Mine are called The Tias. Yours may be called The YaYa’s or simply the Girls. In any case they are the trusted women who show up when life stinks and celebrate when it doesn’t. They are strong, loyal friends who think you’re beautiful in sweats but fully appreciate a sassy outfit or new tassle necklace. Last year when Tiff came to the pool in her fabulous find, an Old Navy striped bikini, Paige and I immediately ran out and bought the same one. Didn’t need to ask.
The Tias know both the tenderness and selfishness of my heart and love me anyways. They aren’t afraid to tell me I need a haircut, nor would I be offended. They have earned that right. We have been friends for over 30 years. Longevity doesn’t necessarily elicit a deeper friendship but it sure keeps you from having to explain yourself. They know my stories…my failures…my hiccups. They remember…and graciously forget.
They remind me of my strength and never withhold a compliment. Life’s too short not to celebrate one other.
After I had my 1st miscarriage, I intended to grieve with a glass of wine while watching the red carpet of the Oscars. Some of the Tias drove 6 hours in black tie gowns to surprise me just before it began. They fed me cookie dough off a silver platter and carpeted my floor with red towels so I too could walk the red carpet. We chatted about our favorite dresses and hair styles, and then sobbed during commercials over my empty womb…then they drove 6 hours home. Loyal! Dependable! They show up when it matters!
We laugh hard and cry easily, often at the same time. We help each other embrace our imperfections as women, wives and mothers.
This past week we were able to all be together. I returned home yesterday refreshed and inspired by these amazing ladies, their spouses and children. They fill me with JOY.
My prayer is that my daughter too will find these special relationships, ones that don’t judge but can ask the hard questions. Friendships where competition and insecurity are replaced by encouragement and trust. I desire for my daughter to truly know how to celebrate other women because once that is mastered, a Tia has been made.
35 things I want my daughter to know about Girlfriends:
(a collection from a few of my trusted gals)
- True girlfriends are those who will tell you the good and the bad. And find a way to make you feel OK about both.
- Your best friend may have other friends too. That’s ok.
- A girlfriend understands that we all want to feel celebrated on our birthdays.
- Girlfriends come in all colors, shapes, and energy levels. Don’t have a type. You will miss out.
- We are all imperfect people. Your friends will disappoint you. Forgive them even before they ask.
- True girlfriends are those who meet you in the middle, and sit with you if the moment calls for sitting, and walk with you when you can move forward again.
- Be brave enough to be real. Your Authentic self is enough.
- You know she’s a true girlfriend when you don’t clean up before she comes over… you’re comfortable allowing her to see YOU, mess and all.
- A lack of phone contact should not breed insecurity, just an excitement for when you finally do connect. Pick up where you left off, no guilt or hesitation. Life is hard and we all know it. Grace should be freely given.
- Life gets busy though. Be intentional.
- Love them well. That will look different for each friend.
- Truly good friends are your best cheerleaders– they make you feel like everything you want is possible.
- If you find a friend that can make you laugh so hard you pee….don’t let her go.
- There are no gasps or judgement when your child has a meltdown in front of her. Just a chuckle and a story about when her own child slapped her mother-in-law in the face.
- Always reach out to the new girl in school or life. Always.
- A phone date together with a glass of wine and sleeping children can be as fulfilling as a dinner out.
- True girlfriends are those who take and give in equal measure – but always remember to measure over the length of a yard and not over the length of an inch.
- There’s a fine line between sharing information and gossiping. Don’t cross it and ask your friends to do the same.
- You can make a friend feel loved by loving on her children.
- It is a blessing to have an intimate few but always have room at your table. Be the anti-clique clique.
- Don’t be a high maintenance friend, life’s hard enough. Just love well and often.
- Laugh and cry together, often at the same time.
- Don’t flirt with her boyfriend, spouse or love interest.
- Remember your life and family are not supposed to look like hers. You were created differently. Don’t compare.
- Friends should never feel like an obligation.
- Girlfriends know when to simply say “you will get through this, I promise.”
- When you know you are crazy, your girlfriend can assure you, you are normal, even though you are crazy.
- A girlfriend understands your hormones, at all the different stages of womanhood.
- Be Trustworthy “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.”
- True girlfriends always know how to point out the best in each other.
- Apologize when you screw up, because you will.
- Don’t just say you’re going to pray for her, actually pray, even when she doesn’t ask.
- Know the purity of her heart. It’ll make it easier to give her the benefit of doubt.
- Give of yourself expecting nothing in return. A true friend will reciprocate when she is able.
- You have been placed in each others lives with great purpose. Cherish each other.
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- When you can’t seem to find your joy
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