One of my favorite things to do here at SDG is to review books of people I actually have a relationship with, either online or in person. It’s a time to celebrate a sister’s accomplishment and an opportunity to glean the wisdom she has unearthed while exploring her passion.
Natalie Snapp has been a part of SDG in some form since the very first week (October 2010), all the way back to when she wrote at Mommy on Fire. I’m sure neither of us knew the journey we would go on since then, but it is awesome to look back and see where God has brought us and what He has brought us through. (And as I looked up that date, I am in amazement – we have been a community for almost 5 years, y’all! How cool is that?)
When she told me she was writing a book about women and friendship, I knew I would love it because friendship is vital, a pulse, within a community (and I love me so community). Will we be there to love each other (even when we aren’t always lovable), encourage each other, sit with each other in grief, help carry sisters’ burdens? Will we rejoice in each other’s success and mourn when they experience loss? Will we do it with pure hearts and healthy boundaries? And will we stick it out when it gets, well, sticky?
It’s impossible to be a perfect friend. We all have faults, bad days, and a tongue that can steer us in the wrong ways, but we can learn to be a better friend. When we open our hearts to Jesus, when we let Him refine us, teach us, and grow us, we can be the very friend we want to have. And added bonus? We can teach our children (and our neighbor’s children and our nieces and granddaughters) what we learn and model what good friendships entail. Who doesn’t know a girl who hasn’t gotten into some friendship land mines?)
Natalie tackles many issues from Can’t my spouse fill my every need?, the difference between cliques and tight-knit friends, forgiveness, and establishing boundaries. Even if you are already a great friend, I still believe that you can learn something from Natalie’s book. Sometimes we don’t realize we could shore up on something until we see ourselves in a story, a bible verse, or a tidbit of wisdom we wish we had known earlier.
Friendships (online and in person) are crazy good, but they can be crazy hard. But know when problems arise, you don’t have to handle it all alone. God’s Word is full of wisdom and Natalie has so carefully studied His heart and given us a way offer up our strengths and weaknesses to Him, and allow us to see how He might use them today, tomorrow, next week, or in five years.
Some bits of wisdom I gleaned while reading Heart Sisters:
“When we tirelessly minister to someone at the expense of our families and grow frustrated when that person doesn’t act the way we think he or she should, we are the victims of pride. We can’t be Jesus to anyone. Only Jesus can be Jesus.”
“Refusing to forgive poisons our soul with bitterness, resentment, and anger. Eventually, this poison causes us to view everything through a negative lens. Forgiving others does release those who have hurt you from their offense, but forgiveness is not really for them – it’s for you.”
“Establishing boundaries can be like training for a marathon. The training period can be difficult. You’ll have bad runs and good runs. You’ll be tired at times, and you might be inconsistent now and then. Luckily, there is grace. I think most marathoners will tell you that the training can be grueling yet there’s not a better feeling than crossing the finish line. The same is true once you get the hang of setting boundaries: you won’t believe the freedom you’ll feel!
Want to read more? You can purchase Natalie’s book on Amazon. To find out more or to join the 5 Day Challenge, click over here.