Wednesday, September 30, 2009

On This Last Day of September

As I sit here on this last evening of September 2009 (with the windows CLOSED mind you since it's getting into the 40's here during the night!) in the midst of this crazy thing we call life--I failed to blog about two women in my life that have birthdays in September. They mean so much to me, I can not let this month come to an end without spending just a moment to reflect on these two women.

The first one---I can start this story out with 19 years ago--so I will. Once upon a time, 19 years ago, in the small town of Mascoutah, Illinois, I was eleven years old and 4'2" (yes-do the math-I haven't grown much since the 7th grade!) and I befriended this girl named Sami. Sami and I became close friends-because we were both little. Yes, that is how our friendship began, but it is a friendship that has grown and stayed close over the years. We only lived in the same town together for that one year of 7th grade--as at the end of it, my dad retired from the Air Force and we headed south to my parents roots of Savannah, Georgia. A year after we moved, Sami's family moved back to their original roots in Camden, Maine.

Sami and I have kept in touch over the years. It's the type of friendship you can even go a couple of months without talking on the phone and we pick up right where we left off-as if we never skipped a beat. During high school, one summer I went to Maine for a few weeks and the next summer, Sami came to Georgia. Over the years, we've been in each other's weddings and Sami has made the journey south just to jump into another type of transportation (either a charter bus or an airplane) to go on the wild adventures with me--that we call mission trips. All in all, my friendship with Sami has carried me through the ups and downs of life and there aren't words enough to tell her thank you.

Sami has a special place in my heart. I've seen her most recently this past April and fall more in love with this girl every time I see her. Sami turned 30 this past September 5th and I believe since she survived this monumental birthday--so will I. I've always liked the fact that she gets to go first. As we've seen each other through many other monumental birthdays from 12 to 30. She's a very loyal friend. One that loves me well. Thank you Sami for loving me. Sami starts a new chapter with this 30th birthday--one I am extremely excited about for her. Sami--you have great days ahead of you and I absolutely can not wait to see all that Jesus has for you. You are beautiful my friend.

1991, 7th grade: (Please excuse the braces and THE VERY LARGE BANGS!)
Left to Right, Sami, Me, Deborah

2007: (As you can tell--Sami had her growth spurt--I on the other hand am still waiting...)
On September 15th, my dear friend Haley turned 31. Haley is my friend that I attribute a lot to, whether she realizes it or not. You see, Haley I became friends on our first day of high school at Richmond Hill High School. We sat in the same home room and were assigned a locker together--all because her last name started with a "Sl" and mine with a "Sm". We were assigned that year, but chose over the entire course of high school to share lockers. And let me just tell you---I am who I am today because there is no doubt in my mind that this dear friend prayed for me everytime she went to our locker. Haley is a believer--and was in high school--something I was not. It was not until my 5th year of college that I completely surrendered my life to the Lord--but I know it is in a direct result of the prayers sewn by this fierce prayer warrior during my high school days.

After high school Haley went to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia--a place that has become her home for the past 12 years. I had the priviledge of standing by her side as she became a wife to Shane in the Bahamas on New Years Eve almost 9 years ago. Seven years later, she then stood by my side and prayed fervently for me right before I walked down the aisle to become a wife.

I don't know if I've ever let her know how grateful I am for her, so I want to do so now. Haley-thank you for loving me even when I was unlovable. Thank you for loving me as you watched me throw my life and my heart away to many many things. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for being my friend even when I was not following the same Man that you were. THANK YOU FOR PRAYING ME INTO THE KINGDOM. Even now, thank you for still speaking Truth into me. Thank you for setting for me an incredible example of what it means to be a godly wife and a godly mother.



As I was looking for a picture to close out this post to these two special women in my life, I found this one....somehow of just the three of us, which is a perfect picture of how these women have carried me through life:
There aren't words big enough to tell you both thank you for the impact you have made in and on my life. I love you...and Happy Belated Birthday to the both of you!

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