Sunday, April 3, 2011

Lifetime Friends

It has almost been 11 years since I walked in a room full of strangers to attend my first MOPS meeting.  I had just moved back to my hometown with my husband and newborn a few months prior.  One of my mom's friends suggested I join this group as a new mom.....that it could be helpful.  Looking back I was overwhelmed.....Kate had colic, allergies, and just felt miserable which of course means a fussy baby and a stressed mommy.  My mom lovingly watched her so I could join this special group.  I remember being so nervous.....but this sweet lady met me at the door with a warm smile and greeted me so nicely.  (Her daughter is in Kate's class at school this year) She showed me to my table where I was assigned to a leader.  We had about ten women in our group and most of us were strangers.  As we met twice a month we shared stories and became close.  HOWEVER, there was one person( Mary) who I seemed to talk to more than the others and soon we were meeting and doing things together outside of our group.  Oh how little we knew about our paths merging at that point.

Now years later we have built so many memories between us......and often reflect on how God brought us together. We have spoken about the "what ifs."  What if one of us had attended the other session of MOPS....which I was supposed to...... but changed.  What if she  had never taken a chance and not invited me to a stamping/card making party. (do you remember that?)  We now know that there are no "what if's" and we are not in control.

I could write many posts about our friendship and probably will in the future.  Today though....I write about how we met and remind myself that is wasn't coincidental.   I lift her up with gratitude from my heart for all the times she has listened to me when I probably made no sense at all.  Thanking her for being a genuine friend to me.  Laughing at all that we have in common....yet appreciating our uniqueness.  She will in fact know why I chose today to write this post as only a best friend could.

I also write this as a reminder about how women need friendships with one another.  You may think that you don't have time or are afraid of getting hurt/rejected if you "open up" with a friend.  However...investing in friendship is HEALTHY!

The following information is from an article in Better Homes and Garden April issue.

"Levels of the toxic stress hormone cortisol drop precipitously when we find ourselves in the company of our friends and loved ones. If you layer in the physical touch of a friend, you also experience increased activity of the feel-good brain chemicals dopamine and oxytocin.  It can zap chronic stress-with potentially lifesaving results"......Dr. Stephen S. Ilardi, of The Depression Cure. is smart to prioritize friendships.

This is dedicated to my friend, Mary.......whom I adore.
At the bowling alley.....hence the groovy seating. (no we aren't in a league....just took our kids for fun)


  1. So, so true. Friends are the best therapy! I have always heard that MOPS is a great organization and what a blessing that it led to something so special!

  2. What a sweet post Jen. :o) I worked in MOPS for a few years and remember what a blessing that time was for the moms. I am so glad that you made such a special friend and have stayed close all these years. Isn't it amazing ... God's timing! How He knits just the right people at just the right time. :o)
    Have a wonderful day.
    love, Trish

  3. what a nice tribute to a special friendship-and I'm in complete agreement that very little is random or coincidental, *and* that friendships are good for our health! :) though of course there are many other reasons to treasure them...

  4. What a sweet friend you have! You are right....things are not a coincidence....are they? I too attended MOPS as a young mother. Then went back after I graduated to be a MOPPETT worker to take care of the ladies little ones so they could enjoy the blessings as I had. I went home to Illinois this past weekend and spent some time with my friends. It did my heart a whole lot of good! :)

  5. Jen, you are so right! Girlfriends are so important~and I think we always continue to make these friendships over the years, don't you think?

  6. J~
    Reading this again for the second time, and again messing up my makeup. I am so unbelievably lucky (no, I know that luck has nothing to do with this) to call you my best friend. I feel sometimes like I should pinch myself so I know it's real that I could find a friend that KNOWS me.
    Here are just a few things that come to mind right now:
    I love that you can talk to me, and not have to finish, because what you are saying is already in my head.
    I love those times when we can't look at each other or we will lose it.
    I love that you are so close to your family and love them so much, and I feel like I am family to you, so that means you love me, no matter what.
    I love that you make me want to be a better person, mother, wife, and child of God because you are so good at those things.
    I love that if something happens, I know that you will be there.
    God has certainly blessed me.
    Jennifer, thank you for making me feel so awesome!
    P.S. Love the pic!! ;-) And love the color coordination. Figures!