This past 4th of July weekend we spent staying at our former Pastor's house and with his family. Now you might not think that staying in a house with 11 people sounds like fun, but you would be mistaken! It was crowded and busy and funny and loud and exciting all the time. My boys went crazy riding bikes, playing outside, using their imaginations, and the whole time I am thinking to myself that this is what family feels like. My Man and I got to listen in on some philosophical discussions that would make your head spin, but what an honor it was to be able to participate and ask questions!
You may be wondering how this all ties into today's theme of loving your friends, but bear with me. I didn't start to understand REAL love until a few years ago. Most of my life I believed that love was that fluttery feeling you got when a certain boy looked at you in a special way. In the first few years of my marriage I learned that it wasn't the case and that fluttery feeling dies quickly. I am grateful that God helped me learn to love my Man in a new way. In the past few years, however, everything changed as my Man's graduation looms on the horizon. We have begun to look at everything in a new, and ironically more accurate way, as if everything is temporary and that nothing lasts forever.
We have begun to not only love our friends and family, but to APPRECIATE them also. I think there is something very biblical about appreciating, and respecting the people we are surrounded by. The love we once had felt as a couple was shallow, although strong, so the roots of it withered fast. The love that is now manifested is deep and reaches to our core, winding through our souls to ultimately change who we are. Praise God that we have the ability to adapt and learn to be new people through our experiences!
Saying goodbye on Sunday after our traditional Taco lunch was sad. Enjoying our Texas family's company, hearing about the news both good and bad, and experiencing their lives right along with them was yet again only temporary. As the Man and I often say, we have no idea where God will take us, but that is not to say that we don't WISH we could be in one place or another. We are so blessed that he has placed two locations in our hearts that easily feel like home. It wasn't a surprise when tears flowed a bit as we were driving away.
Do you have a love like that, or a story that you would like to share in upcoming Fortification Fridays? Please contact me via email!