Thankful for FRIENDS

This week on Studio 7 we talked about being thankful for our friends. I talked about my "Tribe" and I gave some tips for how to honor your friends this month as we give thanks for the many blessings in our lives. If you missed this week's episode of Studio 7, just click HERE to watch!  


Friends matter. They matter when you’re 5 years old and they matter when you’re 35, 55, and 85. Mama was right when she taught us to choose our friends wisely. There’s a proverb in the Bible that speaks to this principle. Even if you don’t believe in the Bible, you cannot deny the truth of this proverb, it says:

“Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion (friend) of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs 13:20

Pastor Craig Groeshcel says, “You show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.” That’s what this proverb means. Your friends have the influence to lead your life down a path – that’s why we need to evaluate our friendships and take time to be thankful for the ones that have stood the test of time and integrity.

Another proverb says : “A friend loves at all time and a brother/sister is born for a time of adversity (hardship, difficulty).” Proverbs 17:17

When you go to the hospital to have your first baby, you want your friends there. When you go to the funeral home, you also want those friends there to hold your hand. They are more than your friends, they are what I call my “Tribe.” They journey through life with me. They jump, scream and squeal in delight as my cheerleaders in the highlight moments of my life. And they hold my hand, weep with me and pass the Kleenex box when the heartbreak is too much to bear by myself.

So how do we say “THANK YOU” to our Tribal friends?


1.  Start simple: make a list of your five closest friends.

This sounds easier than it really is. We live in a FaceBook faux friendship world. You might have 1,000 FB friends and yet feel lonely. You're looking around saying to yourself, "I don't even have a friend to meet for lunch or to go to a movie with." This step of listing your five closest friends is more than just making another list, this is an evaluation of your relationships. Who is there for you? Do you need to open your heart up to meeting new friends? Let God reveal to you the truth of your 'friendship status' with people around you. 


2.  Next to each person’s name, write two or three of that person’s favorite things.

For example, my friend Lolly loves funny cards and ice cream. My friend Di loves all things leadership and all things inappropriate - we're soul sisters!

Set out to meet one or two of each person’s favorite things (i.e. I’ll send Lolly a funny card with a $10 gift card to baskin-robbins; I'll send Diana…well, uh, never mind.)



Even if your friends’ favorite thing isn’t a card, hand write a card to your five Tribal friends telling them how much they mean to you and mail the cards. This isn’t a FB personal message or a text. This will take some time and effort. But your Tribal friends are worth the effort!


God uses the right people to lead us to the right mindsets and places in our lives. Your friends have probably helped bring you to where you are today…let them know you recognize them, value them and want to grow in relationship with them!

And Keep Going!



Diana - sipping a mimosa on the morning of my wedding. She held my hand & prayed over me on my wedding day…and 7 weeks later she did the same thing when she helped me through my Dad's suicide. 

Me & Lauren (aka, Lolly) sharing ice cream together when I visited her in FL after her second child was born. 

Me & Jenni and our infamous sister pose. She & Di threw me a 30th birthday party…the theme was "Somewhere Over The Hill!" This Dorothy loving Kansas girl LOVED it!

My only sister, Jenni, is my bestie for the restie. She is the best listener - and she's the LEAST judgmental person I've ever met. You can tell her ANYTHING and she won't think any different of you. She exhibits the true eyes of Jesus - that's the lens she looks through and that's why she doesn't judge, she just loves. 

That time Di & my sister threw my surprise 30th birthday bash. Di is the most giving person I know. She'll do anything for anyone - even if you're not in her "Tribe". She will go the extra mile every single time! And she loves Jesus and the Word so much. She sharpens me. 

Jessica (holding Karis), Jenni and Jennifer Wilson. Jennifer Wilson was the "new" friend who emerged following my Dad's death in 2005. She called every week just to ask me how I was & to share my experience with her - every week for two years. Now that's a friend!

Who looks that gorgeous just a few weeks postpartum? Lauren, that's who! Lolly is the best wife and mom that I know. She has the true gift of putting her family in the priority place that God calls her to - and without whining or complaining about it (like I do a lot of the time). Lolly loves the church and is always pointing me to amazing sermons or books that keep my mind growing. Lolly stretches me! I love her for it!

Gorgeous Jennifer Wilson - dang my friends are beauties! Jennifer is so godly. She is the strongest prayer warrior in my life. I love my JWow! (For the record, that makes ME Snooki)

Jenni has held my hand and laughed and cried and looked into my eyes with that "I know. I'm here." for my entire life. We're gonna grow into old crazy ladies terrorizing the old people home. Going to "supper" at 3:45pm and probably forgetting our pants. But who cares. We'll sit and laugh and talk 'til midnight (6:45pm) every night. My soul sister. I HAVE to die before her b/c I can't live without her. 

P.S. Why do I look like a drag queen? And why are Jenni's arms so skinny? Some answers we'll just never get this side of heaven! 

Jes & Di, circa 2006. Good grief - we spent our skinny years together. Along with our young years. 

That time we went to Puerto Vallarta (and we got REALLY tan!). It's like Blonde Malibu Barbie and her friend, "Exotic and Ethnically Diverse" Barbie.

Brad & Jes. Lauren & Daniel. We have more laughs with this couple! They keep up howling.  

Di kissing my Emmy girl on Em's first birthday. It takes a village to raise a child! Di helps us so much. 

Emery & Jennifer Wilson LOVE each other! Jenn gets a good laugh out of my strong-willed child. Glad SHE can laugh about it!

Jenni is literally the funniest human being you'll ever meet in real life! She should be writing comedy for SNL!! This is Jenni mocking the "sexy selfie". 

Could she be a more beautiful bride? If she had asked me to give her away, I couldn't have! Sorry, Jeremy, I'll share her, but she's still mine. 

Jenni in a sweet-baby-sandwhich! Emmy loves her Nini. And Karis - don't you just wanna eat her up! 

I love Di's curly wild hair - it is SO her! This day we were celebrating her graduation from nursing school. This wonder woman amazes me - she's seen it all, done it all and burned the t-shirts!

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Jessica Phillips

Jessica is worshiper and follower of Jesus. He rescued her heart at age 6 but he rescued her calling, purpose and direction in her early 20's. Everyday God is still writing Jessica's story. It involves her husband, Brad, her daughter, Emery, their extended families. But the story is a tale of loss of life and dark grief. And the story ebs and weaves and the grief story is followed by weddings and laughter. And what comes next? A Baby! God sends us a baby to shape and teach and grow right in the midst of our loss and realizing that life actually moves forward. We didn't think it would again after he died. But life just did what it was supposed to do...and it went on. And hope is born again. Everything I write is based on this fact: I'm God's child, I'm alive today. So what do You want me to do for You? Because I want my contribution to matter. I want to leave a legacy.