Last night we had the great privilege of hanging out with good friends from college, the Walkleys (on the left) and the Ellis’s (in the middle).
We’ve known each other for over 10 years now, having met when all of us were dating. 5 of us had the joy of singing together at Ole Miss and let me tell you, these folks are top-notch good. The Ellis’s recently moved back to Memphis which gave us a great excuse to get together. Philip and Kelsea, thanks for hosting!
The reason this is blog-worthy is that the evening was just a refreshment to the soul. All of us are now parents of similar aged children. All of us are believers in Jesus Christ. All of us love people, the arts, and good food…so much in common but so much uniqueness too. I drink in God’s creativity in settings like this.
Kelsea and Philip pour their hearts and souls into Memphis’s inner city. They live there, raise their kids there, work there, support every local thing possible, exuding joy in it all. Philip is the Executive Director of a huge ministry here, SOS. His work is an extension of the life his family lives every day.
Jauna and Calvin just relocated their family back to Memphis based on faith alone. They knew God was calling them home so they literally packed it all up and hit the road without a job waiting for them here. Our faithful God gave them not only a job but an incredible one! Calvin will be the Choral Director at Millington High (oh they are so lucky!), his alma mater – a perfect fit! They found a home in an awesome area, their kids got into great schools and Jauna may even be able to work at one of the kids schools.
I was so encouraged by the faith that propels both of these couples lives. It was incredibly refreshing to see lives so molded by God, so transformed by Him, so happy in the work He has given. All three of our families know the pain, uncertainty, and trials included in life. And I feel certain that all three of our families would say, Only God can write our story, only He can redeem, only He can provide for our daily strength.
I often feel like the concerns of my generation are very material, associated with what we have or do not have. Last night, I felt a break from that. Without any verbally spiritual conversations, it seemed like the whole atmosphere was one that spoke of and celebrated our safety in God. I do not mean that we have some sort of immunity to hardship or danger. I mean that in the midst of hardship and danger, God alone is the Keeper of our souls and we love that.
I walked away from the night challenged to live my life with greater faith, riskier faith. I wondered, am I the kind of friend that challenges others to dive deeper into faith? I’m so thankful for these friends who made me dive deeper into mine.
Here’s the whole crew.
Please note: the blur of a child in both pictures is Caleb. He was a blur in every pic we took. Andrew and I thought that was hilarious and perfectly fitting since he is our child who never stops moving, the same one who our pediatrician termed “the most active patient she has ever seen”. Yes that’s him, the blur. 🙂