My Girl Team

A tribute to the beautiful women in my life

Admittedly, I can't write RIGHT now. I'm in a dry season of my writing, and that is OK. I've had one heck of a year, conditions that don't exactly lend themselves to hilarity--my favorite type of blogging.

However, I've recently been reading a GREAT blog by Kym Showers, and it made me remember when I, too, used to successfully blog.  I opened my own blog to longingly recollect the days when I was funny, and to hopefully recharge my writing battery. I giggled aloud over some of my travel blunders and mistook my laughter for inspiration. I can do this again! But when I sat down to actually WRITE ... nothing came out.

No big surprise.

Then, I thought about what (or more accurately who) has gotten me through the rough spots of life. I wasn't blessed with a sister. Matter of fact, I am an adopted child, so I don't have any blood relatives at all, but with the LOVE I had growing up, I never noticed. (Shout-out to my mom, dad, brother and grandma.)

What I have learned as an adopted child is that no one HAS to love me due to an exaggerated, egotistical belief in the superiority of our shared mitochondrial DNA--they choose to love me for ME. That's sort of cool.  

You know who else does that? Girlfriends. If it takes a village to raise a child, what does it take to raise (not raze!) a woman?  Girlfriends. But not the passive kind. I'm talking about a construction crew of girlfriends who build us up, fix us, and are there to celebrate when the renovations are complete. Girls with real friendship muscle. Girls who will do all the heavy lifting when your arms are weak and your legs can't stand. Girls who get their hands dirty when life gets messy. Girls who know when we need a little tweak, a total overhaul, or some time off. 

I've written a lot of "gifts" in my life, but I realized that I have never written One. Single. Word. to the females in my life who have been the sisters I never had.

Today, that changes.

Today I'm going to bless the women who have blessed me. I'm going to publicly call-them-out as tender, compassionate, thoughtful, loyal, and kind.  I hope I have been 1/10th the friend to them as they have to me; I hope they know they have made a difference in my life. So, in no particular order, here's to the girls who aren't related to me and don't have to love me but do anyway! Here they are in their positively miraculous, wondrous, fabulous, sparkling, hilarious, supportive, glittery glory: My Girl Team.

The Heavy Lifters - The burly construction crew

What we do: Laugh.
Kris Clerico -- This is one girl who stands up for what she believes in, has integrity and values--and IS NOT afraid to stand alone with them in a crowded room! Kris is the girl who will hold your hair, your heart, and the keys to the car if you've had too much to drink. Tired during a long drive? She won't let you fall asleep because she will be busy asking you all about YOU. Her brain is exceeded in size only by her enormous heart, which she shares unconditionally with me. On Facebook, you will find her listed as my sister because that's the only way I see her now. Kris is the friend who will lose sleep, miss work, and give her last two pennies if she thought I needed her.

Nothing ever changes.
Lisa Hardt -- Proof that you don't need to see each other more than once a year to realize that your friendship will never change. Oregon? Pffft! It's as if she's never left my side since we were wearing cheerleading skirts and dancing onstage at the Kern County Fair with the Beach Boys. This little hardhat-wearing spitfire is so genuine that her love, loyalty and concern for me is blinding. Since my sophomore year in high school, she has had my back unconditionally and protected me with the vigor of a Valkyrie. I don't need to talk to her everyday to know she would drop anything and be on a plane to the rescue if I needed her.

Jilly Jefferson -- My "Cherry Spice" (yes, I said it!) always remembers to text me for everything (Happy Friday texts are my favorite!). She is a girl who doesn't forget what friendship means even when life changes and adult responsibilities get in the way. She's the fun girl, the spontaneous girl (with me!), and the friend who keeps your nose on the straight and narrow (who doesn't need that?!). Jill's heart is so big that it collides with her debit card, which results in ME receiving LOTS of presents! Thoughtful! Jill always knows the right gift at the right time because she listens, cares, and responds. Jill makes me feel like the most special friend she has, but that is her gift. She has many friends, and I am just one of them, but that's the beauty of Jill--she makes me feel like the only other girl pal on the planet.

Tracey Stone -- Photographer extraordinaire, but more importantly, God-loving friend extraordinaire. If I had a decorator on my girlfriend construction crew, it would be Tracey. She decorates my life with her love of Jesus and by being a living, walking example of His love, grace and mercy. Her heart is so transparent that she wears it not only on her sleeve, but all over her antique lace and pearl and positively pink and feminine person! Her prayer power has the force of a jackhammer on this construction crew, and she uses it with wild abandon.

Hello, Kitty.
Sally Valenzuela -- Sally is evidence that "friendship at first sight" can happen just like love. She is the security guard of my heart. I may have known Sally the least amount of time, but I trust her with my life. Whoa! Yes! God sent Sally to me because He knew I'd need her and that she would need me. This is one girl who would lay down her life for me, of that I have no doubt. Yes... her loyalty is like THAT. Oh, and she knows how to use a pistol and isn't bothered by how white I am. 

Beckie Grisham -- Every good construction crew needs the girl who almost got into a fist fight at Build-a-Bear protecting a child. Always happy, always positive, always supportive, I can rely on Beckie for a kind, uplifting word that will make me forget anything heavy weighing on my mind. Her smile and her laugh make my day, and her open and loyal heart fertilizes my spirit with love and sparkles. If I were ever in the hospital, Beckie would be the one sneaking in my favorite snacks and drinks. Incidentally, if this all-chick construction crew needs a bartender, I'm nominating Beckie. 

To have one true friend in life, said my grandma, is to be rich. She said she could count on one hand the number of real friends she had. I guess that makes me blessed, because along with the construction crew of heavy lifters above, I have the support staff of my life, too--girls who have their own construction crew, but have found time to bless my life and play a PIVOTAL role by saying a prayer, checking-in on me, sending flowers, reaching out in love and friendship, gracing me with their compassion and understanding. I love, love, love them, too, and can't leave them out. This is my support staff:

Sandy M., Heather I., Carrie B., Dawnie, Denise J., Kelly S., Amber F., Annis, ...and Lori & Terri -- my two new friends brought to me through the worst of circumstances, further proof that God keeps promises, like when He says He will bring you beauty for ashes.