Friendship Give-Away Winner
Thanks to all of you who came by this past week and hung out with me so we could talk about friendships. I love girl-talk about stuff women don't usually discuss - like comparison, compulsive email checking, wanting friends but wondering if anyone else would want to be your friend, the challenge of making/finding time for friends, etc.

I used to think I was the only one who thought that way I do, felt the way I do and acted the way I do. I think that is why God called me to be a speaker, 'cause He knew that by talking about it all, I'd find out we women are so much alike it's not even funny. Well, you have convinced me that I am pretty normal - and that is a good feeling!

I was talking with a friend this weekend about the comparison thing and the comments on my blog. She said she just wanted to pick up the phone and call April to invite her over for coffee since she could empathize with what she shared. She just knew they could be good friends.

I love what happens in our hearts when we find out we are not alone, that we all struggle in some way or another with the same things. It's the very thing that connects our hearts to each other. It also weakens the power of insecurity or comparison when we just put it out there and are willing to be honest with ourselves and each other.

Well, I am not ready to move on to a different topic. I don't feel God giving me the go-ahead. I just have too much I need to ponder on this friendship thing, and more of my heart I really want to share. I also want to read through your comments again and again, (you girls posted some good stuff!) and talk more about what you shared and my thoughts on some of the questions that were asked. I am also studying Jesus' friendships so I know there is some good stuff for us to learn from Him. The One who calls us friend.

Oh, and I have a story to tell you about how I met a dear friend (who many of you know), Lysa TerKeurst. It's a funny story so be sure to stop back by for more girl-talk and the inside scoop on Ms. P31 - and P is not for perfect, thank goodness!

I would tell it tonight but it's 11:30pm and hubby just stopped by to tell me it's time for bed. We've been gone all day today, so I just got online but I do need to get some rest :-). Bummer, wish I could blog more.

But before I go I want to congratulate my two friend-shippy-give-away winners:
Amy Brooks and Mary Lu will be receiving a Starbucks gift card, a bracelet and a book!


Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

Congrats to the winners! I soooo wanted that Starbucks card (obvious by my blog name!), but I know the real prize is the wonderful insight and camaraderie on these blogs! So we're all winners. I'm glad you're continuing the theme! I look forward to more!

And I'm glad I can consider you a friend!


And P.S. My brain finally engaged and I corrected your name and took the "s" off the end on my site! Little things like that are a big deal to me!

Blogger Digging for Pearls said...

Congratulations to the winners.

I'm so glad you are going to continue the discussion/thoughts and friendships. I really have enjoyed it this past week. I guess it is dear to my heart because my dear friend will soon be leaving PA and moving to Georgia.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Blogger April said...

Congratulations to the winners! "I will not covet my bloggy friends prizes, I will not...." Okay that's enough of that! And I really am happy that Amy and Marylu won! I prayed(and I'm sure that you did too Renee)that the women God wanted to win would, and He obviously hand picked them out! Isn't our Heavenly Father wonderful?!

Thank you Renee for keeping the friendship topic going! I am learning sooo much! I was really touched by what you wrote about your friend wanting to have me over for coffee. It is so freeing and amazing that there are women out there just like us, who have the same struggles and areas of weakness! I'm sure she and I would be friends! Thank you for keeping this going! Can't wait to see what God has in store for us all this week! Love to all, April

Blogger MaryLu said...

Oh my goodness! I'm speechless, not a thing to say, flabbergasted even, no way to express my thankfullness and excitement! GASP!
I was reading to the bottom so I could tell you to keep up the Friendhsip discussion, and there I was! How cool is that, so yes, please, keep up the great discussion!! Love it, love it!

Blogger Laura said...

Congrats to the winners. This has been a great topic and I have really enjoyed the "conversation". Thank you!

Anonymous kristenm said...

So glad you are continuuing this subject. We recently finished a Bible study on friendships. What I most cherished was the illustration of Jesus and his friendships. While everyone probably wanted to be Jesus' friend, even He had different levels of friendship. First, he had his Father, his closest friend which he spoke to daily. Next, he had three other closest friends - Peter, James, and John, who he probably saw and spoke with on a regular basis. Then, he had his other nine disciples. Finally, he had others such as Lazarus, Mary, and Martha which He saw and talked with occasionally.
Knowing that Jesus handled friendships like this helps me keep in perspective that there are different levels of friendship. I can also see there won't always be time for everyone, but even friends who you see every once and awhile are precious too.

Blogger Amy L Brooke said...

Thanks! 3 things. How cool . . . .

I really appreciate having a place to talk about this important subject. It's a hard one because everyone thinks that everyone else already knows how to make friends. But, I guess there are a lot of us who are fairly insecure about it.

Thanks for sharing.

Blogger Lelia Chealey said...

Please keep sharing what God leads you to share with us~I know I just learn so much from you.
On my blog today I let everyone know how EXCELLENT your blog the bottom of the "Nothing but the truth" post.
You bless me daily my friend!

Blogger MrsProverbs31 said...

Congratulations Amy and Marylu! I can let go of the Starbucks, but man I sure would love the book. But as mocha with linda says, "the real prize is the wonderful insight and camaraderie on these blogs!" It's becoming my everyday norm. I don't get out very much and most days it is my only way of communicating with other women outside of my home.

Great job! And lot's of love. Shoua

Blogger Christy said...

Renee, I think this a critical issue to discuss. It affects not just individually but it greatly impacts the church and our communities. How we live in friendship with one another as believers is so important. And it is a dear to my heart. In my married life, my friendships with women have been difficult. My closest friends don't live nearby. And although online communication and cell phones help, there is nothing like having good friends to just "be" with. My husband I have made some many attempts to deepen relationships with people at our church. We are simply tired of trying. Most people seem very content with seeing you on Sundays and Wednesdays. Our church community seems to have "an out sight out of mind" attitude. The details of our efforts and our prayers are lengthy. This has been a struggle for such a long time. We believe strongly that God has in the right church for His purposes. It would just be nice if someone would take the time to care for us. But before I start sounding too whiney, let me get back to my point. I think we have become accustomed to living in a busy but very isolated world. We may see many people throughout our day doing the many things we do with our families, work, church but how much true relationship and community is really accomplished in all that. We're tired at our house. Not physically, not emotionally, not spiritually, but in that place where you gather your strength and courage to make a change, that's where we are tired. We are tired of the church as usual. We are tired of the excuses and the reasons. Too much is at stake. But I don't know what else to do. As much as we believe we are where God has said to be, we do wonder if it is time to move on. Keep the conversation going. Friendships are crucial.

Blogger April said...

What Christy said has been weighing heavily on my heart all day. I know somewhat what you are going through. My husband and I don't really have any couples from our church that we hang out with, and he is the youth pastor! We too have observed that most people seem content to see you Sunday and Wednesday, and that's it. I know you said that you and your husband have tried to reach out and to no avail. I don't feel like my husband and I have tried hard enough. Our church has small groups that usually meet on Sunday nights(we have youth group & can't go) where families come together and grow closer to God and each other. It really helps to establish community within a large church. But, it takes sacrifice and commitment, and transparency. I think a lot of people don't want to be open, to be transparent. It goes hand in hand with what Renee has talked about, comparison, what if they don't like me?, will they accept me? Just like you said, I think people are too tired to try, too tired, maybe, of hiding behind who everyone thinks they are, but still scared to say who they really are. In my heart, I feel that's what keeps people from investing in relationships. I know it has kept me from reaching out, but I am determined to turn over a new leaf! As a pastor's wife I struggle with the whole "living in a glass house" thing. I think that I need to be perfect, my kids not only need to look perfect at church, but behave perfectly as well. I can't tell you how many times I have left church in tears because one or all of my children misbehaved, and the "perfect" family sitting behind us saw them and saw me lose it and not discipline out of love, and I felt like they had lost respect for our family. I have to tell you I got REALLY transparent with lots of women from our church at a womens retreat about a year and a half ago. I got up in front of them and sobbed(hunny, it was NOT pretty!)out how I had let that image I had to uphold keep me from developing relationships with all of them. What I had to say was well received, but did that end my struggle? It lessend it for about six months, but here I am again! Hey! I'm a work in progress! I think through that experience, I was expecting women my age to suddenly embrace me and be my forever friends. That didn't happen, but I don't think I really put out the effort. There has still been that voice saying you're not good enough.... I know I'm learning a lot more about friendships through Renee's blog, and am excited(and nervous) of putting what I have learned to practice! God bless you Christy, I will be praying for you as I know all of us here in "bloggy world" will be as well! Hang in there and grow with us! Sincerely, April

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