In about two weeks Steven and I will pack up a moving truck, with the help of our dear family, and we will move to NC. Woah. It feels weird even typing those words. I’ve been living in this weird of paradox of emotions the past week or so, feeling excited and expectant and also overwhelmed and immensely sad. It’s so strange to live in that place, but I’m beginning to learn that it’s good and helpful and healthy to feel all these things. To sit in the sadness for a little while, and let the tears fall. To plan and dream of what is to come in this new place we are moving to. I feel all things, and I love it and I hate it. It’s hard and it’s wonderful. It’s my own Vice Verses (This is a reference to a Switchfoot song.. if you do not know it, immediately stop reading and go listen. It will change your life.)
So I live in this place of sadness and joy, and I embrace it. Most of the time. The other times, I turn to my friends, family, and husband to talk me down from the emotional cliff. And that’s what this post is for. It’s for them. It will probably be pretty long, so be prepared. I’ll highlight their names so you can skip to the person you want to read about, I won’t be offended.
If you don’t have the privilege and pleasure of being friends with Leigh, I feel sorry for you. She is literally the most encouraging person I know. We have developed such a dear and special friendship, during a time when I had been feeling pretty lonely in the friend department. She speaks such wise and encouraging truth into my life, and when she does I try to open my heart up extra wide and soak it all up like a sponge. She has been an answer to prayer, and whenever we are together I spend 3/4 of the time laughing. I love laughter, so thus I love Leigh. She loves bunnies and really all animals and organic sustainable food and Jebus. Her heart is big, and she is one of the most authentic people I have ever met. Dear friend, I honor you here.
Phylicia is a writer and she blogs over at phyliciadelta.com. She is passionate and authentic and strong and (perhaps most importantly) hilarious. Phylicia is one of my favorite people in the world because she makes me laugh, we have a mutual obsession with coffee (sorry Phy, just calling it was it is), and because we are so different but love each other so truly. While we have many many things in common, we don’t always see eye to eye. And sometimes when that happens people get very uncivilized and REWD. But not Phylicia. We talk and disagree and are both passionate about our views, but in the end we are true blue friends. We’re like lawyers that argue in the court room but then go out to lunch afterwards… except we don’t really argue, but I’m assuming you get the picture I’m painting. Phylicia challenges me and grows me and makes me better. She is truly iron that sharpens iron. She is sweet and funny and loves the Lord with her whole heart. She is also currently growing a baby… because she’s hardcore like that. She also has a ballin husband named Josh, who is really good at Settlers of Catan. Dear friend, I honor you here.
Tiffany was one of my first friends that I made in my office. She has one of those amazing personalities where she just immediately makes you feel at ease. We have had many many lunches together and had many many laughs. She is literally one of the hardest working and strongest people I know. She is loyal to her core, and always thinks the best of everyone. We have had the best of times… and also the not so best of times. But she knows who I am, every part, the good and the bad, and loves me still. What more can I really ask for in a friend? She is such a special person, and I can’t wait to see the amazing things she accomplishes. Dear friend, I honor you here.
Theresa is literally one of the most genuine and sweet and loving people I know. She has been my boss for almost three years, but most importantly she has become my friend. She always has the best and most Godly advice, she is filled with infinite wisdom. She never tries to hide her mistakes, but instead uses them as a teaching tool to help me navigate my decisions. I am a better and more wise person because of her. I could never repay her for the way she has invested in me and loved me so so well. There aren’t really adequate words to describe the impact she has made in my life. She is an incredible wife, mother, boss and friend. I look at the way her husband Bill loves her and the way she loves him and it inspires me. I love her more than words, and I can’t talk about it any more because I will cry. Dearest friend, I honor you here.
Deanne Marie Housknecht
I saw a quote recently about sister in laws, how they are our family by chance but our friends by choice, and I feel like this couldn’t apply more perfectly in our relationship! Deanne is my seester, but she is also my friend. We laugh and shop and have serious talks. She is such an incredible and Godly woman, wise beyond her years. She recently had to go through a not so great season, and had to deal with some very serious and adult things and she was SO stinking wise and strong. I’m sure there were times where she felt defeated because she is a hooman, but she never let her emotions get the best of her. She is a woman of integrity and strength. She is also bad a#@ because she shoots a bow and arrow and is the only female on the club team at school. GIRL POWER. She has an amazing husband, who works so hard to provide for her. He supports her as she pursues her dreams of being a nurse, and he loves her well. Dearest sister and friend, I honor you here.
I met Christy in either 2011 or 2012… I’m beginning to reach an age where all the years blend together. We were in a life group together, and she quickly became one of my favorite people. We had the best talks, they were real and hilarious. Christy has one of those amazingly infections smiles, and a personality to match it. She has experienced deep pain and yet she loves so well. She has a heart for single moms, and babies (she is also growing a baby…all my friends are awesome) and for her husband Rich. She calls him Richy Baby and it makes me laugh every time. Hopefully Rich will still be my friend now that that is in writing. He is really great at making people laugh… however he is not good at Settlers of Catan. Dear friend, I honor you here.
I met Claire my freshman year at college, and then we became co-workers and then we became friends. Claire is the kind of woman I want to be when I grow up. I’m being very serious. She is kind and welcoming, and never says a bad word about anyone. She goes above and beyond the call of duty to make you feel like you matter to her. She is affirming and supportive, gorgeous and fun. I am so thankful that our friendship has grown and blossomed. We laugh together and have deep talks together. We share with one another transparently and honestly, always making our focus go back to Jesus. She inspires me and makes me want to be better. Her friendship and our friendship with her husband David, mean so much. Dear friend, I honor you here.
Brianna is one of the sweetest people I know. She has this incredible smile, the kind that just welcomes you into her life. She and her husband Bobby have a heart for the nations. They served as missionaries in Nepal, she works for World Help (which is a humanitarian organization) and they are currently in the waiting period for an international adoption from Ethiopia. Not only that, but she is also currently pregnant. That’s right, they are adopting and pregnant. THEY ARE HARDCORE. I have such incredible friends, that do things like love the unloved and grow humans inside them. Dear friend, I honor you here.
I have known Rachel for about 4 or 5 years. We met at a ladies bible study and she saw me in my most immature and silly… and yet she still wants to be my friend. Bless her. Rachel LOVES people, and she does that by sharing her health journey and encouraging them on their own. She is such a strong and hard working person. She is a wife, a mom, and a business owner. She is a professional encourager and inspiration. Rachel and her husband Mark are excellent at welcoming people into their lives. Every time we go to their awesome loft we feel right at home because they have created that environment. Their kids are fun and polite and kind. We played apples to apples with them last week, and it was definitely one of the funniest things ever. They are such a great family, and I’m so thankful and proud to be Rachel’s friend. Dear friend, I honor you here.
Lexi is literally the most encouraging, joyful, and authentic person I know. I’m not even exaggerating. She always has a smile on her face, and yet she’s also not afraid to talk about the hard stuff. That’s my favorite thing about her. She’s silly and fun always willing to try new things. She literally loves everyone, and I’m convinced she’s never met a stranger. She’s one of those people that you just want to be friends with forever because when you are with her life feels better. She’s thoughtful, loving and passionate. She has incredible vision, and trusts that God will open the doors she needs. She’s an amazing wife and mother. I love watching her and her husband together with their son Jax. I love that baby, he is the CUTEST. They are such great parents, and baby Jax will grow up knowing he is safe and loved. I’m so thankful for them. Dearest friend, I honor you here.
I know that everyone else has been a female… but I just can’t write a post honoring friends without including my best friend. I honestly can’t imagine anyone else that I would rather adventure with. He is strong and steady, calming the storms that so often happen in my heart. He is an excellent hugger and my voice of reason. He is funny and creative and a musical genius. He is literally the wisest person I know. He steadies me when I am anxious and fearful and he is teaching me to not take myself too seriously. He takes chances, and dreams HUGE dreams. He is my biggest encouragement and accountability partner. I am a different woman today because of this man, and I know I am better for it. I love you Steven Anthony, and I honor you here.
I’m sorry that this post is exceptionally long, but at the same time I’m not. Each of these people deserved to be honored. I’m so lucky to know them and so blessed to be their friend. I have known some incredible people here in Lynchburg, far too many for one post. I know this is just scraping the surface. But these people are so special. They are once in a life time kind of friends. I would like to pack them up and bring them with me, but since I can’t I will treasure them in my heart, and bribe them to come visit me with trips to Raleigh and swimming in our pool.