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Friday, May 15, 2009


My good friend Karen Yancey recently quoted from John Ortberg’s book, Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them. He cites a study on relationships that tracked 7,000 people over nine years:
“Researchers found that the most isolated people were three times more likely to die than those with strong relational connections. People who lived an unhealthy lifestyle (i.e. smoking, poor eating habits, obesity, or alcohol use) but had strong social ties lived significantly longer than people who had great health habits but were isolated. In other words, it is better to eat Twinkies with good friends than to eat broccoli alone!”
I love that! I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships this morning. Today I’m having lunch with a close friend who is moving to Hawaii next Wednesday. And I’m weepy just thinking about it. . . Almost nine years ago, Michelle, her husband Kore, and their two children moved to Wichita a couple of weeks before we did. And we’ve shared a lot of life together since then. . .

When our boys were 12 years old, we stood together on the sidelines of their soccer games talking (and cheering them on, of course). Several years later, those two guys were college roommates. We had great fun helping them get settled in their apartment. Then we cried together over the “empty” feelings we were experiencing. Today our boys are 21!

Michelle is great with details (not my strength) and together we’ve planned many women’s events for our church. We’ve gone on a missionary trip to Warsaw, Poland. And I think Michelle has attended every Bible study I’ve led over the past nine years. So needless to say, we’ve laughed together, cried together, worked together, studied together, prayed together, and eaten together. . .

I don’t think we’ve ever eaten a “Twinkie”, but we’ve shared countless desserts! I couldn’t begin to count the meals we’ve shared. Michelle and I are in the same breakfast club and are great lunch buddies. (I don’t know who will go to Doc Green’s with me now, Michelle.) And she and her husband meet Mike and me for dinner fairly often—not to mention the monthly deacons’ dinners we've shared together. So when I think that today will be our last meal together for a while, it makes me want to cry.

But, even in the sorrow of saying goodbye, I want to thank the Lord for bringing such wonderful friends into our life nine years ago! Michelle and Kore, you have blessed our lives in more ways than we can possibly count! According to Ortberg, you may have added years to our life! :)

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