Yesterday was a CRAZY day - seriously - around here with Christmas and the 'end of the year' (because the school year just ended and it's 'summer' holidays) there seem to be a MILLION things going on! With one car for our family, sometimes I feel like a shuttle service this week (hello moms, I know you hear me on this one) but luckily all the things we are involved in are so excited and life-giving. Amidst the chaos of yesterday, I stopped by my friend Bernadette Terry as she was hosting a Christmas party for the HIV support group that we lead together, with our friend Naomi. We were snacking away and chatting by the 'braai' (barbecue) as our hosts were making a 'potkie' which is a South African traditional dish, like a stew, but made in a big cast iron pot over a fire. SO YUM. Yesterday was one of those days, however, where my conversations with these women, who are living lives with HIV, really stopped me in my tracks and touched my heart deeply. When we are together for gatherings like that, we are laughing and talking and eating and we are all equal. But the moment they walk out of that home, they are sick, ostracized, ignored, looked down upon, and living lives of struggle every single moment. They are mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends, and definitely have their own issues in life, but are so brave and beautiful. They humble me and give me a new perspective on the ABUNDANCE of blessings I have in my life. There is so much to be thankful for, and they make me want to live my life in a way that honors them and our friendship. It's a challenge to love them because they make bad choices that hurt themselves, their bodies, and their families. But really, we ALL do that. We ALL need grace and a great God. So we do life together, none of us perfect, all on the journey.