Today I drove back to Joplin to see some friends from the last chapter of my life. As I drove down, I didn't really know what to expect, I just knew I really wanted to go!

I did lunch with ReadingTeacher first. ReadingTeacher was one of my favorite people at my last school, as she stood by me during some rough stuff. We also share a love for movies and books. Anyway, today was our first day to do lunch one-on-one, and I REALLY enjoyed it! We ate at Cheddar's, which is always fun. We pondered life's challenges in our little corner of the world, and while we didn't solve all the world's problems, we sure had fun trying!

As we were leaving the restaurant, I spotted a family friend who now lives in Florida. I could hardly believe she was in Joplin! We made small chit-chat, and I was glad I bumped into her!

Next on my journey for today was to head to my old school. I got there earlier than I expected to get there, as I had to meet some friends to meet their new addition to the family.

As I was approaching the school, I tall young man approached me with sunglasses on. I looked at him and was perplexed as to which former student it was, but I figured out very quickly that it was T.H., who was in my classroom 6 years ago! We made small talk, and I met his family as well. I just grinned ear-to-ear as I talked to him. I pray that he stays on the right path. He has such a GREAT future ahead of him!

After that, I walked up and entered the building. I was surprised at how many of my teacher friends were there. I saw the Reynolds boys, which was nice. They greeted me with huge hugs and grins! I loved it! I also saw Andy's Mom, which was fun too. Andy will be at camp next week! I also saw PEteacher, which was an unexpected surprise. We got caught up, and when I saw her I realized how much I missed her! (I need to do lunch with her one day too!)

After talking to PEteacher, I met an incredible new baby who is blessed to have some WONDERFUL parents. I was allowed to hold the little guy and he fell asleep in my arms, with his fingers in his face. It was PRECIOUS!

I was done at the school earlier than I expected to be, but headed on to the Mall anyway. On my way to use a gift card, I ran into 4thgradeteacher and her husband, as well as A.H., and D.M. A.H. and D.M. went to my school in Joplin and have a special place in my heart even today. It was good to see them.

After chatting, I went and used my Old Navy gift card while Karen got settled in at work. Once she was settled, we had a GREAT time watching people walk by the store and I enjoyed seeing her sell perfume. Karen is such a wonderful blessing in my life. While I have blogged about her several times before, it is still true, she is tied with another wonderful woman of God at the top of my favorite people list! (We won't tell who she's tied with! *grin*)

As I was driving home, I reflected on the day and it truly hit me how loved I am. I mean, really loved. Everyone I saw (with the except of the former students) greeted me with a hug, and a genuine smile on their face. And I am amazed at how love doesn't have boundaries in space. I mean, I live two hours away, but can go back and feel welcomed as if I never left. That is a special thing. It's something you can't buy, it's something God blesses us with this side of Heaven. I am loved INCREDIBLY well....