Three Sweet Blessings from Friendships with Women

Rick and I’ve been married for 36 years. We have no secrets. He’s my best friend, but sometimes it’s fun to spend time with lady-friends. When we get together, the conversation shifts from deep talk to silliness. In a heartbeat.

Saturday, a girlfriend invited another friend and me to go shopping. I’m attending a Guideposts writers’ workshop in two weeks and wanted something spiffy to wear.

“There’s an antique shop down the street,” she said. “Let’s go there.”

Clothes in an antique store? 

She took us to a place I’d never noticed in my very own small town of Monroe, GA.

Good friends are like that–always teaching us new stuff.

When we arrived, I didn’t care if they had clothes or not.

I felt like a little girl again!

Hodge Podge held the same splendor I remembered from childhood when I went antiquing with my mother and sister. There’s a certain thrill in rounding the corner of a shop and discovering dusty surprises.

The front door was wide open and welcomed us like a warm smile.  I took a step inside and childhood memories came alive.

Miniature tea sets.

Sparkling chandeliers.

Handmade lavender soap.

Oh me, oh my —

My heart went pitter-patter at the crocheted shirt.

My sweet friends.

They insisted I try it on in all three colors–aqua, black, and oatmeal.

“Definitely, the oatmeal-colored one,” they said in unison.

After we shopped, we stopped for coffee at The Cotton Cafe.  Sitting at a small table, we laughed and shared secrets the way little girls do.

At home, I hung up my new crocheted top in my closet and smiled.

Good friends are one of God’s greatest blessings. They:

1. Help us not to take life (and ourselves!) so seriously.

2. Always want the best for us.

3. Encourage us to sparkle and shine. 

“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul.” Proverbs 27:9 The MSG

Have you had fun lately with your friends? What’d you do?

What sweet blessings have you found in friendship?

Love,

Julie

 

 

Three Life Lessons from Clothes Shopping…Seriously

I have this peculiar trait. I don’t like shopping for clothes. Especially at malls. Once those glass doors close behind me, I get claustrophobic and confused. So many choices, people, and fashion rules. But I have two upcoming events and need to look spiffy.

Remember (was it during the 80’s?) when we learned to dress in the colors of a certain season? I’m an autumn and have worn army fatigue brown, green, and beige for years.

Color Me Beautiful explains it.

I asked my fashion guru daughter Katie for help. We went to North Georgia Premium Mall, an outlet mall. I had no clue outlet shopping is nothing like regular mall shopping!

You can breathe.

And think.

And laugh.

And sit on a bench, eat ice cream, and watch birds.

Inside the first store, Katie flitted around piling clothes over her arm.

“Kaaaaaatie! I can’t wear those colors. I’m an autumn.”

“Trust me, Mom.” She grabbed a navy blue jacket.

“No! Navy’s for a winter person. I might go with periwinkle, but not navy. I don’t want the jacket. ”

“It’s not a jacket. It’s called a blazer.” She laughed. “Just try it on.”

In the dressing room, I texted a picture to my friend Robin hoping she’d vote for the shirt with warm colors.

“Definitely the blue. Looks like springtime.”

But I’m an autumn.

And then something magical happened when I slipped on the navy blue blazer.

I hardly recognized my new self.

“Wow,” I whispered. “I never knew…”

On the way home, my 2012 word SURRENDER found me.

Surrender can mean…

1. Some old ways of thinking fade.

2. I swallow my pride, ask for help, and listen.

3. I trust God with shopping. With everything.

P.S. Katie had coupons. 🙂 Everything was 40% off. She says Old Navy has colored jeans on sale!

I bet you love shopping, don’t you? 

*Georgia Premium Outlet Mall picture from geolocations.us.

Love,

Julie