May 11, 2017

May I Call You and Your Friends?

Almost two years ago, I gathered a group of women in my living room--young singles, empty nesters, grandmothers, and moms of littles--and I asked them a simple question: "What has friendship been like for you as an adult?"

I felt apprehension in the room as I asked that question, because how many times do we actually talk about friendship with one another? In my experience, it's not often, because then we'd have to reveal our insecurities and uncertainties regarding other women with other women. But when I asked that question and women started sharing their gut-level thoughts and feelings out in the open, I could practically see light bulbs of recognition and relief pop on all around the room. We all have similar experiences with the joys and complexities of friendship, and it helps to hear that.

It also helps to discuss with others what the point of friendship is, how we can develop and deepen friendships, and how we can navigate the messy parts of our relationships. I don't think it's overstating it to say that friendships are some of the most important relationships we will ever have. We are, after all, saved into a corporate faith called the Church, and this Church is locally expressed in relationships. God gives us friendship to help us know Him, know ourselves, serve Him, and learn from others. We must be talking about how to have deep friendships in the church!

Why don't you choose to be the one to initiate the discussion? 

However, you don't have to go it alone, because I'd like to help! Here's what I'm suggesting: ask some ladies if they'd like to gather with you this summer and discuss Messy Beautiful Friendship. In the back of the book are some handy discussion questions to help you facilitate the conversation.
Some women already planning this for the summer have told me that getting women in the same room is too difficult, so they're hosting an online discussion in a private group on Facebook. Another told me that she's going through it with her teenage daughter, which I love. You could also do a Google hangout or even discuss as you have time on Voxer (my favorite way to chat with a group of people at once!).

So what should you do once you have a group gathered who want to read the book? One of my launch team members put together a schedule for reading and discussion, so you have one less thing to worry about. She has it running from May 31-August 16, but of course you can tweak it according to your group's needs.

And one more thing...

May I join your group?
I would love to jump in on a discussion with your group! For the winning book club, I'll Skype in and answer any and all questions that you have regarding MBF, friendship in general, and my own real-life friendships. Sound fun? It certainly does to me! Here's how you can enter your group for the Skype giveaway:

  • Invite women to join your book discussion group. It can be one woman or 15. It doesn't matter.
  • Take a picture of your group gathered together (or a screenshot of your online group or a screenshot of your Voxer messages get the idea).
  • Post the picture on Instagram with the hashtag #messybeautifulfriendshipbookclub and tag me (@christinehoover98)
  • Post the picture sometime between now and June 14 at midnight EST. That gives you over a month to invite ladies and have your first gathering. 
  • On June 14, I will randomly select a group from the pictures on Instagram, contact the person who posted it, and set up a Skype call with your group for sometime in August!

I hope in doing this that you find the same thing I did when I gathered women in my living room: we're all in the same boat and we can learn from one another. Happy Summer Reading!