Thanksgiving 9

I shared how thankful I am for the Wise Older Women in my life a few days ago.  Now, I would like to share how thankful I am for the women my age who have encouraged me, listened to me, and been there alongside me in so many ways.

Elizabeth Groves:  I would say that, consistently, you have been my kindred spirit most of my life.  I love you more than I can say.  You’re honest, open, ridiculous, beautiful, loving, generous, supportive and pretty much everything a kindred spirit should be.  I’m thankful for the many years we’ve had to sit and talk.  I’m thankful for birthday adventures.  I’m looking forward to your years as a mother!  I love you.  These words really fail to express how thankful I am for you.  It’s wonderful to have someone I don’t have to explain everything to, but can just be.

Emily Day:  It is probably rare that you could live across the street from your sister and be as happy as we are.  I find your godly life inspiring.  Your consistent and wise mothering is a huge encouragement to me and, to be honest, I’m always touched at how much you let me in your life and include me in Bruce’s.  From nights keeping Dad awake when we were kids, to living so close, I’ve been blessed by you!

Joy Vincent:  I’m so thankful for you, Joy.  You are diligent, wise, funny, and a good listener.  I enjoy watching your gentle, careful focus with the girls.  You selflessly give yourself to them and your sacrifice is noticed and encouraging.  Thank you for being a supportive sister and letting me be a part of your life and the girls!  I love you!

Ruth Vincent:  I think you are sometimes the easiest person in the world to talk to.  I’ve known you for so long and you still love me and I still love you – that has to count for something, right?  I enjoy our weekly skype time, love your love of all things geeky, love your kids who are sooo cute, and miss you so much!  (Did I mention how much I miss you?  I miss you!)

Michelle Smith:  There are not many people outside my family who I’ve known as long as you…and now you’re in my family! Yes!  I have always found you, at any age, to be a very serious and wise woman, gifted in the art of decorating and cooking of wonderful food.  I love your love of beautiful things.  I love your heart for the Lord.  I love your love of British things!  Thank you for being my friend for so many years!

Rachel Cole:  You were my little sisters friend, then my employee, and now you’re my friend.  I love you so much.  You are creative and you share that creativity!  I find it so refreshing to spend time with you.  You’re calm, gentle, and you know how to look beyond what something is to what it could be.  You’re generous with your time and always welcoming!  I look forward to many more years together decorating, shopping, and eating many lunches!

Elayne Garrick:  You have been so incredibly encouraging to me!  First, just being a consistent, loving mother who takes her role very seriously is a blessing.  Second, that despite all that busyness you still take time to invite me over and give me a few hours of your time floors me.  Third, you listen and act on what you hear to encourage and remember people.  I’m so thankful for you!  It’s been a delight to get to know you better!

Leslie Stice:  You are one of those people I always wish I had more time to spend with.  On the surface you’re so funny!  When we have time to seriously sit and chat, I find that you’re wise, humble, and concerned about the things of the Lord.  Which really means that I love spending time with you either way.  Thank you for your faithfulness to HBC over the years.  I love you lots!

Jordan Underwood:  Oh my goodness, you make me laugh!  I love you so much.  We are far too dangerous together!  I’m so happy we were given the chance to be friends!  You’re beautiful, creative, such a good cook, sweet, and super silly!  I’m excited about the possible projects we might tackle in the future.  I love you!

Sharon Stephens:  I love you so much, Sharon.  You have blessed me in so many ways.  I know that working around your husband’s schedule has been challenging.  I know that having three kids is crazy.  But you are held by the Lord and He is faithful.  Thank you for checking in on me, making time for me, wanting me around.  I miss you when you’re gone and love every minute of craziness we get to spend together.

Faith Brown:  Faithie!  Faithie.  How I love you.  Yes, you were the little girl who taught me that I would have no problem spanking my own children – but that was because I loved you so much and really wanted to spank you. 🙂  You were one of the first people with health issues who I ever really reached out to, the first time I was motivated to move beyond my fear because of love.  You amaze me to this day.  I’m very thankful for you!

Stephanie Florentino:  Between our love of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and writing, how can we not be friends??  You’re musical talent is a gift which you use to bless me and everyone at church.  I’m so glad we’ve gotten to know one another better over the last few years.  I can’t wait to see where you’re writing will take you!  Thank you for your hospitality and your commiseration over all things fantastical!

Rachel, Arianna, and Naomi Atterholt:  You three girls have really been a joy to me over the last several months.  If nothing ever comes of it, I’m thankful my writing gave us an opportunity to get to know each other.  All three of you are growing from students to friends!  I’m so humbled by the trust you have shown in me with your stories.  Love you so much!

Bethany Hiller:   Our friendship is probably unexpected if you look at us from the outside, but I’m very thankful for it.  You have challenged me to apply things I knew in my heart to other people.  You have made me laugh, cry, and pray.  I love you so much and I’m so thankful for you!!!

Amy Sexton:  We’ve been friends for so long, Amy, and it’s been a blessing to watch the Lord bring you along in your faith, bless you with a husband, and now an adorable daughter.  Your friendship has touched me so many times, humbled me, and been a lot of fun.  I love you very much!


Honorable Mentions:  Courtney Blankenstein, Brooke Pilley, Bekah Laine, Cate Vernor, Hannah Pavlu, Anita Guffey, Catherine Baines, Heidy Basilio, Hannah Cole, Raelea Hiller, Amanda Sexton, Mindy Warren and Rachel Wade.  You have each encouraged me in your own special little ways.  You are each amazing women and I’m thankful to walk through this world with you!

Courtney, Brooke, Bekah, Cate and Hannah Pavlu – you will always be like extra sisters to me.

Anita and Catherine – I couldn’t be more thankful you moved down from Maine!

Heidy – you are just so sweet and beautiful!

Hannah – it’s always a joy to snicker about Twilight with you.

Raelea – your creativity is impressive to behold and you are a joy to be around.

Amanda – I miss you to this day, especially your hugs, and I’m really thankful for Facebook so I can keep up with you.

Mindy – your faithfulness to the Lord and creativity are so precious to me.

Rachel – you are an impressive Mom and a godly woman.  I have no higher praise.


I love you all!