I spent the day with a special friend.
Linda and I met 22 years ago. We were young moms and we were both pushing strollers toward the kindergarden drop off area, reluctantly waiting for that moment when we would have to let our little girls go. Both of our daughters were embarking on their first day of school and, let me tell you, the emotions were running high. Linda approached me and gently attempted to initiate a conversation. ” Hi! My name’s Linda. How are you?” I looked at her, broke into tears and muttered, “Not so good.” (I had recently given birth to my third child and “Not so good” was an understatement! That was the moment our “God-gifted” friendship began.
A lot of life has unfolded since that emotional introduction 22 years ago. Linda and I have experienced abounding joy and unspeakable loss, child-like glee and heart wrenching disappointment, paralyzing conflict and soul-freeing resolution. We both know that without God, we would be lost and the strength of our friendship is anchored firmly in our growing understanding of God’s grace, faithfulness and enduring love towards us. When we get together, we feel safe to be ourselves and we are confident to speak into each other’s lives because there is a commitment to help each other live in a way that honors God.
It’s good to be real with other women. I think that God is delighted when women come together to refresh, uplift, support and laugh with each other. When this kind of friendship “wraps around your heart”, you are never the same. I am so thankful for my friends – older and younger – who speak into my life. This morning, one of the girls in Overflow “made my day” when she emailed me.
“Oh man. How do I even start?
First of all, it was nice to see some new faces. I’m glad that to see that Overflow is expanding since it’s working out so well!
It’s so amazing to see how women from different generations can still have so much in common. It felt so normal to talk and just hang out with all the women there – younger and older. Throughout the events of the evening, I was definitely able to learn a lot. Through my very first ‘elfing’ experience, I was able to learn that although aging is a must, maturity is optional. I’m sure that the older women had just as much fun as I did as we went out in our little elf hats and slipped and slid on the ice, hid behind cars and trees when the neighbours were approaching their front doors, and laughed our heads off when one lady thought our treat baggy was a skunk. Even the dark of the night couldn’t hide our smiling faces. It was awesome. The gift exchange again proved that younger and older women aren’t so different after all. Even with an age gap, we were able to give each other presents that were perfect! Amazing, isn’t it? The night went on, and chatter continued to filled the house. Honestly, I’ve never spoken to an older woman like a friend before. But through this Overflow group, I’m able to experience this and grow together with all the other women. I think this is awesome. ” (15 year old)
This girl gets it!
This is a wonderful season for me – I have the opportunity to write a book about creative ways that younger and older women can bless each other with laughter, encouragement, wisdom and energy! I have a passion to bring women of different generations together in powerful and life changing ways so that they can focus on and celebrate their similarities, rather than assume that their age difference causes a gap in communication.
It’s good to be authentically you – the way that God has made you – before God and with other women! We have so much to learn from each other!