"Tradition, tradition! Tradition!"
Sing it with me! Wait - what? No? (No Fiddler on the Roof fans here? Moving on...)
Well - we have an Only Girlie and she is a huge - no, I don't think you understand... HUGE - fan of Tradition! She likes things to go the way they have always gone and she is only now beginning to see Change as anything less than the enemy.
We have lived through a few rough seasons... gone through some things that tested and tried Traditions and we chose to lean in and cuddle up... to hold each other through it. In the getting through it parts, some Traditions felt numb... others needed to stay up until April... or June... whatever. I wrote about how our See-Through Christmas Tree stayed up during a time when we found ourselves clinging to comfort and needing stability and twinkling lights, and while we are
stronger closer because of that time - we are happy to be on the other side of it!
This year some traditions haven't happened yet. (The driving around to see the Lights!) Some traditions were skipped all together! (The Tree Lighting downtown, the luminary walk at the Arboretum, the Journey through Bethlehem... all skipped due to weather and freezing and us not being fans of being cold.) However, on Sunday it was a balmy 32 degrees and so we called some friends, bundled up, and braved the cold to see the Lighted Christmas Parade!
It's really only partly tradition! In that, we mean to do it every year - but - again... the cold!
Whenever we go to a parade - more often than not - we go with these friends... Normally it is a parade in July or September but still, I can't really remember a parade without them and so it was perfect that not only were they able to make it... another friend was in town as well so we had a little mini (freezing cold) reunion! (Imagine just a little bit of whining here.)
Plus... you know, SANTA!!!
(I think this is only the second photo my Girlie has ever had taken with Santa... the other one was taken just a couple of years ago with one of her best friends' - one of the daughters' of one of these friends of mine...)
These friends of mine...
We have been side by side for nearly 20 years now. We have raised our girlies together... through good times and hard times! We have survived leaving churches and address changes and health scares and arguments and divorce and rebellion (some 'theirs' and some our own!)... we have loved and laughed and cried and sat beside when no words would come... or when no words were needed.
Women can be mean... fickle... surface and gossipy and we are not perfect. We have failed - ourselves and each other, but our connection started when we were new: New Christians, (Relatively) New Wives, New Moms. We were learning who we were and who we wanted to be and I love that for these friends... for these sisters in Christ... I love that there is not a season of my adult life... my married-life... my learning-how-to-mother life, that they are not included!
And for them - and for my own girlie, I will brave the cold because year after year, that is what we do.
We show up.
We show up when we're needed... when we're wanted... and sometimes even when we're one but not both of those things! We show up when it's fun... (think Bunco nights, Birthdays, and Beach Weekends Away!) and when it's not fun... (I don't think you need any examples here!) We show up in the flesh, over the phone, and via text... We show up for each others' kids because for us - it really has taken a Village... and their girls are my girls, and mine is theirs.
We show up... and really? We learned that from Him! Him - who always shows up for us; Who braves the cold and the Cross, and who calls us friends of God.
We look to Him... and we follow His lead... (which, by the way, led us back to a cozy living room and a cup of coffee and a table of cards... thawing out and warming up and making new traditions all the while, as we live this life together, showing up - again and again!)
Originally posted December 17, 2013 and linked up with:
Emily over at Chatting at the Sky for #tuesdaysunwrapped
...and with Crystal Stine for #Behindthescenes
(even though I am totally cheating because I am using more than one photo!)
This is a #ThrowbackThursday reposting, in the midst of our Christmas Giveaway! Enter to win HERE... Winner announced on Saturday!