Not only am I collector of days, but I realized last night while writing in my journal that I am also a collector of GIRLS. Powerful girls, strong women, vulnerable females, tender-hearted moms, sweet-spirited ladies, active and vibrant / bold and daring women, developing and flowering teen-agers – all things bright and beautiful, all magnificent creatures, we women!
The phenomenon of having women in my life circle is relatively new to me. When I was a preacher’s wife, I had few female friends, and I can count on the fingers of my two hands those with whom I felt safe enough to confide in and to open myself up to. There were plenty of women in the churches that we served that I knew and liked; I just never felt secure enough to let my guard down to get to know them or let them get to know me, the real me. Those special women from my preacher‘s wife days who follow my blog know who you are. You each have a special place on one of my counting fingers, and I treasure you even after all these years.
During the years of my second marriage, I still did not develop strong personal friendships. I had workplace friends, for sure. But very few of these friendships spilled out into my personal life, and only a small number have stuck with me to form a new bond of friendship that was born in the workplace, but has spread over the years into deep, lasting personal women friendships. Again, those of you who are reading my blog know who you are. Hint: TAPPI and CoreNet Global!
Last night as I was counting my blessings and writing in my journal, I realized the circles of women friends that have somehow found their way into my life today. These circles sometimes intersect, and I find women friends in more than one circle, making the friendships even richer and more precious. I am so very thankful for these women.
My “Girls”. This is a small intimate group of women, ranging in age from 22 to my wonderful age of 69. I call these fabulous women “Jennie’s Girls”, and have adopted them as my own. Even though the age range is widespread, we are the best of friends and have found common ground for building our intertwined lives into a fortress of support and love. I have discovered that age is meaningless among My Girls, and we love the time we spend together.
The Wednesday Morning Prayer Posse: I joined this group about a year-and-a-half ago. I wasn’t sure if I would fit in, but this special group of women embraced me and my peculiar notions and ideas, and made me one of them. When I was asked by a family member about a year ago about perhaps moving to be closer to my family, I responded by saying that I had my posse here, and I didn’t want to leave them. When I shared this with the girls, it was unanimous that we would from that day on be the Prayer Posse. And that’s what we are! We share our innermost joys, challenges, and struggles, and we pray for each other continuously. I love my Prayer Posse more than I ever thought I would be able to love.
Knit ‘n’ Pearls: If you are a follower of my blog, you already know about this circle of Christian women. They are my rock. They have stood by me through thick and thin, and I can’t imagine my life without my knitting needles, my little felt tote bag, and these fantastic women of faith.
Exercise Class: This is a new group for me. With the nudging of one of my friends from my knitting group, I rounded up all of the introvert courage I had, and hesitantly walked through the doors into the gym at our local recreation center for an hour of exercise class. It was tough – at first. I have a really hard time going into an unfamiliar setting where there are people I don’t know. It didn’t take long, however, for me to meet some fantastic women who exercise there two mornings a week. And what is amazing to me is how friendly these women are. They came right up to shy me, introduced themselves, engaged me in conversation, and we were up and running. My circle of strong women friends has grown substantially through this group.
My childhood, high school, and college girlfriends: through the wonders of Facebook, I have reconnected with friends from my high school and college years. I follow their lives on a daily basis, and they keep up with mine. I have found that it is this group of friends, although I seldom actually see any of them in person, who are my cheerleaders, the supporters of my writing endeavors, and the ones who comment on and enjoy the things I post on my Facebook page. I admire these women, whose lives vary so greatly, and who don’t live in my town, and enjoy immensely reading about their children, their grandchildren, and their lives. I am thankful for the connection that Facebook has given to us.
There is a scripture in the Bible about a mighty cloud of witnesses. I’m not sure what the context of this scripture is, but when I think about the GIRLS in my life, I picture them as a mighty cloud of witnesses. They are the women who are survivors, thrivers, fighters, lovers, nurturers, adventurers, home-makers, trail-blazers, sympathizers, activists, teachers, healers, artists, creators, and so much more. And I am one of them.
We are women.We are powerful. We are special.