Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Friend Day

Friday Friend Day!

During the "seasons" of a woman’s life, many types of friends pass through, but when the years trundle by and sudden occasions offer us thoughtful reflection, it is then we give our heads a happy shake, realizing the value each of them has represented in the timeline of our lives, sincere blessings we’ve obtained because of them sharing in the story of our lives.

Certainly in the end, there may be very few women we actually end up calling a lifelong cherished friend. Some woman only have but one or two still around in their senior years, others a special handful, of those super quality filled best buddies.

We all know that kind of friend I speak of, the one who eventually and unabashedly seems to weaken our brick wall, sending the bricks flying about, offering a glimpse at our vulnerable and true transparent selves, a wondering gentle spirit developing and maturing like we’ve not known before, and eventually this all offers a trusting bond so implicit by design, you know, the person before you likened to an “Anne of Green Gables” kindred heart to your own.

The friend I speak of is one we are happy to have chance visits with as we age, and one we can extend a sincere embrace to just because, without so much as whispering a word. They know what they mean to us, they learned it over the history of the relationship, enduring thick and thin together along the way, each reciprocating along the way with that ultimate gift of the friendship factor.

These friends often just happen to be “there”, guiding us through the fires of our lives, navigating us out of our pits of despair, and endure our weak moments with the flick of a finger, as if to say “whatever” when in actual fact charity is prevailing with silent mentoring in progress.

There is something to say about the sort of unconditional love that comes along with the package deal in these friendships. These friends seem to know your exact thought patterns even before we have the chance to vocalize them or even utter the softest whisper, while we continue on hoping for progress in sifting through the mass of emotional brain-drain. They are really often rare, aren’t they? But, when we have them, they are always to be cherished, forever and ever.

Some of my girls and I

Over the years, I have come to value my kindred hearted and life’s journey-walking friends . They have been the ones who have hobbled along on this great adventure called life thus far with me, the ones seemingly hanging around season after season, growing old like me, the very ones whom I am continually so grateful for.

Bookstore visit!

While out west, the boys and I visited the “Focus on the Family” bookstore. One of their featured reads this year has been “Grown up Girlfriends by Erin Smalley and Carrie Oliver. Normally such a book wouldn’t be my greatest preference to pick up and span the back cover for clues of the interior read. However, I did. Interestingly, this is what caught my eye…

“You weren’t meant to walk through life alone…but how do you find faithful friends who will make the journey with you?”.

WOW! I had already been identifying with the author long before reading her writing, and I was definitely in the midst of giving thanksgivings for those valued friends who have blessed me along the way, but here in black and white there was a candid look at grown up girlfriend realities. I bought it, began to read it on the plane while flying back home, and highly recommend it as a personal read or a group study. It is a sweet writing which speaks to the heart of any grown up woman.

May I recommend this book?

The ladies from the “Grown up Girlfriends” book offer practical insight into building rewarding relationships that endure. They also say the grown-up girlfriend joyfully travels the path to maturity in the company of her friends.

As our family continues our own journey, that of living life in the east, the slogan given to me before leaving the west was; “you will definitely find out who your true friends are now”, and I have, though admittedly a few have been a painful discovery for me.

Therefore without further ado, I hope to make a few “Friday Friend Day” presentations here, tributes to the women in my life who are my “grown up girlfriends”. There will not be any particular order they will just appear. I will allow it to become my own personal tribute to special friendships, those standing the test of time, the very women who have always been there for me, and continue to inspire me towards becoming a better person.

They fill my life with great joy, and have given me plenty of warm memories to keep in the safe haven of my heart, and have given me many kicks in the pants. They offer me great counsel when I require it, they aren’t afraid to chastise me, and they strive to keep me living in the real world.

I had a lovely surprise arrive this week in my mail, one I was told was seemingly sent back in December and somehow lost by the business it was ordered from. It was a music Cd, wrapped in a bright red shiny envelope, and a card attached saying; “I know you live your life with the music turned up. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do”. It was from my Tennessee friend, Denise. (Heh Sistah!)

How did she know I loved this talented music group?

How did she know?

This past December I purchased the Point of Grace Christmas cd, because (truth coming) it was on the counter with a sale price of $5.00 with a purchase at “Family Christian Store” during that particular month. It proved to be one of those real musical gems which we all enjoyed very much over the Christmas season.

On the cover, I noticed their advertised website and eventually I was able to enjoy a wee visit there. The Christmas cd appeared first thing on their introductory webpage splash, and contained the featured music snippets for anyone to listen to in the convenience of their own home.

After I unwrapped the new cd titled; “How you live”, I decided to visit the Point of Grace website again, and this new cd is the current introductory splash now displayed on their main page, with all of the musical snippets right there for all to check out.

My friendship with Denise began many years ago now, and evolved slowly but surely over time, after a chance meeting when we both frequented the FIAR (Five in a Row) curriculum online boards, along with another kindred friend, Justine. We were both involved in home education and this was a place to discuss the books we were studying at home with our children. We seemed to click right away and had an incredible amount of similarities in our current season of womanhood items on our priority lists. It was uncanny how many there were as our writings and chatting unfolded.

Even though the boards were for the purpose of sharing ideas and thoughts using the specific children's curriculum, we discussed assorted other topics as well and soon our discussions unfolded so many other similarities. Our oldest daughters were engaged to be married around the same period, and eventually our first grandbabies were born just a few weeks apart. She had older adult children, and younger ones still living at home, just like me. We are both busy women with our lots happening in our lives, so our friendship has included huge chunks of time lapsing in between our enjoyable conversations. A friend though is someone whom you can pick up with repeatedly, no matter what the span of time was in between the last visit together. She is one of those.

Denise never fails to be the type of a friend who dons her sneakers and takes time out for walking alongside of me during the highs and lows of life, some we've hiked through together, even those dreaded valley times appearing in the blink of an eye. She speaks and writes so eloquently (brutally honest too) and never fails to make me smile, while at the same time booting me up to challenge a new day. She is a no nonsense person with whom I have much in common, a woman clearly after my own heart with the continued words of encouragement through the years. She is my Sister Chick (see the right side bar) who has no problem letting me know when I require new lenses for my glasses, nice colorful ones at that. There is nothing as special as a friend who gives you advice such as this. Thank you friend! Thank you for who you are and for loving me warts and all....LOL.

Keep checking on Fridays for friendship photos and a few lines underneath. Even if you don't see your photo here, you'd best keep checking. You may be next...grin, grin, grin...

I will leave you with this video below of the gals singing their theme song called; “How you live”. The song is fabulous, the words are profound and easily a message to everyone out there in this big cyber world.

Enjoy and do not forget to turn up the music!