a 1-up for life

Last year started an annual tradition for me. Some of my oldest dearest college chums and I traveled to Tennessee to spend Labor Day weekend together and just be girls.

Last year for me, the journey was half the fun. Not only did we refuse to drive a rented Yaris (because it didn’t have cruise control) from MI to TN, but we made a pact to stop at every single Chick-Fil-A we passed on our journey.  There was not one second that we weren’t spewing water as we LOL’d harder than we had laughed in a long time, catching each other up on our lives, asking parenting questions, then going deeper and really asking the “good” questions. Making plans, pacts, and as my friend called it “iron sharpening iron”.

This year I traveled a different route since I had moved from MI to GA this past summer. I braved public transit all by myself in the wee hours of the morning to get to the airport in time for my flight. I may or may not have gotten caught in the turnstyle doors exiting the train because I didn’t realize you also had to swipe your Breeze card to get OUT of the station, not just into it. I also may or may not have crawled underneath said closing doors while people pointed and laughed at this country mouse’s terrified innocence of how to travel public transportation. Next time, I’ll look waaaaay  cooler breezing THROUGH the bars instead of under them.

This year our destination was deep in the heart of Ohio. Our eyes were treated to the most stunning views of rolling hills, beautiful homesteads, and lush farmland while our ears gulped in the billowous sound of silence when not being treated to the gentle clip-clop clip-clop of an Amish buggy driving by.

We got caught  up on each other’s lives, cooked and ate fabulous recipes together, sunned by the pool, got dressed up for church and a meal “in the city”, we giggled like ninnies and cried like babies as we watched Anne of Green Gables on VHS no less!

We also took some time to sit and soak in the beautiful creation we were surrounded by and take a good, hard look at ourselves. How can we not call ourselves friends if we aren’t actively investing in each other, making sure we are staying on track, celebrating successes and challenging each other to continue to grow and thrive in our walks with the Lord?

 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 NIV

The girl, who had the audacity to suggest that one Dan C. Scott and I meet each other blindly during our junior year of college because we “would be perfect for each other”, took a chance and sent me 16 pages of Bible study notes on a passage that wouldn’t leave her alone last year. Together we’ve spelled out 44 pages worth of Bible study material we pray might make an impact on the lives of women someday. And we drove through the first half of the material with the four of us sitting around a table sweating in the heat and humidity, praying for God’s wisdom, often holding back or bursting into tears as we grappled with some tough passages and questions that we did and didn’t want to answer all at the same time.

 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 NIV

It’s hard to find and keep in touch with friends who have the same heart. It’s not easy to be different, to have priorities that don’t seem to fit into the world’s view of normal. But we know that as children of God, we are called to be on a different mission. And that as women we have a huge responsibility to safeguard what does or doesn’t come into our homes and influence our families.

This weekend was what my son would probably call a “1-up”. It gave me extra life. It reminded me that I’m not alone running this faith race, that I’m not the only girl in the world who desires to be a better wife, mom, sister, neighbor, friend. That I’m not there yet and never will be, but that with all that is in me I should be trying. And that when I get discouraged or off track, despite the distance I cherish a beloved circle of friends that I can share my soul with and they will redirect and recourage me.

2 thoughts on “a 1-up for life”

    1. Luanne-you have no idea how timely. I hit the “I’m lonely” phase just about the time this girls weekend hit. It gave me enough wind in my sails to come back to my new home and bravely continue to say “Hi, I’m new here. My name is Jenna. What’s your name?”

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