I realize, at the end of the day, regardless of what the economy is doing, how my favorite sports team is doing, or what my bank account says, it's the people in my life that matter. And, I am SO thankful Jesus has given me the opportunity to do life with some pretty amazing people. Here are a few more of them...or, in most cases, their children. :)
You know how you meet people and you later can't remember a time not knowing them? And then you're surprised to actually find out have not, in fact, known each other as long as you once assumed? The instant friend-types. That is the Neeley's. And, more recently, the Hughes'.
Jill and Jonathan Neeley (Jill is in the white shirt, and Jonathan is little Nathan's arm-rest in the back) and I became friends my last year in Panama City. Jill helped me through the difficult transition to teaching Kindergarten, and saw me at melt-down state quite often at the beginning of our friendship. Their boys (Will and Nathan) were dedicated at church while I was visiting. How special to be there as they committed to raising these boys to know and love Jesus. Jill's brother Brad (navy suit coat) is from Southern Georgia, and knows some of my friends from Asbury. Weird, I know. Jill's mom Sue is just flat-out amazing. LOVE her. Heart of gold. Precious. Period. I love this family.
Another family that is very near and dear to me is the Childress family. Similar situation: I only taught with Betsy for one year (at the beginning of my time in PC) but we became fast friends. And, on this trip, we decided we are indeed twins. Separated at birth. (But she's the older twin. Just sayin'.) I just love them. They opened their home to me for my entire visit, a place where I could relax, reflect, laugh, learn, and "just be." (For the record, I do not have a picture of Betsy and Richard. Only of their cute children Drew and Katie.)
Katie and I spent an evening watching the Rockette Christmas show together. Girl after my own heart. And I'm pretty sure Drew crawled for the first time while I was there. And he looks amazing in his Jack-'o-Lantern shirt. Just sayin'.
I love these people. A lot. Much more than they may know.
And tomorrow, I hope to wrap up this update with what I learned while on a detour. More fun to come!!