Monday, October 12, 2015

Day 12: More Books {31 Days of Friendship}

Friendship Resources I've Collected

I'm a resource girl--I love books, as I've already talked about before. And as I've mentioned before, I have thought about and seriously considered writing a series on friendship for a long time. Maybe two years, even. I can't really remember when first the idea occurred to me; however, when I told a writer friend of mine whom I'll call Anne*, she was enthusiastic in her affirmation of my idea. I believe her exact words were, "Write it, girl!" (Anne is always an encouragement to me as a writer. That's not the only reason we're friends, but it is what brought us together in the first place.)

So in typical Pattie fashion, I began collecting my resources so I could do research about friendship. If I was going to write a series for women about friendship, by golly, I wasn't going to just write my own story. Oh no. I was going to write what the experts said. I was going to collect all the good stuff and share it with everyone else so they could avoid the pitfalls and mistakes I had in my own friendship history.

Enter resource overload paralysis.

(I honestly don't know if that's a real thing or not, but for me, it is definitely real.)

I collected books and resources, then we moved a long way away. And even in the chaos of the move and everything else from this year, I never really forgot about my idea to write about friendship.

So here I am, writing about friendship. And not just the stories from the "experts" and published writers. My own stories. Guess what I'm still learning in my mid-forties? Personal stories matter. Personal experiences are infinitely more powerful than statistics. Personal experiences give other people that "You too?" moment (see yesterday's C.S. Lewis quotation). Personal narrative is powerful. (I must have been onto something way back in 2003 when I chose "Personal Narratives in the Classroom" as my National Writing Project workshop project.)

As I unpacked my books and teaching materials here in our new home, I was able to shelve a mini-collection of friendship books. Now, in the interest of full disclosure I must admit I have not read all of them all the way through. However, for me to keep a book right now I have to look at it and hold it in my hand and ask myself: if I've read it, will I read it again; or if I haven't read it, do I plan to? The answer to all of these is "yes."

Here is the list:

  • Anne of Green Gables is the story of Anne and Diana, and they are the original "besties" (or as Anne says in the book,"bosom friends"). 
  • The Marci book is a book of poetry that was a gift from a very good friend who has known me longer than half my life now. 
  • Girl Talk is an old-school Jen Hatmaker Bible study--I'm sure she would make fun of herself for this today as she has about her early books and blog posts, but I'm keeping this one anyway. 
  • Girlfriends for Life is a collection of real-life stories I found in a used bookstore. 
  • I was on the launch team for Heart Sisters and had to set it aside during our move. I will finish this book, even though it's not a "how to make friends" book as you might imagine from the subtitle ("Be the Friend You Want to Have").
  • I got Lisa Whelchel's book Friendship For Grown-Ups after hearing good things about it, and while I haven't read it all, I have read some of the chapters and it resonates with me. Looks to be candid and honest about adult friendships.
  • The Friendship Crisis is another used bookstore find that I picked up when I was in info-collection mode. The subtitle is "Finding, Making, and Keeping Friends When You're not a Kid Anymore." Yeah, that's me.
  • When Friendship Hurts: How to Deal with Friends Who Betray, Abandon, or Wound You. I got this at a library sale and it jumped out at me. I have only shared a couple of my stories so far in this series. There are a few others that are coming, that I can't seem to write yet (and if you think of me, pray for me to find the words and the right way to share the stories, not for sympathy but for God's glory to be revealed in my weakness). So this is something I should probably read soon, right?
  • Bread and Wine is about the kitchen, but also about community. This is a book I revisit often so it will always be on my shelf. Community is so important.
  • I was on the launch team for The Wall Around Your Heart and it is a powerful book about forgiveness, boundaries, safety in relationship, and healing. Also a keeper.
  • How Can I Possibly Forgive? is a book that is also important for me to keep. Forgiveness is difficult in the best circumstances, yet we're commanded to forgive by Jesus Himself. This is a very good book to keep and remind myself that forgiveness is a process, not an instant fix. (PS: I have a very good forgiveness story to tell as well, but I need to tell it carefully to protect the other person involved. Pray for me about that one too, please...)
  • Nobody's Cuter Than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship is the one I'm reading now. I've written about it already in this series.
So there you have my list. I know that I have other collections of essays that have friendship stories in them, but I won't list them here. 

*Not her real name. I have changed all names to Austenian pseudonyms. "Anne" is named after Anne Elliot, the heroine of Persuasion. She's a level-headed strong woman, and I think that both the character and my friend are awesome.

To read the introductory post and find links for my whole #write31days series, click here.

1 comment:

Sweet Caroline said...

So glad I found your blog this morning. Time to refill my coffee and read awhile!

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