Eight years ago, when Brent and I made the move to this little town in Central Kansas, we were convinced we would be the youngest kids on the block. And for the most part, we were.
We were fresh, fresher-than-fresh, out of college, unmarried, apartment renting, take the only two jobs open in town kids in a town of seasoned, married, mortgage paying, steady job, two kids and dog folks.
While there were many things about growing up and getting a job that we weren't prepared for, perhaps the most unexpected change we faced was a welcoming, young(er), fun-loving group of friends who welcomed us into their lives and their community.
Friends who loved to get together - planned or unplanned. Who loved playing ball, watching ball games, celebrating birthdays, and finding interesting things to do (bar hopping across three counties) in a seemingly uninteresting part of the state (country, world).
I used to think I could never replace my college friends.
I've since learned that God grants friendships for every phase of your life.
My college friends saw to it that my 21st birthday was celebrated appropriately; saw to it that my dreams and goals were supported.
Those friends surrounding my present-day-life, brought casseroles each time I brought a baby home from the hospital; and help me to remember the woman behind the mommy.
God grants friendships for every phase of your life.
While I only recently entered my thirties, many of my present-day friends are entering their forties. (My mom always said I was born old. Should be no surprise I have older friends.)
My "youthfulness" may provide plenty of fodder for jokes, but I wanted them to know that I fully appreciate the benefits of having older friends. For example:
As soon as they are ready for botox, I'm tagging along and lying about my age.
I've never been much of night-owl. Old friends like to turn in early.
When age forces them to retire from recreational sports, I'll still be kickin' it.
Older friends offer sage advice on finances, cooking, home improvements, keeping up with teenagers, underwear and international travel. (In no particular order.)
Older friends force you to think about your life and and what you hope to accomplish by the time you're as old (young) as they are.
As I was saying, my (older) friends are a blessing. An unexpected blessing. A large part of the reason this little town in the middle of Kansas has been more than just a stepping stone for our lives.
And when I turn 40, in eight-and-one-half lo-o-o-ng years, I hope my (older) friends see to it that we celebrate appropriately!