I have returned from the top of a mountain.

Over the weekend I traveled 2 1/2 hours to Birmingham for two family reunions where no one shares my blood but 13,800 share my soul.  We feasted and feasted but mostly we feasted.

Miracles happened.  Five us were crammed in a single hotel room with 2 1/2 beds for two nights and not once did anyone have to wait for the bathroom or trip over the luggage, and did I mention this was five women and our room was not a suite???

{l-r Lisa Jo, me, Jessica, Ann, Kristen & Holley}


, a South African lilt that trills mystery and delight.  Though we had never met in person before, her embrace was familiar.  Her genuine concern for others and how her actions might affect them reminds me to do the same.

; I marvel at that, so often forgetting I have two ears and one mouth.  She’s a question asker, a thought provoker and her gentle spirit refreshes mine.  She leads by example and sacrifices self for the greater good.

I roll my eyes at the ; she is anything but!  Pen in her hand spills Jesus onto page and it makes me crave Him.  Endless blue eyes penetrate mine soul deep–I can hardly stand it.  She speaks salve into wounds and asks me to give something I’m not sure I can.  She makes me think I can.

lets me “in” this time.  We discover things we have in common and they bind me close to her–is that presumption on my behalf?  She tells me stories that make me laugh til I cry.  And her heart speaks the most beautiful language, , not words.

always makes me feel beautiful because she bothers to tell me what she’s thinking.  She’s honest, direct, industrious, thoughtful and generous.  And feisty and not Southern.  She feels so deeply it spills onto those around her and she’s real….

I’m grateful to the God who gifts me with unexpected friends, those with whom I share enough in common, and enough not, to be just right.


“Oh, the comfort, the inexpressible comfort,

of feeling safe with a person; having neither

to weigh thoughts nor measure words,

but to pour them all out just as they are,

chaff and grain together,

knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them,

keep what is worth keeping,

and then, with the breath of kindness,

blow the rest away.

~ Dinah Maria Mulock 

** I re-titled this post with a quote from Kristen’s post…too funny :).

Compassion Bloggers Reunion/Deeper Still conference, Part one of three, to be continued…

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