The journey began as a longing in our hearts.
A longing to be with the friends we loved deep in our hearts.
the friends who nourished our souls.
When our longing turned into a calling we booked our flights and began counting down the days until our longings would become real and our souls would be fed.
There would be many friends to connect with and not all would get the attention they so deserved but we would allow Providence to guide us as we spent our 10 days in a place that we would soon learn was a comfortable warm place, a place we could feel was home.
When we touched down we were in eager anticipation of seeing our very dear friends the Baxter's. The children did not know that we were coming. It was a surprise……a very loose surprise as it was so hard for momma Baxter to keep it to herself.
We were delayed one hour. There was a lightening storm and the tarmac was closed to any activity for safety. Us in the customs baggage claim…..the Baxter's on the other side of the wall waiting ever so patiently for who they thought would be Nanna!
When the time finally arrived we busted through those sliding doors……
It was a surprise to the 3rd borns' "bestie"! He had no idea and it was so unreal to his sweet big brown eyes. He took a double take at us standing before him and turned to momma Baxter and said "You tricked, me you tricked me" with glee and disbelief in his voice.
The air was light and crisp as I breathed it in. It was fresh when I stepped outside.
WE WERE HOME!
Providence didn't wait to reveal intentions. We spent the first evening with friends who "stopped" by and friends who we invited. Friends that had not been together in almost a year. Friends that were brought back together and friends that had never lost touch but tightened the bond.
Each day was full of Intention. Not one event, not one conversation, not one meeting was by chance. It was beautiful to see how it was orchestrated and played out. Interactions that could not have happened no matter how much planning went into making it happen.
But what was the most beautiful was the children……
3 boys and a precious girl!
Relationships that don't waiver over time and miles.
Connections that don't need words.
Hearts that melt in the presence of each other.
Every night my third born and his best buddy looked forward to their 10 minutes of whispering. My third born thirsted for it more than he thirsted for his momma's lap and the book we were enjoying together.
The night his best buddy had to sleep upstairs because there was an early baseball game there were long faces and nagging hearts. There seemed to be so much they needed to say to each other even though they had yet left each others sides.
The goodnight was sad and empty. Then all of the sudden as if they had just won the lottery (which in the hearts of 9 year olds they did) Big Baxter told them they could go down stairs and have 10 minutes of whispering. Faces lit up smiles erupted and the race was on to see who could make it to the bed faster. They lay there together rubbing each others backs talking (whispering) about things that lay deep in their hearts, things that are important to 9 year old boys who live miles apart and still love each other deeply.
And the girl…..
The precious sweet 8 year old girl.
She colored with the boys, she talked with the boys, she jumped on the trampoline with the boys and she made cotton candy with my second born.
As Providence unfolded these babes built friendships. A reciprocal, voluntary affair that no external force or fixed circumstance decreed that these children should enjoy and long for the company of each other. It was of relatively equal power and a power higher than them that they bask in the goodness of what authentic, real, rich friendships look like.
It was about engagement, being present and loving well.
A new commandment I give to you, that you Love one another; as I have loved you that you also love one another. John 13:34