I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. ~ Gilbert K. Chesterton
I typically give daily thanks for family and friends. And of course, the first people who come to mind are my immediate family and old friends, many of whom live far, far away. I am ever grateful for lifetimes of friendship, love and support offered by certain sweet, special people.
But my Day 4 gratitude post is for new friends. I always find it so interesting to think about how people come into our lives. It's fascinating to examine the how to's of connecting with different people. I meet someone who is a kindred spirit and think, "Wow, how did I get lucky enough to meet this person?!"
My "new" friend Gail is just such a person. We met through our sons; Gail's youngest and my only son became friends right off the bat when we started our new school last year. The boys are two peas in a pod, talented musicians and singers, actors, computer geeks and sport fanatics. I thought it was neat that Ryan met someone with whom he had so much in common. It was months before Gail and I met. Our first conversation was all of about 30 seconds, with the usual, "I'm Ryan's mom, I'm Noah's mom" introductions. You know the kind, where you forget to actually tell the other person your name, since you are more readily identified by your children than yourself!
Gail and I would run into each other at school events and exchange pleasantries, always commenting on how happy we were that the boys were getting to be such good friends. One night our families had dinner together. I thought Gail and I would never stop talking. The conversations were endless and animated, funny and light. Tears were shed over lost pets and the demands of raising teenagers, shared faith, cooking and life. I remember my husband literally dragging me away from the front door as Gail and I continued to talk after it was time to leave.
Gail is an educator, librarian, tutor, mentor and part-time Pampered Chef Associate. She is of course, a wife and mother and huge supporter of the arts at our children's school. She is a child advocate. Gail and I talked a lot about our children's school. I noticed that she had nice things to say about people. She has lots of friends. She thinks highly of people, even people who do not act highly. Gail gives folks the benefit of the doubt and finds the good in people. Where I am quick to judge and condemn, Gail goes first to a place of mercy and grace, allowing people to be people and loving them despite their faults. She is good and Godly. I was inspired.
We had the rare opportunity to meet for coffee yesterday. Over a cup, I learned even more about this amazing woman. She is charming and funny and I left the coffee shop feeling carefree and light. When I awkwardly asked Gail if I could take her picture for the blog, she agreed. I was grateful because I know it must seem strange to have someone take your photo and then tell you they are going to blog about you. Not sure I would have been quite so amiable, I probably would have run screaming from the coffee shop!
(She's photogenic, too, as you can tell.)
I believe God puts people in our lives for a reason. I believe the Lord put not only Gail, but her entire family in our family's life and on Day 4, I am ever grateful.
Until next time,