Friends: Where two or more are gathered
Tomorrow I am getting together with two friends and their two little ones for lunch. I can't wait to see them and just have time to talk and get to know each other. This is the first time we have ever gotten together for lunch. We met through church. Our families are in a small group together but we've never done anything with just us girls.

After all of our talk and prayers about friendship this week, I prayed that God would show me one way to connect with a friend. Immediately the women in our family house gathering (that is what we call small groups) came to mind. There are nine women in our group - many work, many have small kids, many live pretty far from me. So, what was my initial thought after getting the idea to invite them over for lunch? You guessed it...I thought, "I bet they won't be able to come."

But then I thought about the many things we've shared about wanting friendships more than it seems like others want them. Not having time for friends. Others being so busy. I knew these are the things that keep us from reaching out.

I also realized that my life is so busy that many probably assume I don't have time for them. So, I decided very intentionally not to listen to the threat of disappointment. I knew God just wanted me to open my heart and home. He would smile on my obedience and I could trust Him with the results. If no one could join me, I'd have lunch with Jesus.

So, out of the nine women I invited, two can come!! And you know what? I can't wait to have that time with just them. I know that when two or more gather in HIS name, He shows up in a very special way. I am praying He'll bless our time with the sweetness of His presence.

Honestly, even if only one of my friends could come I'd be excited. God has taught me over time that my value as a friend is not measured by how many friends I have. It's measured by the love in my heart, the encouragement of my words and the reach of my hands as I seek to love God and my girlfriends by reflecting the kind of friendship Jesus offers me.

PS. Life is swarming with adventure at the Swope house. Please visit my family blog for an update. We'd treasure your prayers!

© 2008, Renee Swope. All rights reserved.


Blogger Amy L Brooke said...

Good for you! I'm so happy for you.

I know your two are older. How old are the little ones who are coming? Even though I don't have kids, I try to make my place kid friendly just by always having crayons and paper and such ready. And you might have a few toys your sons might not mind them playing with that they've out grown.

Sorry. Unwanted, unasked for advice. It's just that when it works out to have people here with their childre, they always seem to appreciate that I've thought about their children as well. Silly, maybe.

I will pray that it will be a really good time for you!

Blogger Amy L Brooke said...

Just came from Nicky's site at and she was sharing about friendship too. It was touching. Thought I'd let you know about it.

Have a good day. Oops, I've lingered too long in blogland and now I have to run.

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Thanks for your suggestions Amy. The little ones are 3 and 4, I think. I will pull out some crayons, coloring books, construction paper and some toys that are hiding in the attic. I hadn't thought about it until your comment. You are so smart and creative! You help me be a better friend.

Oh, and thanks for the link to the Nicki's site. I'll have to pop over there.


I really wanted a day to myself, but I called a friend and asked her to meet me for lunch. I thought she would be too busy or have other plans, but she jumped on the idea (as long as I didn't mind her 2 year old toddler tagging along). I didn't. We had a blast, and I have decided to reach out to some new women a couple of times a month for such fellowship.

Your words have really challenged me this week to be intentional about my relationships. I mean it! This is a truth I'm going to sow deeply into my way of doing life. I want to grow up in this area.

Thank you and peace~elaine

Blogger Joyful said...

Praying you'll have a wonderful visit tomorrow. Can you believe the gal I told you I invited cancelled today? Funny how I didn't really want to do this, but then when she cancelled how disappointed I felt. So, instead of entertaining a pity-party for myself and feeling rejected, I now have our church secretary coming for coffee. I have never had her over before. Looking forward to getting to know her better.

Thanks for encouraging me to be faithful in reaching out and being a friend to others.

PS. Still praying for all your other adventures as well.

Blogger my3sons said...

Thank you, all, for sharing. I am encouraged and inspired to be more intentional in reaching out and being a better friend. I want to be more willing to step out of my comfort zone, and grow in this area, too! I will call a friend, today, whom I've lost touch with, and invite her over for dinner. Can't wait to reconnect and find out what God has been doing in her life.

Be blessed today!

Blogger Heather@Mommymonk said...

How exciting to hear about the offer on your house. God will make the next step clear to you.

Have a fun get together with your friends. It's so easy to be discouraged by everyone's busy schedules, but I appreciate your desire to try to make it work anyhow.

P.s. I think sleeping in the van sounds like a better adventure than staying in a hotel anyway! :)

Blogger Digging for Pearls said...

How exciting to have the two ladies coming today. I will be praying that it will be a special time of getting to know each other on a deeper level. How wonderful.

I pray you will have friends come alongside you as you are in the midst of walking in faith with God.

Thanks for the example of reaching out. It has beens something that God has been stirring in my heart too. Hope you have a great time.


Blogger Roxie said...

Renee, Hope you have a great visit today. Thanks for challenging us to reach out to old and new friends. For the last week or so I had been thinking about getting a group of single, single again friends together. Your devotions just made that urge grow. So I'm planning a get together for the weekend my teenagers are at disciple now. I figure I'll do the same thing, issue the invitation and whoever comes comes.


Yeah that is so much fun! I am glad you reached out. I need to do more of that. Girlfriend time is always fun and worth the effort-it is just getting there. I am praying for a blessed time!
Much love,

Blogger Amy L Brooke said...

I hope you had a great visit today. I get to spend an hour with a friend tomorrow! We are just going to grab a Pepsi or something. It's been ages.

Blogger mholgate said...

Renee, I have really enjoyed reading your thoughts on friendship. I have been praying that God would bring me some close friends and He has been faithful to do so.

Right now I have some friends that are going through some really tough times. Do you have any thoughts on bearing one another's burdens?

Blogger Mocha with Linda said...

I loved reading this, and especially the part about leaving it to God and being excited over the two that are coming. I probably would have had a pity party over the 7 that weren't!! :-) Thanks for the great example and inspiration. I hope you had a sweet time of friendship and fellowship.

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