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She taught me how to wash dishes.

I couldn’t wait.

From where I was standing on that big chair I had climbed on I could see the  backyard. It was the place I was normally found where I would run and play with my brother and sister. But that moment I didn’t care, I was right where I wanted to be.

We made it a game, she and I.

I don’t remember all the details but I remember the water was warm, the suds were big and we giggled.

Precious moments with my mom!

“Teachable moments” she calls them. Thankfully, she is still here and we still have these moments they just look a little different. Now they come from me watching her and reflecting on the example she has set before me in the past. One such lesson is how valuable girlfriends are and how hard life is without them.

My mom has been blessed with some of the most wonderful women that I would call her Heart Sisters. I have witnessed them love her and our family through some very hard years. Many times these women even brought comfort to this daughter without even knowing it. Now I watch them age, beautifully, together. I see pictures of them all together celebrating birthday’s and many other things.

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Spending time with girlfriends is essential to our sanity ~ Natalie Chambers Snapp, Heart Sisters

They remind me that life is a vapor and even though this is our temporary home, we need to live an abundant life here:  “For the length of your lives is as uncertain as the morning fog—now you see it; soon it is gone.” ~James 4:14 TLB 

My mom had these things to say about her dear friends:

1. “Loraine is beautiful! She teaches me how God values women. She teaches me mercy and to look for the best in everyone. She is fun, light hearted and graceful. She regards others above herself. When I am down she brings me cheer with a little gift or flowers. She has always been a place where I can find tenderness, nurturing and grace. She shows me a quiet and gentle spirit.”

2. “Peggy is a “rock” and “lay down servant”. She teaches me to endure.. take my eyes off myself and walk away from the distracting drama that interferes with God’s purpose. She is not quick to speak. She is honest and real.”

3. “Monique is amazing. She is the embodiment of radical selfless “lay-down” love. She is able to discern a need before it’s spoken. She will gather the body of Christ together to help or maybe just because someone needs to be ” loved on”. She is colorful, passionate and generous as she shares Jesus with EVERYONE. She teaches me to love others beyond myself. Through her I have learned how to be faithful, forgiving and truly cry for the lost. She calls me “Precious Amiga” (she speaks Spanish too) I am safe with her! “

“Well, as you can see, my relationship is different with each one of these women and each one of them makes a Jesus deposit in my life that helps me grow and mature in love. I feel very, very blessed because these friends have walked with me in joyous times, dark times, fearful times, rebellious times…. and they love me.” ~ Maria (a.k.a My mom)

Friends for 37 years!

Friends for 37 years! Loraine, Mom and Peggy

These pictures….. mom’s words….. they matter to me because this is how I have learned about friendship. 

In my favorite new book, Heart Sisters by Natalie Snapp, there is a chapter that is written to Moms. Natalie speaks of a study that another author had done in which three thousand women were polled and she found that 88 percent of those women believe there is an undercurrent of negativity and meanness within the female culture.

Does that take your breath and leave you shaking your head in absolute agreement with that statement? Whewwww …..it sure does that to me. I have seen it, felt it and shamefully have sat down and been a party to it in the past. It happens so quickly, we don’t even notice it.

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Ladies, there are many ways we can change that statistic. It starts with us, how we engage one another. How we love each other. And it starts with the example we show to the young women in our circles. They are watching us. You may be like me, no daughters, yet. However, there is always someone that is being influenced by you. Let’s be mindful of the legacy that we will leave behind.

~  Lena

***You can purchase Natalie Snapp Chambers book Heart Sisters here: http://nataliesnapp.com/books/heart-sisters/