Friendship Basket Giveaway and Chat with Lisa Whelchel

Tuesday morning update: Due to the busy holiday weekend, I’ve decided to leave this post up throughout today to give more gals a chance to comment and enter. The winner will be announced tomorrow morning. Have a great day!

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In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, I was an average Michigan gal navigating the fun and sometimes stormy friendships of junior and senior high school.

Meanwhile, way out west in California, another gal my age was acting for television, living a life I, like many of my friends, could only dream of.

I spent many evenings watching her on TV, secretly wishing I had a group of friends like she had.

Tootie…. Natalie….. Jo…. They seemed to have it all together. Any problems that did arise between these faithful friends were all solved within the short span of half an hour.

Little did I know that in real life, this beautiful teenage girl was missing out on many aspects of what real-life friendships were all about.

Lisa Whelchel (aka Blair Warner on the hit TV series The Facts of Life) admits she has had to learn about friendship a little late in the game. Now a sought-after author and speaker, (and someone I consider a sweet friend and godly role model to my daughter Kenzie), Lisa has just released her latest book Friendship for Grown-Ups; What I Missed and Learned Along the Way.

Growing up as an actress in Hollywood, there were few people Lisa could trust, and even fewer to guide her. By the time she reached adulthood, she had learned to be self-sufficient. She was strong, she was “safe,”

And she was lonely.

One day, Lisa found that the “the desire to experience connection was stronger than the desire to be safe.” She determined right then to finally understand friendship: how to create one, sustain it, and experience the sheer joy of having it. But it wasn’t easy. This book chronicles her quest and contains many practical ideas for connecting with friends on a more-than-surface level.

Lisa and I carved out time to connect this week for a little chat about her new book. Enjoy this honest interview and then be sure to leave a comment below. One winner will be chosen to receive an awesome friendship basket-in-a-box giveaway. Details below. For now, here’s Lisa:

What first prompted you to write a book on friendship?

Like most of my books, this one came out of a failure in my life. I’d been doing things the wrong way and God taught me, through a recent journey, so many important lessons on friendship. Anytime we go through a difficult time, we should look for ways to help others with what we’ve learned. I want people to know that friendships don’t have to be painful. They can also be life-giving. I want those who have been hurt to know truths that can be transforming in this area.

The subtitle of your book says “What I missed and learned along the way” What is the most important lesson you missed?

That vulnerability pulls people together, not perfection.

What is the most important lesson you learned?

I learned how to identify safe friends.

What do you hope readers gain from reading this book?

I hope they will allow the desire for connection to surface. It is there when we are younger, but often we feel as grown-ups that it is simply not worth it. This may be due to the pain or rejection we’ve experienced. So we suppress that desire and instead settle for shallow relationships. However, deep inside we are still longing for intimate connection. I hope they will allow that God-given desire to surface. He promises to meet us as we do.

Now for the giveaway! Lisa has graciously donated two signed copies of her new book for this friendship-basket-in-a-box. It includes:

  • Two signed copies of Friendship for Grown-Ups. One is for you; one is for you to give to a friend.
  • A $10 Starbucks card so you can meet a nearby friend for coffee.
  • And a set of colorful note cards so you can drop an encouraging line or two to a faraway friend.

Okay everyone, leave a comment on any aspect of friendship to be entered in the random drawing.

Tell us what lesson you’ve learned about friendship.What do you think makes a good friend? How do you wish you were a better friend? Or tell us about your best friend from your childhood or the current one you have now.

Or, if you can’t think of a comment on friendship, then simply leave one wishing Lisa a Happy Birthday. On Saturday she turns…….XX. (Come on now. You didn’t think a true friend would give away her sista’s age, did you? :-))

I’ll leave this post up throughout the entire holiday weekend and the winner will be announced on Tuesday. If you’d like to purchase a copy of this fabulous book (My favorite so far of Lisa’s) click here. She’ll sign and personalize the book to whomever you wish. She’s also offering a girlfriend’s package with two books at a wonderfully reduced rate.

Well, I’m off to spend some time with my new friends from Summit Homeschool Sports Club as we cheer our boys on at the varsity baseball national championship! I’ll try to Twitter and update my status on Facebook throughout the tournament this weekend.

See you next week!

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  6. I’m also wondering if it’s too late??? I moved out of state and away from all friends and family. I’ve made one good friend and several acquaintence friends, but I seriously need to know how to better connect. HELP!
    Blessings,
    Toni

  7. Is it too late to enter? I need this book because I have next to none friends who are close. I desperately need a friend to confide in, laugh with, meet for coffee, and go shopping with. I know I am the problem because I can be closed off sometimes(not open or vulnerable). I have been praying for the Lord to send me a Godly girlfriend for some time now. Will be buying the book any way if I don’t win it!!

  8. Because friendship IS a 2 way street, I have to learn to travel both ways. Far too often, I am the listener, the counselor, lending an ear to my friends, always taking in and offering up advise or support. Not often enough, do I talk. Even when I am going through turmoil, I do not go to my friends for support, for that would make me appear weak. I need to open up and be a better friend.

  9. I have many friends who confide in me and probably consider me to be their good friends but I don’t open up to them. I see myself as kind of a counsellor to many. I have been hurt before when I made myself vulnerable and have guarded myself ever since. By “protecting” myself, I feel very lonely when I am going through a rough time. I want to have that special friend I could just call to cry on her shoulder but I feel like I have set up all my relationships to be one sided – I would love that to change but I don’t know who I can trust.

  10. I recently had the privilege of hearing Lisa speak at Women of Faith. Can’t wait to read her book.

  11. When my husband was in the Navy we had great friends, but due to career assignments we were never around any that long. After awhile I stopped getting close to anyone because it was too painful to start over. But now that we have been able to settle down we have awesome friendships and have even managed to stay close to some that have moved away. I think as you age friendships become more important.

  12. I wish I were a better friend. I grew up in a very dysfunctional home where you never, and I mean never, let any one know what was going on in your life. That has made it difficult for me to develop close friendships, even as an adult. I am great at “casual” friendships. I have lots of acquitances; but I cannot seem to open up and let people see the real me.

  13. I don’t really have any human friends. I have co-workers, but they often go to lunch without inviting me, and are not Christians. I have a Sabbath School teaching assistant, who is my mom’s age and not very reliable. I have my husband, but he has a mental illness and is only sometimes interested in being my friend.
    But Jesus is my friend! He goes everywhere I do, is the ONLY reliable friend in the world, and always wants to be my friend!

    I would love to win Lisa’s book, since I obviously need help in this area.
    God bless!
    Jennifer D

  14. Friendships with other women as adults is much harder for me as often you must find someone in the same phase of life as you are. I no longer seem to connect as well with unmarried friends as I am now married with 3 little boys. I also feel I have to “test” the waters to see if a friend will be able to connect with me. I mention something slightly more personal and wait to see if I hear a rumor through the grapevine, as well as how she reacts to the info right then. If she seems to be a true friend, we venture a little closer. Just as Anne of Green Gables says–a Bossom Friend is so wonderful and a true treasure!!

  15. To me… friendship is having a lifelong friend who knows your deepest secrets, desires and has seen you at your worst and best. Has been there through the good and bad. You may not talk to her in months – but when you do – its like you never left. She can interpert your mood and thoughts just by looking into your eyes. You know you can call her and she would be there and do anything for you in a minute. I miss my good friend and havent been able to find anyone like her since moving to chicago.

  16. I think this might be the next book I need to read. I have struggled to maintain adult friendships through marriage and the addition of kids. Going in so many different directions it is hard – but necessary. I do have a few wonderful Godly friends who have stuck through these transitions. One in particular lives in a different state – but makes a great effort to stay in touch. I love her to death and thank God for bringing her into my life during our college years. She is an encouragement to me – but also speaks truth into my life when I need it.

  17. Just this past weekend I had an opportunity to spend a little time with my best friend from college. We may only get a chance to see each other once a year but she will always hold a special place in my heart. I love how we can pick up like we just spoke yesterday. I thank God for her friendship.

  18. I am so blessed to have wonderful friends. My best friend has been my best friend since we met in Sunday School 48 years ago.

  19. The best thing about friendship is knowing that you are not alone!!!!! Motherhood is tough and its reassuring to know you have team mates in the battle. :)

  20. Karen: You, Lisa and I navigated those years together (late 70s early 80s). Seems a gal’s heart is the same regarding friendship no matter where we live (me — East Coast). I love exploring the heart of friendship. Book sounds terrific! :)

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