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!


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!


  1. My best friend Shellie, she has been my very best friend for thirty five years.
    She was the girl I sat next to during circle time in kindergarten.
    She was there when we learned how to drive, she was there with me at our first homecoming football game and the dance the next night. She was there for me when I told her at age 17 I was pregnant and supported and encouraged me during the next 22 years as my son grew into a man.
    She and I share red hair and and used to tell everyone she was the older sister, she’s a month older than me!
    She stood beside me at my wedding that was planned in a week because me and my husband just knew, and so did she. She thinks he is a great guy.
    I was there for her four years ago while her Dad was dying, when her dog died just a few days later and when she found out a short time later that she had breast cancer.
    I sent her a card, note or gift every week during the entire time, from when she was diagnosed and we cried together over the phone, to when she had her chemo and radiation treatments until all her treatments were complete and the cancer was in remission. My husband shaved his head for her, he would not let me shave mine.
    Cancer has been in remission now for three years. I continue to pray it stays away.
    She has opened her home to me and my husband and our two girls when we go to visist her and I enjoy when she comes to visit me. She is the one girlfriend I can go weeks without talking and then talk on the phone about anything and everything.
    She is the one who treated me to a new outfit when I lost twenty pounds.
    She is the one brave enough to sell her house and most everything in it, quit her job, buy a popup camper and travel for year to most every National Park.
    She is the one that I miss the most, more than my family even, because we live 7 hours apart.
    She is the one that when we do visit each other it is just like we’ve never been apart.
    I so treasure my memories of her and enjoy all the new ones we make each time we visit.
    Thank you for letting me share Shellie and our friendship with you.

  2. One thing that makes a great friendship is mutual self-disclosure; something that has taken me years to learn and understand. I have a couple friends I can be completely open and honest with, just really be myself and these are the friends I treasure!! Look forward to reading the book!

  3. I have many friends who I consider a blessing. I don’t have a “best” friend because they each have their special place in my heart. You have to be a friend to have a friend. Never keep track of who’s turn it is to call or get in touch; just do what you feel lead to do.

    Hope your birthday was very blessed, Lisa!

  4. Before I graduated from high school I had moved over 25 times. I was always “the new kid”. It is difficult to make and keep friends when moving like this. I do have one friend from high school and we have kept in touch. It is so good to have someone who knows you.

  5. I think that friendships are on of God’s true blessings. A close friend who will laugh, cry, and pray with you is something to cherish. I have a close friend like this in my life and am so blessed. What I appreciate most about this friend is that she’s not afraid to keep me on the right track as well.

  6. My favorite aspect of my close friendships is inspiring each other with our strengths, learning from each other and growing together to become a true Proverbs 31 woman!

  7. I have a friend that lives six hours away. We only get to see each other a few times a year, but we talk on the phone about once a week. If something is wrong all I have to say is “Hello” and she instantly knows. It’s great having a friend like that and I look forward to the day when we can live close again.

  8. I have a best friend that I’ve had for about 12 years. She accepts me for who I am and doesn’t try to change me. She’s always there if I need her and I can trust her with anything. Trust and acceptance are so important in friendship. I don’t know if I’ll ever find another friend like her but I’ve been so blessed to have one true friend. I’d love to win the basket.

  9. My best friends from high school and then college are all far away. The thing I love about each of them is that when we do find time to be together again, we still have that instant connection and love for one another. I always try to remember to mail a real birthday card to them!

  10. I remember a time when I was open with friendships; giving, loving and truly making the effort to sustain them. Somewhere along the way, I grew tired of being the one to make the effort and simply stopped. As a result, so did the friendships. Now I see my former self echoed in my children and I would like to recapture me, but how?

  11. I find it hard to let friends into the deeper places of myself and hard to make new friends. I would love to win this book.

  12. I have been best friends with my friend Kate since we were 3 years old (we’re now 26). It is absolutely wonderful to know that there is someone out there who has been through every stage of life with me and knows me better than almost everyone else (with the exception of my husband). I love having a “forever friend”!

  13. I would love to win her book. Also, Happy Birthday!!

    I don’t know what I would do without my friends. They are always there for me. They are the best.

  14. My best friends are those with whom I can be honest with and don’t mind if we haven’t seen each other for awhile because we can just pick up where we left off.

    It’s hard being a pastors wife because I need to be friendly with everyone but can’t really be best friends with anyone at church. My current friends are other people that work with me and friends from the past. Those friendships are hard to keep up but nice when we do get to talk or see each other.

    I’ve learned from moving often that most people are not going to go out of their way to be your friend so I need to be brave and go to things where I don’t know a soul and start a conversation. It’s not easy but it helps!

    Rebecca Ann

  15. Have a good friend and being a good friend is important. It is important to have that friend you can talk to and get advice from. It’s also important to have a friend you can call and they will pray right then and there with you when you need it.

  16. I have lots of friends, but true, deep friendship for me is when time and distance make no difference. You can fall right back into synch as soon as the conversation starts with no awkwardness at all. I have two people (other than my husband and my mom) that I can do that with. The first is my best friend from childhood and we’ve been friends for almost 48 years. We don’t talk in person more than a few times per year, but she is always right there for me, as I am for her. My second friend is one that I have only ever seen one time in my life. We met on the internet, but we clicked from the first day and there have been hours and hours of phone conversations, numerous emails (too many to count), gifts, cards, and one glorious week long visit together over the last ten years. Lifetime friends, for sure.

  17. Would love to win this book. I have a hard time opening up and being friends based on trust issues.

  18. I had 1 best friend in grade school – she & her family moved away when we were in 5th grade. The next person that I called my best friend actually turned away from our friendship due to the manipulation of another that was jealous of our relationship. I had 2 best friends in college but we have drifted apart over the years. My heart is broken over the loss of that closeness. And I’ve not had a close friendship with another since that point in time. I’ve lost the ability to trust & share with others. I would love to get that back & I would love to have another relationship with someone I could call my best friend.

  19. I would like to become a better friend and have that special bond with someone. I hope to read your book soon. Happy Birthday Lisa. Enjoy your special day.

  20. I recently reconnected with a friend and family whom God had taken out of my life for a season and grace and forgiveness are two very important qualities in a friend!! And Happy Birthday Lisa! I will be singing the Facts of Life theme song all day. :) God bless!

  21. Growing up as a navy kid we moved at least every two years…friendships were made quickly , often & pretty easily for me…the greatest gift my mom gave us is to hang onto those friendships, especially the “bosom buddies” when we moved to the next duty station…i literally have a lifetime of friends scattered throughout the globe that i can now re-connect with via email/facebook, etc. As we use to sing in GirlScouts: “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold”. What a gift my family gave me, to be open to maintaining those friendships even when the close proximity “season” comes to a close. As my Dad was stationed in San Diego we often returned to the same neighborhood over the course of 15-20 years and i have this beautiful tapestry of girlfriends beginning at the 2nd grade through high school…women need women and God allows our hearts to stretch beyond space & time to hold those dear ones close.

  22. Friendship… desperately needed. As a mom of a special needs child I feel like there is no time, but it is extra needed!

  23. I have been fortunate enough to have a few best friends in different seasons of my life of almost 52 years. I don’t have a real best Christian girlfriend now and I do miss that, although I do have many Christian friends. But there’s something about that one that you have similar interests and a connection and are able to talk and laugh about everything that really helps keep you sane!

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