Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Celebrating A Special FriendBy: Kelli Zaniel

If you are visiting from Rachel Olsen’s blog carnival…Welcome! This post is written in response to the blog carnival on the topic of friendship.

My mom is a y’all using, cookie baking, tear wiping, soap opera watching, fun loving girlfriend. She isn’t just a friend, she is also my momma. She loves hard, hugs hard and spanks pretty hard too.

Many years ago, I’m a sassy, headstrong tomboy who requires a lot of discipline. She’s famous for pulling switches off the local tree branch to discipline my misbehaving self. Christian sisters, please don’t judge. This is how we “train up a child” in the South.

Mom does all the things little girls depend on—

Back rubs,

Eskimo kisses,

Window shopping,

French braids,

Neighborhood walks, and

Late night talks.

It’s a year of princesses and pirate ships; however, I prefer Star Wars action figures. Chewbacca piloting the Millennium Falcon through galaxies far, far away is definitely my favorite. Mom shakes her head but always encourages me to follow my heart.

My stir-up pants come second to my football pants. I wear them a lot. Seemingly, they go with just about any shirt. Mom lets me know when I’m too old to play tackle football with the boys down the street. Only a real friend will tell you the truth even when it stings.

She lets me wear her High School cheerleading uniform and prom queen crown for Halloween. She pokes holes in my pickle jar so I can capture lightening bugs. We shoot hoops on our driveway after school. She calls the Avon lady and lets her do my colors. Despite the cosmetic guru’s opinion that red is not in my color pallet, mom says it always looks good on me.

At seven years old she introduces me to Jesus. She holds my sweaty, little girl palm as we sashay down the aisle together. “Accepting Jesus is the best decision you’ll ever make,” she says. “He is the ultimate friend.” She is absolutely right.

“Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you,"(John 15:15, NIV).

I am older now. I experience physical abuse at the hand of my (ex)husband. She, being both mom and friend, worries. She rushes to the hospital each time it happens.

When things don’t work out, she wipes away rivers of hurt that flood my face. She doesn’t say, “I told you so.” Instead she weeps alongside me. She reassures me that God loves me even when I think He doesn’t.

Friends catch us when we fall.

They help nurse old wounds.

They never leave us and they don’t give up. They love unconditionally and are always just a phone call away.

They pinky swear never to reveal our deepest hurts unless we ask them to.

Godly girls are good listeners, laugh at our jokes, encourage us in Jesus’ name, never let us attend pity parties alone, and always pick our side no matter how crazy we may seem.

My mom is a friend, a confidant, and a woman who reveres the Lord. She reflects the light of Jesus in everything she does. She is a truth teller; a Jesus follower; a gospel spreader; and the ultimate grace girl.

God knew what He was doing the day He handpicked her to be my mom and my friend.

“The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense,” (Proverbs 27:9, NIV).


  1. There is so much I love about what you wrote! I would use your first line to describe YOU with one change only... "She's a y’all using, cookie baking, tear wiping, STAR watching, fun loving girlfriend." There... perfect! I wish I'd known you as a little girl... we would have done Star Wars together... team Barbie would have never had a chance! What a wonderful momma you have and I know what a blessing you are to her :) This is the best definition ever of a godly girlfriend... "She is a truth teller; a Jesus follower; a gospel spreader; and the ultimate grace girl." That describes you too... I love you!

  2. What a beautiful picture of friendship! I love how you and your momma are so close. She's definitely smart for saying this: " “Accepting Jesus is the best decision you’ll ever make,” she says. “He is the ultimate friend.”"

    And I love this line: "God knew what He was doing the day He handpicked her to be my mom and my friend."

    Great post!

  3. That combination of love and truth is a wonderful mum gift. Your post makes me miss my mum even more!

  4. That is just beautiful! Makes me want to call my mom right now!! Thanks for sharing your sweet and tender memories with your mom. ~Samantha

  5. What a lovely post about a beautiful friend. My mom was the first girlfriend I had in my life. I miss her but am looking forward to a beautiful reunion one day :) I love reading about mom memories!

  6. Hi Heidi,

    Moms are great.I love how you talked about her.

    Reminded me of my mum too.

    God indeed knows whats best for you too

    Sweet blessings