Spoiler: Today we kick off a month of celebrating our friends. Take a photo of you and your everyday, through thick and thin, have seen you without makeup and in the midst of laundry day-friends and share it on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook and tag it with #FriendshipTag. We want to meet your people. Your amazing, regular, incredible friends!

Friendship Tag_Oct 2013

Girlfriends. The best kind of free therapy.

And babysitting.

And house sitting.

And coffee dates.

And ugly cry company.

And trusted opinions on leggings.

Tomorrow morning I’m headed to the Allume Blogging Conference just like many of you (please come say hello!) (and yes, I’m taller in person than you expected, I hear that a lot).

But in order for me to make my flight on time and my husband to make his meetings with visiting faculty, our children will need supervision between 7 – 9 am before school and the babysitter start.

So at 7 am I’m driving my three children a couple streets over to one of my best friends’ houses. My friend who hates early mornings. My friend who has two kids of her own.

I’m driving my kids a couple streets over to Lisa’s house. Because when my days are long or my kids are sick or I can’t drop my son at baseball practice or I have to catch a flight, I have a Lisa in my life.

me and Lisa

When it’s moving day or Wednesday or I just can’t take another day, day.

That’s when your friends show up.

Lisa shows up and every time I receive this as a gift and a reminder that this is what the sisterhood can do for one another. We keep showing up in the small things and when you add them up over a lifetime they are the big, world-changing things that can happen in one neighborhood between two streets.

Lisa who is my anchor in this Internet world and reminds me simply by saying yes, by helping out, by meeting kids at the bus stop that we belong to a God who moved into the neighborhood. And that we see Him the clearest through the tangible hands and feet and faces and play dates and late nights with the real life people He’s placed in our every days.

These are the friendships that will preach to our daughters.

IMG_3941

This is the legacy we get to leave them every day in between the school lunches and sports practices. The women who model what it looks like to love other women well. Generously. With open hands and open doors and messy houses and lives and honest words and second, third, fourth chances.

We need each other. This is the gift. This is the going first. This is the spilling our hard stories so that you know you’re not alone. This is the testimony of the brave who chose friendship in spite of fear.

This is the loud voice of comparison squashed down, drowned out, overcome by a choice to love, to love, to love because Christ first loved us.

These people? These friendships? We think they’re worth celebrating. Stopping. Taking a moment. Taking a photo.

Won’t you stop this month and tag your friends – right there in the middle of your everyday, real life?

Take a photo of the two or three or twenty of you and post it to Instagram or Twitter or on Facebook – just tag it with the hashtag #FriendshipTag so we can celebrate with you.

Because it’s a free gift – this doing life together.

A miraculous, brave, incredible gift.

A friend loves at all times, and a [sister] is born for adversity.
~Proverbs 17:17

Won’t you share a friend with us in the comments today? And give us a peek into your friendship via #FriendshipTag – we can’t wait!

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  1. 1

    Lisa-Jo,
    Just like you have a “Lisa” in your life, I have a Claire in mine. She has been my rock! I am also blessed with 3 friends, who along with myself, call ourselves “The Perseverance Posse” :) . We have navigated the waters of everything from mental illness to menopause. They have seen my ugly cry. I am embarrassed to admit I don’t have a camera or an iphone (yes, I’m a technological dinosaur), but I will try to come up with a picture of my peeps. I am soooo blessed with the cyber friends that I have met through (in)courage! Thank you for being the wonderful group of women that you are!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. 3

    My bestie is Shannon. We met 10 years ago when she said “we should be roommates!” I’m too much of a people pleaser I couldn’t say no. We’ve had many ups and downs in the last 10 years and even had seasons where we weren’t close. We also have different opinions on just about everything but we both love Jesus with all our hearts and we love spending time with each other. Every time we worry our differences will split us apart, we hang out and laugh and remember why we are friends. We have a deep love for one another and our families. She’s the only one of my friends who wears the Aunt title for my kids and she is a loving and fun aunt. My kids adore her and I adore her children. She has taught me so much about myself and she continues to encourage me when I think the worst. She is also downright hilarious and brings tears to my eyes when we laugh together. I am so thankful we live in the same town and are able to do life together. I love friendship with women even through the rough patches! They are well worth every vulnerability, every risk and every joy!

  3. 4
    Rachel H says:

    So. So. Good. Love it! And so thankful for the friends like this I have.

  4. 5

    This is AMAZING! BIG tears as I read. I am currently living with my best friend Cindy and her lovely family of men. It was suppose to be for 8 weeks during a move downstate for a new job. 16 months later {!?} after many things gone wrong with the first attempt to move, I am leaving in two weeks. What a tremendous journey this has been for me. I am overwhelmed with sadness as I am leaving my new extended family :( They have been such a blessing in my life in more ways than I could ever hope or imagine. After 30+ years of friendship she is my “Lisa” the one friend that has ALWAYS been there through thick or thin. I am grateful for the gift of friendships that He has given me. Feeling blessed as we enter a new season of our friendship – yet again with Jesus in the middle! :) Thank you for this today!

  5. 6
    holly mikovits says:

    Headed up to the mountains of San Diego this weekend with 20 girlfriends to celebrate the 40th birthday of one of them! Just prayed for vulnerability and authenticity ….expectantly waiting to see what God is going to do!

  6. 7

    it’s very sad, but i don’t have any friends like that any more. lonely.

    • 8

      Hi Margo,
      I didn’t either, for a long time. Then one day, I was in the right place at the right time and she introduced herself to me. Chin up. Yours may be right around the corner.
      -Lisa

    • 9
      Beth Williams says:

      Margo,

      Prayers for a wonderful, sweet, loving girlfriend to come your way. May God work wonders in your life and put you at just the right place and time. He can do immeasurably more than we can think or ask@

      God,

      Please send Margo a great, loving friend. Someone she can do life with–even in the midst of messes. Help her not to be lonely. Shower her with your love and awaken her to the places you want her to be.

  7. 10

    Friendship is an amazing gift from the LORD. I’ve had this friend since my early twenties and it’s been an amazing journey with her. We’ve never argued about a thing. When I need to be the best, the leader, she relents and when she needs it desperately, I relent. So, we’ve never really argued about a thing. We talk all the time at a million miles per hour, non stop. Nothing has changed through the years. We share all our ups and downs and differences.
    Skype has made it wonderful to catch up on everything really when distance seemed a problem.
    But it seems to have never ever made a difference.
    Friendship is a beautiful gift from the LORD when HE gives it.
    People come and go. Seasons pass. Husbands come and go. Marriage. Children. Friends betray and hurt.
    But when God gives a friend, a true friend. HE does not give in abundance. HE gives a true friend sparingly. And it’s the most beautiful thing. So different from marriage.
    The bond is complete with the families bonding as well. Children connect.
    I know not many can experience such long term friendships. It’s a great pity.
    The next conversation will ever pick up like we were never apart. It’s breath taking. Like the dawning of a new day. Experiences are similar. Friends are similar.
    I often wonder how God orchestrates this. HE’S a perfect God.

  8. 11
    Chantsey says:

    God had blessed me with not one, but four “Lisas” in my life! Mine go by the names Elizabeth, Alexandra, Diana, and Alisha. These ladies have seen me cry and laugh, get angry and frustrated, been “Not so nice”. They are the ones that encourage me when I am discouraged, pray with me when I am overwhelmed and rejoiced with me when we have new adventures. They are my blood sisters. We don’t have the same blood types, and we all came from different families, but we are sisters through Christ’s blood. Without these ladies I do not know what I would do. I know that God had handpicked each one of them just for me! Isn’t that just amazing? I wish I had a photo to share, but I don’t, but I just had to share my story!

  9. 12

    I have Emily….who took time to txt and email me over and over last night in the midst of a “crisis” even though she’s on vaca with her family. I also have my mom and my sister who live far away. My daughter is going to be madder than ever that I told of her lapse in judgement but she will also have to understand that those 3 people are the ones who talked me down and saved her from a painful grounding. LOL

  10. 13

    Thank yo so much for this today. At first I just read it quick, moved on and then it kept sticking with me. It prompted me to look through my pictures. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks, I am blessed. The Lord has put into my path so many beautiful people to learn, grow and do life together. Those friends are precious and help you through so many moments, good or bad.
    And those times when you feel like you just don’t have those friends, you have one. Jesus, He is the best friend, comforter, encourager and your number one fan you will ever have in this life. Seek Him out!
    Again thank you for the encouragement and the moment to pause and reflect on His many blessings in my life.

  11. 14

    I shared my friendship assignment with Petergaye, a wonderful women (new friend) who is owns a consignment shop close by. She is open to visiting this website and the bloom book club. I cannot tell you how nice it is to have friends in a small town. Thanks for the In-couragement! As I age, my circle becomes smaller and being an introvert makes it hard to put myself out there but your website makes me want to try. Your blogs keep me going as I look for employment, friendship, good books to read and explore what it means to be a better Christ-like person! Yay! Thanks for making me smile and giving me courage to step out of that old comfort zone that wants to keep me stagnant!

  12. 15

    I too, read about girlfriends who are there for you, whom you couldn’t survive without…. And I can only try not to think of the heartbreaking memories of women whom I trusted but turned out to be the worst kind of well-educated women: mean-spirited, clique-ish, holier than thou, bent on leaving a trail of cast offs in their desire to wield a little neighborhood (or church) power. And so I’ve shut the door on the idea of one true girlfriend or a circle of girlfriends. (At least until the good Lord determines it’s time to knock those walls down. ) I’m polite, funny, kind, helpful but will always keep women at arm’s length so I’m not building the deep foundation of friendship, knowing the speed at which women will turn on each other and tear it all down.

  13. 16

    What a sweet tribute to your friend…And enjoy the conference.

  14. 17
    Brooke Burger says:

    I can’t relate. My best friend is my husband. I have never had a lot, or sometimes any, female friends.

  15. 18

    THIS is a fun assignment! I’ve noticed that sometimes God brings friends into my life, seasonally…and we impact each other in ways that only God could orchestrate. Don’t know what I’d do without my “besties” or my online friends either!

  16. 19
    Laura Kimbrell says:

    I am blessed to have Maggie and Michelle. We usually don’t call each other by our names but instead “Sister”. I see “Mags” everyday and talk with “Shell” every morning. We have our prayer/Bible time once weekly and enjoy each others families by getting together ever so often for weenie roast, game nights, and other such fun. We all attend the same church and hold each other accountable to being there by calling one another out when one has missed. We stay active in our leadership roles by doing that.
    You spoke of how this impresses our daughters and I can testify to that. My oldest daughter, now 18 and in college, has had trouble finding those “true friends” through high school who stick through thick and thin. She has made the comment to me, “Momma, I just want a Maggie and ‘Aunt Shell’ in my life.” I assure her they will come. God has placed many friends in my life through different seasons and I’ve assured her He is faithful and true to do the same for her. She is having to learn first that He is one who sticks closer than a friend.
    Blessings your way and thanks for this time to honor friends.

  17. 20
    Babs C. says:

    Lisa-Jo, I was blessed by your celebration of those friends who show up in our Real Life. What a nice way to honor your “Lisa” who is blessing you with peace about your children by helping in such a lovely practical way as you go today. I was particularly caught by your words “we belong to a God who moved into the neighborhood.” How vivid and well put. I have been blessed by both male and female friends showing up in my real life days, being God’s hands and feet to minister love and practical help. Today I not only celebrate these friends (past and present) in my heart, but am reminded to let them know they are my “Lisa” in life. Thank you for writing this piece. Enjoy the conference!

  18. 21

    When I first read this yesterday I thought… I will have to take a picture of me and my Chihuahua. She is my only friend.

    Then I remembered MaryBeth! She is my ‘helper’. She is paid to come over 5 1/2 hours a week. We have gradually become good friends and really enjoy each other.

    We are not to have any ‘personal’, only professional contact but after being together over 2 years we cannot help it. :-)

    We share family news with each other. My daughter and her niece were both pregnant this summer so we even had that in common. I said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if they arrived the same day?” They did!

    I thank God daily that I have a ‘helper’ as she has helped me in so many ways that she is not ‘paid for’.

    Love, Patty

  19. 22

    I am so blessed to have a next door neighbor who is my very best friend and someone I could call if I ever needed anyone in the middle of the night or whenever. She is such a wonderful and dedicated friend. I can’t imagine my life without her. Thank you for writing this and reminding me about that special relationship!

  20. 23
    Beth Williams says:

    I don’t have many “close girlfriends”. Since getting married 9+ years ago and joining a nice small church I have met some super women of faith.

    One unique relationship I have is with my husband’s ex mother-in-law–Yes the mother-in-law (Ex). We love going to garage sales together and enjoy talking about everything. We pray for each other and our families. I can call her up and know that lots of people will soon be praying for my situation.

    Another good friend is a co-worker. We work together fantastically. She is a good RN and I’m a Medical Assistant and this relationship melds. I pray for her and her family, give her encouraging cards and laugh with her. She can give me good advice.

    It is interesting where and how God puts friends in your life. I have a few other good friends via Blue Springs Christian Church. We laugh, talk & just pray for each other.

  21. 24

    Wow! This post came at just the right time as I am going through email playing catch-up and doing laundry before dropping my daughter back off to college tonight. In the process, my thoughts had been gravitated towards my friendship with a beautifully spirited friend who just keeps it real! Her name is Shenine.

    I met Shenine about 6yrs ago. We both are now currently retired Army wives. She moved away though we stay in contact. When we first met, we instantly became friends. We both had gone through some wounded friendships with others but I can only believe that God brought us together. Through tears, laughter, daily meetups at her house, the school parking lot and the infamous Dollar General parking lot we have grown. Both of us have 5 children and can seemingly relate on so many levels. She’s been an anchor for me and I love her deeply! Her moving away was hard and emotional on us both but we have continued to stay connected and have seen one another in person. When we get together, it’s like two teenage giggly girls that are besties getting out the car anxious to greet and hug one another. Bittersweet. I look forward to posting a pic of us because she is a true treasure from above.

    Thank you for this word of encouragement to share about our friends. God bless you!