Friday, May 20, 2011

A Tale of Two Trees (and one amazing friend)

Lovable Labels BlogHer Conference Giveaway Contest
This post was written as an entry to the Lovable Labels BlogHer Conference Giveaway.

When Chris and I moved into our current house, we "shifted" from the tradition of picking out a live Christmas Tree to the utter convenience and bliss of the pre-lit, artificial tree. I will spare you the details surrounding this shift, but suffice it to say that it has saved our marriage and saved Christmas in the Linebarger house.

I don't miss the pine needles or endless arguments about putting lights on the tree, but I do miss the tradition of picking out the tree. To me, it's a big part of Christmas, every year searching for The Perfect Tree. I remember one year as a little girl, finding a beautiful tree. We brought it home on the top of our car, only to find that there was a hole in the front of the tree -- a big empty spot with no branches. How could we have missed that? My Mom sat there trying to decide what we would hang in the big empty space, but then my Dad had a brilliant idea. He grabbed one of the branches that he had sawed off the bottom of the tree and gently nailed it into the trunk where the empty space was. And the tree was perfect. No empty spaces.

So there's this other tree of ours. The Family Tree. Unlike the Christmas Tree, we don't get to go to the lot and pick those out. You just get what you get. I've never been very close to my extended family -- everyone's scattered or uninterested. And there have been some big gaping holes in my family tree. Big empty spaces where it just seems like something should be. But growing up, God has been faithful to send friends who became like family, maybe even closer than family. It's almost like He's gently "nailed" new branches into my family tree to fill the holes.

One of those branches is Becca, my life-long-though-I've-only-known-you-nine-years friend. God knew that I needed another sister in my life, so he set Becca down in a house right next to mine, along with a girl ChellBell's age, a precious son, and a husband who likes the same things mine does. And wah-lah, our sisterhood began.

Becca is fiercely competitive, smart, creative, and organized. I'm serious, all that rolled into one person! She is a great Mom, an avid reader, and a gracious hostess. She lives life deliberately -- she plans things out. She reaches goals. She bakes.

And she is an amazing friend.

Becca and I have learned a lot from each other over the years. Like sisters, we are different in so many ways. But alike in so many more. She has filled a big space on my family tree, and I am overwhelmed at the gift of her friendship.

Three years ago, Becca's job moved her to Austin -- about a 3 hour drive from Dallas. After six years of having her next door to me, it was devastating to say goodbye to impromptu Friday night dinners, late night card games, "I'm running to the store, what do you need?", and having my best friend a short walk away. We have done our very best to stay connected, and though new babies and soccer schedules make weekend trips virtually impossible, there are just some connections that will never be broken.

Becca, you are -- whether near or far -- an amazing friend and a forever, permanent part of who I am.

Thanks for being my branch.

This post was written as an entry to the
Lovable Labels BlogHer Conference Giveaway. Winning this contest would mean that Becca and I could attend the BlogHer Conference in SanDiego together!


  1. Just what I needed to hear on a Monday morning!!! As my kiddos still think you are their Aunt and I will ALWAYS look at you as a sister, you will forever be a part of my life.

    Love you!


  2. What a sweet post!

    I love Becca...even though I've never met her in real life.

  3. After this weekend, I can now say I've met Becca and can totally understand why you love her so much! She's precious and so giving (and TALL!) What a nice post about such a sweetheart. =) Happy Monday!

  4. How blessed you both are to have a friend in each other!

  5. Beautiful!! Becca is an amazing person and she is just as blessed to have you as her sister.

  6. What an amazing post! I'm so glad you two have each other. Girlfriends are a gift from God... and friends are family just the same!

  7. Oh, I like the image of a branch nailed into your family tree. I've got a few of those myself. And I am totally jealous of having such an amazing neighbor for SIX years--sounds wonderful. Good luck in the BlogHer contest.