Thursday, March 26, 2009

To Have a Friend, Be a Friend

Missy Tippens here. This photo is of a group of my writer friends/F.A.I.T.H. bloggers. We had a "reunion" at the American Christian Fiction Writers conference last fall. They're like my sisters and all much more adept at being fun and dramatic than I am (don't I look silly, like I'm not quite doing the "ta da" thing quite right?). :)

Since it's our theme for this month, I'm still thinking about friendship. A sweet lady at our previous church used to say, “In order to have a friend, you have to be a friend.” Waunette is with God now, but I still remember what she said.

Sometimes in friendship relationships, we get our feelings hurt, or we feel neglected, or we think we have no true friends. But when is the last time we were good friends to someone else?

I’ve been thinking about things we can do to be a good friend. Here are some of what I came up with:

--Listen. Sure, it’s great to be listened to. But do we listen as often as we speak?
--Be there when things get tough. Don’t be afraid we won’t have the right words to say or afraid we can’t handle the bad stuff. Just be a shoulder. Be an ear. Be a support. Just be there, period.
--Be generous—with our time, energy, and emotional support. Sometimes this might mean giving up time for something else (hey, maybe it can be housework!). :)
--Initiate. Sometimes it’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves if we initiate all contact. But I think it’s important to go ahead and step out there. Sometimes our friend may need that little extra push (the friend may have stuff going on or may just be timid or may think we’re just trying to be nice!). And eventually, that friend may start initiating.

What can you add? I’m sure there’s a lot more we can do. What are some things you’ve tried in keeping a relationship going?

I may not be able to get online today, but I’ll do so as soon as I can and check out your great ideas!



Abi said...

The Bible tells us that...
A man that hath friends must show himself friendly. WoW! The Bible isn't out dated.

Missy Tippens said...

So true, Abi! Thanks for stopping by the blog today.


Belinda Peterson said...

Hi Missy!! That is a great post. Your friend Waunette had it right. I feel I've been blessed by friendship in so many ways. I never had a sister, so my girlfriends are my sisters. Thanks for posting this and you don't look like you don't have the ta-da right...I think my arm is right where yours is. We'll take lessons from Ang.

Merrillee said...

You made some very good points about being a friend.

Angela Breidenbach said...

I think friendship is built over time through shared experiences. Sometimes you have to go out of your way for friends like meeting in a city at a conference or stopping what you are doing to meet their need. I feel blessed that all these ladies have done that for me and allowed me to do that for them. It bonds us. There will never be a time in my life that I won't feel bonded to them. (And I don't have a sister either but I have many now.)

CatMom said...

Great post, Missy--thanks for sharing! (and I think you look cute in that picture!). ~ I almost teared up when I read Waunette's quote about being a friend, because my precious Mom (now in Heaven) said those very same words SO MANY times over the years. I could just "hear" her speaking as I read that - - and it's so true. Blessings, Patti Jo :)

Missy Tippens said...

That's right, Lindi. You just have two brothers. It's fun to have a sister (unless you fight over clothes!). :) So I'm glad you have the sister relationship with friends.

Missy :)

Missy Tippens said...

Thanks for stopping by, Merrillee.


Missy Tippens said...

Angie, meeting all of you at the conference last year was so fun! And you are the queen of "ta da"!! :)


Missy Tippens said...

Patti Jo, I'm glad it reminded you of your mother. And she must have been a wise woman.


Cheryl Wyatt said...

I LOVE this pic of you guys! Very cute.

jeaneintexas said...

Your piece was so exactly right,especially about being afraid to say the wrong thing when things are tough. I really have that fear, but I say something anyway. Sometimes just letting
someone know you care is all that
you need to do.

Friendship needs concern & caring.
At 71, one of my regrets is that I
lost contact with friends thru the
years because I didn't work hard
enough in sustaining those relationships. My advice to others
is not to get so hung up on current
problems that you let those friends

Missy Tippens said...

Jeane, that's great advice. Thanks so much for stopping by.