I got in a bit of a bind yesterday, needing to get my dog to the vet, at exactly the same time I needed to be picking up the kids from school. Something had to give. Thank goodness I have a circle of Ya-Ya’s who will come through at the drop of a dime. Just in the last week, the girls in this pic have picked up my kids, hauled my mom’s plants (LOL), talked me off a particularly scary ledge, and mentored me in parenting.
These are the things our Ya-Ya’s do.
I’m also insanely fortunate to have three blood-sisters as my original Ya-Ya’s. We may not see each other as often, but we have a history of life that has joined us inseparably. We would undoubtedly give life and limb for one another, any day of the week.
It’s what sisters do.
I’m so grateful to be building new groups of Ya-Ya’s through my work with HeartStories and all my boy’s activities. We women need our village. And as much as we wish it was, it’s not often built overnight.
It’s built over a lifetime.
It’s built on the journey of good times, laughter and ridiculous shenanigans. . . like this time we thought it would be hilarious to snap our own photobomb of a bride and groom on a mostly deserted beach. (I hope they found a little extra joy from all our snorting and laughing as we continuously tried, and failed, to get everyone in the frame just right.) It’s built in the daily grind, the day-in and day-out of projects, deadlines and homework. It’s built in the silent tears of unspeakable pain that can only be shared by presence. Day by day, year by year.
Brick by brick.
The entire idea of Ya-Ya’s was birthed by the creative mind of Rebecca Wells in her colorful story of the repairing of a relationship between mother and daughter. As is so often true in real life, the ultimate healing of the relationship was facilitated by her mother’s village of lifelong friends, like sisters. So it’s no surprise that Rebecca’s personification of the Ya-Ya’s stuck with us.
It has become a household name for female friendship the world over.
In Greek, Ya-Ya literally means “Woman”. In English, you can find definitions of Ya-Ya for everything from “a group of tropical trees” to “a woman employed by a family to look after a child, or a sick or elderly person.” And they all fit. But my favorite is this:
“Ya-Ya’s: A group of three or more women whose hearts and souls are joined together by laughter and tears shared through the glorious journey of life.”
Who are your Ya-Ya’s?
Celebrate them! Keep showing up. Keep journeying with them.
Make a point to recognize them for the invaluable treasure they are.
If you don’t know who your Ya-Ya’s are, it’s time to start building. Start investing time, energy and love, right in the middle of the daily grind, into the women in your life. I know it’s hard, believe me I do. But keep showing up and your Ya-Ya’s will emerge, over time. But not by accident.
They will emerge with intention.
Intention to love and serve and BE a Ya-Ya on this glorious journey called life.
to more love,
P.S. Wherever you find yourself on this journey of the Ya-Yas, next Thursday’s Girls Night is for you. Shasta Nelson will help us recognize all our different types of friendships and learn how to move them along to ultimately become Ya-Ya’s or nurture them enough to remain Ya-Ya’s for life. You can learn more right here.