May 22, 2009

Last Fridays FF: Friends

Ever since I found out I could be the hostess for the third Friday Five of each month, I have not been able to get the thought of friends out of my mind. Being an only child (all growed up) who moved around a lot in my lifetime,
friends have always been very important to me. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once
wrote: "The way to have a friend is to be a friend."

So today let's write about the different kinds of friends we have, like childhood friends, lost friends, tennis friends, work friends, and the list goes on. List 5 different types of friends you have had in your life and what they were/are like.

1) JSTACK - there is no other way to describe this group of friends than to simply call us who we are (JSTACK is based on the first letters of our names). We are six women (well, girls at the time) who fell in together somewhere in 7th grade and haven't fallen apart since! Think "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" meets "Now and Then" and "Stand by Me" only there are six of us and we get together regularly. We have built some amazing rituals around watching each other get married and I can't wait until some of us start having little ones! Our kids will have five aunts to love them!!!

2) My college "activist" friends - these are my friends who would drag me to protests and who I lived with in a community house with a focus on social justice and peace and the environment. We had a blast together and I did all sorts of things that I never would have had the courage to do on my own.

3) My college "religious" friends - these are terrible distinctions to make between people, and I had quite a few friends who fit both categories, but for the most part, I had my friends in the "progressive action coalition" house and then my friends in "religious life council." These are the friends that I talked theology with, and discerned my call with. These are the friends that held me accountable through covenant discipleship groups and I worshipped with. These are the friends who worked through parts of the ministry process with me. Five of us went to seminary out of my graduating class.

4) My seminary friends. In many ways - seminary was the opportunity to meld together the "activist" and "religious" sides of my life. My seminary was also known as the "school of the prophets" so it was no surprise that my colleagues would protest injustices and would stand up for the rights of others AND that we had deep theological discussions about why we would do so. My one regret is that I wasn't more involved in some of the direct action things that happened while I was in Nashville. Some of my closest women friends and I also had a regular tuesday night out during this time that WAS the deepest form of self-care that I'm still trying to find here in my ministry setting.

5) My husband's friends. Well, they are my friends too =) Since moving back to Iowa, we started hanging out with my husband's brother and friends - mostly playing video games and watching movies and playing disc golf. And now they are the guys (and I do mean GUYS) that I see most often. In some ways I miss having really good girlfriends around, but at the same time, it's nice to just be able to hang out with the guys and not have any of the pressure of church around.

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