Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sharing the Shelter #9 and Kelly Westerfield's New Book Giveaway

Friendship isn't about who you've known the longest, it's about who came and never left your side.  (unknown)

Emily, Katie and Kayla

Do you remember your first friend? We didn't call them bffs or besties in the 60s.  They were simply best friends. My best friend was Debbie, a farm girl with a big brother I idolized.  I loved visiting her. My home was an organized quiet.  Lots of expressed love and joyous and fun--just quiet. Debbie's home was full of people and loud!  Brothers and sisters, foster kids, and a mom and dad with hearts the size of their barn. Not better--just different.  

Shannon and her granddaughter.
I've had many friendships throughout the years, some for "such a time as this" and some who have lasted through every situation life brings. All special, all needful. I met Shannon through our children's school. We connected first because we both love ministering to children. She sewed my maternity dresses when I was expecting Melanie, and she designed and made the bridesmaid gowns for Melanie's wedding. She moved around but each time she'd come home to visit, we'd meet late Saturday night for a gab fest, sharing ideas in our work with children and solving life's mysteries. She was there when Sarah died, in painful ministry times, and well, always. I can ask her to pray and know she will. If life gets crazy and we don't get to talk for a while, it doesn't matter. We just pick up where we left off.  For over thirty years she's been my Diana, my kindred spirit. 

But what happens if your your Diana never shows up?  In Kelly Westerfield's new book, Trend Breakers: Discovering and Choosing Quality Friendship in a Lonely World, she says,

"My journey to finding joy in friendship has spanned many years. It started as a little girl, wanting so badly to find my Diana, that kindred spirit I read about in Anne of Green Gables. The journey brought lots of tears through my teenage years as I pined to understand what I was doing wrong to still come up short of someone to call my best friend for life.
Surely adulthood would cure all of these woes, yet it didn’t. Oh, I found friends – true and sweet friends whom I still cherish – yet I couldn’t seem to find lasting peace in this area of my life. Distance, obligations, and personal struggles created barriers when I wanted communion."
Kelly and I are in a small group in the Soli Deo Gloria community. I was delighted to get a sneak read in before her book was released.  Let me tell you, this book gets to the heart of friendship with chapters such as:

  • Redefining True Friendships
  • Let Go of Toxic Friendships
  • Investing Spiritual Disciplines on Your Friends

Katie prayed for a friend before we moved to town.
These three have been friends since then.
Kelly's book is full of wisdom, ideas and even recipes to use to shelter your friends. We shelter new mothers, those who are sick, or have experienced the loss of loved ones. It's good to remember our friends who need shelter, too.  Kelly's book is full of ways to do this: Fun reasons to get together, enjoying each other without the work of full-scale entertainment, and grabbing moments to connect when time is short, are just a few.

Another thing I love about Kelly's book-- the questions at the end of each chapter.  I love the chance to think about the answers myself, but this would be a great Bible Study for a women's group, too.

Kelly is giving one of my readers a FREE PDF copy of her book this week. If you're interested, please leave a comment below about one of the friendships you treasure, and you'll be added to the drawing. (Link a post to Sharing the Shelter for an extra chance to win.)  The winner will be announced at the next Sharing the Shelter link up.

You can purchase the PDF version of Kelly's book at http://exceptionallyavg.com/my-ebook/. Use the code TRUEFRIEND to receive $2 off between now and December 13.

The Kindle version of Kelly's book is available HERE. This will be on sale until December 13th for $2.99.

Sharing the Shelter #9 and Giveaway

Connie from Family, Home and Life won the hat giveaway this week.  Visit her home on the blog and copy the recipe for Cinnamon Rolls. They look delicious!

I'd like to encourage you to reach out to a friend this week.  There are so many sweet things this time of year; instead, take her a Pineapple Cheeseball.  It's delicious and easy. (And the recipe is enough for two.) If you are too busy to think about making one more thing, just pick up a bag of Laughing Cow's Babybel cuties for her to snack on.

Do you have a recipe, craft or sewing project, a blog post sure to encourage us, or other sheltering idea you’d like to share? Link up and enjoy the ideas. I like keeping the rules simple:
  • Grab my button or leave a text link-back 
  • Visit the two blogs before yours 
  • Shelter someone!


Denise said...

Blessings, love, prayers, and hugs to you.

Leslie Monroe said...

Great post. I have a lot of good friends, but don't love close to any of them. I struggle with developing friendships that are geographicly close. So glad you linked up with Simply Better today. (the book sounds great, I hope I win!)

Beth said...

I do remember my fist friend from about the age of 5 or 6. Her name was Joan.

Shannon Phillips said...

Ah why'd you have to go and make me bawl! On a more serious note, I must get that book!!! Love you my FOREVER friend.

Making Memories 1999 said...

I have a friend who lives too far away to go and visit every week or even month, but when we are able to get together once or twice a year... it's like we can "pick up where we left off." I'm so thankful for those kinds of friendships!

That book sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for making it available!

Julie @ In Between The Sunsets of Life said...

I am fortunate to have many friends and a few that are very close. I met my best friend in high school, freshman year, and now 20 plus years later we live 1 mile from another. It's been an enjoyable friendship no doubt.

joy said...

Yes, true friendship. I must admit that I know many , but not good in cultivating friendship. My best friend is my husband. I am with friends once in while if someone has birthdays, or else just home and work . Lots og blog friends that I feel close to despite the distance:)

Denise said...

I thank God for placing some pretty special people in my life who have impacted my life forever, and shown me examples of how to be forgiving, loving, helpful, faithful, and kind. We all have people who have affected our lives, whether from a distance, a kind and generous word, or a good deed. I am blessed to have a best friend from younger years that I am still in contact with too! :)

The encouragement we give to each other blesses each of us in a unique and special way, and we must always protect and embrace it!

Beautiful post Pamela!
Joyful blessings and friendship hugs!

Lindsey said...

Looks like a great book. I'll have to read it to my "to read" list... which is only about 60 books long....so... I'll stop back in 2014!

Anonymous said...

I was one of those children pining for my Diana too... only I never read Anne books until much later as an adult (after seeing the fabulous TV movie). I've been blessed with beautiful friendships from college days that still go on... loved your thoughts here. - Pam, apples of gold

Laurie Collett said...

I'm grateful that through Facebook I've been able to reconnect with several of my girlhood friends. Thank you for the beautiful post & for hosting, & God bless!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post. This book sounds great.

I don't know how you found my blog, but I am so glad you did and that you left a comment so I could find you. I love you blog...this post on friendship is lovely and I look forward to checking out the book.

Alecia Simersky said...

This sounds like a good book! We've recently moved and getting out and making new friends can be a chore. I have lots of acquaintances and friends but not a "best friend" since high school, I miss having that close connection with someone.

Rebecca said...

Interestingly, I have a friend NAMED "Diana" whose friendship I've enjoyed since our children were toddlers. I've moved here and back, but our friendship remains. (In fact, I attended her mother-in-laws funeral this morning.....)

Wise Hearted said...

My best friend growing up was a girl named Donna. Through the years we have lived so far from each other. But a couple of times we were close enough to drive to meet each other. It was as if we had never been seperated.

God has given me some really good Christian woman friends that love me for who I am. I can totally be myself with them, it always refreshing to be with them.

Great post on friendships.

Nancy said...

I have been incredibly blessed with friendships all my life. It humbles me to think there are women who can't say that. This post reminds me to reach out to lonely women and be a friend to them. Thanks for sharing.

Esther Joy said...

Awwh! Best friends! I am blessed to have some! In fact, I am picking two of my "besties" tonight for Beth Moore's Revelation Bible Study. Both my friends are having shoulder problems and don't feel like driving. Both of them have also lost husbands in past Christmas seasons and therefore need a little extra TLC at this time of year.

Merry Christmas!

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks for the lovely tribute to friendship and for hosting, & God bless!