I stayed with my friend Gail at her stylish apartment in downtown Minneapolis. Gail and I have know each other since 1995- we met the day we moved into our dorm rooms in college. Her cousin was my roommate, but it was Gail and I that spent the most time together. Gail is a good friend and one of the things that is so great about our friendship is that we can pick up where we left off......even if it has been months since we last spoke.
Gail is adventurous and inspiring because she is always pursuing things that others spend a lot of time thinking about. For example, she began running a couple of years ago and immediately began training for a marathon.
She had beautiful views of the Mississippi River and access to one of the private rooftop decks......which is where this picture was taken of Gail the first night I was there:
What's that you say? You see someone else in the picture? Oh, that's nobody special........NOT!That nobody is indeed somebody, dear readers........that is Naomi! Here she is with Gail:
Here is a picture of us before we went out on the town on Saturday night- it's not the best, but we had to take our own picture.
I also had the chance to visit Angie, who just has her second baby boy eight weeks ago- here is me with Baby Ben:
I wish I had a picture of Angie.....not sure why I did not take one with her. Angie is a special friend for many reasons, but what I love most about being friends with her is how unexpected our friendship was. It's not that she is not "friend material," quite the contrary; but rather that we were first roommates my senior year of college when I was unexpectedly living off campus for the last couple of months that year and had a bit of a rough start.
Angie is honest yet tender; joyful; real; and she loves the Lord and the people around her fiercely. What a lucky girl I am to have a friend like her!
And then Naomi and I had lunch with Ericka- here is a picture of the three of us in her backyard:
The three of us were roommates in Minnesota for a few years. We used to spend hours sitting on the couch talking about bascially nothing and everything. I don't mean to say that our time together was pointless, because it was not! I mean we made a lot of discoveries about each other during those marathon times on the couch, but I'll have to save that for another time!
Ericka has the voice of an angel (she sang in our wedding) and got her masters in vocal performance......but now she is pursuing a nursing degree. Pretty much the girl has a lot of gusto and is on track to becoming the nation's first opera perforoming nurse.....I have a feeling patients are going to be requesting her floor! Two years ago, Naomi and I had the privilege of standing up in Ericka's wedding- it was a beautiful wedding made only more beautiful by the way her and Nate's love story unfolded.
Then my picture taking stopped, which is no surprise really. The surprise is that I took pictures.....I'm not one for picture-taking.
I had a wonderful evening with Alisha; we met in 2002 when she joined our department at the college I used to work at in Minnesota. I have always loved her ability to usher you in to her heart in a matter of minutes after sitting down with her. Alisha is senstive and strong at the same time and is a true example of a lady. I love that Alisha and I are friends because there again, it was unexpected that we would be.
And on my last night I spent the evening with my dear friends Kim and Tim and their two children. I'll never be able to tell you how much of an impact they have made on my life. I met Kim in 1998 at my internship and am convinced that the reason why I interned where I did is so I could meet her.
Kim is Spirit-led and God has used her to speak Truth into my life and find healing. Tim is tender and strong in the Lord and his presence is calming. Together, they are a beautiful couple who minister to the lives of the many people that God puts in their path. Being with them on my last night in Minnesota was the perfect way to end my trip.
And I learned something about my life here. I learned that Simple Guy and I have a wonderful community of family and friends that love us here and while it would be nice to be in Minnesota with the friends in this post and our other friends, this is where God wants us and it feels good to be here. It feels good to be home. It really does.