Friendship is so important! There are many amazing people in my life who come from all different walks and varying ages. The people who I spend the most time with and who significantly impact my life, are the women in my life! Some are related to me through some form. Many are not related, but I still call them my “sisters.” Each and every one of these ladies brings something to the table that I can learn and grow from. I love each of them!

There are my young, more hip, edgier friends. They help me to wear my ponytails just a little bit higher and stay out of the “mom jeans” awhile longer (mom jeans have made a comeback with teen girls now. I just don’t think I can pull that style off).

There are my girlfriends who have been around since we were kids. I love the sweetness of those relationships. We have a history together. We can still, to this day, laugh at the same “inside jokes” that we giggled at years ago. There is a lot of comfort that comes from spending time with these special ladies.

Then there are my fitness-fanatic friends. They motivate me to get up off the couch when I’m tired and MOVE my body! These ladies always have tips to impart about health and fitness; the latest keto wine or how to build up that booty (I can’t believe I’m writing this). My “mommy friends” are experts when it comes to parenting. They are often juggling 5 young kids, homeschooling, and running a small business all at the same time. I like to bounce questions off of them when it comes to kids and parenting or marriage.

There are my “hippie chick” friends. Together, I’m sure we could come up with more than a dozen uses for breast milk other than feeding a baby (yes, there really are so many other uses). We could talk about essential oils and supplements for hours. I have friends who are savvy in budgeting and finances. Those who could become professional organizers. They label EVERYTHING including their kids. Kidding! My career orientated friends who have jobs in healthcare or real estate or who are business owners. Most all of my friends can make me laugh, often without trying (FYI- this is like my top “friendship criteria”).

My Bible teacher friends who are so full of knowledge and wisdom. My prayer warrior friends, my adoption and foster mommy friends. You just can’t fully understand that arena unless you have walked through it. I have many friends who have. It’s such a comfort to be able to relate!

I could go on and on with the varieties. My “family friends” fit into many of these categories. In fact, many of my friends possess several of these qualities all at once. I admire each of these women for who they are and what they stand for as well as all that they accomplish in their lives. Some have experienced very difficult times in their lives and I have walked beside them, just as they do for me.

Recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down with a group of ladies, many who I have known for several years. They have witnessed my walk through the difficult seasons of my life. A few have known me for well over a decade, long before kids were in the scene. These ladies are REAL women. Women who do not have any expectations, except to simply show genuine, sisterly love to one another. There are no masks or barriers or walls. No competition; just spending simple, sweet, refreshing time with one another.

We all brought food to share for a brunch and we drank good coffee. Parking ourselves on couches and recliners, we passed the time by catching up on each other’s lives. There was laughter. Lots of laughter. Some tears and time lifting one another up in prayer and…encouragement. So much encouragement! I even learned the proper way to pronounce “memes.” Note to self: They are not called “Me-Me’s.” (insert self-directed eye-roll). I’m learning. 😉 Some woman’s kids were in and out. I stopped once to pick my youngest up from preschool. We continued right on with our fellowship together.

Some ladies brought clothing that they no longer wanted and needed to find a new home for. I walked away with a large bag full of “new” clothing (to me). It was like Christmas! What a beautiful picture of friendship and sisterhood. True sisterhood. Relationships where you can bear your soul and not worry about rejection or back-stabbing or gossip or any of the things that cause people to shut oneself off from relationships.

We need people. We need relationships like the ones mentioned above. We are created to be with one another. Life was not meant to be walked alone. It can be hard and lonely. We need support! I can’t tell you the number of times I have been struggling and others have come alongside me, lifted up my arms up (figuratively) and helped sustain me until I could stand on my own two feet once again. Ladies, we need sisters. Guys, you need bros. Friends pick us up when we are down. They give us a new perspective and refresh our mindset.

If you feel alone and do not have others to come alongside you, find a place to get plugged into and start developing relationships. For me, a church is my number one place because my faith is my top priority and I can develop relationships with like-minded people. Other places where I have developed friendships is through an exercise class or a gym. Sometimes through a group of people who enjoy the same hobby such as runner clubs or mountain bike clubs. There are yoga groups; sewing, cooking, you name it. I’ve even seen tightrope-walking and jousting groups and people who dress up in medieval attire. There is something for everyone. Pick a group. Show up. Begin building relationships today! You’ll be glad you did!

I’m reminded of the song lyrics, written by Gary Portnoy. The words go to the theme song of the 1980’s sitcom, Cheers. I used to watch this show often as a kid:

“Making your way in the world today
Takes everything you got
Taking a break from all your worries
It sure would help a lot
Wouldn’t you like to getaway? Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came
You want to be where you can see
The troubles are all the same
You want to be where everybody knows your name. You want to go where people know the people are all the same
You want to go where everybody knows your name”

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