And a friend's a friend forever...(finish it you Michael W. Smith fans)

If you are stopping by my blog from the Encouragement for Today devotions by the P31 team or if Lysa sent you by to say hello, welcome! Stay a while, It would be great to hang out with you.

Do you Facebook or Twitter? Those are some crazy little gadgets, aren't they? I love how it connects me with people I haven't had contact with in years. Just as nifty, it connects me with people I actually saw at church on Sunday, but didn't get to sit down and talk with. When it comes to Facebook in particular, I'm kind of just a Facebook stalker. I don't really post a whole lot; I just sneak a peek inside other people's world. I love looking at pictures of their kids, their trip to Disney or Grandma's 90th Birthday party. In all honesty, though, I rarely engage.

That got me thinking, am I that way in life? Do I really engage with my real-life, not-via-email/Facebook/Twitter/Blogging friends?

Girls need friends. I am a 31-year-old mother of three, and I still desperately need friends.  I need girlfriends to talk to about diaper duty, the best laundry detergents and which farm has the best pumpkin patch this fall. I need to come up for air from the daily-ness of Mommy duty. My girlfriends let me be me.

Maybe I should take it a step further. It's not even that I just need friends. According to Facebook I have like, 347 of those. No, I need relationships-deep, real relationships. I need the kind of relationships that will ask me tough questions, help me deal with sin and keep me accountable to follow through with the lessons God is teaching me. My best friends don't just let me be me, they push me to be more like Jesus. But these kinds of relationships are hard work. They don't just happen overnight or a via a Facebook status update.

These kinds of relationships require that I engage. It's the same word we use to describe a couple's pre-marital status. It connotes a pledge or a vow. I want to be the kind of friend that pledges to help make my others' lives better-more like Jesus. You?

I'm writing a teaching series on the topic of friendship. Leave me a comment on your experience with girlfriends. Love 'em, need 'em or leave 'em? I really would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks friends. And hey, how are you more like Jesus today than yesterday?


On Purpose said...

Whitney this is such great encouragement for my heart today...that I will take with me...we are launching/starting a new Women's Ministries program at our church at the end of this month...called Girlfriends Unlimited...your post today has encouraged me to really seek the purpose of this ministry...for women...to have relationships with each other and Jesus!

Bridget said...

Hey Whitney,
First, your devotional left me speechless. So good and so needed. (I'm going to find the book and read it!)

Friendship-I learned something about by myself over the last few months regarding friendships. I need them, I crave them and I desperately want them to be authentic, accountability partnerships. Over the past few weeks, I've spent a lot of time writing and finishing a Bible Study. There hasn't been much time for girlfriends, so I started to mourn for those connections. Honestly it took me by suprise that it meant so much to me. Then God began to show me that part of my fear of full-time ministry is that I fear losing those connections. Writing and speaking are lonely! It's one more thing to lay at His feet and to have faith that He knows what I need.

Anonymous said...

Talk about beinging taken back...wow. For the last few weeks I have felt so disconnected from everything. Friends, well I don't feel like I have any! Often times when I am struggling with feeling of pursacution, it comforts me to know Jesus and what he went through for us and by no means is what I'm going through even compares to his heatache. I can relate to being a worm, as I have been crushed more time than not. Especially by my "fiends". I am so alone right now that I too must get past myself. I know that this message is for me to grow. I thank you so much for speaking what you have been spoke to about!

Digging for Pearls said...

Friends are something that we all need. The hard thing in today's society is taking time out of our busy schedules to develop and deepen these relationships. God built us for fellowship.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.


Lara said...

Hi Whitney!

Oh, friend, I know what you mean about girlfriends! I am so incredibly blessed with GREAT girlfriends. Some of them I have known for a few years...others I have known since Girl Scouts, and I love each one of them with all of my heart.

They are some of the biggest blessings in my life. I am getting ready to have surgery in a few weeks, and they are promising me tons of food (isn't that such a girl thing???!!! :->) My sweet boyfriend looks at how my friends and I care about each other, and he always comments on how wonderful they all are and how blessed we all are! And he is right!

Have a great day, Whitney!!


Lara O'Brien

Adrienne said...

Whitney, Thank you! Your devotion spoke to my heart this morning. I'm so glad that I found your blog, too!

It's so funny to me that your topic this morning is girlfriends. I have always felt blessed to have 2 amazing BFF's- they are my support system, they get me, they love me. The ONLY but is- they are 1,000 miles away. This makes my heart ache under normal circumstances- but especially right now, as I am going through some serious issues. These women have been my prayer warriors and my confidants, even from their living rooms and kitchen tables up north. It makes me wish I had * besties* here with me right now- so we could iron out feelings and lunch plans on a daily basis, eyeball to eyeball.

All of this is just to say, that I feel so blessed- even amidst my current intense heartbreak and pain. Your prompt reminds me that I need to remember 2 things:
1. Pray for 'girlfriend' relationships where I here in Gwinnett & 2. Pray that God gives me the courage to be transparent- not only with the dear friends I already have, but with the new ones that come along, as well.

The women I have formed steadfast friendships with are my guardian angels, even from so far away. I pray for more (who couldn't use a few more angels!?!)

Sharon@JoyInTheTruth said...

Oh, Whitney....I love, love, love my girlfriends!!!!!!! So appreciate and love friends who engage! :)

I want to be a friend like Jon!

Friendships and Squash Blossoms!

Back to the laundry...and gonna call a friend! :)

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Hi Whitney! Yes, I did just come over from Proverbs31.org. I left a comment for you over there too. What a blessing you are.

I wanted to to tell you a bit about some of my girlfriends as you have asked us to do. I figure you are about the age of my daughters who are in there late twenties. I will be telling you about a different season of girlfriends, since we all have grown children and some of us are even grandparents.

I get together once a month with 3 special friends and we call ourselves the Ya Ya Sisters. Actually they are are each a few years older than me, so they've been there, done they have been wonderful at helping me through the empty nest stages, etc.... and I believe some of my experiences have helped them too. Anyway, we mostly get together to laugh and meet at a local Pizza Place or Coffee Shop, whoever will let us stay and talk until they close the doors. Even though we get together to Laugh, we end up solving and coming up with solutions to one another's latest problem etc... Oh and we always have our beautiful children and grandchildren's pictures ready to display at any given moment. We have gone on weekend trips and shopped, have had tea parties, helped each other at our children's weddings, and we even a couple times a year all get together with our husbands who have also become friends due to our planning. We've been together as Ya Yas about 9 years. I alwasy look forward to our talks and adventures.

So Whitney, now you know what to look forward to in another season of your life, which seems very very far away now. Enjoy your young family now. This really is the most wonderful season, the one you are in now.

Hugs and Blessings,
Lee Ann

Anonymous said...

Friends....that has been my struggle for sometime. One of the ways that satan can knock me down is to remind me that I don't have close personal friends. It is more like acquantances. Although I try to reach out there is never a reciprocation. What is wrong with me??? I invite people over for lunch, it seems like a great time, then never hear from them again except in passing. I have experienced lately that I am considered a friend if they have a monetary need or some other need to fill but to be invited to actually do life with them just isn't going to happen even within the same week. I yearn for true friendships. I cry to God why can't I have just one. I know that I am in ministry and God uses these experiences to help me see the needs of others. It is just some days hurt more than others.

harrinr said...

Hi whittney,

Found your website through Lysa & todays devotion. Both of you are great encouragers. Enjoyed reading some of your posts. Glad to know that I'm not the only Facebook "stalker"-lol God bless, will be back soon.

Thanks so much,
Renea H

Anonymous said...

Whitney thank you for keeping life real. I think women are so hard on themselves and talking about friendships (good or bad) is sometimes hard for us to do.
My first visit to your blog but not my last.

Cheryl Armstrong

EncourageMentor said...

Whitney--You hit the nail on the head! All of the wonderful technologies out there now are wonderful in the proper context. Being able to effectively ENGAGE one another requires a deeper interest and purposeful intent. God can use relationships on a variety of levels but there's nothing like heat, afinity and a personal connect among true friends. Thanks for this reminder!

Mary said...

Thank you for your P31 devotion today!

You are so right about friends. I have been blessed with some amazing friends throughout my life. God knows just the right person to put in my life at the right time. I been very busy over the last several months and have not put the effort into some very important friendships. Thank you for reminding me how important friends are.

Lehrerin said...

I waited for years after moving to this town to find a few good, serious, deep friends, but I finally found some, and I love them! Wouldn't trade that group for anything!

PS - I think I'm the same way about FB. I realized that a few weeks ago, and I'm trying to be more intentional about sharing so that my online friendships don't become a one-way street.

Kelsie said...

This is my prayer request. I long for stay-at-home-mom friends who can encourage and challenge me. I agree it does take work to be a good friend and to maintain those relationships. I wonder why it seems so hard in our society?? My heart aches for the "Anonymous" in ministry who doesn't have close personal friends...Give your need to the Lord, girl, and see how He provides. Trust Him in the meantime to fill you. :-) And Whitney, may you be blessed through this study as God uses you to encourage women!

Deb said...

I really enjoyed reading your Proverbs 31 devotion today and also your blog. I really enjoy my friendships. God has blessed me with great friends.

proudgrits11 said...

Hello!! I'm glad to have found your blog! :) I, too, find it hard to engage. I dealt with some anxiety during my pregnancy and postpartum period only a few months ago...and my few tried-and-true friends were my saving grace. They came to sit with me, talk to me and pray with me in my darkest moments, and helped me feel more normal.
Life is crazy and I find that I can only properly maintain 3-5 true friendships and really only 1 or 2 close ones. God definitely provides me with the right friends at the right time and I am amazed at how He teaches us about ourselves and our relationship with the Lord during the various seasons of our lives. It's awesome!! It does take time and dedication to have true friendships with accountability and it takes time to be "real." But it's worth it!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for such a wonderful devotion today, Whitney! Amazing words! I remember reading "The Calvary Road" many years ago; I definitely should read it again. Thanks for the reminder to really stop and think what our Savior went through for us, and ask for His help in walking through our faith journey with Him!


Sbyllek said...

Great post!
I use facebook as my primary means of keeping-in-touch with friends (as a homeschooling mom of 3, it is often the only adult interaction I get all day!!!) but there are times when I long for that deep face-to-face relationship with a gal-pal.
In this season of my life, God has seen fit to reinforce my intimacy with Himself rather than provide a girlfriend. I can't complain, though! The GOD of this universe is a great listener and offers some AWESOME advice and love. :)

Denise Graham said...

I just found this blog today from Lysa's blog. This is very good. I don't really have any close girlfriend, just mostly the ladies I work with. But I don't do things with them. I mostly spend my free time with my husband. I do enjoy these blogs though because it does give me that girlfriend type of connection and I get such words of encouragement and wisdom through these devotions. Thank you for letting God use you in such a wonderful way.

Grace said...

Hi Whitney!
Loved your devotional for today. The converstion you had with the Lord reminds me of the conversation that I had with the Lord about my own stubborness. It has been over 30 years since I've read Calvary Road. I wonder if is still in print. Thank you for honesty about where you are with your relationshop with God.
About friendship...I have a great network of sister-chicks, that encourage me and pray for me. But at the same time I'm praying for that one close friend I can bond with on a deeper level. Then the Lord began to show me that He wanted to be that friend. So...I'm learning to yield my stubborn will and let my Lord into the "scary" places of my life. The places He knows about but I've never spoken out loud. I praise God for His everlasting love and patience, with me, His will-full child.
God bless! Grace :)

Kim said...

Whitney, Wow. This really spoke to me. As I was reading you say that you are a facebook stalker, I thought - that's me. I never post, just see what everyone else is up to. Then I read the rest of what you said - and I admit that I am sometimes neglectful in the real face-to-face relationships. I long to get better at that.

(hey, Lysa)



Eagles Wings said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim said...

Online 'friendships' are all the rage today. But you are so accurate in the fact that our relationships are not as strong as in the past. There is nothing like sitting down with a friend (in person) to just talk. There is something to be said about the live in-person interaction. I run a home-based business and my goal is to give women a reason to get together with their best friends they just don't get to see because life is happening. If I can help women just be themselves for a few hours, then I am happy (yeah,the success of my business is nice, too). But the girlfriends I meet and share time with are the best part. We, as women, are so busy being Mom, Wife, Daughter, Employee, that we neglect ourselves, and sometimes lose our identity as a person. I think chatting on facebook etc. helps, but isn't the same as being right there . . . just in case someone needs a hug! Or to see that you are smiling or laughing out loud.

Anonymous said...

Girlfriends - need em' and love em'. I don't know where I'd be without them. Men, particularly husbands just do not goo and gaa, oooh and ahhh over the tiniest little treasure or the most awesome deal that you found at a store. Girlfriends can understand the kind of day you are having w/out having to explain it to them. Don't get me wrong, I love my husband and am blessed to have him but my girlfriends keep me sane. :) Also, a mom of 3 boys.

Shermanators said...

MWM is my favorite! My best friend and I love this song...saw him and SCC on their United tour, just got the chills thinking about it again. I think I was crying the whole way through. :)

I love my girlfriends. I've discovered over the years, my "friends forever" are my Christian girlfriends who truely understand the value and importance of life and family. No matter if it has been 2 days or 2 months since we last talked...there are NO HURT feelings for "being silent." It's that unconditional love and understanding for each other and God that holds us together. Even though I adore my husband, I would still be lost without my 2 best friends!!!

Anonymous said...

Wow - thank you for speaking my thoughts for me ~ and helping me to understand where my "engagement" needs to come in to the picture.