Prior to our ski trip I shared with a few of my friends that I wanted to capture the “perfect birthday pic”. I wanted to be a snow goddess for a moment in time, like it was my destiny or something. They ended up sharing this info with James and some of our other friends and together they created the most BEAUTIFUL surprise!!
We had previously discussed taking “pictures” on Day 2 of our trip. That morning I woke up early to do my hair and makeup. When I finally walked out of the room, I saw this…
It was like Essence and Pinterest had a baby right there in the living room of our rental house! They had a picnic basket, wine bottles, hot cocoa, ginormous marshmallows, champagne and champagne flutes; all of the perfect props! For extra flare my boo Santana set up the most immaculate chocolate bar on the coffee table. I was stuck trying to figure out how they got all this stuff on the plane in addition to their ski clothes. What took me down was the fresh pine from the trees outside. It was single digit temperatures outside and snow was on the ground….who loved me that much?!
Y’all! I just stood there, mouth agape, fighting tears. Listen, I DON’T DESERVEEEEEEEE friends this bomb!!! They ended up making me laugh to keep me from crying (I’m always crying) in order to save my makeup.
Our friends Bola and Loko are the photography and creative director dream team; they truly have a gift. Together they captured the most beautiful photos of my husband and I and we had the most fun doing it. I cannot wait to hang some of these in our home!!
I just can’t get over the thoughtfulness of it all. It makes me warm and fuzzy every time I think about it! Mostly because of how easy it is to get caught up in the busyness of your own little world. We all have our own marriages, children, careers, church organizations, fitness groups, etc. That shouldn’t be an excuse to be a crappy friend. Let’s be honest this “real friends” thing can get questionable; at least it has for me. Good friends are not just running around with a sign over their head saying “choose me”. So, when you find them you have to hold onto them. You have to actually reciprocate what it means to be a good friend!
Check in on them every week or so to make sure their mental and emotional health is still doing well. Pray for them! Make sure their families are doing well. Stay current on things they are working toward, motivate them and hold them accountable. Show up for the big moments like engagement parties, birthday events, promotion celebrations…be present in their lives. There isn’t a material gift in the world that can replace you actually being there.
With social media being so popular we can get caught up with liking and commenting on social media. You might drop a couple of ? emojis and think its enough. Let’s be clear, it isn’t! That single form of “love” is something you’d expect from strangers. From the people who don’t know your last name. The people who don’t know how long you’ve been working on that degree, or how many employers passed you over before you finally got an offer, or how many sacrifices you’ve made to save for your house. Do the most for your friends. Pick up the phone to call them or record thoughful video. Send a card with a hand written note or a basket with their favorite things. Do something to let them know they matter to you!
I understand that life isn’t always full of happy moments. How can you be happy for your friends new job when you’ve just lost yours? How can you be happy that your friend got engaged when you’ve been single for the last few years or have a failing marriage? How can you be happy for your friends new house when you’re barely keeping your utilities on? You just do it! You pray specific prayers, you trust in God’s promises and you trust your journey! If that wasn’t clear enough let me make it plain, Matthew: 7:12 aka the golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. You have to be the type of friend that you expect your friends to be. We are called to love one another. Not out of convenience or because we want something in return but simply because it’s the right thing to do!
What’s one thing you can do to be a better friend this year? Reflect on that… and then make it happen!
My Friends Are Still Better Than Yours,-Tina