A few weekends ago I went to the mall and left with two diamond bras from Frederick’s of Hollywood, and three baby outfits from Janie and Jack. I felt a little silly exiting with my ‘naughty and nice’ gifts- red bag in one hand, pink and green bag in the other. A week later, some of those gifts got presented during a Bachelorette/Baby shower weekend in Sacramento. Here’s the scene: 1 house, 2 nights, 13 girls, 3 infants, a four year old, 2 soon-to-be brides, 3 pregnant girls, and a lot of food (naturally). It sounds like the makings of a reality TV show although we lacked the drama necessary for it to be good reality TV because these girls actually get along…cuddle each others babies, rub each others tummies and cry the good tears.
Lisa just started reading Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist. It was a favorite book of mine last year, so I flipped to the chapter called Alameda and I made her read it, out loud, while several of us laid on the bed and stared out at the citrus trees and foggy air. I knew the girls would love the chapter because it talks about friendship, motherhood, California. Like Shauna, we all met at Westmont College. I’d loved these girls in our dorm rooms, in hotel rooms across Europe, in a rickety house on Loma Media that looked out over the ocean. When Lisa got to the end of the chapter, the part where it talks about how friendships are worth the investment of time and distance, she choked up. We all did. I thought about the women in the room, the women in my bible study, my Iron Well girls. My life is incredibly rich because of relationships that span years of memories, tough conversations, honest advice, goofy jokes. What did I ever do to deserve such a rich blessing?
I like Shauna’s reminder at the end of her chapter– deep, true, life giving friendships aren’t always easy to come by. If you need a few days under the orange trees, where conversation keeps flowing, food keeps arriving, tears and laughter intermingle, tough questions are worked though– then get a date on the calendar. Save the time and money necessary to see the people you love. In the meantime, send a bag of granola in the mail or a used book, or maybe just a card. Text them for no reason. Email a silly picture from your past. Pray for them and their little ones in the shower. And when you do finally reunite, give thanks to God for creating life giving relationships that offer us a peak at eternity to come.