Friday, January 21, 2011

Book Review - Friendship for Grown-Ups

I had first heard about this book from Nicole at Team Pipkin. You can read her review HERE. I had brought up several times to my husband that I'd like to read it because I've never been real comfortable in my friendships.  So, when we went to visit him in SC in July, he had the book for me.  I started it when we got back (one afternoon at soccer practice) and just finished it today. Yeah, I know :)

When I started reading it, I remember feeling really emotional.  I could totally relate to the things that Lisa Whelchel was saying. 

I remember as a teenager some girlfriends and I would have gossip sessions.  It was so easy to get caught up in those; they always seemed to have all the dirt and because I never really got close to people, I guess I just took it all in.  Later, I remember some of these same girlfriends broke my heart.  They did things to me that I just really didn't understand why. Had I not been a good friend?  Had I not been a fun person to be around?  I felt like it was my fault, but I never did (and still don't) know what happened.  But I guess its like one of the points of the book, if your "friends" are being ugly about others, they are probably going to be ugly to you.

Well, whatever my reasoning, I failed to really dive into relationships.  I guess like Whelchel, I didn't want to be needy, I didn't want to have feelings, I didn't think others were safe.  I'm a pretty independent person; I don't like to ask for help and I don't pour out my feelings to too many people.  I don't want to be hurt...again.

After reading this book, I think I've come to the realization that it is ok to be cautious and to find safe friends.  I have two girlfriends that I would call "soul close."  We are pretty in tune to each other.  We are there for each other.  We love each other. In these two ladies, I think I've found "my Emmitt." (You'll have to read the book).

I think this book will help me to get past the shallowness of many of my relationships, to "really know" my friends, "not just about them." I need to put my pride and fear aside and be admit my need for others. 

One particular statement I loved was this, "She chooses to be with me because she wants to, not because I deserve it, even when I mess up, even when I'm far from perfect." Before reading on I underlined that and wrote out to the side Just like JESUS.
That related so much to what we've been reading the last day or so in our Bible study.  I want to be that friend. And I want a friend like that. 

So, my plan is to work on my grown-up friendships, to be some one's Emmitt.  I want to get away from the superficial surface and really know my friends. 

I think this is a great book for any woman who struggles with friendships, or just insecurities and wants to strengthen the bond with girlfriends and God.  If you read it or have read it, please let me know what you thought.

I think too that I'm going to ask my superintendent if I can a year sabbatical from teaching to pursue friendships.  Hey, if Lisa can do it, why can't I? 


  1. After you are done with your sabbatical, maybe I can take one!
    But I totally understand how friends from the past have hurt you for no apparent reason. I have had that happen too. I still don't know why they did what they did, but I do know that if it hadn't been God's plan, I more than likely would not have ended up in the south when I did!
    But that experience left me scarred and afraid to let others in too. I am trying to let go of the past and trust and surround myself with people who do show God's love. I am trying to let my guard down more and open up.
    I'll be praying for you!

  2. wow, I have often felt like I was the only one who felt like I couldn't make close friends. I can say I know a lot of people and may know about them, but as for closeness, that doesn't happen often. I stay guarded and try to protect myself probably for the same reasons you listed. Thanks for sharing about this book. I will try to get it and read it sometime.

  3. I think that it's easy in times like today to have a lot of friends but no really close friends. Do you all find that friendships come and go based on what you are doing? You know, you get into a new phase of life with your kids and your friends change because your activities have changed? That has been something that is frustrating for me at times. But I'm thankful for my church friends because I know we all love each other and I see you all every week. Really close friendships are hard to develop and keep I think because we feel so vulnerable.

  4. That was one thing I loved feeling while reading the book, "I'm not the only one."

    Yes, I think our friends do change with our seasons of life. For me, it is difficult to be close to someone who doesn't have kids because I have them and they keep me busy. One thing from the book is to make it a point to keep close regardless of what season you are in.

  5. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book.
    Adult relationships are hard. I don't know why women tend to put down other women. We are suppose to support each other.
    I still don't have "{my} Emmit" but I do have a few gals from bible study that I can trust and talk to.

  6. I feel like Leslie, friends come and go with activities and even location. I do thank God for a good church family that I know loves and prays. I have to work on close friendships more. I have let them slip away before just because of my own insecurities. Sad really.

  7. I feel the same way too, ladies. I have made friends because of the season of life I happen to be in, but those friendships fade away because one or both of us have moved on. It is more difficult, I think, to hold on to a friendship if one person has moved to a new season and you have not. Regardless of why the friendship didn't last, I wonder if it is because we didn't let our guard down and let that person in.
    I am so thankful for my church friends too!


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