Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Gift of Friendship: Stories that Celebrate the Beauty of Shared Moments edited by Dawn Camp (book review)

I am an introvert-extrovert. Sounds odd but my friend, Cari, is too. Following this oddness I have many friends (as an extrovert would) but I have a small band of close friends (as would an introvert). I love my girls very dearly and never have enough time with them.

"The Gift of Friendship" edited by Dawn Camp is a compilation of stories shared from many women (only a few names were familiar to me: Holley Gerth, Liz Curtis Higgs, Tsh Oxenreider, Crystal Paine, Myquillyn Smith, and Lysa TerKeurst) about their friendships. Each story was a grand reminder of how awesome it is to be loved and to love girl friends.
image via Amazon

I believe I read this book at just the right time. I have felt...not lonely necessarily but kind of a in a funk with a new baby. I just have very little energy to pour into friendships so I haven't reached out like I normally would (maybe this is my introvert self taking charge). However, I am so blessed with a few key friends who have reached out to me in this time. They get it. They know this last year has been trying and exhausting and maybe they don't know I need them, but they call at the right moments when I do. I'm so thankful.

One story in the book really put friendship into perspective for me. A mom was talking about her daughter's friendships. Now, I have a daughter. What kind of friend do I want her to be? Who do I want her friends to be? The latter is hard because she's small and I only know a handful of her would-be classmates, but the first question is universal. I want her to be a good friend. But this story pointed out that this is part of my responsibility- to teach her friendships. I had some messy friendships growing up and I'd like her to avoid that (don't we want them to avoid all icky things?!), but she won't. Some friend will treat her poorly (as she will some friend). I get the wonderful responsibility of walking through that with her.

I'll leave off my review with this sentiment from the book, "Friendship is a gift. I have learned that the hard way. Finding someone who will talk you back from the edge, encourage you to follow your dream, stay up talking until three in the morning, eat ice ream with you - straight from the container - hear your darkest confessions without flinching, and keep showing up anyway? A gift. No, a treasure."

So thank you to Stacey, Kim, Kim, and Kim, Rachel, Mary, Kara, Kaitlyn, Cari, Jenny, the Lindas, Susanna, all the Ginas, Maggi, Debbie, Sarah, Whitney, Jill, Lori, Marie, Laura, Evi, Tasha, Kathleen, Monica, Kate, Jessica, Shannon, Mandy, Shawna, Amber, Alyson, Rachelle, Brandy, Grace, Maggie, Mandi, Shari, Judi, Elly, Jessie, Amanda, Mari, Sarah (I have so many friends with the same name!), and all the others my scatterbrain has left out (sorry). You have each taught me so much about friendship, whether for a time or still. And to my first friend, my mom, Fonda. I love you.

Disclaimer: I received this book in return for my honest review. Others may have a different opinion of the book or of friendship but these are mine. Get this book for your friends.

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