I got to see two of my favorite people the other week!
(Dear Asharae, I am obsessed with your eyes. Love, Emily. PS I mean that totally non-creepily.)
1) Tim and Asharae, close friends of mine from Wheaton, moved to Seattle shortly after their wedding last summer. We have been eagerly texting all year about how great it would be when I joined them in the Pacific Northwest... and the day finally arrived!!
We met up at a town in Washington, found a random beautiful park,
and wandered the woods, laughed a lot, and (very normal for the three of us) sat and talked for hours.
It would be impossible to say everything I appreciate about these two (I tried a bit last year)... they are two of the most genuine people I know. They engage in life fully. Their marriage is beautiful and a privilege to behold. They are unfailingly kind. They are thoughtful and prayerful and wise and insanely, ridiculously encouraging (and I know a LOT of encouraging people). Whenever we hang out I always leave feeling strengthened to seek and love God and to be myself.
2) As we talked I ended up sharing a LOT with them about some of my thoughts and feelings and tentative hopes and concerns about entering a five-year program.
I am so excited to put whole-heart-mind-body-engagement into this education.
Into studying and practicing and pouring myself into learning these skills- out of true hope that it is the best way to steward the gifts God has given me. That it will enable me to serve Him and others in the long-term.
But still. There is this tension...
of memories of laughing and dancing with these sweet girls and praying over them as I tuck them into bed.
Of my arms that long to hold babies that need love.
Of so many needs everywhere-
and I'm burying myself in textbooks in a coffee shop??!
Really? Really, this is not the most selfish and ridiculous thing ever?
They talked to me about the concept of "a long runway"- something they learned about this past year. The idea that God is preparing us all the time and we don't know how He's going to use us in the long-term.
We try to serve Him each day, and we also hold our present with the idea that it may be "a runway"- work and preparation happening in our life and heart and skills, for something in the future we don't know yet.
And sometimes it's "a long runway". They reminded me of that idea.
I'm still mulling on the concept and it will probably turn into its own post at some point. In any case, I was so encouraged by their words and their affirmation of where I am right now. I left feeling strengthened.
3) They run their own professional photography business and they are incredible at it. If you need anything done in the Seattle area through the fall or the Raleigh, NC area after that (or they travel!), I cannot recommend them highly enough.
Gotta love hanging out with friends who can make a walk in the woods turn into this:
(I stole their camera and took some of them, too, because as you can see they're way too cute to always be behind it.)
I love you guys SO much! Thank you for letting me into your life... thanks for loving on me soooooo much... I am so happy we are in the same region :-).
Ah, friendship. You are my favorite.
(All images are Asharae Marie Photography. Yay!)