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Christmas Countdown 2021 Day 9 <3

This one tells the story of eight friends who came together many years ago when one of us had a husband who walked out and broke up a family. She reached out to her small group at women’s Bible Study on the counseling advice of one of our pastors who said she needed a group of friends to come around her. 

To be honest, while others in the group knew her well; I didn’t know her outside of that table we sat around on Wednesday nights and a friendship our kids had through the youth group that didn’t include me.

But I figured if she trusted me to be one of her people, then by golly, I would show up. 

I offered her a book by Stormie Omartian called “Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On” and asked if she wanted to read a chapter a week and meet for coffee on Tuesdays at Starbucks. 

She accepted and thus began a weekly time that eventually found her counseling me through some heartaches. I told the group if any could stop by at 4:30 on Tuesday, we would be at the table in the back and over time various ones showed up. 

We started calling ourselves the Mag 8…as in the Magnificent 8…and we got together for Christmas parties and birthday lunches and eventually drug our husbands into the mess. 

Grandchildren and retirement travel and some of us still working has cut into our time when we can meet, but it was a season that created a depth of friendship and trust where we still get a prayer request text for the hard stuff and pictures of a new grandchild and each one of us knows we have our backs covered in one another’s prayer closet. 

This ornament was a gift from the hostess of one of our Christmas gatherings. She had penned “Love is…” and left it for us to fill in with an answer for year 2007. 

We had stuff going on that year. Just like families have stuff every year probably.

I was caring for three elderly family members in various care facilities, Rachel was a newlywed, Sarah was a sophomore in college and John was a junior in high school. 

I was working two part time jobs and spread thin emotionally, spiritually and physically. 

And you may think I was depressed when I wrote that on the ornament, but part of me was laughing as I wrote the only phrase that came to mind and it was accompanied with the heavy guitar and vocals of Pat Benatar. I could see her spikey black hair and her heavy makeup and I laughed and I cried as I wrote in my answer and hung that puppy on our tree. 

My enneagram is a solid 4 and I am completely comfortable with the fact that life is chock full of an equal mix of comedy and drama. The craziest and hardest and most stressful of times have been the times I have seen God do what He does best…

  • Part seas
  • Move mountains
  • Offer comfort
  • Prune for abundance
  • Transform the ordinary into the extraordinary

We made it through 2007 and every year after that and when I hang that sweet sparkly blue ornament on the tree, I thank God for the fellowship of believers and the love of the Savior who has accompanied us every step. 

I hope you have a tribe of people. 

I hope they include both family and friends. 

But I hope most of all you understand you have a God who loves you so dearly and who fights for you faithfully every day….whether you know you need fighting for or not <3 

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