Originally uploaded by Tonja Owens.

“A friend is someone who knows you and loves you anyway.” How true this is. These are the girls who know more about me than I know about myself,probably. Meet Tina (L) and Shirley (R). How the Lord blessed me when He brought these women into my life. We have been friends for many years and it began at church. Shirley and Tina attended another church in our town, but began visiting my church, soon joined and began serving the Lord there. When the three of us ended up on a bus going to Nashville for a Ladies Mission Trip, we realized how much we had in common. We quickly made plans to host our own neighborhood craft show, and our adventures have only gotten better and better. Oh, the fun we have had together. A few years after we became friends, Shirley went through a divorce (through no fault of her own.) We helped her move out of the family home…she has 2 wonderful daughters…into a smaller place . Then, our friend Tina, had a great idea. Her brother-in-law was not married and she introduced them. Sparks flew, I tell you. They quickly became enamored with each other and soon we were all planning a wedding. Bobby had 2 sons by a previous marriage, and the 4 kids became “family” with no problem. Now Tina has a daughter, Amy,(a hairdresser extrordinaire) who was already cousins of the boys and now added the 2 girls. So, they were becoming 1 big happy family. There was just 1 hitch in the whole plan…Bobby was not a Christian. But with the witness of this Christian family, he soon accepted the Lord as his Saviour. They married and went on their honeymoon and when they came back………OH! SADNESS!…….he moved her to his home in GA. I liked him fine…up until then. How dare he mess up our tight little friendship. However, life never stays the same, does it? It is always changing and that’s the way we grow and learn. Thankfully, it was not too far away. Now this arrangement meant that Shirley and Tina were sisters-in-law, and their children were now cousins. How cool is that? But if they thought I was going to feel jealous….well, no sirree! See, I already loved their 3 girls. Having 3 sons, I missed out on some of the girlie things and I loved being around Jolie, Jayna, and Amy. And since I claimed them as neices in my heart…I just
decided that I would be Shirley and Tina’s friend-in-law and that would be that. Shirley went back to teaching (Spanish) at the High School there, and quickly made new friends. She was even selected Teacher of the Year. But…Bless God…our friendship is as strong as ever. We may not see each other as often…but when we do….it’s like she never left. And they say “the road to a friends house is never long”….and this is true. So, Tina and I continue with our friendship and see each other and talk and make plans. Tina is a ‘get-it-done’ kind of girl, and I am so not. Oh, I have good intentions, BUT…I somehow manage to get sidetracked and I don’t follow through. Tina helps me stay focused. There’s not many people who I will let get away with telling me what to do….but I KNOW her words are true and right and necessary. Tina is a planner and an organizer. I am a “do it if I’m so inclined at the moment ” kind of girl. So when I have something that really needs to be taken care of….I rely on her. She keeps me going in the right direction…and doesn’t let me take too many breaks along the way. 🙂 She is also one of the strongest Christian women I know. When I have questions, I trust her answers….she is so wise to the ways of the Lord. We are fortunate to have understanding husbands who realize that this sisterhood is a very important part of our lives and they accept that. We take 2 or 3 trips together a year, usually within driving distance, and spend 3 days shopping, talking, shopping, eating, shopping, laughing, shopping …well…you get the picture. Now we can flat do some shopping. And the amazing thing is…we have such similar tastes that anyone of us could go in a store and pick out anything for the other and it would be perfect. We just like the same things, and we shop at the same pace. Stopping just when we need fuel to keep going. I think it’s called POWER SHOPPING. We call it RETAIL THERAPY. And it is. Of course, when the day ends…we have to bring all our treasures into the motel room and go through the bags and try on and show off and all that stuff. Then, we consolidate our purchases into smaller bags…in order to make room for the next day’s hunt. FUN! FUN! FUN!
Shirley is an inspirational speaker who travels around the south speaking at banquets, or seminars, or any special occasions. I will add her web page to my links for you. She is excellent. A dynamic, and inspiring speaker. Tina is a financial assisstant with a firm here in our city. She is so smart about numbers and taxes and stocks and bonds and all that stuff. I can’t even keep my own checkbook balanced. She and I had a little business last year, we would scout out flea markets and redo furniture, along with rustic and primitive accessories. What a blast! But, I stayed away from the books…all I did was sign when she said to. And although I trained as I nurse…I work as a kindergarten music teacher and try to keep my creative juices flowing with various crafting projects.
Once when we were away on a trip, Shirley brought along a personality profile test. We all took it, and the results were right on track. Shirley is the TALKER…she can talk to anyone about anything,and is also fluent in Spanish. Tina is the THINKER, she likes to study and learn and she puts much thought into the areas of her life. And I am the DOER. I love to try new things…there are just so many possibilities in life…and I want to try them all.
We have a special trip coming up in June. We are going to Hawaii!!
We are as excited as three little girls waiting for Christmas. What an adventure awaits us! I’ll talk more about that when it gets closer. But,
the most important thing we sister-friends do is pray together. It fills me with such joy to know they are calling my name to the Lord as I am theirs. How sweet a friendship is when the Lord is in the center of it