This past weekend I drove over to Warner Robins, GA to meet up with my dear friend and woman-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up, Georgia Jan. She had asked me a few months back to speak at her church’s annual Christmas Brunch. After I prayed about it for 1.9 seconds, I said yes and have looked forward to the visit for what seemed like a sweet forever.
I got to town Friday night and Jan had arranged dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse with all the staff pastors’ wives from her church. I loved all of these girls so much and am so ill with myself for not getting a picture of our whole group. Having such a great time with the P-Dubya’s redeemed Longhorn for me. We broke up a couple of years ago when we ate lunch there for my birthday because we had a nice gift card. We let the kids order more extravagantly than usual and ended up with an almost $80 bill. But no problem because we had a nice gift card. Luke pulled the gift card out of his wallet when it was time to pay and it was to LOGAN’S Steakhouse. Ooops. So we didn’t have a nice gift card. But we did have an $80 bill. We considered selling one of the children to wash dishes until the debt was paid but then who would wash my dishes when we got home? So we cried, we paid, and we never ate at Longhorn again. It was just too painful. The scars too deep. Just the mention of Longhorn ripped the scab off the festering wound. It was way past time for the Lord to bring some healing. Praise him for using a hot loaf of bread, some Portobello chicken, and a fabulous group of sister ministry wives to bring beauty from ashes.
But I digress.
Jan was gracious enough to put me in her guest bedroom instead of a hotel and I don’t think I have to tell any of you who know her that her home was an extension of her southern charm. It was set out in the country down an oak-lined driveway and even though it is winter it was obvious by the outdoor spaces that the place will be bursting in bloom in just a few months. It is a special gift to be able to create a house that is not just a home but a respite.
Jan’s gated garden with raised beds. I accidentally did something weird to this picture in the editor and yet I kind of love the effect.
The patio. Can’t you just see yourself out here on a warm summer’s day with a glass of sweet tea?
Jan and me at the brunch. I’m going to frame this picture to put on my Wall of Love.
I don’t yet have a Wall of Love but seeing this picture makes me want to start one.
And this photo will be right next to it. This is Kristi LaBorg, the Senior PW’s wife. Loved her so much and we even discovered we have a dear mutual friend. She turned 40 the Thursday prior to this event. She gives me hope that 40 is indeed fabulous since I will be hitting that mile marker in a few months.
Thank you girls for making me feel so special and for the honor of the invitation. It was wonderful serving you and being in a room full of people who cheered when I mentioned the Georgia Bulldogs.
And for the record, we celebrated Immanuel above all. He is God with us – a God who came and more importantly, a God who stays. Praying the full reality of His presence settles upon us all this Christmas season!