savoring the year: the older-sister, tinkerbell voice {16/365}

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If you find a friend who's wiser than you are and a few steps ahead of you on the path, it's a great gift to learn from her. Send a text or make a call today, thanking that friend. And take a minute to thank God for the mentors and guides he has placed in your life. 

Ricardo and I did a brief stint in Washington state. We endured and enjoyed the rain and green trees and fourth of July fireworks under an umbrella. We had Googled local churches before we left and had a few names written down to check out but we never did.

Our first Sunday there, we headed to New Life, a church we had seen a little ways off on the way to my brother in law's karate class. We drove in to the parking lot that Sunday, greeted by volunteers directing us where to park, in my father in law's silver Mustang, toting a bite my shiny metal a** vinyl decal on the back window.

The ushers were sweet and informative and told us of an upcoming mixer of sorts for marriage small groups the next week. It was welcoming and sweet and homey, despite the large attendance numbers and multiple services and we went back the next week and on to the small group mixer. We ate yummy desserts and spoke with different couples who were leading; their dates and times and curriculum displayed next to them, along with a signup sheet with spots for up to five couples.

We met Duane and Robyn, who met on Sundays and were starting in the Grip of Grace by Max Lucado. The time was perfect and study appealing, so we wrote our names down next to Josh and Jenny, Justin and Brenda and another couple that could not commit. As we talked, he told us he was the children's pastor and had four children of his own. They were sweet and funny and full of life and entertainment, to say the least.

Our group dwindled down to Justin and Brenda, and Duane and Robyn and us, as far as regularity went after a while. Justin and Brenda had two young children who would play with Duane and Robyn's four, as we took turns meeting between each of their homes.

We were able to hear and see glimmers of parenting, a season we were on cusp of entering, though we had no idea at the time. We spoke of God and food and Justin and Duane made us laugh more than anyone I know during our short time, constantly keeping things real and genuine and humorous.

They demonstrated what it meant to love and serve God and how pass that legacy on to their children, along with an affinity for all things theater and Disney (speaking of, if you have any questions regarding Disneyland and your family, check out his wisdom and fun at theDisneylandDad.com)

Brenda allowed me to hang out with her two during the week when Ricardo was working, while she looked for job opportunities. We went on a few shopping adventures and took me to the east side of the state, where hardly any green or hills are found and even drove down from Washington to California when we moved back home, her two and half year old and nine month old in tow. Being a mom now, I realize the amount of love and crazy that it takes to embark on that type of adventure. And for that I am thankful.

She let me come over and let me in, as she drank coffee that she made in her Keurig, and talked about life and becoming a mom and having a traveling husband and her family dynamics and settling in to her new home and leading a bible study. She spoke of what God had done and was doing, as she navigated being newly unemployed after being laid off from her job.


It was in this brief snapshot of time, God allowed me to learn a few tips and stepping stones in to mamahood and what marriage looks like in that context, and blessed us with sweet friendship in a new place. 

And though I do not ever think one can know all things that are gleaned in time spent together, I am forever thankful for each piece. 

Here's to guidance and glimmers. 

____________________________________________________

This is part of a 365 day blogging series through Savor by Shauna Niequist. If you would like to blog along, whether daily or weekly, I would love to have you for the journey; be sure to link back to the post. And if you are not a blogger, you can join along, too. Just leave your response and answers in the comments.
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