Today is my father in law’s birthday. And this month marks the beginning of a 6 month period of celebrations. We all have birthdays, anniversaries, advent, Christmas day, New Year, Chinese New Year…….it is a really busy time. I have never been good at saying no to children’s parties so we usually have some special event for the small people…..and most likely the big ones too. As my own special day approaches I have reflected on how I would like to celebrate, what I would “like” for my birthday. I think this question is harder as you get older, busier and wiser. I don’t need things, I would like experiences, time, love, words of encouragement. I love beauty, good design and fabulous food. Music that transports you to a new space, an idea that makes sense of life, a practice that helps me do life better. A truth about Him that steadies me. What do you like for birthdays? Any suggestions….for me and all the mouths I have to feed?

Really really good friends…

I have a special birthday coming up soon and as I consider how to celebrate I have thought a lot about friendship. What makes a good, lasting friend? Who are my friends? Dare I suggest that I have several really good friends?

So when I stumbled-  literally – across this list of key characteristics of a really good friend I knew I had to share it.

For what it’s worth, I have a few thoughts on ingredients which are helpful in cultivating this kind of relationship:

  • A listening ear
  • An open heart
  • Tenderness
  • Confidentiality
  • Loyalty
  • Humility
  • Sensitivity to the Spirit
  • Devotion 
  • A sense of humor (especially a willingness to laugh at yourself)
  • Grace for “life interruptions” 
  • A heart that forgives quickly and frequently
  • Letting go of things that don’t really matter while holding on to things that do
  • Patience
  • Forgetting the worst and remembering the best
  • Humbly confronting when necessary
  • Speaking truth in love–always
  • Serving as a faithful encourager
  • Taking time to cultivate a long history together
  • Commitment to prayerful intercession

If you are longing for this kind of friendship, don’t wait for someone to befriend you; take the first step by asking God to lead you to someone who needs a friend. Be this kind of friend (John 15:13; 1 John 3:16-18).

Thanks for these words from Kimberly Wagner from the True Woman website.