The Gift of Friendship

I recently travelled to Tulsa, Ok to attend a Women’s Conference and joined 3 dear friends for 4 days and nights of ministry and girl time. Now let me paint you a picture, 4 women, sleeping accommodations for a family, luggage, laptops, kindles/nooks, ipods, toiletries, flat irons, many, many pairs of shoes, many outfits and ONE…I repeat ONE bathroom! Do you get the picture? Thankfully we were in the “gathering place” to feed our spirits. If we had been attending some… oh maybe hip-hop concert, the fact that 4 women with all our baggage (both physical and emotional) were in such close proximity for 4 days could have been a diva train wreck! On the contrary, our bond has been strengthened.

Now if you think there were no “spirited conversations”, you are wrong. We are all strong women with varied opinions and not very shy. It was HOT in that suite some of the time.(and not because of menopause) The wonderful thing is that we love and respect each other and most importantly we share a common faith. The truth is we have all chosen to navigate this minefield called life with absolute dependence on our Savior, Jesus Christ.

We have made this journey to Tulsa several times and we are asked repeatedly why we all share a room. Most women have one roommate or even choose to be alone, citing this time as a sacred retreat from work, husbands and children, we choose to treat this concentrated fellowship as a kind of “Sister Boot Camp”. We may or may not participate in physical exercise but our spirits and emotions are strengthened. You don’t get to go to bed “mad” or change rooms. Nope, during this time together we have the privilege of living what we believe…the truth that “love never fails”. We are allowed to arrive at the conclusion that we may disagree on our perception and/or our approach, but our “like precious faith”, is the glue that makes our friendship real.

I have been blessed to have many friends, a somewhat unique thing for many women. Women (even Christian women) seem to have that Eve/curse thing going on. We can be jealous and petty and competitive and gossipy and totally intolerant of others shortcomings. We also categorize people. One thing I’ve learned is simply not to judge. I have no idea why another woman may be doing something that seems just plain crazy to me. What I do know is that we all have a story and believe or not, whether right or wrong that woman has chosen her path based on something. I also have realized that our lives are both purposeful and seasonal. We learn something from every person and every situation. Never discount the importance of the people who have travelled in and out of your life. Some will be with you for a lifetime and even beyond, others only for a season.

Our lives are to be lived, vigorously. We only have one and as someone said “this is no dress rehearsal”. Love and live your life on purpose. It is God’s gift to you, what you do with it is your gift to Him.

Who is this woman?

I have made almost every mistake possible concerning relationships and raising children. As a result of that, I’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way. (mostly the hard way) There is some really good news though, I am still standing, better than ever and I want to share some things that could help you and maybe keep you from making similar mistakes… unnecessarily. The even better news is that I have two beautiful (both inside and out) adult daughters who are successful in their chosen fields, despite my shortcomings. One daughter works in corporate America and the other in the beauty/fashion industry. I am also the “over the top” proud grandmother of two fabulous grand-children aka my GBs. However the greatest thing that I can share with you is that God loves you! Yes you; and right where you are, whether in the midst of a mess or in comfortable obscurity. The very same God who created the universe desires for you to come to know Him through His Son Jesus. I won’t preach to you but Baby,  God has shown His love for me in so many ways that I must acknowledge that it is only because of Him that I am still standing and looking good for a ?? year old woman. HE will do the same for you.

Some other things about me, I was born in Oakland, Ca., I am a retired flight attendant who has travelled throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and of course, the United States, I have sister/girlfriends of all ethnicities, ages and backgrounds, I have been involved in Women’s Ministry for over 15 years and I love to laugh (mostly at myself) and last but not least… this Sister loves shoes! Not the same way I love Jesus or my GBs but I do like a shoe/boot/sandal and until recently would spend almost my last penny on a fabulous pair of shoes.

When I was raising my daughters as a single mom we were nicknamed the “Allen Girls” by a friend who surmised that we reminded him of the “Golden Girls”. It seems that our penchant for having fun together regardless of what we were doing, coupled with us being hysterical to watch, helped him make the comparison. Never mind the minor details that we are not white,not old and never carried  a purse around the house! We are mother/daughter/sisters who love each other to an extreme and have survived some things that could have destroyed that mother/daughter bond that can be so tenuous. I love them and they love me… (even though I am a little crazy) AND they love each other.

There are many mothers, daughters and sisters in the world who have not spoken in years and have allowed some little thing or maybe big thing come between them. Quite frankly life is too short. Don’t allow anything or anyone get in the way of making memories and establishing a legacy for future generations.

So Babygirl, that’s the abbreviated version of my story. Now welcome to my blog. I hope to provide a safe environment for you to vent, ask questions, cry and yes…LAUGH!