Quick Question(s)

Well, this is the second post in one day. ON A SUNDAY. I KNOW. But here’s the deal.

Tomorrow I’m talking to / visiting with some high school girls about healthy, God-honoring friendships. I had really great friends in high school and college – and there was rarely, if ever, any drama between us. So – because of my own friendships, which have been overwhelmingly positive, I sometimes have a hard time wrapping my brain around what goes on in a “mean girl” culture. I also have a hard time understanding how girls can be so threatened by / distrusting of each other, because (thankfully) that’s never been my experience.

HOWEVER. I don’t want to be unrealistic when I talk to the girls, and I don’t want to ignore the fact that some of them probably have some hurts that go pretty deep. So I want to make sure that I’m considering perspectives that may differ from my own – and that is why I have three questions.

1) When you were in high school / college, what trait did you most value in your friends? Honesty? Trustworthiness? Loyalty? Kindness? Something else?

2) If you struggled with friendships when you were in high school / college, what were some factors that made friendships difficult? Bitterness? Jealousy? Gossip? Insecurity? Something else?

3) If you could travel back in time and give the high school / college version of yourself some advice about friendships, what would that advice be?

Thanks in advance, y’all. I’m oh-so-grateful for your help!

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  1. Maggie says:

    I think there’s so much pressure on girls to “find their bridesmaids” in high school or college. So many older women look down on them and tell stories about how they’re still best friends with someone they met in 9th grade. That’s not always the case, and that’s fine!!! There are always better days ahead, so don’t think that this is in fact the best time of your life. I wouldn’t go relive high school if you paid me a million dollars. College was a lot more fun, but here I am now at 29 having more fun than I ever imagined. I still talk to a few girls from college, but rarely anyone from high school. I think gossip and jealousy have the potential to do the most harm. I can still tell you word for word something I overheard a girl say about me during our senior year, which was over 11 years ago. Word for word! I’ve wasted way too much time worrying about that one comment, but for some reason it still haunts me every once in awhile.

  2. Nate's Mom says:

    I have always been a bit socially awkward, and never more so than in high school. I am not outgoing or cool. I was blessed to have a few kind, loyal, Christian girls befriend me. That meant the world to me, still does to this day. The hurt of feeling a little different and being quiet and sensitive, but seemingly surrounded by the cool and confident, never completely left me. If I could tell my teenage self anything, it would be that I’d live through it, be stronger because of it, and as an adult, I’d actually be well-liked by teenagers because I will actually listen to them and accept them as they are. Those girls you’re going to talk to, they are lucky to have you taking an interest in them.

    Sorry to start off your comments sounding so droopy, but you asked :)

  3. I am so very thankful that God blessed me with a WONDERFUL mother and sister! They always have been and always will be my BEST friends!
    Middle school and high school are inevitably difficult if you are trying to live a Christian life in a public high school. I went through many transitions of friend groups, which made some years harder than others. Difficulties arose in high school in the forms of drugs, alcohol, sex, etc. In a small town, those issues are rampant. I would tell my high school and college self to be true to Jesus and yourself. And go to a college that meets your personal needs.
    I am again blessed to say that my 2 best friends today, 13 years after high school, are high school friends. They have been loyal and trustworthy and honest and kind and understanding and patient and funny and we have history together! Now, I had amazing Christian friends in college, but again my high school friendships were just STRONGER. So, anytime I had an issue, I automatically called my family or my high school best friends.
    My friendships with my high school best friends continue to strengthen and grow as we started doing adult life together. We now are raising our children together, while they are not the exact same age, they are close enough that we are learning to be godly mothers together. Making other mommy friends at our own churches has also strengthened our friendship. We love and appreciate our other friendships and learn and grow from those interactions, as well, to add to our tight bond.
    Thank you for posting these questions. It again makes me so grateful for the gifts that God has given me!

  4. 1. Going into high school I would have said a sense of humor and kindness. Coming out of high school the most important were trustworthiness and loyalty.

    2. Jealousy and gossip ruined so many very important friendships in my life in high school. Someone thought I was jealous and decided to spread some rumors. I lost all my close friends. Saying/typing those words don’t seem like a big deal, but it completely changed and shaped me and there isn’t a day that goes by since then that I’m not changed because of it.

    3. If I could give myself advice? It’s okay to cry, and it’s okay to wonder and break. Your worst fears came true, but it doesn’t mean you’re unlovable, not enough, or too much. Yes, the Body of Christ is supposed to treat its members with unending love and respect, but we are human and mistakes are made. You don’t believe in love now, but you will one day. You’ve put up wall 6 feet thick and you don’t trust a soul, but one day you will open up again – though you don’t believe it possible now. This is the hardest thing you’ve experienced, the worst you can imagine, but God is walking you through this to prepare you for something else. He will be your Constant Friend and you will learn to associate the word Faithful with Him. This Story is yours, and it is for His Glory. So it’s okay to cry and break, but believe He will heal and hold.

    • KimberlyOKC says:

      Can’t read this and move on without saying that I’m so sorry!! You sound like an amazing person now and God used this to make you into “more than a conqueror”!

  5. Too sleepy (I KNOW. I’m old.) to think through all the things I’d like to say, but one quick comment – I’d encourage these girls to find a mentor. I think too many of us overlooked that till we were moms or young career women. I wish I’d had a really cool, grounded, godly 20-something to talk things out with when I was in high school.

    Will be sure to pray for your time with those girls tomorrow. So wish my sweet almost-16 year old stepdaughter who lives in B’ham was going to be part of that group.

  6. Oooh, I forgot! Just heard a speaker last week at a meeting who was discussing parenting mention one of the coolest things. She said she made a “life timeline” with her kids, which showed them from the “big picture” perspective just how SHORT their adolescent time really was. A lot of things really feel like they’re monstrously important or unending when we’re teens – this made so much sense to me in order to show the kids what a small percentage of their life it is. (I’m sure there are at least 86 ways I could have said that more clearly, but sleepy. Sorry!)

  7. Meredith says:

    I went to a private school for 10 years. Our class was very small and we all pretty much grew up together. There were only 5 girls in my class from 3rd grade until about 7th grade. I wa the new girl in 1986. Beginning of 3rd grade. I was picked on for my clothes, taste in music, movies, etc. my parents were pretty strict growing up and I wasn’t allowed to listen to Madonna or watch a PG movie. Fast forward to junior high and high school. It was clothes, hair and makeup. I had an awkward phase that lasted from about 5th grade to 11th grade. I read a lot and spent a lot of time with adults so I generally knew more than my peers and did well in my classes. Made me a target because I was always correcting what someone said. I was also overweight and extremely insecure. I had a hard time letting things roll off my back. When I got to college, I met people like me who shared similar interest and mutual respect. Those people are still my friends today. It has taken me a long time to get over the sting of high school. Girls would call my house and pretend to be boys. It was bad. If I had to do it all over again, I’d tell myself to dont sweat the small stuff. Let it go and move on.

  8. 1) In high school, it was most important for me to find trustworthy friends. I wanted to be able to talk about things without there being a gossip mill.

    2) The main thing that made friendships difficult for me in high school was the fact that it was hard to find the RIGHT type of people. I felt like a lot of them were focused on the wrong things, and since I had come from a Christian school, I was looking for Christian friends, and they were few and far between.

    3) If I could go back and give myself advice, I’d say to be comfortable in your own skin. Don’t worry about what other people thing or whether or not they’ll accept you. If they don’t like you for you, then they’re not your friends anyway.

  9. 1. Back in high school I valued familiarity, fun, & common interests. Gals who got me.

    2. Any struggles with friendship were definitely a mixture of insecurity (misinterpreted actions, assuming the worse, etc) and gossip.

    3. Two major things I’ve learned as an adult: A) meeting & getting to know new people is fun and interesting (like discovering a hidden treasure). B) best way to keep friends is to only talk about someone if that someone is standing with you. “Say it to her face”. (if you talk about people when they aren’t there…people start wondering if you are talking about them when they aren’t there).

    Don’t know if that helps. Will send up a prayer right now for you tomorrow. Like Ann (& Moses) says, “God goes before you.” ;)

  10. Marian says:

    1. It is so hard to remember back, but I think being able to relate and have fun was a key, also being able to trust.

    2. Probably insecurity. There is much that I wish I knew then, but some things take time and experience to learn.

    3. That sometimes friendships are enduring, and sometimes the Lord brings a friend into our lives for a season. There are former friends that I am no longer communicate with, but I still remember them fondly and am thankful for that season of friendship. I wish I had been better about being open when my feelings were hurt. I am a people pleaser and usually tend to “stuff” when I am hurt or disappointed. It is important to speak the truth in love.

  11. I was not as lucky as you. I have struggled with female friendships all my life. HS for me was a series of making a friend, trusting them with my secrets, and having them betray me in many different ways. My best friend in HS was my mom and one girl from church who went to the same school as me.

    My ideal for a friend, both now and then, is someone who is funny, likes to have a good time, and is loyal and trustworthy. I have spent all my mommy years trying to find other ‘mommy friends’ who meet those ideals and the struggle goes on today.

    My advice to all girls is that life isn’t a competition. Just because your friend might have a boyfriend, or good grades, or whatever, tearing them down doesn’t make you any better. Celebrate the good times with your friends, cry with them during the bad times. Your worth is individual, not dependent on those around you. Be who you are. Surround yourself with those who love you for you, not for what they think you have or will become.

    I admit that I am still a little jealous of everyone who has the great HS friends that continue in their lives. I wish I had that to fall back on. My friends now are my mom and my sister and a couple of ladies. That is all I have in my circle. I have continued to have struggles, even with ladies from church.

    Also, tell all those girls to cherish the good friends that they have. They are blessed to have found them and never take them for granted. I would have loved to have their experience :)

    Note: if you asked people around me, I doubt any of them would think that I struggle with this. Those who know me superficially would say that I was a fun person and have tons of friends. I would never be classified as difficult to be around, but so many think, I guess, that I already have a large group of close friends and when I try to ‘branch out’ I hit a lot of dead ends.

  12. This post resonates with me, because I struggled with a “mean girl” for six years. It took several years to get over that friendship (I use that term loosely). The traits I looked for in a friend when I was younger were trustworthiness and kindness. I also valued a good sense of humor. Still do!

    The friendships that were difficult were difficult because I wasn’t strong enough to stand up for myself. I walked into my prom after hours of getting ready and the mean girl told me I needed more blush, that I looked weird. I should’ve defended myself. Instead, I went to the bathroom to see if she was right. I believed her (and others) when they said things about me, and lacked the personal strength to stand on what was true about me. Gossip, insecurity, all of those things played a part, but the bottom line is that they enjoyed making me feel small, and I let them. I don’t do that anymore. I have great friends and believe what I know to be true, rather than what I feel.

    Advice I’d give myself? First: know who you are in Christ. Ephesians 1 (from Believing God): Blessed, Chosen, Adopted, Accepted, Redeemed, Forgiven. I teach high school girls now, and I do a lesson where we talk about what a girl looks like who doesn’t know she is each one of these things, and then what a girl looks like who does. Knowing who God says you are is crucial. Second: Feelings are temporary. Always go with what you know to be true. About God, yourself, others, situations, etc. What is true will surpass what you feel, every time. And sometimes you have to act on truth, when it’s the opposite of your feelings. Friendships at that age are based so much on feelings, which are not constant. Third: I’d tell myself that life is too much fun to spend worrying about what others think. I’d tell myself to make up my own mind and go with it. I’d tell myself that wearing tight rolled jeans with layered tri-colored socks is not a good idea.

    Blessings on your time tomorrow. We can’t invest enough in our students, and I’m thankful that they have you to look to for godly guidance!

  13. 1. Trustworthy

    2. Insecurity

    3. I would say be yourself and stop worrying about everyone else. You are more capable than you think. Be yourself.

  14. I was sort of a “floater” in high school and felt like I didn’t really fit into any particular circle. To this day I struggle with insecurities and have to force myself to not overanalyze my reactions to people. If I could talk to my high school self, I would tell myself that, after high school, the cliques mean nothing. I mean, seriously, because of facebook I know that the girls who used to be cheerleaders have the exact same problems in adult life as everyone else. :-) That my focus should be on my relationshop with God and preparing myself for whatever He wants me to do with my life instead of worrying about whether or not people like me. Also, the reminder that “to have a friend, be a friend” never hurts!

  15. Gosh, I so wish I could tell the high school version of me to LIGHTEN UP, fer cryin’ out loud! Stop being so serious about college, and straight A’s, and being A Leader. Try things you are afraid of, try things you know you will probably suck at, try things that help you meet and make friends with people you wouldn’t otherwise know. Be kind to everyone, because you have no idea what kind of struggles you will find out about at the 20th reunion – the popular girl whose parents wouldn’t let her go to high school, the quiet one who remembers sitting next to you and joking with you in English while she struggled with an eating disorder that no one knew about. Have WAY more fun, but also be WAY more confident that you can change the world. Ahh….youth. Now I feel old. But I still don’t always follow this advice, and I should!

  16. Tiffany says:

    As a high school teacher, the advice I give my girls all the time (not that they listen, but I try!) is to KEEP THEIR DRAMA OFF SOCIAL MEDIA! So often, a petty argument that would fade away quickly finds its way to Twitter or Facebook, and rather than going away, it gets piled on by other kids and exacerbated wildly. I thought gossip got around quickly when I was in school, but now, it’s literally instantaneous, and it can be so damaging to old, long friendships. Basically, the advice is that if you wouldn’t say/haven’t said it to her face, don’t put it online.

  17. Just some thoughts for my 12-yo self of half-a-century ago…

    To have a friend, be a friend.

    Not all girls will be your BFFs, but Never let that stop you from being friends with all.

    Trust if you want to be trusted; give honesty if you want honesty in return; show respect if you want respect shown.

    Be kind to Everyone. In *All* things, ALWAYS, be kind.

    REMEMBER THE GOLDEN RULE! In EVERYTHING! you do. *Constantly* –and consistently– Do Unto Others as you would have Done Unto you. (No excuses to Ever do otherwise! Ever!)

    That’s what I’d say to my yester-year self…along with telling myself to Have Fun!…because as long as the Fun outweighs the not-fun, things will turn out all right. beth.

  18. Brenda says:

    1) In high school: Loyalty. I needed to know that my bestie, Lizzie, had my back. She was there to go to all the activities with me, even when she had a boyfriend and I didn’t. We never let the guys come between us. In college, it was honesty. I needed friends (and had some) who would shoot straight with me and tell me, “Get up! Go to class! Drop that guy! Relax!”

    2) I have always (and still do) struggle with insecurity in friendships. However, it was much worse in high school and college. I had to really hone in on the fact that people chose to spend time with me, therefore, they must like me, right? I couldn’t let the insecurity cause me to doubt their motives and just relax in the fact that I was fun to hang with or they wouldn’t come back!

    3)Choose wisely, high school self. Hold lightly. If those friendships are meant to be “life-long”, no clingy attitudes from me will make them better. If they are not meant to last, they will die a natural death that is much less painful than me dragging them out well past their freshness date. If they don’t last, others will come along to replace those friends you thought you could live without. Relax!

  19. 1. Mostly looking for acceptance and someone like me in high school, friendships based on similar values and ability to have good clean fun.
    2. Not too much trouble in college, but occasional jealousy. Probably more of a problem with my own insecurity more than anything else, if there was a problem.
    3. If I could tell a young woman anything today, it’s that after high school, popularity really doesn’t matter. It shouldn’t then, but I know it does. She needs to assess her core values and KNOW WHO SHE IS and not be afraid to stand up for that. Also, secondly, learn to value and appreciate the differences in other personalities she will encounter and learn from them. Your friends don’t have to be and shouldn’t always be just little reflections of you. You will grow more as a person if you seek people who are just a little different from you and respect and appreciate those differences. They will teach you a lot and you will grow more as a person because of them.

  20. Y’all, there is such great advice here – seasoned with salt and full of grace. Thank you!

  21. 1. Honesty and dependability. I wanted someone who spoke truth (in love) to me, and someone that I could count on to do what they said they were going to do.

    2. I honestly have struggled with friendships/drama more as an adult than in school. (not by my own choice) And the biggest factor in any and all of my “problem” friendships was selfishness and insecurity. Friendships have to be nurtured like any other relationship, and when one or both parties are selfish…well, that just doesn’t work. And insecurity isn’t the best quality in a person in general, let alone in the middle of a friendship.

    3. My best piece of advice is to give up the idea of “having one best friend your whole entire life.” I mean, that happens, and it’s great, but it’s not common. Life changes you. Life changes other people too. You drift apart. You meet new friends. You move away or change churches or get a new job. Be open to making new friends or letting go of the ones that just aren’t working any more, or at least be open to the idea that your current friendships may and probably will evolve over time. I’m not saying toss people aside, but I truly believe the “reason, season, lifetime” mentality when it comes to friendships. Also, I think it’s better to have 1 or 2 really close/deep friendships than to have 15 shallow friendships.

  22. I am probably repeating some previous comments but here is my 2cents. I have a 13 year old daughter going through some of the most horrible friendship problems I have ever witnessed. The following are things that I am trying to teach her.

    You do not have to be friends with everyone but you should always strive to be friendly. Even when girls are saying mean things about you look them dead in the eye and know that you are a good, kind, honorable person. Do not them shame you with their words.
    Even though my daughter knows what is being said about her she goes into class everyday and looks at the girl that used to be her best friend and says hi and how are you? She does not expect an answer but she is not in the wrong and will not let this other girl have any power over her, (her teacher loves this approach)

    Never spread vicious gossip and unkind words. They are the root of all that is wrong. Even if your tongue is on fire to repeat something or say something keep it to yourself and tell God at night. He is the only one who will not repeat your words. (well Him and your mom)

    I really like what Lindsey above me has said. It is so much more important to have a couple of solid friends then many shaky friendships.

    Be true to yourself – do not act, talk, dress or do anything that goes against your true self just be part of the crowd. Just because everyone else is jumping off the bridge does not mean you have to as well. (that comes from my nana)

    And most importantly and nothing to do with friendships but everything to do with life “Never let anyone take a picture or video of you that you would not want your daddy to see”

  23. I will speak from my experience raising a daughter and her struggles with friendships. She is now 25 and about to get married this summer. We were actually having a discussion about this very thing yesterday. During the middle and high school years there was much jealously and competition between girls, including her friends. If she had it to do all over, I think she would give the following advice. 1) Focus on your beliefs and values, the girls that line up with those same goals will naturally come into your life. 2) Make sure that your friendships make you a better person, someone that will keep you accountable. Someone that mostly makes you a happy person. 3) Speak well of others. Do not join in the conversations of putting others down. Difficult even for adults sometimes. 4) Have one or two girls that line up with these things and truly treasure those friendships. Someone that will be there for you as well as you for them, no matter what may come your way. 5) Everyone will not like you no matter how hard you try. Let go of that idea, it truly is unattainable. 6) Love yourself and who God is creating you to be. The most important piece of advice I know.

  24. 1 – valued most — kindness
    2 – insecurity fueled jealousy. Gossip fanned the flames.
    3 – Be yourself. You don’t have to find lifelong friends in high school. They don’t know who they are either. Many will grow up to be great people. This is a season. You don’t have to stay in this phase/place/with these people forever. You are passing through!

  25. I can honestly say that I made my “forever” friends while in college. There are about 8 girls (and now their husbands and babies) that I consider my best “people”. They are the ones I want on their knees for me, the ones who will laugh and cry with me, the ones who constantly point me to Jesus, and the ones who get me almost better than I get myself. Though we are not all in the same place anymore and we don’t see each other every day, we keep in touch regularly and make an effort to see each other as much as we can. We make it a priority to have a girls’ weekend at the lake every summer and email regularly to keep ourselves in the loop on each other.

    I was pretty introverted in high school and stuck pretty closely to just a couple of people. Now that we’re all older, it’s easier to be friends with some girls I considered “mean girls” in high school. I think the reason is twofold–A) I am more confident in myself and who God created me to be and B) they’ve matured. We have a Christmas party at my parents’ house every year when we’re all in town so we can catch up and be together.

    As an adult in a new place, I had to force myself to make friends here as well. The thing I tell girls (and guys) at school about the best place to find friends is to get involved in a local church. Don’t just go to “big church” and call it done. Really, really get involved. Find a place…Sunday school, a small group, serve in the youth group. Just do something to find your spot, and then the people will come. Seek out people who will always point you to Jesus. It’s also important to remember as an adult, your friends don’t have to be the same age. Some of my nearest and dearest friends in Birmingham are women a little older than I am. And what a joy it has been to watch them in that next season of life–I’ve learned so much from watching how they do marriage and how they raise their children. Rabbit trail, I realize. But had to get that in there.

    I think the bottom line is that God designed us to be a relational people–first, in relationship with Him and then in relationship with others. Work on the first part primarily and then pray for wisdom and discernment about new friendships. And by all means…leave yourself some margin. Great friendships don’t happen overnight. They require work, effort, and most terrifyingly of all, vulnerability.

  26. KimberlyOKC says:

    Reading over the comments here, I am struck by the lack of any mother’s mentioned, Some sad stories and no one mentioned that their mother’s helped them. Maybe they did and they just weren’t mentioned but I think maybe it’s a lesson for us, as mothers to PAY ATTENTION to your daughter’s!! My mom had her own life and she didn’t try to be close to us girls growing up but wow, there were times when a word from her would have been EVERYTHING to me…but she never asked or sensed or left communication open for anything but lectures. I have taken the opposite route with my daughter and oh, it’s so good. She’s 16 now but it has to start when they are little. You have to get into their little lives and talk and ask and listen at the door when they have a friend over so that later on, you can talk to them about being bossy…or talking unkindly about someone else…or encouraging them to be more of a leader and not a follower when that little voice inside says, “maybe you shouldn’t do this or say that”. Most likely if you do this all along, when they are teens, you won’t have to follow them around begging them to talk to you so you can find out what’s up in their lives. You will have trained them to talk to you, and if you have been wise and not too critical, you will have their hearts. You will be INVALUABLE to them when they go through things that can deeply hurt them. You will have set a foundation for a lifetime of love and friendship. Of course this works with boys too though they rarely have friend troubles. Mamas, they need us!!

  27. I have thought about my answers since last night. I don’t think I could have articulated this as a teenager but authenticity would probably be what I held in highest esteem. I think I could forgive all other things as long as my friends were real with me. I only struggled with friendships my senior year of high school, and that occurred because I royally messed up. I lost all my friends, but graciously over the years I sought forgiveness and have received it abundantly. So, I would say humbly seeking forgiveness when you are wrong goes a long way to keep the drama out of relationships. Finally, if I had to go back- I really would tell myself that friendships trump boys any day! Although this may seem like odd advice, it was true in the 80s and as a student leader I see it as true today. Girls get so wrapped up in their boyfriends that they leave their GF high and dry until the breakup comes. To maintain healthy relationships we have to keep our friends a priority- even when we are “IN LUV.” <3, Amy Praying for you as you share with the girls.

  28. JeanJean says:

    I was always a one great girlfriend kind of person. I probably fall somewhere on the autistic scale. Advice to my young self would be: don’t pick friends solely on who picks you. Bullys can spot a victim and vice versa. Pick people with admirable qualities and attempt to be their friends. And don’t sweat a little loneliness (my young self would not have believed this).

    If that fails, wait till blogs are invented and then you can be “friends” with all manner of wonderful folk.

  29. Oh my. What a fun (yet scary) post/comments. I have 2 daughters and honestly, ages 13-18 SCARE THE HECK OUT OF ME. So thanks for all the advice/help.

    I was one of those in high school that LOVED it. Would go back. But in that day, not today. With all the social media. And the negativity. I just deactivated my FB account b/c of it. I think that puts so much more pressure on people and it’s not worth it. Granted, I am not old but I am no longer a spring chicken. There was no social media when I was in HS or college. Yeah, that dates me.

    In high school, I was friends with most everybody but had a core group that I was really close with. It was easy for me to forgive when someone had wronged me. I think that was due to my upbringing. My Christian home. My BFF of a mother. Plus my friend’s moms were all involved in our lives. I was lucky. My parents waited up for me every single time I was out late. They knew when I’d messed up before I ever even walked in the door. Still trying to figure that one out.

    I think the biggest part of friendships in high school for me were dependency. Knowing that I could depend on them, no matter what. And they were usually brutally honest with me.

    The best advice I could give (girls especially) is to not force any friendships. They just happen. I met some awesome girls in college that I’m not sure I would have been friends with ever and now are some of my closest and were bridesmaids in my wedding. But after college and getting married, it was just my husband and I. We are best friends but I craved female friendships. When we moved back to our hometown, I just wanted that one friend to go eat lunch with when I wanted Mexican so I didn’t have to go by myself. I tried and tried and it was so forced. It never worked. Then one day I woke up and it had happened. I am now the best of friends with 2 girls younger than me, that I never would have figured would be a best friend to me. And it was strictly by chance.

    And now I have written enough and I have to go get ready for lunch with my best friend who is coming by my office just to eat on our patio together! I’m so thankful for that.

  30. Acceptance is the key for me. I need friends that accept me for who I am, flaws and all. I tell my daughter that when someone says something mean to her it is typically driven by insecurity. She needs to understand that the person saying the hurtful things is in pain and that she should diffuse the situation by ignoring the mean comment and instead giving the person a compliment such as, “I love your shirt.” Our children need to understand that everyone has insecurities even the mean and/or popular children..

  31. I read this post first thing this morning. So glad I did because the Lord brought you to mind multiple times and I was able to pray for you…and your conversation with those girls. It caused me to think of the friendships that I have had over the years. Friendship is something special. I love how there is no perfect way to make a friend. When I think of some of my dearest friends, I distinctly remember the first time we met and how we clicked instantly. With others, it was more like a long journey in the same direction. Yet, regardless of how the friendship began, one similar thread is woven through the ones that have withstood years. The most important quality to me is a friend that is willing to put the other person ahead of the friendship itself. It’s hard..and something that I have only begun to appreciate more as I’ve gotten older, but when a friend is willing to speak tough truth into your life…even when they know that it may cause you to quit being your friend…you’ve found a friend that you is worth keeping for life.

  32. 1. inclusion
    2. judgement
    3. be yourself – where you go, you go