Friendship: Keeping It Simple

I am sitting in my bed with my laptop and I am so stinkin’ tired it’s not even funny. JJ looks at me and smiles. Why don’t you just go to sleep? he asks. I explain that I need to touch base with my bloggy friends and let them know how my lunch went on Friday and how we’re all encouraging each other to reach out and then share what happens. He smiles and turns on the basketball game.

So much happened the past few days. (If you want to know more click here.) Life has been quite the whirlwind, but in the midst of it all, I enjoyed a little oasis of simplicity with my girlfriends Bev and Sharon. They are the two that came over for lunch on Friday.

I wanted to serve something special but I was running out of time. I got consumed Thursday by work and house stuff. By Friday morning I still hadn’t confirmed our time, place or menu. I called Sharon to get her suggestions. She gently encouraged me to keep it simple. “Who cares what we eat? It’s being together that matters.”

Then I called Bev to let her know we’d decided on noon and I was getting croissants and chicken salad if that was ok with her. I could tell by her tone that she loves that combo just as much as I do. She even told me where to get some great chicken salad with grapes and walnuts – Lowes Foods – oh so yummy!

I had also called my friend Jen earlier that morning between carpool and helping in the school store that morning. We’d decided to go for a walk so I could show her the home we were hoping to buy. She came by at 1oam. We walked the few blocks between my current home and new home, peeked into all the windows, and then walked back to my house while talking about different things going on in our lives. We only had an hour together but it was another oasis of simplicity at the end of a chaotic week.

When I got home, I jumped in my van and ran to Lowes to get lunch. I pulled into my driveway just as Sharon and her 5 yr old Madeline were getting here. We went inside and set up our simple lunch – store bought chicken salad and croissants, along with Sharon’s freshly cut cantaloupe and pineapple. Madeline requested a movie – Thumbelina- while the rest of us girls just ate and talked.

Our conversation was so sweet, yet so simple. We talked about things we’d been thinking about, struggles/changes we were all processing in life, simple joys we’d experienced recently. One that I remember well was something Bev shared about how reading blogs has helped her see that women are so much alike. She’s enjoyed reading the responses to Jodie (Pearls) questions about a woman’s 10 greatest struggles. Mostly because it reminds her that she is not alone.

I think that is a simple truth about women and friendships. We want to know that we aren’t alone, we aren’t the only ones who think the way we do or feel the way we do. We long for that simple, yet common connection…face to face and heart to heart.

© 2008, Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.


  1. Renee,
    Wow! It sounds like you had a wonderful time. I’m so happy for you! I have done my own reaching out as well. My friend can’t get together for a couple weeks yet, but after April 19th we plan to get together for tea. She was somebody that God has really put on my heart lately to be praying for. I look forward to our time to get together and share.

    I still keep getting responses trickling in about the ten struggles we face as Christian women. I too have been amazed at how similar we are. It hasn’t seemed to matter our ages, if we have kids or not. I think there are some powerful messages there. I think we need to stop putting up so many barriers and start being real with each other.

    Sorry didn’t mean to get on a soapbox. 🙂 I think your title says it all – Friendship: Keeping it Simple. So thanks Renee for being one of my bloggy friends. I am blessed by you.

  2. In our little town we must settle for McDonald’s for our Wed. morning coffee time with the girls. We would all rather be enjoying Starbuck’s but that is too far away. It really isn’t the quality of anything we buy, it’s the quality of the time spent with people. We talk, people watch all the cute old people who also meet there each Wed., knit, laugh, cry some, catch up on our college kids and enjoy the okay coffee. It is like a life line. We all look forward to Wed. morning. Everyone knows that 7:30 to 10:30 will find someone there each week.

  3. So glad you had such a lovely time of refreshing, especially during such a busy and demanding time.

    Maybe you’ll recall that I mentioned that the friend I was going to have over for lunch Friday cancelled, because she got a better invitation! (Nothing like a friends open honesty!) Anyway, just before lunch on Friday my phone rang and it was this girl. Her other friend was ill and could she still now do lunch with me? OK…swallow pride….say ‘yes’ even though I had felt hurt for being bumped as I was ‘second choice’. We decided then to meet somewhere close for lunch. This friend is not a Christian, but over lunch I shared with her all that God has been doing in my life. How I’m stepping out in faith and trusting Him like I never have before. As we went our separate ways she told me she thinks she’ll start coming to church with me. I’ve known her for 40 years and this is a first! So glad I didn’t allow my hurt feelings to dictate my availability, I would have missed this God designed opportunity to share Christ with my friend.

    Rejoicing with my Best Friend,

  4. I’m so excited for you! That is very cool!!!

    I was beginning to wonder if gravity had taken and inexplicable leave of abscence in your area and you had dropped off the face of the earth. Now I see that it did — you are orbiting in an emotionally happy place. 🙂

    So, do we get to road trip to see your new place during She Speaks? We can do it the morning after spending the night at Lysa’s….

    I hope things continue to be happy!


  5. Simple Friendship — I love this. I can truly complicate my life when it’s really simple. Love the ones the Lord has blessed you with.

    The Lord is teaching me so much about girlfriends — over the past 5 years I’ve gone through enough about girlfriends to write a book!!
    I’m learning to keep it simple and reach out in love. My friends don’t care if the house is perfect (which is a really good thing since I think housework is about as much fun as getting a root canal).

    Renee — thanks for getting this conversation going. Friends are such a precious gift from God and I know that I don’t always appreciate them as I should.

  6. I have been thinking about the conversations on friendship on your blog. Over the weekend, I had dinner with a girlfriend that I had not seen in about 20 years. The conversation was much as you described here. It was a wonderful reminder of how important that face to face connection is. Thanks for sharing your heart. Blessings!

  7. Loved reading this. Why do we make it so hard?

  8. Que magnificos pensamientos para un día de Navidad..!! bueno para cualquier día. Coincido plenamente contigo Brianda. Es buena la sensación de sentirse próximo a alguien con quien se comparten ideas como las que expones. Ojala vaya aumentando el numero de personas con pensamientos similares. Sería muy beneficioso para ellos y también para los que los que estén próximos a ela.soGracils por tus escritos Brianda.

  9. Mmm.. De ser gode ud, og skal helt klart afprøves! Tror bare jeg vil vælge at rive ost selv, da en del af det revne ost man køber, er drysset med mel for ikke at klumpe :-/

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