I've been thinking a lot about girl friendship. It's a pretty nice thing, if you ask me. My pondering started as I thought about my friend Keri and how we've been friends for the last 20 years and have walked through all the highs and lows and love each other as much as you can love a friend, I think.
Then I thought about my sister, and what a great friend she is. We didn't always like each other like we do now. Like when she would hit me with her toy telephone, or absolutely hate that Mom sometimes let me tag along with she and her friends. I'm glad we got over that. We're very different, but it doesn't matter. It's an amazing thing to have someone in your life that is always FOR you. She's always for me, even when I'm not easy to be for. And she's really funny. We laugh so hard sometimes we can't talk, tears rolling down our cheeks and everything.
My sister-in-law, Sue, is for me too, and she's a party waiting to happen, any time and anywhere. I love this about her, because it's only how I am in my dreams. I'm glad that she's part of my family. We probably wouldn't have thought to become friends since we're so different, but she lives across the street and I get to see her a lot and join her party. She inspires me to lighten up and not take myself so seriously.
Then there's my friend Lori. She's one of my funniest friends, and deepest, too. I love spending time with her--we alternate between hilarity and deep conversation Sometimes within seconds. We relate on many levels, and have known each other for over 30 years. We started singing together in the 7th grade. We wrote notes to each other about the boys that we loved and were sure we'd marry some day. We didn't. I went on my first real diet with her in the 9th grade. She didn't need to, since she was voted "Best Build" in our senior yearbook. I think she did it just to encourage me. That's what a good friend would do, and she's a really good friend.
I have a neigher, Lisbeth, who is one of those "what you see is what you get" friends. True and authentic and loving and REAL. She has a lovely home that I love to go to, just to hang out because it's cozy, just like her. We were just commenting that we have the kind of friendship where you don't have to do or say anything -- you can just sit and ponder together -- and it's totally comfortable. It's a no-expectations friendship. I love that about her.
And there's my friend Cathy--we've known each other for over 30 years, too. She's been there through thick and thin and knows a lot of deep, dark secrets about me. Although we grew up to be very different in many ways I know she'd drop everything to come if I needed her. I'd do the same. She's a deep thinker and challenges me in my faith and what I believe to be true. She makes me ponder and want to really KNOW why I believe what I believe. Good friends do that, too, even when you have to agree to disagree. That's just fine when you love each other. She's that beautiful kind of friend.
And Tammy -- I never call her Tammy -- we call each other 'Roommite' because we lived together for the three years before I got married, and 'roommate' was a bit too normal. We were always anything but normal. She's another of my funny, quirky friends. We do a mean imitation of the bagpipes -- it takes two wierd people to really pull that off with excellence, and we do. We consoled eachother through many a broken heart, and knew what it really meant when we each found our soul mate in the one we married. We each have only one child, boys, born eight weeks apart. She has always been there for me no matter what 'being there' meant, even as our lives have taken us to live in different parts of the country. We have a lifelong connection. We don't call each other as often as I'd like anymore, but she's one of those friends that I often think about and wish lived closer, just so we could see each other and laugh and talk and do the bagpipes.
Julie is my friend and mentor. I've often said I want to be her when I grow up. I hope that I will even be sort of like her, just a little. I try to be like her now. She loves the Lord with all her heart and serves Him like every day is her last. I want to have that kind of heart for God. Whenever I spend time with her I always seem to have an "Aha! moment" and I come away feeling refreshed and renewed. She spurs me on to greater things and reminds me of what's important. She's a treasure to me.
I met a new friend this week, Tara-Leigh. She was only in town for a few days and we shared a brief lunch, just a moment, really. She's one of those friends that you meet and immediately like, but know that they'll soon be gone and you'll wish they wouldn't leave but they have to. One of those friends that you know would be a good friend if they stayed. I wish she could've stayed.
So many other friends: Courtney, my fun music friend; Becky, my spiritual encourager and conference partner; Jan, my dear friend who lives far away but is forever close to my heart for all we've shared, from the mountain to the valley and back again; Vicki, my friend for life; Betsy, my friend who has always been there at a moment's notice; Janet, my Cannon Beach friend through the seasons; my mother and my mother-in-law...two women I admire so much for so many reasons -- "rocks" in my heart and life; and Donna and Kyla, my young and newly-married friends who keep me feeling younger than I am and remind me of me all those years ago.
So I've been pondering and am thankful for such treasured girlfriend gifts, all of them -- I am who I am in large part because God put these women in my life. May I have the grace to be this kind of gift to others.