Happy 18th Birthday to my friend Maddie Grace Gindorf!!!!
Meet Maddie! For the past several years, we've become best friends and are closely bonded in the saving grace of Christ. We are alike in many, many ways--I couldn't even count or list all the connections we have. Except that Maddie is a little more random than me, and a much more interesting writer! She blogs here, at Madeleine's Musings.
One of my very clear memories together was a trip to Badger Pass: it was 8:30 in the morning and our first run of the day. And I ran into a tree and spent most of the rest of the day sitting at the bottom of the mountain in a sling. But I rode home with her and her dad and siblings that evening--we played Jello and listened to Mariachi music on the radio and sang "The truth and the life, and the wwaayy..." I still laugh when I hear that song. When they moved from Oakhurst to Flagstaff a few years ago, we didn't make it to the moving day and I was super upset. But we started writing letters, and it was only the beginning of our deepening kinship.
When I got Maddie's first letter, I was surprised and delighted to find that it was 10 handwritten pages long! I sent a reply about as long, and our letters have only gotten longer. We write about every little thing and pour out our hearts on that notebook paper. I've been in the middle of sentences when the ink just fades to nothing, and I have to start on a new pen (with a new color) and keep going. I gave up using pencils because they dull too fast for me (I like super sharp ones).
We make the most of visits as well. When our family passed through Flagstaff in 2011, we stayed the night at their house. In that 24-hour period, Maddie and I danced to music in her bedroom, walked to Von's at least twice for Starbucks in the snow, took numerous pictures, stayed up until 2:30 a.m. talking, and more. Once, when we met in Oakhurst, we had Jamba Juice, then walked over to Giftworks, then walked to Rite-Aid and got ice cream. We ate our ice cream in Rite-Aid, in the lawn chairs that were for sale, reading a magazine from the rack about the royal wedding. Then we walked to the park where our families were and lay in the grass taking pictures. Then our mothers suggested that everyone walk to Rite-Aid for ice cream. We had chips instead. Needless to say, Maddie and I share a mutual love of food--but we do enough walking to stay safe afterwards!
Maddie loves Jesus with all her heart, is very serious about her relationship with Him, and doesn't take the Christian life for granted. She is passionately loyal to her family and a supportive, loving friend that will come to all my pity parties and then encourage me and speak the truth in love. She makes me laugh when I want to cry, makes me smile when I'm mad, and always has a kind word for everyone. She is the older sister I never had.
I love you, Madeleine, and hope your birthday is full of love and wrapping paper...and yummy food and sounds of laughter...and all of your favorite things!! May the Lord bless you and keep you, and may His face shine upon you, and give you peace! <3