and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel." Proverbs 27:9
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
In April 2008, two friends and I had a wonderful reunion. It had been many years since we three amigas had been together. Becoming friends at Bible Memory Camp, we grew to love each other and have an absolute blast when we were together. People couldn't help but laugh as they saw us together. Now, whether it was with us, at us, or because of us, I don't know, but laughter was always present.
One summer, Christa and I traveled all summer with Bible Memory as camp counselors/staff. Wow! Six states were graced with our presence...many states for multiple weeks of camp. How blessed were they. :) The memories from that summer range from tree hugging to teaching some Illinois campers how to call frogs for easier gigging. You just had to be there...you would have laughed. Trust me.
The following summer Christa and Jackie traveled all summer together. I joined them for the last few weeks of camp once in Indiana. Memories with Jackie involve eating sugar packets and making rhymes for/about other camp staff. Funny thing is, I don't think we made rhymes for each other...if we did I put them out of my mind. The rhymes were all to the tune of "Mary Had A Little Lamb". Just thinking about them makes me laugh still now. Here's one of them...for Steve, a cattle farmer by trade...
Steef (Steve) had a little calf
whose fleece was brown as beef.
And everywhere that Steef would go,
the calf was sure to "leef" (leave).
One other thing that was guaranteed when the three of us were together at camp was that there would be steam rolling happening when a group of people were found gathering around us. Steam rolling involved lining people up, lying with stomachs to the ground. The person on the end would yell out "Steam Roll!" and proceed to roll over the top of the line of people to the end. Once at the end, you took your place on your stomach again, waiting to be rolled over...and over...and over. As soon as the first person rolled over the next one in line, the next person would start rolling. I think it ends whenever the line of people gets all out of whack and just can't take it any more. Hilarious-ness ensues!
Oh, the joys of friendship!
Once "all grown up", our lives would take us different places at different times. Time and distance separated us for years, but once reunited in 2008 it was as if it only a little time had passed by. Jackie and I are both in the Atlanta area now. Who would have thought that two midwestern Mennonite gals would end up in Atlanta?! I love when we can squeeze in a lunch or dinner. Jackie's husband has become a wonderful new friend, too.
Christa was in my wedding and I in hers. We've been staff at camp together in the recent years, again. And, oh, the parents of campers, who went to camp with us make sure and let their kids know about us. It's so funny, and yet so sweet. I love catching up with Christa during down times at camp...and over the phone/skype when we have a chance.
What I love most about both of these ladies is their love of God, life, and others. In their own ways, they love graciously, give abundantly, and live exuberantly. They inspire me. They encourage me. They allow me to be me...and they love me anyway. :)
Life is made better with wonderful friends like these! Thank God for friends!