Friendship Through The Ages

Editor’s Note: We truly are surrounded by a host of women who are living lives of faith. What’s even more amazing is that we are surrounded by Christ himself who is cheering us on to victory. Our stories are as different as the characters in the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews 11, yet each one of us is running a race that requires faith. This semester women have read Hebrews 12:1-2 and shared what God placed on their heart. We are cheering you on in your journey of faith in Christ!

It’s been said that you can’t pick your family, but you can pick your friends. Well, we disagree. We think if you are really blessed, God picks your friends.

We knew each other since junior high school, but only as acquaintances. It was actually in Bible Class in our sophomore year in high school that we became friends. Coincidence? We don’t think so. God knew what and who we each needed in our lives then and in the future. As it turned out, Teresa married Naomi’s cousin, Gary at the end of her junior year of high school, making them cousins. The friend bond was stronger than the family bond and the two couples became friends.  

The friendship started off slowly. We played softball together. Then it progressed to a bowling league and volleyball. We played board games and dominoes. We told each other everything, knowing the secrets were safe. We also knew that the truth would be given, even if the answers were something we weren’t looking forward to hearing. Eventually, the four of us were always together. The four became eight when Gary and Teresa had two daughters and Bobby and Naomi had two sons. The children almost felt as if they had a second set of parents. They even call us that.

Raising children is one of the most, if not the most important, most difficult and most rewarding jobs a person could ever have. It is also a job that is made a little easier if you have someone that can encourage you, pray with you, and comfort you along the way. Psalm 133:1b, “The sweetness of a friend comes from earnest counsel.” We prayed many, many hours for each other over the raising of our children.

We were together for celebrations of life, baby’s first steps, Christmases, graduations, marriages of our children and grandbabies being born. We were there with each other when all of our parents died, and most recently when sweet Gary passed away one year ago.  Proverbs 17:17, “A friend loves at all times.” But it was never just us. We never forget Who orchestrated this relationship. Christ is always and will forever be the center of our friendship! Ecc. 4:12, “And if a man prevails against him that is alone, two shall withstand him and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

We would like to thank Naomi Jones & Teresa Harriss for writing this blog!

 

Favorite Summer Memories

As I’m on my way home from Catalyst Camp with our 11-year-old, I spent a lot of time comparing to and reflecting on my own days at summer church camp, which were very similar. It’s easy to say that hands down, those are my favorite summer memories. Bus rides with all of my friends, mountain rain, hikes, worship that gave me my first encounters with the Holy Spirit, late nights laughing in bunk beds, dunking each other in freezing cold rivers, camp fires, and carpet ball on the front porch of the chow hall before and after dinner. If you grew up going to El Porvenir as well, I’m speaking a love language to you right now, right? 😂

I’m so thankful for Harvest Christian Fellowship. We have made relationship bridges between all 3 campuses and friends that have turned to family. I’m especially thankful that our kids have a place to grow up like I did, and memories at camp that they will carry with them for their entire lives.

We would like to thank Jennifer Westbrook for writing this post!


 

Some of my favorite memories from my childhood summers are of my mom and us kids loading up in the car with my Grammy, aunt and cousins to drive down old Route 66. We’d drive from New Mexico to Cordell, Oklahoma to visit my great aunt Mary who was in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s. Even though she had Alzheimer’s,  she always remembered every word to hundreds of hymns. She would walk around singing them all the time.  Now, I realize how important the music is that I listen to because at some point it may be the only thing I remember!  I also realized early on from those trips that I love elderly people, which is a big part of why I enjoy my job today. One year on our trip, our car broke down somewhere in Oklahoma and a lady in a tiny pick up truck stopped to help us and give us a ride to town. She was vague about who she was and where she was from.  My family believes she was an angel sent to help us from God.  These are a few summer childhood memories I’ll never forget!

We would like to thank Jill Moudy for writing this post!


 

When I was very young, I used to go spend about a week each summer with my dad‘s parents just north of Uvalde, Texas. My grandfather had cattle and he depended on windmills to pump water to the surface for them to drink. Windmills have sucker rod. That’s what we called the pipe that pumps the water to the surface. And sucker rod was always coming apart or having other problems.

I remember going with my grandfather to check on the water, thinking that we’d only be gone for “just a little bit”. Inevitably we’d be gone for hours and hours, at least it seemed that way to me. I thought it was boring and I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to spend their day pulling sucker rod. I mean, who thinks this is fun?! Evidently, he wanted his cattle to live!

My grandfather is gone now, and those times I spent with him are treasured memories. I miss him and I wish I could ride around the ranch with him one more time. But I still don’t miss pulling sucker rod.

We would like to thank Jodi LaFrance for writing this post!