Oh I am so pumped for Saturday! Bummed that we are leaving my in-laws house and bummed about another day that involves so much driving, but pumped because tomorrow afternoon and evening I get to hang out with my girls. Not everyone will be there in person, but if I know anything about gatherings with “The Nine” I’m sure everyone will be there in spirit and we’ll try to phone anyone in that is available. [smile]
It is amazing to think that I’ve been celebrating the milestones of life for the last 11 years! That’s over a third of my life that I’ve been journeying along with them. Over the next 14 months we will all be celebrating the big 30! It seems so impossible to finally be turning the age that we all thought was so far away when we met each other as 18 year olds. [smile] Blair our resident craft-loving theologian has us all picking out photos of us from college, our childhood, and the last year for a project she’s compiling to celebrate. I’m sure that whatever it is it will be excellent. She is so creative.
So a bit of our time on tomorrow will be given over to celebrating our 30th birthdays, but the majority of our time will be spent celebrating our Megs who will be marrying her firefighter fiance in October. Celebrations for weddings began before we had even graduated from college. Katie was married the summer after our junior year and sometime during the spring semester we had our first bachelorette/bridal lingerie shower. We laugh about that first shower now because we really had no idea what we were doing picking out lingerie for her. The gifts ranged from cute pajama pants and t-shirts to that crazy fruit roll up-esque edible underwear. [smile]
Oh 11 years together means we share so many wonderful memories! We gather now on the pretense that we are celebrating someone, but really I think what binds us together is that at every gathering we celebrate us. I love us. About a month ago, Jane Marie forwarded to the group email address we share an email she had received from her mother which included a meditation written by Kimberly Broerman, a spiritual director in Atlanta. The meditation sums up so well how we all feel about our circle of friends. She writes:
It started in college. At first, we called it a Bible study, because we wanted to be together in an intentionally spiritual way. But as the seven of us met together, week after week, and shared our real flesh-and-blood hopes and hungers and hurts, the real text became the stories of our lives. We read and learned each other with great affection and interest, and with increasing care and compassion. We renamed our group “Group” (I know, clever, right?) and we met together faithfully every week until we graduated. No matter what was going on in my life, I knew there were six girlfriends who had my back, and I could come bare my soul and be held in their care without judgment. And I became as invested in their wholeness and well-being, bearing their joys and sorrows as if they were my own.
It was delightful and transforming to know and be known, to love and be loved in such an intimate and complete way. I expressed my affection frequently and enthusiastically, exclaiming “I love us!” I didn’t just love them, or love the me I was with them; I loved us all together.
Hope you have as much to celebrate this weekend and have a great circle of friends to celebrate with.