Tonight she's spending the night with her friend Morgan. They consider themselves "sisters", in fact we lovingly refer to Savanna as Savanna Hart-Shrodes. :-) I like them to have as much time together as possible. They are good for one another in their friendship. I am a strong believer in encouraging our children in positive relationships by saying "yes" whenever possible to them getting together. This generally means one of two things -- either my house is filled with other kids who are hanging out and staying here, or my house is empty or emptier for a day or two because they have gone to stay at those friend's houses.
I really want my daughter to grow up knowing the power and importance of girlfriends and not just any female friends, but ones who are girls/women of faith. I believe we all need to have unbelievers in our lives that we are befriending and also influencing to lead across the line of faith. However I'm a firm beliver that our most intimate friends need to be Christians. For how can one truly be a most intimate friend and not share the most important thing in our lives?
The STARS retreat theme was all about friendship - specifically female friendships. I wasn't there, but trust me, I have heard all about it - in detail! The theme was "Sister Chicks". My daughter is STILL talking about how great it was. A missionary friend, Rennae DeFreitas was the speaker, assisted by her best friend - another friend of mine - Rhonda Gray who is the senior pastor's wife at Venice Assembly. These ladies are amazing. They have been friends since grade school - they grew up together and have remained best friends all these years. Their relationship really is an amazing testimony of the power of God in friendship.
Savanna has quoted parts of their messages to me for several weeks now and has e-mailed "Miss Rennae" and can't stop talking about how it impacted her. Here is a photo of Rennae and Rhonda, as Sister Chicks "Lexi" and "Chloe". Their messages were mostly skits that they acted out about things such as how to deal with mean girls, and stuff like that. Neither of these ladies looks this way, by the way - they are dressed up for the skits. Gotta love Rhonda with that Hannah Montana wig on! :-)
I have opportunities in my life all the time that remind me how important the "Sister Chicks" in my life are. There are so many who are a blessing in my life in profound ways. I hesitate to name people, because I don't want to leave out anybody who is making a difference in my life. But there are some incredible Sister Chicks that believe in me and love me. My church seems to be full of them. Can't even tell you how much I appreciate them. Gosh, I love my ladies.
There are some outside my church as well. Although there are more, I just want to give kudos to three friends who have been an incredible blessing in recent days more than ever, and they are my friends Tara, Sandy, and Joy. These three women in ministry have been with me when times were flying high and times when the chips were down. They are a blessing all the time actually but the past few weeks their support has been particularly amazing.
This morning before I walked onto the platform Larry came down from the office with an envelope that came in the mail yesterday. He thought I would want to open it before church, after seeing the return address. It was a card and letter from Sandy. It meant the world. Sandy is an exhorter and I have been filled with faith and confidence by her words many times. Tonight I woke up from my Sunday afternoon nap (which lasted 4 hours - that's how drained I was) and when I logged on, I saw I had an e-mail from Tara. Ministry just flows out of her hands, into her computer and thousands of miles away to me as if we might as well be sitting in the same room. And Joy? Don't know what I'd do without her. At a moment's notice she'll pick up the phone or meet me for dinner or do whatever. Kindred soul friends. I am blessed with them.