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On a personal note - October 2023

Some of you might have noticed I didn't write a new blog post this last week. For the last two weeks, husband Jack and I attended conferences related to his role as an Army chaplain. Two weeks of spiritual and professional refreshment with so many wonderful people! Such a gift. But also a very busy two weeks, so I'll get back to posting next week. But today I thought I would share some personal observations about my experiences at the conferences.

As I navigate midlife, I'm more convinced than ever that I need a tribe of people around me to really thrive. While I am on the introverted side of the personality scale, I can't manage life well without knowing there are people I can call on who will gladly go out to coffee or take a walk and listen to what I'm thinking about. And in turn, I need to know that I have friends who need me to do the same for them.

Friends are my happy place! One of the conference classes was iPhone photography and this is one of my favorite images from our practice session.

Although we move quite often--army spouse life!--I am intentional about building those new relationships quickly when we land in a new location. I'm so blessed that God has consistently provided wonderful new friends wherever we go, and quite often I'm able to reunite with old friends as well.

A while back, a friend told me that she tries to create friendships in three categories: friends who are younger so she can pour into them, friends that are the same age for mutual support and fun, and friends who are older so she can gather wisdom from them. I love this way of looking at intentional friendship, although I am also aware that the flow of mentorship never goes one way! Younger friends speak much wisdom into my life, and at times I have been able to support and encourage older friends. I always enjoy . But my life would not be complete without relationships across the generations.

Download and use as your phone wallpaper as a reminder to be thankful for your friendships.

At the first conference, I met a fellow chaplain's spouse who is stationed where one of my children will be stationed soon. She gave me her contact information so I could pass it on to my son and his wife. She wants to have them over for chili. That did so much for my empty nest heart!

At the second conference, I was able to have heart-to-heart conversations with women my own age where we shared our mutual experiences in the empty nest and encouraged each other to continue following close after Christ. That soothed my empty nest fears.

And at both conferences, I was able to hear stories from women who had walked down roads that are still in the future for me, and those stories gave me confidence that the God who led them safely through would lead me, too. That gave me courage to face the future.

I truly hope and pray for you, my friend, that you have women like that in your life as you navigate this midlife journey. Husband Jack likes to quote the old African proverb, "If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together." That has been so true in our lives. While there are seasons for going fast and going alone, the best seasons are when I'm traveling life's journey with my tribe.

Be blessed!


1 Comment

Love this sooooo much ! ❤️Thankyou !

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