Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Review: Friendship for Grownups

While at the Kansas City Women's of Faith Conference last fall, I had the opportunity to hear Lisa Whelchel speak.  I was anxious to hear her because I enjoyed and have suggested her book Creative Corrections several times.

Lisa is a great speaker.  She relates to the audience in a way that makes you feel like a small group instead of being in a crowd of 4000 people.  At the conference, Lisa spoke on friendship.  What woman doesn't struggle with and long for better friendship? 

When I arrived home, I contacted the Thomas Nelson Publishing company to receive a copy of her new book Friendship for Grown-Ups: What I Missed and Learned Along the Way.  I was excited to get started and learn along the way how to be a better friend.

Sadly, I was sorely disappointed in the book.  Instead of a how-to, I read about Lisa's experience; much of which I couldn't relate to.  The book journals the up and down emotional ride of Lisa's friendships; giving intimate details along the way through her memories, conversations, and past emails. 

The majority of us learned basic friendship rules during our teenage years.  Even then friendship as adults are very difficult.  Because of Lisa's fame as a childhood tv star, she didn't have a normal growing-up experience. Image what friendship would be like without the prime formation years?

There were two points that I did find good. 

In the second to last chapter, Lisa briefly discusses the "necessary qualities for authentic friendship." 
  1. Open up your heart and invite another person to look around and see the real you
  2. Being accepted and understood
  3. Have someone who will be honest with you about you
  4. Have a friend who will be honest about what she is feeling in herself and in the relationship
This next point is one that I can relate with.  Lisa talks about the Law vs. grace. Those in the Old Testament were under the Law or a set of rules. But once Jesus died on the cross, we were no longer bound by the Law but instead covered by grace - which is love from God that we don't deserve.

She further explains that she lived life as though she was still under the Law but realized:
Not sinning isn't the primary goal.... I thought that if I didn't sin then I would stay close to my Father. It is the other way around! If I stay close to the Father, I'm less likely to sin."
I love this!

Being a Christian isn't about following a bunch of rules. It is about spending more time with God so that we can learn His ways. As I learn more about Him, I become more like Him and have less desire to sin!

Isn't that great?

Okay..back to the review...
Lisa is extremely honest in her book about the struggles that she has experiences on the road to friendship.  I appreciate what she has learned along the way and the venerability she shares with others.

If you are looking for a book about friendships, I would suggest Grown-Up Girlfriends: Finding and Keeping Real Friends in the Real World.  Although I have not read the book myself, I had the privilege of going to church with both of the authors for a while and have friends who rave about the book.  Think I need to pick a copy of it up for myself!

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for giving me the opportunity to review this book.

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The Our Out-of-Sync Life blog focuses on encouraging women to deepen their spiritual life, simplify daily tasks, and impress Jesus on the children around them.