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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Friendship, Food and Fun

I got the email yesterday. A member of my prayer group was inviting us over for a "girls night" at her place. Food and fun. Which aren't always two different things. I said, "Yes." Of course. They're my friends, the ladies in the prayer group. And it's been a while since we got together for anything besides, well, prayer.

When last night rolled around, however, I decided to blow it off. I was tired, not feeling well, and in pain. I didn't even call her. I told my husband I wasn't going, went into the master and starting running bath water. The plan was a long, candle-light soak, a cup of hot tea, and the next chapter of my current book. I don't know about you, but, to me, that sounds like the perfect way to end a really crazy week.

That's when my cell phone rang. The "Where are you?" call. I made my excuses, hung up, and started lighting candles.

Then the land line rang. It was another friend, the Militant Mama in our group. She's from up north and very persuasive. She was a high-level sales person for Yellow Pages in a previous life and I can never tell her no. Ten minutes later she was in my driveway honking for me.

Ten minutes after that, I was in my friend's kitchen laughing with the ladies I have committed to praying with and for. The ones who hold me accountable and don't let me withdraw to pout when I step into one of life's valleys. The ones who cheer me as I approach my mountain tops. The ones God placed in my life to encourage me and to spur me on. The ones I can always be myself with and say exactly what I'm thinking and exactly how I'm feeling without worrying about them throwing brimstone at me for being a sinner because they realize they're sinners, too. Those friends.

It's so incredibly easy to say, "I'm too tired." Too tired to be with them. Too tired to invite them over. Too tired to go out with them or meet with them or call them or drop them a note. It's just so easy to blow them off.

Except for the Militant Mama. She's on me like a flea on a dog, you know?

God puts people into our lives that He intends to encourage us, to hold us accountable, to be there for us, to laugh with us and hug us and pray with us and fuss at us when we get out of line. That's what He intended when he said,
Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father,
and do not go to your brother's house when disaster strikes you— better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away. Proverbs 28:10
Because that neighbor nearby is there to be in our lives - to speak into our lives.

Do we submit to His will for us in these relationships? Do we acknowledge that those people are not in our lives by accident? That there's a reason? That He set it all up because He wants us to be in fellowship with these people, to grow with and learn from them? To be there for them? Even when we'd rather just stay home?

It is good for us make time every once in a while to get goofy with the girls. To be sisters that gather just to laugh and share stories and find out more about each other.

You know, I've been praying with these women for almost five years and they didn't know I was Cajun? Maybe that's why He had me go last night - so they could know I'm Cajun. The looks on their faces were priceless. I loved our crawfish discussion. And the way they pronounced Tchoupitoulas! I thought I was going to bust a gut laughing.

Seriously, when we have relationships that keep Jesus at the center, we grow closer to Him as we grow closer to each other. If you don't have the type of relationships in your life that bring you closer to God, please stop right now and pray that He changes that for you. But just know that He may insist Jesus become your best friend, first.

He had a much better time planned for me last evening than I had planned for myself.


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14 Comments:

Blogger Linda said...

I've only recently started meeting with a group of six girls. I cannot tell you what an impact it has made on my life. I thought I was so independent ... I found out I need them more than I thought. Great post.

March 10, 2007 at 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Randi said...

Carol,

Just recently God has been nudging me to go a little deeper in some friendships and this has been a great blessing to me. I just don't happen to be the type of person who feels the "need" to be with people, but God knows better than me on this. So far, only blessing has come out of this and I am motivated to go further. He is so good to know my needs even before I can discern what they are!

Thanks for posting this!

March 10, 2007 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Elise said...

I long for these kinds of friendships - outside of Blogland! :)
I shall do as you suggest - stop right now and pray that He changes it for me!
What a fun post - I'm glad you have a Militant Mama in your life!

March 10, 2007 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger Darlene said...

As I'm reading this I'm thinking, "I wish I had a group like that" but your post reminds me that I do. Throughout life God has put these friends or neighbors in my path for support. What a wonderful gift! Thanks, Cajun girl.

March 25, 2007 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Friendships with godly women are so special. I had a prayer group where we last lived that was a lot like your group. I haven't found anything quite the same here, but I look forward to the day when God puts other women in my lives to keep me accountable and love me as I am. Great post!

March 25, 2007 at 2:51 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

There is nothing in the world like precious Godly girlfriends, they are true blessings.

March 25, 2007 at 3:34 PM  
Blogger janiswrites said...

I tend to back away from these friendships, but I am finding that they can mean so much to me. I am working on it. Blessings!

March 25, 2007 at 5:18 PM  
Anonymous Lynn Donovan said...

Hey Cajun Girl,

WhooHoo, I wish I had been there for all this fun. God in His great kindness has given me friends that pray for me and each other.

It is one of the most prized gifts in the world to me. Many of these friendships are right here in Bloggityville. Blessings and what is Tchoupitoulas? Lynn

March 25, 2007 at 5:23 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Carol, you said this perfectly. What a difference it makes when Christ is at the center of our friendships with Him being our first friend. I have a group of friends that sound a lot like yours. How blessed we are! Thanks for your awesome words!

Kelly

March 25, 2007 at 6:38 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

What a great reminder... thank you. I am in a Bible study group with 5 couples and we are waiting for my dancing DVD so us girls can get together. I am hoping it will become more of a regular thing ( not necessarily the dancing! LOL). Thanks again for the reminder of keeping up girlfriendness! HUGSSSSS
LYSIC

March 25, 2007 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

I am with Darlene, I was reading this wishing I had a support system like that. It is worth its weight in gold. But God has given me people who support me and spur me on and for that I am thankful.

March 25, 2007 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Wow, that was a great post! I definitely needed to hear that. I have no such friends like that now. We are moving soon and I hope to gain some friends such as this. Only God can bring such friends in my life. Thank you for the wake-up call to show the need to be accountable to other Christian sisters.

March 26, 2007 at 8:27 AM  
Anonymous mindy said...

I posted something like this on my blog a while back. Friends -- true friends -- a such a WONDERFUL gift from the Lord above.
Thanks for the reminder!

March 26, 2007 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

YOu just proved what I tell girls all the time.."I know it's hard to get here but you'll be so glad you did!"

I'm printing this to give my Bible Study girls who have dropped on me! :))

Great thoughts!

March 28, 2007 at 7:15 AM  

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