Friday, January 15, 2010

Where Would We Be Without Our Girlfriends?



The other day I received a lovely e-mail invite from my friend, Karen Ely of A Woman's Way Retreats. 

Karen is one of those soulful women who knows the value of women's friendships. AND the importance of not being so busy that we don't take time to foster these friendships. To connect with our friends—the women whose presence sustains us and encourages us ever onward.

Here is an excerpt from what she sent me. It's lovely, thought-provoking, and I wanted to share it with you:

I often question, "What would I have done without my girlfriends?"  They're the ones who have celebrated with me, cried with me, supported me, loved me and made me laugh. 

And yet I yearn for the sense of women's community that I had when I was a young girl, a young woman, a young mother.  When my girlfriends were just a few doors away.  When a call and a quick, "stop by for tea" resulted in an immediate knock on the front door.  When gathering a group of friends took a few moments and a couple of phone calls.  I hear this same lament from women all over the world every day.

The more avenues we have for connection—e-mail, social networking, cell phones -- the less we actually make real contact with those we love . . . and truly need.

Take some breathing space this week to make a list of the girlfriends you miss and begin making plans for real connection . . . a long heart-to-heart gabfest, a leisurely lunch, a quiet dinner, a "thank you for being in my life" card slipped into the mail.  

Isn't this a lovely invitation?

I'm going to accept ... even though I can't do it in person right now as I have hefty writing deadlines this week and more looming large ... even though I'm in the midst of planning next weekend's womens' retreat .... I am going to sit down and write a few notes to girlfriends this weekend. I'll do what Karen suggested, I'll say, "I appreciate you and your presence in my life."


Sometimes when I don't have quite enough time to hand-write a note, I'll send an e-card. There are some really great sites for those. Two of my favorites are Heron Dance and Gratefulness.org. Oh, and you can also light a candle for a friend at Gratefulness.org. I love doing that. Do you your favorites?

I've also made a vow in this new year to make more time to celebrate my friendships, one-on-one, with the stellar women in my life. Even if I have to drive a few hours to make this happen, even if I have to get on a plane, I am going to do it! I refuse to let busyness take a toll on my friendships. :-)

These are my thoughts for today. I'm thinking about my wonderful girlfriends. I invite you to do the same and reach out and touch one—or two, or three. May our gratitude for one another grow!

Where would you be without your girlfriends?

I'd love to hear ...


(P.S. I just learned that this month is Girlfriend's Month. Fancy that! Click here to learn more.  Photo image courtesy of girlfriendology.com)


~~~~~
Congratulations to Maryse (Blue Amaryllis) for being the winner of our recent book giveaway. She won a copy of Rhoda Janzen's book, Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. Maryse, as a budding writer I think you are really going to enjoy this book. Have fun!



12 comments:

Julie G said...

Today, I wish you were close enough to hug.
Julie
xo

Joy said...

The candle website is beautiful! I lit a candle. Thank you for sharing.
My girlfriends are a group of diverse, very amazing women. I celebrate each and every one for the unique qualities they bring to my life. I certainly wouldn't be right *here* without their love, encouragement, laughter, inspiration! Blessings indeed:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jan .. lovely idea - we all need to spend time with special people. I write! And have always visited and kept in touch with friends .. this week I heard from loads in all parts of the world, as well as blogging friends - one day I'll get to meet you all.

Thanks for the reminder -
Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Jan said...

Julie,
Well, I will be happy to accept that hug through the airwaves! xo

Joy,
Mine is diverse as well. Aren't we lucky? Like you, I attribute so much of my journey to women who stayed supportive, encouraging and true. May they be blessed!

Hilary,
Glad to know that you write and visit with friends. Doing so really sustains us, don't you think? Give us strength for the journey? And if we are lucky a healthy dose of laughter too! Perhaps someday we will meet. :-)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jan - I certainly hope so .. it's my plan = a good way to travel .. a blogging travel connection! Good stories .. Have a good weekend ..
Hilary

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jan - .. no - just started my second year of blogging - so first post of 2nd year it is ...!! H

Carolynn said...

I couldn't agree more. I still marvel at the incredible gathering of women who came out of the woodwork to love and support me during the break-up of my marriage many years ago. Each one saw a need and came forward to lift me up.

I've often watched two people sit together, each in their own bubble, with their heads down, focused on an electronic device in their hands, completely ignoring the person who is physically present at that very moment. It makes me sad and I want to shake them awake.

I'm excited to be getting together with two friends over brunch tomorrow. We three used to work together a number of years ago and, although we've gone our separate ways, we make a point of meeting over a meal at least a couple of times a year. It's spiritually uplifting for me to spend time with these magnificent women.

Blessings,
Carolynn

Sharon said...

Hugs to you, Jan. At this point in my life my circle of girlfriends is largely made up of friends I've made online. In-person connections with old friends are rarely made these days, mostly due to distance and other people's busy lives. Email, phone calls, and blogging are how I keep and make friends. That needs to be enough for now.

Caroline said...

I would be lost without my girlfriends. Women need women. Men just don't get some of the things that we go through. A girlfriend is comfort and support. A soulmate!

Jan said...

Carolynn,
So good to know that you make time on a regular basis to meet with your friends. These relationships do sustain us and enable us to gain a wider perspective of ourselves and our lives. Good for you! I hope your day was lovely...

Sharon,
This sounds great! Wherever we find our friends, may we do as you are doing. Stay in touch, call, cyberhugs, whatever. :-) Here's one for you!

Caroline,
I could not agree more. There are just some things you gotta go to the girls for. (wink) May your friendships be rich!

twila said...

Being the "older" woman where I work, I am often looked to for advice. One of the things I encourage the girls I work with to do is to cultivate these feminine connections. I believe they are so very important.

Unfortunately, I appear to be in a place of extended solitude...no real friends to speak of since leaving the church world. I feel lonely at times, but try to remember that this is just a season, that there will no doubt be a time to come where I will have the comfort, pleasure and challenge of a close friendship again.

Jan said...

Twila,
I appreciate your words about extended solitude since leaving "church." Tis true. This does happen. I trust that because you are so faithful to your spiritual journey that new companions--very kindred others--will find their way to you. :-) Especially through the internet perhaps? Which seems to transcend all borders and boundaries. :-)