We have so much more than sweet memories from our years of youth ministry in Indiana...we have treasured friendships that have endured the passing of time and the many miles between us now. One of our dear friends, Nancy, came to visit us this week. Nancy and her family (hubby Ron, daughter Hollyn, and son Sam) were all a vital part of our weekly youth ministry program. They even invited Brad and I to stay with their kids while they were out of town several times...such big fun! When we we waiting for our own Sam to arrive, Nancy helped me "nest" and shared in our anticipation for our little bundle of joy! We have "lived life" with them...and we're better people because of it.
The past few years have brought many changes for both of our families. Hollyn and Sam are both college students now (eek! - Ron and Nanner are empty nesters) and we have added 3 more boys to our family. Nancy has a little more time and freedom these days...and she came to visit us! Our visit began when we met at the orchard on Sunday afternoon. It was time for the annual Johnson family pumpkin picking trip and the orchard happened to be on Nancy's route to our house. This plan worked out perfectly because we'd forgotten our stroller! What parent's of 4 children (2 of whom don't walk yet) forget an important tool like a stroller! :) agh! So, Nancy and Caleb become best buddies as she carried him all over the orchard.
She was able to stay until Tuesday afternoon...and it was fun-filled and fantastic! She and Sam had an extended "date" together - getting new training wheels for his bike, looking at every possible toy in Wal-Mart, having lunch at Sam's fav place - McD's, and even a little grocery shopping. She cooked a yumm-o dinner for us, brought a carload of treasures from Indiana for us, took the babies for a walk, she did the dishes repeatedly, she sat in on Brad's class, she read books and played 'pretend" with the big boys, she changed the diapers of the little ones, she gave me a knitting lesson, and she just loved on all of us. It was so fun and refreshing to have her around...a breath of fresh air. She encouraged us, affirmed us, loved us, and made us laugh. God is so good to show His love for us through the kind words and deeds of dear friends.
We were all a little sad when she left. As she pulled out of our driveway, Sam said, "I miss her already." I did, too. Thanks for the visit, Miss Nancy. When are you coming back?