Thursday, September 13, 2012

Strength in Numbers

I have some pretty amazing friends, and it's not just because they like me, :) it's because they go out of their way to show me how much they care - and that makes all the difference when it comes to friends.

It's not uncommon for one of us to send out an email to the others and start asking if there is a day coming up where we can get together. Years ago we stopped gathering during the day when the sum of our children was greater than fifteen; instead we meet later in the evening after the kids are tucked into bed.

Now there are nineteen children between the five of us, so it can get pretty complicated to coordinate gatherings. We try to plan them weeks in advance and it usually takes that long to iron out the date.

Tuesday morning one of those emails came around, but this one had a deadline attached: they wanted to gather before I leave for the ACFW Conference next Wednesday. After a handful of emails and a couple of texts, we realized the best day would be the following evening - I'm still amazed we pulled it off.

My friend Beka offered a campfire in her backyard, complete with gourmet s'mores - what are those you may wonder? A regular s'more, but more sinful, with an assortment of other options like Nutella, peanut butter, jelly or strawberry marshmallows, to name a few.

When I got there the other four were already snuggled around the blazing fire and we were able to share two and a half hours of uninterrupted conversation. I rambled on about the conference and my writing and they shared with me where they are at in reading my story. We laughed, we cried, we encouraged and we prayed together, but the coolest moment came when they gave me a gift.

I love gifts, but when it comes from a group of women who are just as busy as me with children, volunteering, work and a plethora of other commitments, I really appreciate it. What they handed me brought tears to my eyes - and later, when I was home and shared it with my husband, brought on a full-out, good cry.

They gave me a picture frame with these words: "...Everything is possible for him who believes." Mark 9:23, and inside the frame there is a photo of a waterfall with a woman in a green ball gown (these are two images in my book) and on the picture is the title of my novel, Forgiveness Falls, with my name. On the bottom they wrote: We Believe in You!!! They also handed me a manila envelope that says: "To: Gabrielle Meyer, From: Your Adoring Public :) for the plane, hotel, etc." and I've been given strict instructions not to open it until I'm alone and need some encouragement.

Writing a novel can be a lonely pursuit at times, but knowing I have the support of my friends and family fills me up to overflowing. I couldn't ask for better people in my life, both in my hometown and online. Every person who reads this blog, asks me about my writing or encourages me with their thoughts, comments and prayers, strengthens me to keep pursuing my dream. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

And thank you to Beka, Lindsay, Sarah and Jessica for an amazing gift - the gift of your friendship. You made this upcoming trip so much more special. Thank you also to my mom and my mother-in-law for volunteering to provide childcare, my sister-in-laws, Angie and Sarah, for reading my novel and giving me feedback and my sister in Colorado who Skyped with me to pick out my clothing for the conference. She sent some fun jewelry through the mail that I may or may not return to her. :) When I count my blessings, you gals are at the top!

What about you? Who fills you to overflowing?

22 comments:

  1. Wow, how sweet! and awesome! :-)

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  2. Oh. My. Word.
    What wonderful, wonderful friends.
    This is one of the best blog posts ever ...
    Ever.
    Hug your friends for me -- I know it won't happen until after ACFW, but still, hug 'em all.

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  3. You have wonderful friends, Gabrielle! You are a great friend to have in the Blogosphere! I am extending my hand of friendship to you...

    Great and eye-opening post, Gabrielle!

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  4. Jennette - it was awesome! I'm still smiling.

    Beth - I will hug them! Our relationships are a direct result of MOPS. I thank God for that organization and the many blessings it has produced in my life.

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  5. Livia - thank you so much for that offer! I'm happy we've been able to connect via the blogosphere. :)

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  6. It is truly a wonderful feeling when you find people who help to fill your cup~ Such a wonderful gift from them...both the friendship, and the physical gift!!

    Have a wonderful trip the conference~ I am sure you will enjoy each and every moment!!!

    As for who fills my cup....I have lots who do. Depends on what is going on, as to where my best encouragment comes from. My husband, without a doubt, fills my cup. I have many friends, from many circles that fill my cup as well. The rest of my family...my sister, my mom (ESP MY MOM) fill my cup.....

    Can't wait to hear about your trip when you return~ I am sure it will be amazing and fill you with great joy meeting people who share your passion~

    Blessings~
    Jennifer Bailey

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  7. Me too, I'm glad we are able to connect via the blogosphere! I'm enjoying getting to know you better and I hope someday, I get to meet you in person, Gabrielle!

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  8. Reading about that kind of support warmed my heart. Somehow along the way, the dreams in our heart spread into the hearts of those dearest to us. Not only is it our dream, but it has become their dream for us too. And that kind of support is . . . heavenly.

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  9. I love this story, Gabrielle. What wonderful gifts your friends (aka adoring fans) gave you. The tangible ones are awesome, but what touched my heart were their gifts of love, support, and encouragement Those are priceless!

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  10. Your post makes me want cherish the precious friends in my own life that much more. They DO fill my cup so wonderfully, especially Suzi, my bestie. My husband, he is the table on which my cup stands. Without his sturdy support underneath me, I would surely topple and break or simply be useless. I need to let these people know TODAY how important they are to me.

    You are one blessed woman, Gabe. Thanks for spilling over onto us.

    Blessings,
    Becky

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  11. OH this is so beautiful! I love friends who love what we love and take care of us this way. When I was offered representation, my gaggle of girlfriends took me out, bought me dinner and presented me with gifts then told me why they chose what they did. I got pink Sharpies (I love pink) that can only be opened when I do my first book signing (LOL)! Can't wait to meet you!

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  12. Jennifer - you're also one of those people blessed with some amazing friendships, but that's because you're a great friend yourself. Thank you for the encouragement for the conference. I look forward to sharing my experiences when I return home!

    Livia - that's one of the negative sides of a blog relationship, the part about not being able to connect in person. I'm excited to go to the conference where I'll finally be meeting some of my blog friends in person. Looking forward to it!

    Ava - that's the beautiful thing about a dream - it has seeds that are easily planted into the hearts of those closest to you - which really is a gift straight from the Throne Room. Looking forward to seeing you next week, Ava, and sharing in your dream!

    Keli - I couldn't agree more. I love that the tangible gifts are the ones that I can hold when I need to be reminded of the gifts of their hearts - especially the one in the envelope...I'm so eager to see what it is!!

    Becky - I'm so happy I could encourage you to let your friends know how much you care. That's one reason I wrote this blog post - I wanted to thank mine for their love and support. I agree - my husband is my greatest supporter and I even told him that the other night while I was crying those tears of gladness. This dream starts at the core, right where we're woven together, and I couldn't do any of this without him.

    Jessica - I LOVE that they bought you pink sharpies! I'm looking forward to having you sign a book for me! :) God is so good and I'm reminded of that when I look around at my friends and family. Looking forward to seeing you, too!!!!

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  13. Yay for fun friends! How cool of them to take you out for a fun evening.

    My family definitely fills me up. And amazing friends, both old and new. Just a couple weeks ago, two of my "bestest" friends came down to visit me. I hate that we live three hours apart, but I love that we can get together and feel like no time at all has passed. Writing friends are amazing, too--the way they so totally "get" me. The MBT team has been an incredible encouragement to me...and my too-cool-for-words CP, Lindsay!! And so many fun friends I've met online.

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  14. Priceless...friends like that are absolutely priceless. It says a WHOLE lot about the kind of friend you are to them, as well. Soak it in and let them lift you up!!

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  15. Oh, Gabe!!! This made me tear up. I'm so blessed too to have a whole group of friends I can text with prayer requests. They are so supportive. My husband and dad are too. I have a mentor who constantly reminds me to lay this writing thing down at the Lord's feet, and that's much needed too. And of course, my awesome CP Melissa keeps me sane when I want to go dive off a cliff or drown out my sorrows in a tub of Blue Bell ice cream...

    Funny, one of my blog posts next week that I'm contemplating is about the gift of friendship, and how God never intended for us to go at this thing (life!) alone.

    Can't wait to have what I'm sure will be late-night chat sessions filled with laughter and dreams!

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  16. WWAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHA!!! I just about lost it 3 times reading this.
    You are SO blessed. SO BLESSED.
    My very, ultra, super to the end of time BFF lives in California. I don't . My BFF here is really sick, so I've not been dumping too much on her.
    But the new writer friends I've made have been, as one said, "a balm to my soul".

    Next year's ACFW will make this upcoming one look tame.

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  17. Melissa - I remember the post about your friends coming to visit. Aren't friends the best? And you're so blessed to have Lindsay as a CP - it's going to be so much fun watching you two connect next week. :)

    Donna - they are a priceless gift to me. I'm really looking forward to discovering what's in that manila envelope...I know it will lift me up just when I need a little boost.

    Lindsay - ahhhh!! I can't wait until Wednesday! It's going to be like a four day slumber party!

    Jennifer - I had a good laugh when I read your last line. I can see next year already - that will be a fun time indeed!

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  18. Gabrielle, I think these wonderful friends and your path to the conference are confirmation that God's has something very special in store for you and your writing heart:) I'm so thrilled for you and will be praying for you each day in Dallas! Not too much longer now...:)

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  19. Laura - I covet those prayers - thank you. Just last night I had a very vivid dream that I met with an agent I have my eyes on and she liked me, but she thought my book was too formulated. :) In my dream I was momentarily dissapointed, but I had hope that I had learned from her comment and the next one would be better! Only God knows His plans for me, so I will trust Him to bring them to fruition, because His Word tells me the plans are good! Thank you for stopping by this morning. It's always so nice to see your sunny smile and read your encouraging words.

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  20. It sounds like you have some amazing friends, Gabrielle! What a blessing! My prayers and thoughts are with you as well as you prepare for Dallas. I can't wait to hear what happens!

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  21. GABRIELLE, beautiful blog! Love this post! I count my husband, son, and daughter as among my biggest blessings in life and I try not to lose sight of how God gave them to me!

    And speaking of gifts, you are the WINNER of the Colonial Quills Tea party drawing for a reproduction colonial pocket as well as some soaps from Colonial Williamsburg! CONGRATS!!!

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  22. Gwendolyn - thank you for those prayers! I appreciate every single one of them. I wish you were going to be there with me, but I know one day you will. I'll share everything I can with you when I return!

    Carrie - thank you for stopping by and for letting me know about the Colonial Quills Tea Party drawing!! I can't wait to receive that in the mail. I may, or may not, share the soaps with my family. :)

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