The beaches and the trenches

Over the summer, while we were “homeless” (in-between houses), I had this brilliant idea to offer up my soon-to-be home as the venue for Wendi McGowan Ellis‘ AC3 Ambitious Chicks Cocktail Club for the Autumn event.  Wendi looked at me with a little side-eye saying “Are you sure?”  I convinced her it was no problem, and we set the date.  Apparently, that’s the kind of thing you do when you haven’t moved since you were twenty eight, with no kids, no pets, comparatively no belongings and mostly no responsibility.  I thought the house building project was the hard part, and that settling in would be a breeze in comparison (even though we moved in while the house was about 90% complete).

This bit of wisdom from experience was clearly lost on me.

Emerging from our biggest-ever Girls Night Out event, and a child’s freshly broken arm last weekend, it suddenly dawned on me that I was one week away from hosting these lovely ladies at my house. . . and I sort of panicked.  Now, if you know me at all, you know I’m pretty low-key when it comes to hosting close friends and family.  I order a lot of take-out and we eat on paper plates often. Even though I host a fancy monthly GNO for ladies each month through HeartStories, it feels very different to be hosting someone else’s event at your home.  (That’s some sage wisdom for you, just in case you didn’t already know)

It’s no surprise that this is where good friends come in.

To my long-time friend Holly, this whole decorating my house thing is an easy-breezy afternoon project.  She picked me up on Friday and taught me all about this mysterious place called Home Goods, and many other lovely places where you can actually pick up items with your own two hands, instead of waiting for them to arrive in a box on your front porch.  In a matter of 12 hours, 2 car loads, and a surprisingly smaller sum of money than I anticipated, she transformed my entire living area into a fully decorated style that felt totally “me” and also met Scott’s standards for artistic design.  (I woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a Mac truck, but hey, it was worth it!) 

It’s the kind of thing only a friend can do.  

Holly has known me for over 15 years, and she’s known Scott for more than 20.  She’s vacationed with us, played games with us, sat on many a couch with us, and done life in the trenches with us, for all the years.  She gets us.  She gets our styles and our quirks.  She instinctively knows how each of us will feel in the room and that’s invaluable.  As evidenced by the fact that I held several items up for her and she replied, “There’s no way Scott is going to go for that!”  It was like having a magic mirror that could instantly tell me what was going to work and what wouldn’t.

That’s the beauty of friendship.

It’s the beauty of friends who do life together.  Friends who give sacrificially of their time, energy and talents to show love.  Did Holly have that kind of time to give?  No, she didn’t.  But she chose me.  She chose us.

That’s what friends do.

It’s humbling to have a friend who is willing to do that for me, and with me.  I have a hard time accepting help sometimes, but Holly always shows me a beautiful example of what friendship looks like.  It’s always a give and take, an ebb and flow.  Friendship isn’t only for the easy times.  It’s is for the hard work times too.  (In my friendships, it’s definitely for the emergency-decorating times.) Friendship is in the giving and the receiving.

It’s the beaches, and the trenches.

And every rainy day Chick-Fil-A stop in between.

Be a beaches and trenches kind of friend.

Don’t let your friends join you at the beach, but lock them out of the trenches.  Call them up, ask for help.  Let them know you need them.  They will come running.

Wouldn’t you?

to more love,



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