Tag Archives: friendship

Ten years ago, shortly before I turned thirty, I went to the doctor. I was having migraines and muscle spasms and was constantly tired. I had two little ones and was teaching full-time, which actually kind of meant that I had twenty-something little ones.

Church activities kept me pretty busy too.

I talked Jason into going to my doctor's appointment with me in case the doctor had bad news. After a short description of my symptoms, the doctor started to scrawl on his prescription pad while casually diagnosing me with "mild depression". Tearful I told him, "I don't think I'm depressed. Jason proceeded to uneasily rub and pat my back, the tension in his fingers evident.

Rather than accept this diagnosis prematurely, I prayed and tried to remove stressful unecessaries (needless activities and responsibilities) from life. The "spell" was short-lived.

I've thought back to that moment in the doctor's office often. It's the first time I remember getting the "I'm Patting Your Back because I Know You Need Me to do Something and I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ELSE TO DO" pat.

I've received many more of them through the past ten years from my husband. And the doctor? He was supposed to be the one to give me the solution to my ailment, and I left feeling ten times worse. My dad has said, "Your doctor is not your friend".

I have the most awesome men in my life. I couldn't do without the strength Jason provides. He's my best friend.  He's a buffer when I become stark-raving mad.

My brother calls every couple of weeks just to check on things.

The men in my life, namely, Jason, my dad,  my guy in laws in the family, and even Hayden have a way of bringing perspective to the chaos reminding me that things aren't quite as bad as I think.  Hayden has "a look" that alerts me that I've gone crackers.

When I see it, I know to rein in the emotions. Because the emotion is sometimes just too much for the boys to handle.

I need my girl friends.

In my millions of "moments", my guys react in three ways.  They give me:

1. The "awkward pat"

2. The "you've lost it look"

3. (Often used with #1 and #2) The "awkward silence"

All three reactions let me know that my temporary instability is at the same time familiar, foreign and frightening to them.

A text with a friend
A text with a friend

My girl friends know where I'm coming from. They're not afraid that "something's wrong with me" when I cry during a prayer,…or a Cotton commercial.

They're not shocked when I fall apart over something seemingly trivial like the filth in the kids' bathroom. They have moments too when they cry over spilled milk (literally).

And they often fall apart when they think their kid's teacher doesn't like their kid,.... or their kid lies to them.

Often when they're falling apart (because their kid is doing bad in school or because their daughter didn't get invited to the party), I'm "going there" with them. Because I've been there before, or because that well of emotion that lies deep within all women helps me to imagine their pain…..or anger……or confusion.

Unlike men, we gals do go to the bathroom together. We shop and we eat together. We "go there" together.

We talk about everything.  We talk about nothing.
We talk about everything. We talk about nothing.

I recently went to doctor again with some of the same troubles that I had ten years ago; constant headaches, fatigue and irritability. This doctor, much like the one ten years ago, without much inquiry, wrote an order for some blood tests with a one word diagnosis at the top of the order, "Menopausal".

Having learned the value of friendship more through the years, I sent a screen shot of my diagnosis to several of my friends. Every one of them could relate or laugh at such a simplistic and mysterious diagnosis. Their shared laughter was healing balm.  We women are complicated.

One of the things we need is each other.

We need sisters who can listen when we need to emote about our families' inability to pick up their socks from the living room floor.

We need girls who will cheer with us when we our son makes a "B" in Physics or our daughter gets her weekly shots without a fit or a tear.

We look to ladies who can't fix it, but can feel our pain when we face battles.

We look to stories of moms who've "been there" and overcome dark times.

We depend on the prayers of friends who genuinely care about our marriages.

I met with a gal on Monday. We've had less than a handful of conversations. But we met because we have a common interest; building community among women. We chatted excitedly about an upcoming local event that will take place February 7th and 8th.

She agreed to write a guest blog to tell you all about it. Look for it this Thursday, January 30. When we were saying goodbye, we shared once more our desire for women to unite. We agreed in the need for women to become transparent. We decided that as women,.... with the things we go through, we can almost always relate. And even when we can't relate or speak words of wisdom, as I told her in parting words, "Sometimes we just need someone who we can "awkward laugh" with.




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          Have you ever made a pinky promise?  I know I have though I can’t remember the details.  I do remember however getting a necklace back in fifth grade from my first boyfriend that symbolized our promise to be boyfriend and girlfriend forever (or until he ruined it!).  The necklace was a gold circle that had my name on one side and his name “Brad” on the other.  On the “Kristi” side of the necklace there was a small rose arched above my name.  I lost that necklace shortly after I got it.  I was so embarrassed and upset that my sweet mom took me to Wal-Mart to have it replaced.  The only problem was they had a similar necklace, but not one with the gold rose. We had the necklace engraved  Kristi and Brad just like the one I had lost.  The funny thing is I had to be super careful at school to always make sure the necklace stayed on the Brad side because when it turned to the Kristi side there was no gold rose.  Brad could never know I had lost the token of our promise .  I didn’t have to do this for long.  A couple of weeks later I tripped and fell at school.  Not only did Brad laugh the loudest,  there was no offer to help me up.  That was the end of that.   So much for true love.

     Hallie and I were shopping at Claire’s recently.  They had the cutest friendship jewelry including a monkey and  banana necklace pair.  Since the beginning of time people have used symbols ranging from handshakes and contracts to represent  and qualify promises.  Promises to stay friends, keep secrets, pay someone what you owe them and promises to stay committed forever.  Though most promises are made with the intention to be kept, they are often broken.

   I made a google search  on pinky promises.  I knew that a pinky promise is made by intertwining pinkies.  As your pinkies are joined together you make a promise.  It could be a promise  to stay friends forever or a promise to never reveal your friend’s secret crush.  Originally the punishment for breaking a pinky promise was cutting off your pinky.  Wonder if anyone followed through on that.  There’s something I need you to catch here girls!  A promise is really just a declaration of what you are going to do or what you are not going to do. We break promises everyday.  We change our mind.  Friends come and go.  Our lips slip and we let out that secret we were supposed to keep.

     Brad, giver of the gold necklace,  ended up being a nice guy.  I set him up with my good friend and they are still married to this day.  I have friends now that I’m pretty sure I let a secret or two of theirs slip.  I’m glad I still have my pinkies.  Even when friends disappoint or betray us, God is still faithful.  Every page of the bible is full of God’s promises to us.  I know this because what He declares, He does.  And beyond  offering his pinky to show he meant what he said, he gave his very life.  And that girls is more than a pinky promise!

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:17

For I am the Lord; I change not.  Malachi 3:6

1.Have you ever broken a promise?

2.How have you felt when a promise made to you has been broken?

3.Are there times when you may not be able to keep your promise?

4.Is there someone we can trust to always do what they say?

5.Is there someone who is unchangeable?


     As a young girl, we would travel to my Meme’s for the day.  When visiting after a good rain, the cousins and I would ask (we would usually ask) if we could step in a huge puddle in the driveway.  We usually were allowed probably because the adults wanted the kids out of the house.  You can probably guess that more happened than “stepping” in the puddle.  We would end up muddied from head to toe.

  You may not have had the same experience.  But I know that I have walked past countless puddles as a mom warning my children to “watch out for that puddle”.  Even with the warning, Rylie who obviously has bad eye sight hardly ever misses one.  Chances are you have muddied yourself by a few puddles or you’ve been splashed standing too close to someone else who found themselves unable to walk on muddied water. 

 Psalm  1

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked

Or stand in the way of sinners

Or sit in the seat of mockers.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord…

Whoa you may say!  How did that verse get stuck in here.  I think it goes perfectly.  Notice the verbs that are bolded in the first three lines.  1.walk  2.stand  3.sit  Listen to the following scenario and see what I mean.

Let’s say you’re in the cafeteria and you’re walking to dump your tray.  You notice some of your classmates huddled and laughing at something hysterically.  You stand near the huddle and find that they are reading a note they found where the new girl has written a boy asking him to be her boyfriend.  You know he would never go out with her.  Before you know it, you’re sitting  at the table wondering and discussing why the new girl would think she has a chance with the coolest guy in school.  You don’t  realize that your teacher is approaching until she snatches the note.  Bam!  You’ve been caught right in the middle of this mess.  Your name is mud.

Too many times, when we’re not careful who we’re hanging out with, we find ourselves doing things like gossiping or behaving in a way we never would have intended.   And even if you’re not saying a word, when conversations turn muddy, it’s hard to walk away.  This is why it’s important to choose our company wisely.  You see I never meant to get as muddy as I got at my meme’s house, but by choosing to even go near the puddle you could be sure I wouldn’t walk away clean.  God is telling us in the first Psalm that we would be “blessed” which means encouraged or happy if we do not walk around those who are choosing to act poorly.  He knows that if we are anywhere near those kind of people we will usually pull up a chair and get comfy with them.  He says at the end that those who do not walk, stand or sit with that kind of company have their delight in the law of the Lord.  Choose to delight in God’s word.  I remember delighting in the puddle with my cousins, but I remember being wet later on, especially if I hadn’t brought a change of clothes, was kind of miserable.   Pray that as you trust God and his word that he will help you find friends who steer clear of life’s puddles.

1.Think of an example of a puddle you have found yourself in (example lying to an adult because your friend wanted you to).

2.Have you ever found yourself inviting someone into a puddle with you?  An example of this would be asking a friend if they think the girl in dance class is rude and then sharing with your friend something rude you heard her saying.

3.Which does God warn us not to do:

-walk near those who are doing evil

-stand around them

-sit with them

-all of the above

4.What does God say our delight should be in?

 Most likely you have played the part of friend and fowl.  You know what I’m talking about when I say you have played the part of friend, but you may be asking what do you mean by saying I have played the part of a fowl.   A fowl, if you’re unsure is a bird.  You may have been thinking of a foul as in foul ball.  You may have heard this word called out in a basketball or baseball game.  In this case, foul means to offend someone.  In baseball it means that the ball gone outside the bounds.  While we have each been a friend to many, we have also found ourselves acting as a bird brain offending and going outside the friend boundary line.  Let’s save the friend part for last and talk about birds.

     Have you ever heard of Adelie penguins?   There was at one time a popular you-tube video which shows the Adelie penguins in their acts of selfishness.  All of the birds crowd along the edge of the ice not knowing if danger lurks in the water.  So they push one of their own in the water.  If that penguin survives, they know it is safe to go in.  Not kidding girls! When faced with a vicious group of dogs, I read that the Adelie penguin will waddle up and even as the dogs lunge for the penguins they hang around.   Do you know girls who will push their own over the edge just to make sure it’s not themselves that falls?  Or maybe you’re the girl who will throw yourself to the wolves just because that’s where the action seems to be.

     A couple of years ago we had a hummingbird feeder on our front porch.  I was excited to see our first group of hummingbirds crowding around in no time.  I was not excited however to quickly learn how aggressive hummingbirds can be.  Those tiny birds have some big attitude.  They will seemingly choose certain birds to chase away while letting others feed with them.  We all know girls like this; girls who will only allow certain girls in their group.  While I watched one bird repeatedly return and get chased away I wanted to yell at the bird “Quit coming back to torture, go to another  feeder!”  I tried chasing away the aggressor, but realized that another bird would take its place. Though you wouldn’t want to say it out loud maybe you’ve secretly not wanted someone uncool hanging out with you.  And maybe some of us have even said or done something to make that person know that they’re not welcome in our group.  Possibly you have stood by silent when someone else has been shooed away.  You might be the girl who keeps coming back hoping that this time they will accept you.


     Chickens aren’t any better.  If you have been near a chicken coop you’ve heard them “clucking” at each other.  They have a “pecking order” in which the stronger chickens try to control the weaker birds. You’re getting the picture right? The book of Proverbs tells us that a “friend loves at all times”.  Though we have all acted foul, not like a friend God calls us to be above the birds.

      I did some research and found that in the eighties there was a super-hero named Bird-Brain who was part human and obviously part bird who could never quite find victory.  Bird-Brain’s creator made him and then sent him off where he doomed and defeated ended up on an island.  Thank goodness our creator has not abandoned us.  He knows our pain as we’ve been rejected.  And get this!  He knows the pain and incompleteness that causes us to sometimes be the one who acts foul.  He loves both friend and fowl but desires that as we face the choice everyday of who to be, that we choose to be a friend.



1.How have you been a friend?


2.How have you or someone you know been like one of the described birds?  (Remember not to use anyone’s name).

3.Have you ever felt like Bird-Brain?  If so, how?

4.How is our creator different from the one who created Bird Brain?


Recently we were coming home from school talking about another “friend issue”.  This issue involved a friend of one of my children who had suddenly decided she didn’t want to be friends anymore.  This may have happened to you or you may have had a BFF(best friend forever) who out of nowhere started to ignore or avoid you like you had the plague.  When you’ve been de-friended it makes you wonder about this whole friend thing.

     This is why I love the Bible so.  Need examples of what it means to be a friend, open the word of God and the answer is in front of your face.  My favorite friend story comes from the book of Mark.  By the  second chapter of Mark, Jesus has been traveling, preaching and healing and then we find him home (maybe Peter’s home-we don’t know for sure). 

 He has drawn quite a crowd.  It says that there is no room even outside the door.  The story tells of four men carrying a paralyzed man.  If you have known of someone being paralyzed, you know that they are unable to walk and sometimes even move on their own. 

So when the men arrive to see Jesus and find that they are unable to get their friend through the crowd, disappointed they go home, right?  No!  Verse four tells us “since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on”.  Are you trying to picture this?  I’m wondering what the crowd thought. 

The people had been waiting to see Jesus and then these men have the nerve to force their way in.  And what about the house owner who probably didn’t have roof insurance;  these men were on a mission.  The best part of this story comes when it says that when Jesus saw THEIR faith the sins of the paralyzed man were forgiven; he was spiritually healed.  THEIR faith!  I want friends like that!

     Too many times we look out for ourselves.  These men were not thinking of themselves.  They saw a friend with a need and they were determined take him to Jesus. I know it couldn’t have been easy carrying this man onto the roof.  I can’t imagine the crowd being too happy. They risked being rejected.  Yet being a friend in action they selflessly carried on. 

 This man might have never known Jesus or the healing that comes on from him had it not been for these friends.  It was their action and their trust that lead to this man’s spiritual healing and after his physical healing. This man was able to walk home. 

 You probably come across people in your school every day that need a friend to carry them.  Not pick them up literally, but encourage them.  Point them to Jesus.  Sometimes this just means being like Jesus to someone who is in the dumps.  Many times people feel paralyzed and stuck.  They may have family problems,  or they’ve had a rough morning,  or maybe their friend has just dropped them like a hotcake.  I bet you know the feeling. 

Being a friend in action is where real friendships are made. Have FAITH that as you friend those in need that God will create friendships for you.  We all want the the status of being someone’s best friend.  Everybody wants the invite to the sleepover on Friday night.  But can you put your own interests aside?  Like the men we read about can you be an over the top friend?


  1. In a recent devotion, you read that “a friend loves at all times”.  Do you think this means we should only love those we call our friends or everyone?

(This verse is describing what kind of person a friend is.  It is someone who always loves.  I wonder if you could insert the word “Christian” in place of the word “friend”.)


  1. This man on the mat had two problems.  What were they?


  1.   Do you think it was easy to be this man’s friend?  Remember that much like today back then people with physical and mental handicaps were not accepted in society.


  1. Do you think it was easy to get him to Jesus?


  1. How can you be an over the top friend?


For those of you who wonder how God's Girlies got started, I could tell you that it started on impulse, but we know God better than that.

  Hallie turned eleven in March.  I turned into a bigger worrier having come to a point that I didn't have an answer to every question. Besides she doesn't always want to hear what I have to say right now.  This happened with Hayden too, but I was ok with not understanding some things-boy related and relied heavily on Jason.

Relying and relating are necessary especially during transforming times.  Hallie is changing and maturing, but it's a transforming time for moms too.  I began to yearn for guidance and friendship. I wanted together-time for Hallie and myself.  I wanted a place for community amongst other moms and other girls.  Hallie needs to know that other girls experience insecurity and unkind treatment.  She needs to know there other moms that have high moral standards for their girls. As I talked with other moms I knew I wasn't alone.

  We decided to have a monthly gathering of preteen girls and moms and grandmas.  Other ladies have joined us (moms of boys and college and high school age girls).  My heart smiles with joy as we have a growing community of girls ages 6 to ?

Out of this community has sprung an online community too.  Girls from other US states as well as Europe and Canada have joined us.  We are moms, daughters, grandmas, sisters and friends with a common father; a father who I believe smiles as we come together in his name.

Email your post or questions to kristiburden@gmail.com

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We had a God's Girlies gathering yesterday.  I think I can speak for everybody when I say it was fun. 

Banana Extravaganza 

The Bunch

The girls went to three different stations.

The girls made "Banana Boats".  They were easy and delicious-two of my favorite cooking words. I'll post the recipe soon.

We made Go Banana Cookbooks with banana inspired recipes.

Last but not least, we had devotion time and a game of Bananagrams

They learned that once in their maturing state, bananas grow up as they sense the sun. Likewise as we sense the "son" we are called to grow up as well, allowing things that once held weight in our lives to be replaced with the things of God - the fruit of the Spirit.

For the full devotion, go the search box and type in "grow up".  It should pull up the devotion "Grow Up. Be the Better Banana".

There was even a little backyard time left.

Good times.

Good Friends.

All because of a Good God!

Thanks to all the moms.  Thank you for coming.  Thank you for your help.  I continue to be certain that these investments in our girl's lives are invaluable.

Excited to announce-God's Girlies T-shirts to come! Check out our facebook page.

....."Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second one is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself'  There is no commandment greater than these."     -Mark 12:30,31

The first commandment is impossible to keep without paying mind to the second one.

We can love God through prayer.

We can love God in song.

We can love God by reading the Bible.

We can love God and be inside those church walls every time the door is opened.

But when verse 3o says with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, he's saying -Love me with all that you say, with all you do, with all that you have, with all that you are. Our saying and doing involves people, like our neighbors.  So just who are our neighbors?

Every teacher could answer this question.  When I was teaching and had the children seated I would sometimes pose a question. "Why do you think it is helpful for lizards to change their color?-Discuss this with your neighbor."  Walking to lunch or PE I would remind the children before walking down the hall, "No talking to your neighbor".  And at lunchtime, "You may whisper to your neighbor". You can have neighbors that you keep, but neighbors change too. A person's neighbor is whoever is near.

It's hard to tangibly love God when we can't see him or touch him.  That's why I think it's brilliant that he calls us to love him through loving others; our neighbors.  With this being the case, we have opportunity to love him in the most tangible of ways.

I think there are two kinds of neighbors.

1.Heart Neighbors

2.Geographic Neighbors

Heart Neighbors are those like my Kenyan girls I mentioned in yesterday's post, "Sharing Shoes, Sharing Life".  Though I spent little time with them, they will always be near and dear to my heart.  Jason and I have moved farther from family and old friends with each move. We still communicate with these heart neighbors; we visit them now and then, we pray for them and have lovely memories which keep them close to our heart.  I have three little heart neighbors in the rooms surrounding my bedroom walls.  I hope to be able to make heart neighbors someday with someone on the other side of this screen; someone who is willing to share their experiences. Many heart neighbors stay with us throughout our lives.

Geographic Neighbors are constantly changing. You can go crazy with this.  A geographic neighbor could be the person in the lane beside you in their car.  How do you love that neighbor?  By not honking at them or by not being in such a hurry that you cut them off.  I learned from a geographic neighbor last week, a cashier at Wal-Mart, that she has five children and is going to night school in addition to her full-time job.  I learned this by simply asking how her day was going.  Giving high fives to children, smiling in passing, taking cookies to someone across the street, sitting with someone having a rough time, and sharing a word of encouragement to those we come into contact with are some of the most beautiful ways to love God.

A Geographic Neighbor could be the most unlikely neighbor, love them anyway.  It's the unlikely ones that often become heart neighbors.

"Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to me."-Matthew 25:40

It's time to start a world-sized block party.  -So many people to love.  Smile at your neighbor.  Strike up a conversation. Don't be shy. Let's get out there

-There's so much of God to love.











This week the kids and I are on a whirlwind Texas tour visiting grandparents, other family and old friends.  I am putting up an old post in hopes that with my incessant begging, someone will decide that they have something they should share on "A Thursday for Your Thoughts".  I personally have been blessed by Jaime and Cindy in the last two weeks.  There are a couple of ladies that will be highlighted the next few Thursdays that will encourage you as well.  My time in Kenya is a persistent and beautiful reminder of the joy that comes from sharing and giving of ourselves.  I don't mind sharing those memories more than once.

Sharing shoes to many,  may sound like fighting words.  I had two sisters to share clothes with.  Our exchange usually had an ugly ending. Someone wouldn't  return, or even worse wouldn't ask to wear the other's shirt.  I remember borrowing my younger sister's suede vest and accidentally burning a hole in it. Hallie recently borrowed a gray sweater of mine.  I couldn't find it.  Being without my gray sweater imperfected my look on the outside and made some ugly stuff escape my lips too.  No, in my experience sharing hasn't always turned out pretty.

  I had the unbelievable opportunity a couple of years ago to spend some time at a girls' orphanage in Kenya. There were about a hundred girls there ranging from the ages of five to fifteen. Several men including Jason went, with plans to build a playground. I spent hours preparing for the trip, writing letters of the alphabet on lima beans placing them in order into a compartmentalized plastic box.  Being a teacher I would have plenty of games to aid them in an educational quest. I placed pictures of my family in an envelope to give the girls insight into my life... Armed with gifts and games I went on a mission to share knowledge and to share life.  

 As I spent time with the girls I was delighted to observe a colorful pile of flip-flops while the girls played barefoot in the sand. I, myself am a girl who loves her flip-flops.  I remember watching as they approached the shoe pile,

            finding a pair

                       - inching their their toes between the strap.

 Usually they scooted away with mismatched shoes. 

 Just like sisters, they went about; outfitted in someone elses belongings.  I never heard them complain though. 

They fixed each other's hair and fixed mine too.  They grabbed mine and my friends' sunglasses quickly passing them from one face to another.  They didn't ask; they just shared.  My friends and I showed pictures of our families to the girls which were also quickly snatched and distributed. 

Maybe most impressive were the earrings, Obama bubblegum and rubber-band bracelets given to me.  Each girl at the orphanage had a small trunk in which her every possession fit, with much room to spare, and yet they gave freely. And they smiled as they received.  Sharing life, that's what they were doing.

You would think that having so few possessions would cause them to cling to what little they had.  They did, in fact, cling to what little they had, but it wasn't the things.  I watched as motherless, fatherless children clinged to each other.  And I clinged to them.  I played like I'd never played before.  We played jump rope with a broken water hose and some pieces of nylon rope the men had left over.  We sang and we danced fitting our hands together like a beautiful tapestry.

There wasn't a care that someone was wearing someone else's flip-flop.

I would guess that the lima beans that I painstakingly lettered and ordered are probably gone now.  Possessions, after all didn't seem to mean too much.  I have a trunk now full of letters, bead and rubber-band bracelets and other trinkets from the two trips to the orphanage. I'd give them all up just to spend another day with those girls.

Funny how I had my plan; a plan to give gifts and share knowledge and life. 

-But it was me who learned about sharing shoes and sharing life.

 A Thursday for Your Thoughts. 

Each Thursday I would love to highlight someone different.

I have mentioned before that I have a prayer for this website.  I pray that we as women would have a place to share; and that as we share, we are certain there are faces on the other side of the screen that are laughing, crying and just plain nodding their head in understanding.  I pray that we would grow together.

But more than anything, I pray that this space would bring much-deserved glory to our God who is with us.