Friday, May 29, 2009

Get a girlfriend!

I have one thing to say about girlfriends - you have to get one.
Or better yet, get a few.
And best of all, get a few girlfriends that are also friends with each other and I'm telling you there is absolutely nothing like it! nothing!

There are four of us who are such girlfriends. Our kids range in age from 5 - 30. There's a scientist and an administrative assistant, an office manager and a teacher, although most of us are just being full time moms at this moment.

We met for breakfast this morning and the hour and a half conversation covered a high school and firefighters graduation, the pink-dyed baby chick one girl had gotten as a child for Easter that grew into a mean hen (to which the response was, "yea, wouldn't you be if you were dipped in dye?") and when it was attacking her, her grandma had snatched it, wrung it's neck, and they had "chickin' and dumplin's" for dinner! (she's our own southern belle).

We also discussed where you can and cannot find a 40 long men's suit, the new dinosaur exhibit at the zoo, when school ends, copyright laws, the ten commandments, the Christian music industry, various types of yeast, an upcoming baby shower, various churches and denominations and the differences in them, a whole program idea and making bread with a bread machine - it was absolutely hysterical and all in about ninety minutes! It makes you wonder what the people at the next booth must have been thinking... :)

There are starts from each other’s gardens in our flower beds and we feel free to "shop" at each others houses when we need something. We've attended each other's children's sporting events, and worked on and celebrated together the first wedding of a daughter. We have cooked, cleaned, shopped, “retreated”, worshipped, served and weeded together.

Today was a celebratory conversation all about awards and graduations and opportunities and it was the epitome of the adage "Joy shared is doubled joy". I don't even have the math skills to know what a joy shared times four would be...!

But we’ve also stood together in hospital rooms and at too many gravesides. We’ve cried together over needy parents, clueless kids, major health problems, spiritual and personal struggles and how we're trying to juggle it all and keep our sanity intact. There have been times when the tears could not be stopped and you were simply held tears soaking their shoulder; because the rest of the saying is "and shared sorrow is half-sorrow". When you are surrounded by those who love you and sorrow is divided by four, the pain is diminished enough to get through it.

We also talk to each other about each other.

And to me this is the most amazing thing.

I can't tell you how many emails and phone calls have flown between us saying "Pray for...because of..." or "What can we do for...because ...". In all these years we talk about each other “behind their backs” just as we’d talk to their faces because in all things we’ve operated out of a I Corinthians 13 kind of love; not easily angered, patient, not jealous (well…there has been that coveting of that one purse...) but it's not been hard. I think that when you are so completely loved, it is simple to return that same type of love.

So get a girlfriend (or several)!
But get a girlfriend who loves the Lord.

And I promise that you will never be able to find enough words to express her value!
I know I’ve tried, but I can’t, so let me default to these words from Philippians 1.

“Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
I always pray for you, and I make my requests with a heart full of joy…
It is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a very special place in my heart (as) we have shared together in the blessings of God.”

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