Thursday, November 16, 2006

Friends are good

Today was such a fun gift for me....two of my best friends from Dallas, Kelli and Holly, came to Tyler, and we all surprised another girl we know (Kate, who went to church with us at Euless). Kate is having her second baby and just moved to Tyler a couple weeks before I did, so we all went to eat at the Potpourri House to have some girl time (without kids around!) and give Kate baby gifts. We had such a good time. I loved laughing with them. I am reminded of how blessed I am to have some good girlfriends who are real, authentic girls.....they don't put on masks and get caught up in all the appearance management junk that goes on so much today with women's friendships. Those girls are so genuine....they let you into their lives....they let you see the good, the bad, and the ugly, and I am so grateful for that. I learn from them that way. They love the Lord so much, and because they are vulnerable enough to let you see them as they are, you really learn from them. I have learned so much about perspective on trials because of these girls. One of them once told me flat out that I couldn't really trust the Lord and still worry like I do; she told me I had to make a choice between the two. Wow, what a good friend! Not many are that honest. That was a few years ago when she told me that simple truth, and it changed my life and the way I respond to opportunities to worry. I am so glad to have learned that from her then, because motherhood brings all kinds of opportunities for worry, fear, and panic! (To this day, she doesn't remember saying that, but I'll always remember it!) These girls have demonstrated to me, all the time I've known them, their intentionality in investing in the lives of their girlfriends. Nothing about their friendships is characterized by the motive of "what does this person have to offer me as a friend?" They are all about cultivating friendships on the basis of "how can I invest in this friend and help her to know the Lord more intimately?" I just think more friendships should be about that. I just love their intentionality and sense of purpose they bring to their friendships. I love that I have friends who go deeper than the "surface-y"friend stuff....because aren't we all tired of that stuff anyway? I like that we go deep with each other, get to the heart of issues....our phone conversations deal less with what's going on in our lives (daily details, circumstances, etc.) and much more about what God is showing us or how He's trying to grow us. God is always most concerned with where our hearts are, so as good friends, shouldn't we be as well? But one of the things I most appreciate about these women are that they are so fun. Life is always so funny to us when we get together....we laugh and laugh. And yes, we get a little too silly at times, but it is never boring! And that is very important to me, because so often girls I know sacrifice the living of abundant life once they become a mom. And these girls refuse to go there. They will not stop living life fully just because they are in the "valley of diapers" (as a college prof of mine once called it)....They will not back out of their commitments to serve in the church because they have little ones. They will make their families their priority, but they will not get closed off to relationships with other people. They know that friendship is still very important and they make time for it. They don't "check out" of life for this period of however many years that they have young kids at home. And they sure don't stop spending time in the Word because of the pressures and distractions of mothering. They haven't stopped wanting to learn. They haven't stopped wanting to grow. And they are still willing to get in the car with little ones and drive from Arlington to Tyler just for lunch, even with babies crying and not sleeping the entire car drive.....that doesn't stop them because they value their friends so much. I really appreciate them doing that today. I know Kelli and Holly really made the trip to "shower" Kate, but I feel really blessed too. I feel like it was also a gift for me. I'm so impressed and touched by their willingness to "road trip" for us! And they are certainly not the only friends like that that I have in my life....I am grateful for my other sweet friends too. I'm writing all about this today because I just feel challenged to be the kind of friend they are to me, to other people. I hope that I can make investments in my friends like that. I hope that all of you friends reading this know how much I love you! And I pray that everyone has the opportunity to have a girlfriend like these ones I spent time with today. I just thought of how with those girls, we all got close very didn't take time because we didn't waste time on the surface matters. We just got right down to the deep stuff right away. If we all went into friendships with that kind of mentality, life would be so different for most of us, in the area of friendships. Anyway, today was a very poignant reminder of how I need to be doing that more.
Sorry, I know I said these wouldn't be long. I lied. =) I guess you'll have to stop reading it if it's too long for you! But it's great to get all of these thoughts out, as my heart is very full today.