A Dollywood Friendship


I’ve been extremely absent from the blog and I’m sorry about that. Two weeks ago, we had VBS. Then I preached three times on the Sunday following, and left on a family vacation on Monday morning. Needless to say, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind.

Cathy’s post yesterday got me thinking, though. She is so right about the need for dear friends in the strange, transitional, hormone-raging time of being a new mom. She made me think about my friendships and why they matter and why they are consistently a value-add in my life.

Last week, my extended family met in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee (not coincidentally – the birth place of my hero – Dolly Parton). A friend of mine, who I met shortly after starting work at Munger in 2013, grew up there so I asked for touristy suggestions. After she gave me the lay of the land I asked, not expecting much, if she and her family would want to meet us there – even though she now lives in Ohio. Based on my U.S. geography skills, I know Ohio is not exactly “close” to Tennessee. To my great surprise, she said, “sure, I think we could make that happen.”

Here’s why I tell that story – too many of our friendships are based on very little. Which friends ask you how you’re doing and actually want to know the answer? Which friends ask you, consistently, how they can pray for you? Which friends pray for your kids and your marriage? And which friends don’t encourage you when you feel the need to gripe about how your spouse is THE WORST!

These are the friends that matter. These are the friends that will drive through multiple states to meet you and your extended family to eat a mass-produced hamburger at Dollywood.

If you don’t have deep friendships where you genuinely build each other up, it’s time to pursue them. Church is a great place to find them, but you have to do the work. You’ll need to join the Bible study, attend the mom’s group, find a place to serve, and make the effort to get to know people. It may not happen quickly and you will definitely have to put yourself out there, but it’s worth the work.

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