trains and cried when we had to leave.


Three old friends at the birthday - they have known each other FOREVER!
John, Gabe, and James


And those old friends' "young sons" eating pizza
John's Son, Gabe's Son, and our A.J.

After the birthday party, we went to the Q house (my in-laws) for swimming and bbq with some other dear friends. (We are taking care of the Q house while my in-laws are on vacation, and we are thrilled about access to their grill and pool! Thanks mom and dad Q!)

Austin, James, and Hank eating on the outside patio. James and Hank shared a wonderful adventure in an African hospital about 12 years ago, but that is another story for another day.


Heather is one of my closest friends in my new hometown, and she and I share a passion for education and child development! This picture was taken after a long day of playing with four boys in the pool!


Three of our boys playing together with James' old toys!


We are so blessed with these friendships that have already withstood time and distance and just picked up right where we left off. We are so richly blessed!

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