Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Treasure to Seek.

Hi there!  I'm Tara from between you & me.
Tracey is away on a wonderful family Disney Cruise this week, and she asked me to guest post for her.
I knew that I wanted to share with you the history of our friendship and pictures from a recent get away
that we all took together to celebrate her 40th birthday.

Our family relationships and our friendships are such gifts to us from God.
He created us for relationship..with him and with others.
It's so important to learn how to do them right.

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. 
Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.
If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal.
Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements.
Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.
But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change.
It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable."
— CS Lewis 
Tracey and I go all the way back to around nineteen ninety eight.
I'm only going to show you recent pictures because trust me...
you can't handle our hair from ninety eight.
We had moved to Wilmore, Kentucky so that my husband could get his master of divinity degree.
Tracey and her husband Tim were both getting their master of divinity degrees and their counseling degrees.
I was working full time at the seminary while my husband worked hard to graduate.
I was young and newly married and in need of some friends.
She was from Boston and I was from a rural town in North Georgia.
It was surely a match that could only be made in Heaven.

I've always had dear & true friends in each season of my life.
God has always provided exactly who I needed when I needed them.
He knew that I needed Tracey in that first year of Seminary.
Where I was weak, she seemed strong, and where I was strong, she seemed weak.
Our hearts connected and God began the sweetest journey of a friendship.
He allowed us to walk through the first years of marriage together~learning how to be married.
We walked through past hurts in friendships~teaching us how to do friendship in the most real way.
 Tracey & Tim graduated before we did, and they moved to Atlanta, Georgia, our home state.
When we gradated a year later and moved to Montgomery, Alabama, we finally reconnected.
We had our first son, Luke, and they came to visit us with their first child, also a son. 
The boys were only a few months apart.
We began the new journey of walking through being first time parents together.
We ended up connecting again in Atlanta when our boys were around eighteen months old.
A few years later, we moved to my hometown in North Georgia with our second child, Seth,
but around the same time, they left Atlanta to go back to Kentucky for Tim to work on his doctorate.
In that five and a half years that we lived in Georgia, they made another move back to Boston.
We were sure it just "wasn't in the cards" for us to do life together again.
To be honest, during that five year span, we really didn't keep in touch.
They were busy in ministry and began the process of adopting their daughter.
We were busy in ministry, enjoying living near my family and also in the process of adopting our daughter.
The next time we reconnected, they had moved from Boston to Orlando.
And, we found ourselves going to Orlando on a job interview for my husband.
It was so amazing to see our families together again.
They had two children and we had three.
We had both adopted our precious daughters that have become the sweetest of friends.
And, they were able to meet our middle son, Seth, for the first time.

We've spent the last two and half years doing life together again.
Ten years from the time we met, God ordained us to learn together and grow together again.
In a lot of ways we had to reacquaint ourselves.
A decade changed all of us.
We grew up.
Many days have been spent at the beach together.
More days have been spent in one or both of our homes.
...eating meals.
...talking the nitty gritty of our marriages.
...dreaming dreams for our homes.
...decorating and redecorating what we just decorated.
...listening to kids laugh and play.
..and if I'm honest, sometimes listening to those kids argue and cry and throw an occasional punch.

Next to marriage and children and family, friendship is one of God's greatest gifts to us.
If you give yourself away and dive in deep and get further than the surface, 
you can experience the power of what God intended for relationships to be.
It's not always easy.
Feelings get hurt.
Hard conversations sometimes have to be had.
Sometimes we expect too much.
Sometimes we give too little.
But, if you do the hard work and humble yourselves before one another and love deeply,
God uses those friendships to draw you closer to himself and to each other.
"What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They share it"
~CS Lewis
I hope you have dear friends in your life.
I hope you scratch way down deep, well below the surface, to seek the treasure of genuine friendship.
I pray you have the courage to give yourself away to those people in your life that are safe.
It's a truly vulnerable position.
It's sometimes scary.
You might get hurt.
But, how much better it is to take that risk over becoming unbreakable and impenetrable.


  1. What a beautiful tale of friendship. Obviously a gift from God. You've stirred up my heart this morning, Tara, and left me longing for more!

    Blessings to both of you!

  2. what a beautiful post and two beautiful couples! friendships like this are truly wonderful! hope you have a great trip!
    blessings, cat (from CIC)

  3. love hearing stories of longtime friends...after years go by and they find each other again and take up where they left off.
    So much history and simularities...beautiful Tara.
    Hope they are having fun on their vaca:)

  4. Tara, how blessed you all are to have each other in your lives! I love your writing; you are so gifted my friend.

  5. Tara...what a beautiful story of friendship! So happy that God brought you two back together to "do life" again!

  6. That's a great story...funny how God does things..

  7. This was beautiful and thank you for introducing me to your friends. Friendships ARE such a blessing. I agree with everything you said, they take work and you have to give and it's tough sometimes - but if there is always kindness and love sprinkled in there... the result will be priceless.
    Hugs, SJ

  8. That is so awesome! I love that story =)

  9. I always wondered what part of florida you live in. What a blessing your friendship is. I wish I could come see you both. and i'm so thankful that i'm not the only one with kids that can hit from time to time.

  10. Friendship is a beautiful gift. You are blessed to be reconnected. When I was having babies we had a similar friendship with my hubby's H.S friend's(best man in our wedding)family...we even moved across country together...yes, all of our belongings in the same moving truck together caravaning together from CA. to MO. We went to church together, we both homeschooled. But when our children reached pre-teens and we moved back to CA. we lost touch. They followed with a move back to CA. a year later, but didn't want to re-connect. It was a wonderful gift for my four children to grow up with their five children and I still hope we can re-connect one day. Or at least that our children will.

    I did not know your firstborn is a Luke. So is mine.

    Beautiful photos along the shores of friendship!

  11. LOVE this!! Girlfriends are the cat's pajamas.