Thursday, April 26, 2012

EGGS, kindred spirits, and the posse

This weekend I had the privilege of spending time with around 45 ladies from my church at a retreat.  It was awesome to say the least.  The speaker was excellent, testimonies of God’s love were stellar. We grew closer to our Jesus and to each other.  That was the goal.

 We had lots of fun too. There were some EGGS (elderly golf guys) staying at the same resort who kept bugging us in the halls saying “Well now, what are you little gals up to?  Wanna have some fun with us? “ Can I say “What in the Cat Hair ??”  These fine gentlemen had mostly seen 80 years AND they knew we were a CHURCH group!   One morning early I was in our meeting space doing some work and one stuck his head in and said, “Hi sweetie, wha cha doin?”   I was getting just a smidge tired of the EGGS, so I shot back;  “Getting ready to talk about Jesus,  join us or go golfin, it your choice”.  He ran out of there as fast as his EGG legs would carry him:)

One “golden nugget” one of the ladies touched on at the retreat got embedded in the back of my brain, never to be removed.  She is a woman currently battling cancer, and right now she is winning the battle.  In her testimony of God’s faithfulness to her, she spoke of her journey the last couple of years honestly and forthrightly. Easy peasy?  Nope.  Piece of cake?   Uhhhh, NOT.  Pretty crappy, really.  But as she walks through this very difficult “stuff” she gave us all some very simple and easy to follow advice.  LEAN ON YOUR BUDDIES.  Her family has been her rock, but sometimes, just sometimes,  just sometimes, kids… you need your girlfriends.  You know?  The ones you have hung out with for the last 15-20 years.  The ones you raised your kids with.  The ones that held you tightly while you wept and grieved when a child passed away, or your husband had an affair, or you lost your life savings. .. She proceeded to explain to us that she could not have walked this path the Lord has given her if not for her Jesus, her family, and her posse. 

I concur.  Sometimes our lives are dangerous. Sometimes our lives are overwhelming.  Sometimes you NEED a woman  to really hear and understand what you are going through.  (can I say menopause?)I hesitate to write on this topic, there has been much already said about it. But God told me too, and what are ya gonna say to that?

 My posse, over the years has been extremely important to me. They consist of about 12 women that I have herded together to gallop, whinny, stamp their feet, and snort -at will -whenever the need arises:)

   They don’t all live close to me now, they aren’t all buddies with each other- but they are MY best girlfriends in the world.  They are uniquely MY posse, confidants, kindred spirits.  With a couple of them, I can call them (after not having talked to them for months,)  and start the conversation by saying: AND SO……We then pick up where we left off in our conversation 6 months ago.  On my 50th Birthday some of my posses and I got together at a secluded lake house, and skinny dipping was on the agenda for those of us who had never partaken. (I promise I WON’T be doing THAT on my 60th OR 70th!) 
Some of my posse at my 53rd bday,
 For my 53rd, a group of us went to dinner and had a contest. I won’t tell you what the contest was, but it had to do with who had the strongest push up underclothing:)  When I am with them, we usually have a hoot, and sometimes our husbands end up like Ricky Ricardo saying “Rucy, you got some splainin to do!”


Still -making good life long buddies can be tricky business.  Most of the time it happens naturally.  They are people you live life with, you raise your kids with, share experiences with, go to church with.  A couple of my posse girls were missionaries in PNG the same time we were there.  We had some extraordinary experiences together - that will never be replicated again, believe me!  Sometimes, however, you have to WORK at having a buddy.

My friend at the retreat went on to give us great advice.  Here is some of it below with my two cents also thrown in:

1.If you don’t have good friends , you have no one to blame but yourself.  If you don’t want good friends you have an even bigger problem.  Once years ago a gal I (Denise) did not know well came to me complaining about the ladies of the church who were not friendly enough to her.  What I wanted to do was scream at her “bull crap” but what I did was ask her who SHE had invited to coffee/lunch/called on the phone?  I think you know her answer.  I NEVER give up on someone I want to be friends with unless I have contacted them 3 TIMES.  Admittedly, some people DO NOT want to be my friend (unbelievable?) and that’s OK.  There is always someone else who does. 
2.Learn to have FUN with your posse.  Talking seriously and deeply is important, but if you are ALWAYS Debbie Downer, who will want to hang? My friend battling with cancer knows she can’t live the life she has in a black hole.  She can kick up her heels, believe me, I have seen her do itJ

3.Sometimes your hubby is your best friend and that’s OK, mine is.  But I promise you, after almost 60 years of experience at this life- you NEED close friends who are women too.  Trust me on this one.

4.Here is the flip side. Yes, get some kindred spirits, talk to them about the deepest things in your soul.  But some things are OFF LIMITS.  The intimacies of your sex life are a big N-O. Complaining about your spouse is WAY unwise.  If you are having some problems in your marriage, go to a counselor.  That way you won’t hear through the grapevine a distorted version of what you told your friend confidentially.

5.If you got your feeling hurt and you feel a friend has wronged you, forgive them.  Are you Patty Perfect?

I believe God wants you to have BFF’s. Look at the example in scripture of Jesus and His disciples.  They were His posse, his BFF’s.  These men were VERY flawed, but Jesus had a tender heart toward them anyway.  He nurtured them, mentored them, He was always there for them, even when they denied him, and were filled with unbelief.  Jesus was the perfect friend.

Every Christmas when our family exercises our tradition of watching again the series “Anne of Green Gables “ the essence of having “kindred spirits” comes back to me in Anne Shirley the main character.