Friends. It’s what God gave me for my birthday last week. He knew it’s what I needed most.
The past year has been very busy at work and home. Something had to give and I didn’t want it to be my family, so I cut back on my social life. A lot of what I do requires that I be alone and it can be very lonely. I feel God leading me to a better place of balance in my friendships. Wouldn’t you know, I am also preparing a message about friendships for a retreat I am doing in April. That’s often what He does, calls me to teach a message He wants me to learn again, and live out in a very new and real way.
So, back to my birthday. The Friday before, my close friends Jen, Vicki and Debbie took me out to lunch. I have known them for years through Bible studies and going to church together. Love these women to pieces!! They gave me a beautiful necklace and earrings that day. (Please note the sweater and white shirt Jen is wearing…you will see it again.)
I had an event on the night of my birthday in Charleston, SC. So I went early to spend a day with my dear friend Margaret. We met years ago when she invited me to speak at her women’s conference and we’ve been friends ever since. Spending my birthday with her was so much fun, but as Friday’s post explains, having this much fun was a surprise because I had started out so homesick. Here we’re having dinner at The Queen Anne’s Revenge on Daniel Island Sunday night.
We slept in for my birthday (Monday), got ready at a leisurely pace and headed to the church where I’d be speaking that night to do some set-up. That’s when we spotted Starbucks!! Here I am with my all time favorite – a Cinnamon Dolce Skinny Latte.
Our barista took our photo, but before he did, I said, “Hold on, I’ve got to make sure my white shirt under my sweater isn’t showing.” He said, “It’s okay, it’s not showing…I’m looking.” I’m like –You’re looking? I know you did not just tell me you are looking at my v-neck to see that my shirt is not showing. We both blushed. Maybe it was my beautiful necklace he couldn’t take his eyes off. Margaret surprised me with it and matching earrings to go with the sweater I had brought to wear that day. Love it!
We also browsed Steinmart near the Starbucks looking for this cute jacket Margaret was wearing that I just had to have!! They didn’t have any at that store, but when I got back to Charlotte on Tuesday, I went to our Steinmart and found the only one left, in my size and I had a 20% off birthday coupon!!!
After Steinmart we headed to downtownCharleston for lunch at the famous Magnolia’s restaurant where we had pimento cheese hush puppies, shrimp and scallops, country fried steak and fried artichoke hearts. Then we walked through the market and down Meeting Street, browsed the sales racks at Banana Republic. (We both got a sweater for $25 – originally $68. But when I got home I returned it for a new size and it was marked down to $15! Love birthday bargains.) We were getting sluggish so we popped into you know where, Starbucks for an afternoon Frappacino. Well, it was right there next to BR, so we had to go in you know.
Then we drove down Bay Street andEast Battery to see Rainbow Row and a few of the beautiful historic homes on the bay front Afterwards we headed back to our hotel on Daniel Island to rest and get ready for my event that evening.
We arrived at Sea Coast Church at 7pm for their Women’s Expo – A New Year, A New You! It was an amazing event. I got to meet some new sweet friends and worship God in the power of His presence – connecting our hearts to Him and each other.
The glory of His heart was reflected in the gifts and talents of these women and their desire to move into closer community. They had 500 women in attendance who flocked to sign up for small groups, the women’s retreat and volunteer opportunities.
Here I am with some of the leadership teams and women who were so sweet they felt like sister-friends when I left. L-R: Sherry (pastor of programming), Me, Debbie(a friend I knew years ago at a former church who recommended me for the event) and Betsy (women’s ministry director.) Notice what I am wearing…same kind of sweater as Jen in first photo. I have minimal fashion sense or time to shop, but who needs to when you can just copy your fashionista friends!?
Friendship. It’s what I needed for my birthday last week, and what I need more of this year. I needed a day to just have fun, to connect with my friend through laughter, girl-talk and girl-stuff. The funny thing is that God gave me a gift that matched the message He’d also given me to share at Seacoast, about our need to be known and to be loved by friends – and I didn’t even realize it until now.
I want to ponder this topic a little while. So, I’m looking for some bloggy friends to join me in some girl-talk about friendship. Will you be one of them?
I believe every woman’s heart longs for real connections with real friends. I also know it can be a sensitive topic because we’ve been hurt, rejected or without friends at times. I’ve been there.
I know it’s hard when life’s too busy for us and our friends, when kids are small and we’re balancing family and work. So, let’s let’s get real with each other and start some girl-talk about friendships, and make a few new ones here.
To make it fun, I am going to do a give-away of something “friend-shippy” like a Starbuck’s card, a book and maybe some jewelry later this week. ‘Cause I know girlfriends love to win free stuff! Please post your own thoughts about women’s friendships, or answer one of these questions….
- Do you stay connected with your friends? If so, how?
- If not, what do you think are the greatest obstacles for women to have good friendships?
Simply click the word “comments” below – and be sure to leave your email or come back this week to see if you’re the winner and to keep this girl-talk going. See you soon!