We have made visits to friends and family, we have had a few diners sharing a meal, we have received and made welcome home phone calls and distributed the odd gifts.
Before I left I set a date with a group of women whom I am proud to call friends. We don't spend every weekend together but we are close. It is time for a girlie night. Time to share some experiences, catch up on events and just be girls.
I have chosen a movie, selected some appropriate foodies and just have to make a selection of our photo collection of our trip. My phone has pinged a few times already with messages of ' can't wait- looking forward to... etc! So nice to know I am not the only one who is looking forward to seeing everyone again.
It made me stop and think- how rich I am. Not in monetary terms believe me, but in something money can't buy. Friendship and fellowship. These five women were once the friends of my husbands late wife. They have embraced me and allowed me a place in their midst unconditionally. I have probably written about this before- it still fills me with awe.
I know I am not alone, I can find support and a shoulder when I need it - as they can with me. I know they aren't a substitute for my children and my other friends down under but they are special and they are right here.
There is a saying- you can pick your friends but not your family. I love my family including my sister and brothers and in their own way they will have feelings for me- good or bad ;-) but I have to say-
I feel like I have gained more family since knowing these women.
I am truly blessed. I know that the gift of friendship is a wonderful thing. The bible too is full of stories about friends and friendships. Jonathan and David or Ruth and Naomi to mention a couple. Friendships are there to help celebrate life!
Being friends doesn't mean you have to agree with everything or that you can't or won't be hurt or disappointed at some stage but it does mean there are those who care just that little bit more for you than the casual people in your life.
Friends are precious, so take good care of them.