Some of the best gifts that I received for Christmas this year, were renewed friendships with several old time gal-pals. I’ve heard and believed for years that people are brought into our lives for a season and a reason. Well if that’s true, then the friendships of certain women can absolutely be brought back into our lives for another reason and hopefully an even longer season.

These ladies have been “out of season” for a spell, but for whatever reason HE chooses, they’ve been brought into the fold of precious friends again.

On the first day of friendship renewal, my TRUE LOVE gave to me:

Linda. This is my partner in Fashion Crime and the inspiration behind Fashion Fridays. We met several months ago for a cup of coffee and talked for hours and hours. During this talk I was so very sad to hear about the death of her father and the engagement of one of her daughters to the man of her dreams. It goes without saying why I was sad about the death of her sweet daddy whom I knew and loved dearly, but I was sad, too, that happy times had happened to her children. Children that I had watched grow up, get “sea-damaged” at the beach, one march around their yard waving an American flag bigger than me because he wanted to be president someday, and the girls with curls! Oh, how we loved shopping and dressing our girls!  And now one of those girls was engaged to be married and I new nothing of this young man or how they fell in love. That made me sad. The daughter I remember deserved nothing but the best and from what I hear of this lucky dude, she got it. Now one year later, I am blessed with the news that she is expecting. I will get to be a part of this very, very, happy addition to their family. I am going to LOVE watching my dear friend be a grandmother. She was an absolutely perfect mother, in my opinion, and I can only imagine how much love she has stored up to lavish on this grand addition.

Linda is the friend who ALWAYS makes me laugh and I am looking so forward to the stories of labor, delivery, first night home with the baby, you name it and there WILL be a funny side to it. I know you have a friend like her, too. Her southern drawl, southern charm and knack for telling great stories, makes me look forward to every minute I can spend with her. And… she always makes me feel special. In addition to the gift of telling stories, she has the gift of making her friends feel her love. Regardless of how insecure I might be feeling about any certain topic, she has the ability to show me why that insecurity is just a lie that I have believed without looking deep enough. Needless to say, I love her dearly.

My friend, Linda.

My friend, Linda with her daughters.

I moved and we lost touch for several years. That will NEVER happen again.

On the second day of friendship renewal, my TRUE LOVE gave to me:

Bonnie. Now Bonnie and I go back even further.  All the way to kindergarten.  She lived two doors down from me and we were truly inseparable from the age of five until high school. I became a high-stepper and she a cheerleader and the horizon of our friendships was broadened. She became close to the cheerleaders and football team and I was close to the whole band. She traveled on one bus to football games and I on another. We both have the HAPPIEST memories of Friday nights on the football field.

Bonnie was dearly loved by my whole family. My daddy gave her the endearing nickname of “Barnhead,” which we still don’t really understand, while my mom and sisters called her Bon-Bon (which I might add is what her precious grandson calls her now). Although, our positions on the field may have been apart, we still spent most Saturdays together and even double-dated with our future husbands. Our husbands were best friends in high school, too, only across town in a different high school. Bonnie and her future husband met at a basketball game and the rest is…as they say. She was always welcome in our home, never knocked, had free access to snacks, clothing and a pillow beside me for any nights we could make a sleepover work. To say she was a part of our family is an understatement. She is the third sister. Do you have a childhood friend like this?

We had the extreme pleasure of meeting for breakfast one morning during Christmas. It was lunch time when we parted. When I left her, in true Bonnie-fashion, she told me she’d be needing my pillow again for a few nights this spring. It will be a pleasure to be entertained by her again for a couple of nights on the coast. Miles have separated us in the past, but with children grown and adapted, they need not separate us anymore.

Bonnie and me.

Bonnie and me.

On the third day of friendship renewal, my TRUE LOVE gave to me:

Denise. Denise and I met over 21 years ago in a Sunday School class. I did not like her at first. (She knows this.) But then, God in His infinite wisdom, used a tragedy to bring us together. Her beloved mother passed away. I could see her grief and only imagine what it must be like to lose your mother when your children are just babies. In obedience to HIM, I rang her doorbell with the book, “When God Doesn’t Make Sense” by James Dobson and we were the best of friends by the time I left that day and remained so for well over a decade.

We had so many traditions together that when we drifted apart, many of those traditions felt empty and without meaning for a long time. But you see, Denise is my friend that sharpens me and makes me stronger by speaking what is on her mind. I can say now, looking back on it, that the reason HE planned for that season was to make me a better friend, a deeper listener and to teach me about confidence. I’m sure you have a friend like this, too.

If you’ve read the book, “Seven Habits” by Stephen Covey, you are familiar with the habit, “Sharpen the Saw.” That is what Denise does for me. Through my blog and her incredible gift of hospitality, we were reunited on New Years Eve. It was like we had never drifted. Her hug when I walked in her front door was like going home again. Her tears and “I’ve missed you,” were so touching that I can’t imagine ever drifting again.

My friend, Denise and her hubby, Rick

My friend, Denise and her hubby, Rick

The friendships of women are gifts from the Father, however complicated, however distant and however faithful. They are meant to “sharpen the saw.” They make us better women, better mothers, better daughters, better wives. They make us better listeners and storytellers, better friends and give us confidence. We may not know until we’ve drifted apart what the reason for the season was, but if you are given the opportunity for a second season, may it be at Christmastime when you can accept your gift from THE Reason for the Season.