I have to take a moment for a little bit of backstory and bragging. Stay with me....I promise it won't be too obnoxious or painful, mainly because it's not about me.
I have the phenomenal and (sadly) unusual circumstance of being one of those rare women who is blessed with a truly incredible group of strong, supportive, loving, non-judgmental, not agenda-driven, crazy, hysterical girlfriends. They are amazing. I don't know why the good Lord chose to put them in my path, but I am grateful beyond words that He did. I thank Him daily for each and every one of them, while simultaneously begging Him to keep them an intimate part of my life for the next half-century or so.
We have been through so many storms and seasons together that I could never hope to capture them all in writing. Unless I write a book....someday....maybe....and it's a really long one. We also have such side-splitting, ridiculous incidences occurring on such a regular basis that many of them will, in fact, provide fodder for this blog. So, I might as well mention the Girls now - you're going to read a lot about them in future posts, I am sure.
We are a colorful (and loud) mix of women - daughters, sisters, wives (currently or at some point in the past) and mothers. We are all driven, outspoken, social and fiercely loyal to the ones we hold dear. Our group includes both stay-at-home and working moms - representing a span from health care to education to business owner. We throw one heck of a party, either just for kicks or to fundraise for a cause. We laugh together and cry together. We meet to celebrate and to mourn. We are honest with each other, usually with a good degree of tact, sometimes not so much. We hold each other accountable. We respect each other tremendously, even when we don't agree. And we don't sugar coat if one of us steps out of line. I got a firsthand look at the receiving end of this on last year's Girls' Weekend. Apparently, there is a very definite boundary when it comes to putting river pictures on Facebook without permission and/or preview approval from the group - especially when said group is clad in swimsuits. I thought they looked great! The very picture of fun in the sun with friends! They did not agree. Oh, the wrath that slip-up incurred! There was a brief stint of time in which I actually worried about a lynching (not likely, but....) or being tossed into the rapids (slightly more likely....). The storm did pass, and we managed to have the continued hilarity and bonding time we always experience on our yearly Girls' trip. Suffice it to say, I will never post another candid shot again. Or bend over when any of them is holding a phone or camera. Just because I was (finally) forgiven, does not preclude the possibility of revenge at some point.
And yet, in spite of my poor judgement as an amateur photographer, I know that each of these women will be there for me any time I need her. A few months ago, our beautiful Kat had some bad news to share. She said she was ready to talk. I sent out the text chain. We all arranged our schedules, appointments and child care (believe me, that is no small feat - between the six of us, we have 13 kids ages 3 - 12), and an emergency Happy Hour/Girl Talk session was planned and executed in under 48 hours. We listened. We loved on her. We cried with her. We held hands and prayed over her, right there in the martini bar. Then, we raised our glasses, toasted her, and got down to the business of making her smile again.
Because that's how we roll. And I wouldn't change it for anything.
I love this group of Superwomen. They make me smile with my heart. They are crazy and beautiful and smart and funny and talented. They bring light into this world and teach me lesson after lesson about everything from humility to joy to grace under pressure. They have exquisite taste in wine, shoes and home decor. They bring out the best in me and show me what sisterhood truly means in a myriad of ways.
I wish every woman had this experience with the sisters and friends in her life. How great would that be? For all the girls in all the ages and demographics to know this...to live this.
After all, that's what it's all about, isn't it? Not just surviving our time here, but truly living it while making our mark. It's about the call to love one another and to shine with our Father's light as we do it. That's how the world knows who we belong to (John 13:35). So let's do it right. And with lots of laughs.
Solidarity, sisters. We're all in this together. Might as well make it a party.