I’m blessed with some good friends, y’all. No, I mean really, really good friends. I treasure these gifts from God, for they are more precious than diamonds! Some have taught me about how to be a good friend. They taught me that you have to be proactive in being the right kind of friend to others if you desire them to be your friend. I don’t always succeed at this, but the reminder is there to try to live by. If you never call your friends, they will not know they are your friends! We need to show our devotion by calling, visiting, emailing, or texting, at the very least. I like to send cards, and I love to get cards. I have friends that have showered me with cards on a regular basis, and I look into the mailbox every day with anticipation that I might get another one. Oh, happy day when I see my name on that special size of envelope that is a card and definitely not a bill or junk mail! When I get a phone call from a friend that I haven’t talked with in a while, it makes my day, y’all! I don’t have a biological sister, but these friends are my sisters!
Some friends have taught me valuable lessons about parenting. They have shown me through example how to be a “good” mom. In addition to the usual parenting stuff you’d expect, one friend also taught me to use humor in my mothering and to take “taxes”. When I buy my kids a special treat, like ice cream for example, I take the first bite, and it’s called taxes. I love this, y’all! They have come to expect it and don’t even yell about it anymore. That’s good training, in my book, ’cause it’s getting them ready for the real world. This same friend has said many times in the presence of my kids, “No fun allowed, now kids, because only adults are allowed to have fun!” I have repeated this statement often when I want to take them by surprise and get my kids teasingly “riled up”. My now-almost-grown kids and I love to laugh, and I love to get them laughing. Laughter is another special gift from God, y’all. He is the author of everything good, including family, fun, and friendship.
I have a couple of girl friends that know some of my dirt. (Don’t pretend you have no dirt, y’all!) And they’re faithful not to share it with others, possibly because they know I also know some of their dirt. When we privately discuss our “stuff” we’re dealing with in life, we can count on a good friend to give sound advice, encouragement, and prayer. Good friends don’t participate in husband bashing and gossip. I’m blessed with friends who like to talk about interesting things other than what so-and-so did or is doing.
My yard, which continues to be a work-in-progress, is adorned with some very special plants and flowers (and flower pots) that have been shared by friends (and some friendly relatives). What a treat it is to enjoy these reminders of my dearest friends as I meander through the yard! Other offerings from special people include foods I cook from a treasured (and sometimes a secret) family recipe of a sharing friend. Also, our home is peppered with reminders of dear friends, gifts they have given me through the years. I learned a long time ago to put these things out in view, and use them, because it reminds me of those friends and makes me smile every time they catch my eye. I can’t take the stuff with me when I die, but I sure enjoy the momentoes from these sweet friends while I’m here.
“There are “friends” who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24 NLT).
The first part of this verse brings to mind a few “friends” who might have been out to destroy me, but I was oblivious to it until much later. Thankfully, God protected me, and He runs interference for us on some painful stuff. I pray the remainder of my years are devoted to friendships where I can stick closer than a brother. For I have been graced with several friends who stuck closer than a brother (perhaps as close as a sister?), for certain, more than I deserved! Those gems of friends deserve a hoot, y’all!