January 18, 2012

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old.........

Military life does not allow for ruts.  It designates zero degrees of stagnation.  Always a changing dynamic, this life is always forcing adaptation.  We are blessed in that we have given ourselves away so many times, and been given the hearts of so many over the years. Those hearts are treasured.  I love, LOVE Facebook.  It is the ONLY place that allows me to keep all my peeps in one place.  I can get to them ALL in one click.  I guess these days find me a little misty because we have only 2 more weeks with this squadron. That tenderness that gets pounded back every 2-3 years is showing itself again.  I ponder how we are different since arriving here, amazed at how relationships and personalities change us.

This weekend gave us time rich in converation with dear ones, newly dear, and treasured for years.   We had dinner with a new family over the weekend, the ones replacing us. These are new friends that we don't get to be with because we must journey on.  We also had a breakfast date with current friends who found themselves in Germany five years ago, to support the military community.  They've traveled with us along this difficult yet unforgettable path.  They've prayed with us and for us and we've loved each other's kiddos, all 8 of them.  And just the night before, I spent a lengthy phone conversation with a long lost friend.  These 'old' ones, she and her husband, loved us long ago......in the B.C. era (before children). Our paths haven't crossed since that first tour as career options changed,  yet, they are our destination, already stationed at our next assignment and helping us find a house.  I trust them with my life. 

A patchwork of sorts, is this life with a uniform.  It is pieced together in odd, vibrant places and times.  Shared laughter, and tears sew our hearts together, forever.  Not all memories are pleasant.  Strenuous and difficult days  are stitched as well, but only add to the character chiseled from circumstances.  We leave each assignment changed.  Some tours leave us more battered and torn than others.  This one has been a long road for us all.  But the God of our hearts mends and purposes every stitch placed by the human hands we've come to know.  We won't see the big picture of this memory quilt till Heaven.  We can't see how each piece goes exactly where it should.  I tell my young gals in the squadron, who are just beginning their quilts, the importance of taking care of each other.  Our mending happens by those closest to our hearts.  They can quietly sew, and understand.  Some of my most treasured remnants and stitches were put there 20 years ago.  I guard them. 

My most precious souvenir of our military days is our imaginary quilt.  Years from now, in a future not too distant, when the boxes are gone for good, and we sit on the porch in our 'forever house',  we will reminisce and thank Him for this life, for this quilt to warm our hearts.

Still counting his gifts.....

34.  a blue sky
35.  German washer and dryer
36.  sweet neighbors
37.  jubilant birdsong
38.  sibling laughter
39.  city buses reminding me where we are
40.  magic of Facebook
41.  friends who 'just know'
42.  laughter in the house
43.  old jeans that give
44.  clothes shed by growing ones
45.  a meal with new friends
46.  8 kiddos' giggles
47.  the unmatched joy of bacon
48.  a brilliant starry sky unseen for months

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