“They aren’t me, but they make me me,” she always says when she talks about her girlfriends. And every time she says it, a joyful little sparkle dances in her eyes.

I’ve been happily married for thirty-three years, and my husband probably knows just about everything about me. We’ve learned and practiced being transparent with each other, and I have no closer friend than him. But there’s just something about girlfriends.

It’s with Kathy that I lift weights and scream and sweat and triumph over the barbell. And when she high-fives me, I know she knows what a big deal it is.

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It’s Danni I call when my faith gets all mixed up and I can’t seem to sort it out without talking to “Jesus with skin on,” like my friend June used to say.

Danni’s the one I eat lobster with.

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And when my son got engaged, I could hardly wait to call her to share the news.

When I have a culinary question, I call Laurie or Cathy. They get what I am trying to explain, and their answers are so simple. And they don’t make me feel like an idiot for asking.

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When I don’t know what to wear, Tracy comes to the rescue. And she does it so well. With a skip in her step.

And there’s something in me that would drop everything to go help Rebekah, or be with Mary while she waits for news that might be really, really bad. All of a sudden, nothing matters, not my job, not my sleep, not my list of things to do. I just have to be there for her. And I make it happen.

My girlfriends, they teach me how to do life right. I watch them and I learn. They change me by osmosis. They even kind of slip inside of me a bit. They make me better.

My girlfriends, I chose them, and they chose me. No marriage covenant, no blood relations, just a choice to know, accept and love each other. They did not have to, and neither did I. But it’s a mutual understanding that we like being with each other, we even need each other. We enrich each other.

My girlfriends, they give me a new perspective on life. They are real down to their toenails, and it challenges me to the core. I don’t measure myself by them, but somehow their example pushes me to be more, to think better, to love deeper.

My girlfriends, they know how to remind me of basic stuff when I lose my way. And then they make me giggle, because they know that that is life too, and too much pain and seriousness can pull us down. 

My girlfriends, they get me.

My girlfriends, they shape me.

My girlfriends, they aren’t me, but they make me me.

Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann

one thousand#600 My girlfriend Eugenie, who led me to the Lord 38 years ago

#601 My girlfriend Monique, who taught me how to walk when I was a baby Christian

#602 My girlfriend Jane who always has time to talk

#603 My girlfriend Carol who is never afraid of hard questions

Sometimes, I link up with any or all of these wonderful writers: Hearts 4 HomeSDG,  Hearts Reflected, WLW, EOA, Things I can’t say, Growing HomePlay Dates with GodMonday Musings, Hear it on SundayInspire Me Monday, Tell me a Story, The Better Mom, a Mama’s StoryInto the WordIn and Around Mondays,OYHT, Gratituesday, Titus2Tuesdays, ExtraordinayLessons from IvyDenise in BloomSweet BlessingsFaith Filled Friday, Finding JoyWholeHearted Home, Mom’s the Word,