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Archive for July, 2010

Bob and I recently enjoyed a lovely week visiting family and friends in Texas.  The time flew by in a swirl of warm hugs, sweet laughter, and more good Tex Mex than a middle-aged body should be asked to digest.  It took me awhile to get back into the groove of life back here in Kentucky.  I think this is partly because I was exhausted from the trip, and partly because leaving loved ones behind was bittersweet.

Of all the beautiful moments we enjoyed while on the trip, one in particular has clung to me like a lovely perfume… I’m still savoring its scent nearly a week later.

It was a rainy afternoon at the Fort Worth zoo – a favorite old haunt where adults become like children again through hands-on interaction with animals from every part of the globe.  We’d gone there that day with some of our oldest and dearest friends – Ryan and Amy Gibbons and their two delightful children, N and L.  The sun that had shone all week chose that day to give way to rain showers.  But a few raindrops didn’t keep us away from the lions and tigers and bears – oh NO!  We were feeling adventurous and the animals were calling.

Bob and I took turns snapping photos while our little group wound its way through the various exhibits, trying hard to keep up with the boundlessly energetic children among us.  I had fun capturing this shot of Amy under her umbrella while she laughed at a silly story Bob was retelling.  I hoped that the photo would capture the essence of what I love most about my precious, long-time friend: Boundless joy and peace that remain buoyant even in the midst of life’s rain showers… THAT is what I think of when I reflect on my image of Amy Gibbons. 

She and her family have endured many challenging days in the past few years.  Job loss, hurt-filled separation from those they once called “friend”, and an uncertain future framed by seemingly perpetual transition have been the puddles they’ve had to trudge through of late.  Yet Amy’s faith in our Father remains steadfast.  Her comment to me when sharing some especially disappointing news she received a few days ago?… “Well, I’m not exactly sure what that means.”  Wow – talk about an unwaivering faith!

In fact, their journey has been both a mirror and a forecast of the road that Bob and I have travelled this past year.  Funny how God moves us along such parallel lines at times.  I like to think that it’s His way of providing a built-in support group when we need it most.  And as I think about my friend Amy and her unsinkable joy in the midst of strife, this image of her laughing under her blue umbrella as the rain poured down all around her that day at the zoo is so completely uplifting, so utterly endearing, so thoroughly inspiring that I plan to use it as a daily reminder to steady my own anchor to the Rock in the storms of life.

Thank you, Amy, for reminding me that real joy and peace can truly pass all understanding when we remember to buoy our souls to the One who calms the seas.

P.S.  Didn’t my husband do a GREAT job recoloring this photographic work of art!??

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