Hey friends! I am so excited to share with you today my first ever guest, Jeanette Tapley. She is a creative, big-hearted, and hilarious podcaster + blogger and today she is talking all about the power of friendship! I had the chance to be featured on her podcast, It’s Time for Coffee ,and y’all, it was too much fun! Go check it out and let me know what you think! Alright, enough of me! Let’s hand it off to my sweet friend Jeanette.
HEY! I am Jeanette Tapley! I am the wife to Jesse, mom to Zeke, Titus and Zoe. Podcast host of It’s Time For Coffee, friend and instagram enthusiast. You can typically find me singing my words, sipping coffee and basking in the sunshine of Central Texas. I am so thankful that Madison has shared her precious corner on the internet with me to share a little bit about friendship with you!
Friendship is tough, and I think I realized that when I was a sophomore in high school.
We were a group of four. We had been together since 6th grade and I thought we were inseparable. I thought they would be in my wedding, at the birth of my kids and vice versa. All of that change when boys, booze, and broken hearts entered the scene. I was devastated when we broke up… Not me and a boy… Nope, the four of us broke into duos. We were separated, and instead of searching two of them out, I judged them. I judged their decisions, and worse, I hated what THEY were doing to us.
Now let me start by saying I was (and still am) a very dramatic person. I take things WAY too personally and this was just the beginning. As an adult I can look back at these years and CRINGE. Why didn’t I stop my inner dialogue? Why didn’t I run to them and ask what was going on? Why did I just sit back and let them self destruct?
As a proud preacher’s kid, when my friends started “back sliding” I left them behind in the dust. I didn’t understand why they would make bad choices… we were taught better in youth group. We were bigger and better than this temptation. Gosh….I was mean, I was proud, and I was a bad friend. I had NO IDEA what was really going on. I knew that my house was the “safe house” and that my friends liked being there, but I didn’t know why until I was in my 20’s.
I am happy to say that while we four friends broke up for many years, we would still always be there for each other during the important times. When one lost a dad, we rallied around her like none of the drama had ever happened. When I had two little babies at home and 2 of the four lived out of state and came home, we set up a slumber party. When one was really sick and unsure what was going on, the rest of us prayed. When my daughter came home from Africa, they sent a box of goodies just for her.
But let me tell you what these 3 girls taught me about being a friend…A GOOD FRIEND:
You may have no real clue what’s going on, but always ask. Don’t be an ignorant friend. Ignorance in friendship is NOT bliss. Ask, see what you can do! Even if it’s just an ear to hear or a hug, or a safe place to sleep. That’s enough. But don’t not ask because you are afraid to know the truth.
Grief can do a number of things to a person. One of those things is isolate. I’ve seen it SO MANY times. When we are sad it’s hard to be sad with people. My advice for you is this: Sit in silence with your friends grief. You don’t need answers! Heck, sweep the floor, do the dishes, make dinner. Just be present for your friend. Be there.
If I were to lay out all of our stories, you would be shocked or think I am lying. We have seen murder, drugs, sickness, tremendous pain, healing, restoration, joy and so much more. But the one thing we have always had between us was prayer. I know without a shadow of a doubt, I could text at least 2 of them right this minute and ask them to pray for me and they would. They know me and they know my heart. So if you get a text, or you see a friend post something on Facebook, don’t be the
“I’m Praying” person….NO. Drop to your knees, lift your friend to the heavens, and have her back!
Be a vault
The last thing I will say is that trustworthiness can be everything in a friendship. If your people know that they can drop anything and everything on you without fear of it “getting out”, then that makes you a safe person. I cannot tell you how much I value the safe people I have in my life. These safe people are invaluable but they are also the first ones to point me back to the Cross. They love me, they love my family and they love Jesus.
Looking back now I can see how much I failed these young girls, myself included. I didn’t know how to be a good friend through my hurt, and selfishness. I hope that these things have changed the way I treat my friends as an adult. I love those little girls who thought they were all that, and I am forever grateful for how they shaped me.
My goal in life is to always be a better friend. I want to be a cheerleader, a caretaker and a lover of people. I want to know that I am pushing each of my friends to their full potential, and that they are going to push me the same way. They are going to ask me hard questions, they are going to be there for me no matter what with prayer and safety!
This is how we grow, better together!
WOW! Y’all, what an incredible story. How many of us can relate to that? I also grew up in a group of four girls and there were so many times when we would try to take sides. How silly that was! Thank God for learning how to enjoy friendships the way they were intended to be. I have always looked at my friends as my chosen family. If you have ever wondered why I usually start my sentences with “Hey Friend,” it’s because you are my tribe, my chosen family. I love you and I love that I was able to highlight one of our tribe members on the blog today! I know you’re dying to be able to stalk Jeanette and check out all of the things! Here’s where you can find her!
If you would love to be featured on the blog, or nominate someone, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time friends!
Reads I know you’ll LOVE: