My good friends Bill and Heidi Sprouse drove through Louisville on New Year's Day and spent a night at our home (As my mom said, "Oh! The Schmidt hotel is open again!"). It was so fun to see them. Heidi is pregnant with their first child, due in March, so I got to see her pregnant belly. So cute! We celebrated Bill and Heidi's fourth wedding anniversary on Wednesday morning with our good friends Matt and Ashley Wireman. Bill and Heidi are the ones in the picture with the red "Special Plates" in front of them. Ken is admittedly looking a little out of it in the picture- he worked two days of double shifts, stayed up late visiting with Bill and Heidi, played with Teddy Dean at 3 a.m., then got up at 8 a.m. for our little breakfast celebration. Good man!
I've been reflecting on my friendships with Heidi and Ashley. The three of us first met in the summer of 1999, when we roomed together on a Campus Crusade for Christ summer project in San Diego. We were all from different states and attended different universities. We could have easily said good-bye at the end of the summer and never seen eachother again. But God has graciously allowed our paths to cross in many unique ways over the past 8 1/2 years.
Heidi is from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Her family became my home away from home during my college years, even when she was away at UW-Stout. She and Ashley were roommates at Crusade staff training in Colorado. I travelled there and visited them for a few nights that summer. Heidi was a bridesmaid in my wedding. When she fell in love with Bill, she asked Ken to perform their marriage ceremony.
Matt and Ashley married in South Carolina, then moved to Minneapolis to attend The Bethlehem Institute. The Schmidts and Wiremans enjoyed living in the same area for two years, getting together for many Settlers of Catan evenings, baseball games, and good food. Now, Matt and Ken both attend Southern Seminary. More amazing to me, we now live less than 2 1/2 miles from the Wiremans!
God gives so many good gifts and I am thankful to Him for these friendships. Thank you also to Heidi and Ashley, for keeping in touch and sharing your lives with me. You have both encouraged me greatly in my walk with God and your lives are a testimony of faith as well.