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27 August 2011

Real Friends

I've been reading about parenting tonight, and came across this fun "GOYBP"  site. That is, "Get Off Your Butt Parenting." So far, I like what I see quite a bit. I'm reading this page, and it's got some awesome thoughts, including a story that moved me to tears. But the thing that brought me to my blog was this, about a friend. A real friend.

It’s humbling to admit that I didn’t realize my yelling was “that” bad.  Nor did I realize how often and how loud I was yelling, until a friend who cared enough to tell the truth did just that.  She told me my home sounded like her childhood home and though I was not yelling anything mean or shameful, my kids were still being affected by it.
I knew deep, deep down that she was right.  I knew I needed help and support.  I asked my dear friend if she would provide accountability in terms of yelling and 8 years later, she still asks me how I’m doing!

I hope that Joanne knows how fortunate she is to have a friend with that kind of courage. It's hard to be the one who says, "Hon, I love you, but you're waaay off here." It's scary. It has to be important because it's risking the whole friendship. What if she hates what you say and it spoils everything? I have spoiled friendships this way, by trying to be that friend. The one who said the hard things. Friendship, real friendship, is hard work. Sometimes, like everything else in life, in friendship there is opposition.

If being this kind of friend is hard, it's no picnic being the person on the receiving end either. It's never comfortable to take a good hard look at yourself and realize that something is seriously out of place. It's no wonder that we sometimes get angry at the person holding up the mirror where we find such unpleasant things! It takes courage to say, "Maybe you're right; I'll think about it," rather than snarling and leaving. I hope that the next time someone tries to do this for me I have the courage to be the kind of friend that Joanne was in her story.

Perhaps the coolest part of the story of Joanne and her friend is the way that it's turned out. Not only does it look like Joanne learned some new skills, but she's written this cool website, and who knows how many people have benefited from her idea of GOYBP. It seems particularly appropriate to me that the story would be on her page about becoming a Grace-Based Parent, since it seems clear to me that she's become an instrument in the Lord's hands in teaching people about parenting, and friendship, and who knows what else.

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