Friendship for Grownups

I vividly remember the day I handed my mom’s hair stylist a picture that I had cut from a magazine and told him that I wanted him to make my hair look just like hers:

“Honey,” he said knowingly, “Lisa Whelchel has a team of people who curl and spray and tease her hair after every scene. Not even Blair has Blair’s hair.”

(Side story that has nothing to do with this book review….Fast forward a decade or so. I laughed as I told my hair stylist about how silly I was to want Blair’s hair back in the day. Then I handed her a picture of a style that I thought would work for me.

The stylist glanced at the picture for a nanosecond then said, “Let me get this straight. You get that I can’t make you look like Blair from Facts of Life, but now you think I can make you look like a 50-year-old black woman?”Well, when she put it like that…)

Well, this weekend I had the opportunity to see Lisa Whelchel way up close and my mom’s hair guy was wrong. Her hair really is that great. I have a picture to show you but apparently the earth came in contact with a sunspot right at the moment this picture was taken because the picture is….well, it’s a little wonky. (It may not be in your dictionary, but “wonky” is just the word to describe this picture.)

Trust me. Her hair looked great and she has beautiful skin. (I wonder if I found out what moisturizer she uses and then started using it if…never mind.)

In the picture, Lisa has just signed my copy of her latest book, Friendship for Grownups, a book that I recently received from BookSneeze. Insert required FTC information here: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com  book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

One of my all-time favorite TV shows was “Friends.” I felt like Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler, and Ross were personal friends of mine. But they weren’t. In fact, I was sad that I didn’t have a group of friends like that in my life. I’ve had plenty of friends along the way, but I’ve realized that making and keeping friends after college, the time when I would argue that you need friends the most, becomes increasingly difficult and takes time and effort. We move a lot because of my husband’s job. I know that I need close friendships with other women, but I get tired of having to start over from scratch in a new city with people I don’t know.

Besides, sometimes I like to pretend that I am someone I am not. I’m not necessarily trying to fool anyone except myself. I just sometimes wish I were more of some things and less others. Because of that, I have a hard time letting people up close and personal with the mess that can be my life. I don’t like to ask people for favors or need them for anything. During my dad’s sickness and since his death, I’ve had to swallow my pride and accept help from my friends. They’ve seen me at my worst. I’ve served them unprocessed thoughts as conversation and later wished that I hadn’t been so transparent. But I’ve discovered that I have some friends who stick closer than a brother or sister. They’ve accepted me in my most raw, unfinished state and have loved me in spite of myself. If I hadn’t needed them so desperately this year, I could have easily missed out on seeing what friendship is supposed to look like. I want more of that in my life. That’s why I loved this book.

What I love most about Lisa Whelchel’s book about grownup friendships is the honesty of her writing. I have read two other books that Lisa wrote. While I learned a lot from those books, I didn’t feel that connection with Lisa as a person that I feel with some other writers. I felt like she certainly knew what she was talking about, but I thought that she was way too “together” to be friends with someone like me. Not that I often become friends with the authors of books that I read, but I like the feeling of connection. I certainly connected with the Lisa Whelchel who wrote this book. No, I don’t think we’re BFFs because I read her book, but I feel like I know her heart a little better. Her vulnerability is so prevalent throughout this book that at times my heart truly hurt for hers as she chronicled her struggle to learn how to be a friend and to receive friendship. I think women are most beautiful and attractive when they are vulnerable and honest.

For me, this book was not only a primer about friendship, it also led me to think a lot about my friendship with God as mirrored by my relationships with others. I’ve been thinking a lot about grace and how I receive it. From this book I learned how to choose a safe friend, but maybe more importantly, I was confronted with the idea that maybe I have not been the friend to others that I truly want to be. I’m not sure that I have always been a safe friend, but now that I know better I can do better.

Another thing that I love about this book is that in the appendices, Lisa offers questions for each chapter that helped me to think through what I had just read. She also gives very practical and doable applications that relate to the information she shared in each chapter. I enjoyed the list of conversation starter questions she includes as well. I like it when a book pushes me past assimilating thoughts and into working out those ideas in my daily life.

I think this would be a great book to read and discuss with a trusted friend. Having a true friend with whom you can completely be yourself and share your life makes each day a little richer and is certainly worth the effort.

Thank you, BookSneeze, for the opportunity to review this book. Most of all, thank you, Lisa, for writing such an honest book about friendship.



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20 Comments

Filed under Books, Review

20 responses to “Friendship for Grownups

  1. Adding to my “Whimzie List” now….

    And wonky or not, you look FAB yourself! I’ve gone to WofF in ratty jeans, a cotton shirt and tennis shoes.:)

  2. Rebecca

    I like Lisa Whelchel and I’ve wanted “Blair hair” for years… 🙂 Can’t wait to read the book.

  3. Jen

    I love Lisa Whelchel and can’t wait to read this book. I really struggle with friendships — haven’t really had one since starting a family and it makes me downright miserable! So am looking forward to finding ways to cultivate friendships.
    Thanks for the review, Whimz!

  4. I think adult friendships are some of the hardest to maintain…..but then again, I was a Military brat and after attending 15 schools, I became an expert at “friendliness” and not necessarily “friendship.”

    I am still learning t0 accept that being “most popular” pales in comparison to having one or two people who really know and love me despite all my quirks and failings. Unfortunately, we get so busy with our own lives, work, husbands, kids, etc. that we fail to nurture and grow lasting adult friendships.

    I can’t wait to read the book. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Love Lisa! Can’t wait to check out her new book.

    hope you are having a beautiful day!

  6. Your heart speaks volumes to me.

    I got Rachel hair once upon a time because I thought it would score me a Monica, a purple apartment, and first dibs on the couch at Central Perk.

    Um…not so much. It just got me two years of trying to grow out the worst set of layers I’ve ever had.

    Can’t wait to read the book. Being a grown-up is hard.

  7. I would love to read this one! How neat you got to meet her!

    I make friends quite easily and I’ve been blessed to have several very close girls. But, I know I still have much to learn and am learning more and more about my insecurites, strongholds, etc. when it comes to those relationships!

    Putting it on my list!

  8. I thought about buying it then put it down. Guess I will have to kindle it now that you recommended it. I just knew when she started talking about being vulnerable . . . maybe I purposely chose not to read the book and you are messing up my plan.

  9. You look beautiful! We were all in matching shirts and blue jeans… definitely not as classy as you! 🙂 I just finished this book and absolutely loved it! It was the first book of her’s I’ve read and I think I need to read a few more! I have friends that love Creative Correction.

  10. Just read that with my kids this morning…a friend sticks closer than a brother.

  11. I want Oprah’s hair too. Love being your friend!!

  12. Oh I’m going to have to read this!

    I totally feel the same way, when you said: “I have a hard time letting people up close and personal with the mess that can be my life. I don’t like to ask people for favors or need them for anything” It reminds me of Andy and Dwight from the Office – that episode where they don’t want to “owe” each other anything? Cracked me up, but was also a little true . . .

    Anyways, our theme at camp is friendship – how to be a friend, pick your friends, that Jesus is your best friend . . . so I’m excited to study and learn more about that!

  13. You have a gift, Amy. Because I doubt that I would ever have picked a book like this up, but now I want to read it!

    Thanks for the good review. And thanks for being you! I’m glad to call you friend.

  14. carpoolqueen

    I like what Alby said. There’s a difference between friendliness and friendship, and the one doesn’t translate into the other.

  15. I totally agree with Mer… I wouldn’t have ever even thought the book was interesting and yet, now I find myself checking over at booksneeze to see if it’s still available! 😉

    thanks for this review… you make Thomas Nelson proud 🙂

    amy in peru

  16. reading this now. enjoying it very very much too.

    hey, it’s like we’re TWINS or something these days!

  17. that wonkiness looks like a flash-sync problem to me. : )

    and i’m glad you’re my friend.

    • whimzie

      A flash-sync problem!! That’s exactly what I was thinking! I said wonky but I totally meant what you said! 🙂

  18. Amy

    Farrah hair, Blair hair, then Rachel hair were the desires of my heart. I can still hear my hairstylist from the 90s shaking her head while saying in the the most exaggerated Southern drawl you can imagine, “Honey, I just have to advise against layers!”

    Looking forward to reading this one!

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