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Friendship for Grown-Ups: What I Missed and Learned Along the Way

Overview

Do you long for a true friend?

"Isn't that what we all want? To be seen, in all our glory, for better or worse, the good, the bad, and the ugly and still be embraced?"

If only such friendships were easy to find. And keep. For Lisa Whelchel and millions of others, friendship is a challenge. The vulnerability, trust, balance, grace, and time required to develop and maintain strong friendships do not come easily.

Growing up as an actress in ...

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Friendship for Grown-Ups: What I Missed and Learned Along the Way

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Overview

Do you long for a true friend?

"Isn't that what we all want? To be seen, in all our glory, for better or worse, the good, the bad, and the ugly and still be embraced?"

If only such friendships were easy to find. And keep. For Lisa Whelchel and millions of others, friendship is a challenge. The vulnerability, trust, balance, grace, and time required to develop and maintain strong friendships do not come easily.

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 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.

Since then, she has traveled the ups and downs of friendship, learning about herself, others, and the kinds of friendship God designed.

A speaker, teacher, and compelling storyteller, Lisa writes from her heart and her head, sharing her story and helping women understand how to cope with the strengths and weaknesses of friendship, and basing all her advice on the foundation of our ultimate relationship with the Savior.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400202775
  • Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/4/2010
  • Pages: 222
  • Sales rank: 1,413,738
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Read an Excerpt

FRIENDSHIP for GROWN-UPS

What I Missed and Learned Along the Way
By Lisa Whelchel

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2010 Lisa Whelchel Cauble
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4002-0277-5


Chapter One

I Need Friends

A few years ago, I was asked to film The Facts of Life reunion movie and was thrilled. I still love all my friends from the show and am often asked about them.

In fact, one of the first questions I am always asked when someone recognizes me is, "Do you still keep in touch with the girls from the show?"

The answer is, "Yes, we do. But we don't see each other often." The situation is probably the same as with your girlfriends from high school and college. You are so close and you think you'll never grow apart, but life marches on and you find yourself heading down diverging paths. Whenever you get back together, though, things seem just like old times.

That's the best way to describe my relationship with the girls on the show, and that is exactly how it felt on the first day of rehearsal for the television reunion movie. The only difference was, instead of us being four girls over in the corner giggling between filming takes, we were grown women giggling in the corner.

One other thing hadn't changed. Have you ever noticed how junior high girls sometimes bond with each other by talking about another girl behind her back? It isn't that they don't like the other girl. Sometimes it's simply that they are bonding with this particular friend at the moment.

Have you also ever noticed that, even after we grow up, we sometimes still act like little girls, especially when we get together with friends? Well, this is what happened on the very first day of rehearsal for the telepic. All of us girls fell right back into sophomoric behavior by forming little cliques and talking about whoever wasn't in the room at the time.

For instance, Kim Fields (who played Tootie) and I would huddle in the corner and I might say, "Oh my goodness, can you believe Mindy did _________" (fill in the blank). Later, I'd be with Mindy (Cohn, who played Natalie) and say, "Well, I don't want to judge, but I heard that Kim ..." But I didn't stop there. Oh no, I had to take it one step further.

When I got back to the hotel room that night, I called Nancy McKeon (who played Jo) back home in California. Nancy was filming a television series and wasn't able to be in the reunion movie. When she answered the phone, I blurted, "We miss you terribly. Blair is only half the fun without Jo!" Then I jumped right in, "You are not going to believe Kim did this and Mindy said that and on and on." By the end of the conversation, we had had a positive bonding experience by talking negatively about the other girls.

I went to bed that evening but woke up in the night and couldn't get back to sleep. Out of the quiet, I heard the Lord whisper to my heart: You know, Lisa, you don't know why Kim does what you were gossiping about, and you don't have a clue about what Mindy is going through. But I know. And I would appreciate it if you wouldn't talk about my little girls that way.

I felt terrible. I love Kim, Mindy, and Nancy very much. I didn't mean anything bad by the things we were talking about. The truth is that all the talk I was making about them really was more about me-I was feeling extremely insecure that first day of rehearsal. It had been fifteen years since I had done any acting, and I felt so out of shape.

"I feel like a baseball player must feel after not playing in years," I had told my husband that night. "The timing of my swing is off, my throwing arm is weak. I'm striking out and overthrowing first base. I wonder if I still have what it takes?"

Because so much of my identity has been intertwined with performance, I was scared-and out of that fear I was attacking others. I wasn't being a safe person.

Thankfully, in the dark of the night, God brought my issue to light where healing could happen. As I realized my wrongs, I determined to set things right. The first thing I did was call Nancy and confess that I shouldn't have talked about our friends behind their backs. I even apologized for saying some things about her. Thankfully, she wasn't at home, so I only had to leave a message on her voice mail.

For the rest of the month of filming, I was careful to speak only positive things. If someone came up to me and started talking about someone else, I would say, "You know, I've noticed that she does that, but have you seen how much she's grown in other areas?" Or someone might start a conversation with me like, "I can't believe so-and-so would do such-and-such," to which I would reply, "I can't believe it either. I find myself doing the same thing sometimes. I wonder if we'll ever grow up!"

An interesting thing happened. I was soon perceived as a safe person. Over the weeks the cast and crew drew close to me, and we had wonderful conversations and times of bonding. At the end of the month, on the last day of filming, so many people came up to me and said: "Lisa, when you arrive on the set, it is like a rainbow appears." "You just don't carry any baggage with you to work, do you?" "I've been watching you this month. You're different."

Yes, there is a time and place for healing words. What I didn't know until this experience was that sometimes more healing is available to others by the things we don't say than by the things we do say. People are hungry for safe havens. Places where they can be themselves-without judgment, fear of exposure, or betrayal. People hunger for spaces of grace, understanding, acceptance. Safe people know what God was trying to tell me in the middle of the night. Despite what we think we see on the outside, everyone is hurting on the inside. If we have allowed God to come inside our hurting places to bring love and healing, then even if we haven't walked in their shoes to know what they're going through, we can know what it feels like to be hurt and healed.

Early Lessons

I wish I could report that I continued to steadily grow in the area of friendships after this lesson, but unfortunately, that isn't the case. My history with friendships has been sputtering, at best. I left home when I was twelve to move to Hollywood and was working in television during most of my school-age years when we typically learn the ins and outs of friendship. And my experiences before that weren't all that positive.

I was painfully shy, which is the reason I got into acting in the first place. My second-grade teacher, Mrs. Clark, was worried because I rarely went out on the playground at recess. I preferred to sit on the sidelines and read a book or, better yet, stay in the room and help her.

During a parent-teacher meeting, she shared her concerns with my mother, who then signed me up for a drama class to help me overcome my shyness. It worked as long as I was performing on stage, but I was still a scared little mouse one-on-one.

My best friend from third grade on was a preacher's kid named Paul. He grew up to be the valedictorian of the senior class and now lives in Greenwich Village as an opera singer. I was considered a Jesus Freak who wore a huge wooden cross necklace and carried my Bible to school to have Bible study with Paul at lunch. We were quite a pair. As you can imagine, we weren't part of the popular crowd.

Oh, I had friends on my softball team and in my Girl Scout troop, but I always felt like an outsider. It wasn't just my imagination. I did march to the beat of a different drummer-which has the same effect on "mean girls" as the scent of blood has on sharks. I remember changing classes one day in sixth grade. Just the weekend before, I had won a citywide talent show as a ventriloquist, and my picture was in the local paper. A handful of girls brought the newspaper to school and cornered me in the hall. They surrounded me, and at first, I thought they were sincerely proud of me.

I was wrong. With smiles on their faces, the girls held the paper in front of my nose and tore it down the middle.

Perhaps it was a mercy that I didn't have a traditional junior high or high school experience.

But I missed that whole time period when it's relatively safe to learn from your mistakes; navigating the world of close friendships for the first time in my forties has been awkward, to say the least.

On the upside, I am older and wiser now, enough to observe myself go through it while at the same time experiencing it. That means I can learn from my friendship foibles and faux pas and then write about them and, perhaps, spare you from some of the embarrassments and disappointments I've experienced.

While I'll elaborate more on all the gory details later on in this book, suffice it to say here that a few years ago I suffered a breakdown of sorts and went to a counselor for help. The treatment and cure surprised me, and I think it will surprise you too. Pure and simple, the medicine I needed was friends. That's right: friendship.

Who knew? Certainly not me. I had barely been seeing a therapist for a month when she remarked, "Lisa, you have the most elaborate defense mechanisms I've ever encountered. Your mind has created backup protections for just about any direction I attempt to reach your heart."

Thankfully, she wasn't daunted. She had a solution and a goal. "Your head has figured out a way to tell your heart that it isn't really feeling what it is feeling," she explained. "There will come a day when your heart will rebel and come screaming to the surface and tell your head to stop telling it what to think and how to feel." She discerned that there were some significant repressed memories and that my subconscious fortress would never give up its secrets until it had some outside support systems in place.

She suggested that we shelve for a season some of the issues that were presenting themselves and concentrate on creating a superstructure of supportive friends. She was all for digging at the roots, but her theory was that once I felt safe enough, many of the answers would offer themselves as I was ready.

So we spent the next few months talking about friendships, specifically, grown-up, female friendships. Yes, we certainly delved into the world of friendships with family members, but that is another story, not included in this book. So, if you notice a few missing lead characters like my husband, mother, father, brothers, and children, you're not imagining the gap. These relationships are left out on purpose. Friendships within family are a beautiful gift, but they involve nuances that would distract from my recent journey, which has been more specifically of the girlfriend kind.

Mostly, my counselor and I explored why it was difficult for me to allow friends to get close to me. We talked about how to identify safe people and how to implement boundaries. Through authentic conversation with my professional friend, I was learning how to be more honest and vulnerable and, thus, make a two-way connection possible.

We started by taking a good long look at my oldest friendships. They definitely reflected my head and heart split. But I learned never to underestimate the power of tears, need, brokenness, desire, grace, and love. I gingerly practiced vulnerability with my old friends and then tiptoed into opening myself up to the possibility of new friends.

Growing in Friendship

Within the context of relationships, I began to experience deep healing and to grow healthier, and that is what this book is really about. It is not a "how-to" book on making friends and creating lasting relationships. That is a worthy book, but I'm not qualified to write that one. Instead, I will simply share my story and hope that you will find yourself drawn in to join me on this journey. Where are we headed? I don't know exactly; I'm not there yet.

I am still in the beginning stages of learning how to connect at an intimate level. On a good day, I would say that I'm in the middle of the messy, mysterious part of a journey into friendship. That's okay. I have a sneaking suspicion that the mess and the mystery are essential to friendship for grown-ups-that friendship this side of heaven may not get any cleaner or clearer.

At one time or another, and all at the same time, friendship feels scary, hopeful, overwhelming, life-giving, aching, enriching, stretching, and oxymoronically like a deeply satisfying hunger. Relationships can cause us to feel off balance and out of control, which makes it so much easier to give up our clutching for self-sufficiency and to grasp onto the Lord in utter dependence.

So this isn't a book full of answers as much as it is replete with my questions. And yet ...

There's one answer I don't question: God is much more able to lead you on your personal journey of friendship than I am. You are uniquely you. He knows exactly who you are and what you need and who can best meet your needs. Your process won't look exactly like mine any more than we both have the same basic features but probably look very different. Three things I do know probably for sure: God will lead you very personally and gently, the path won't be anything like you expect, and the walking out of his plan will take longer than anticipated.

And I am here to say it is worth it. For me, the last few years of learning about grown-up friendship have been difficult and painful, but I have so much growth to show for them. My heart has been broken, but that was a severe mercy. Without the brokenness, I couldn't have known my need. Without realizing my need, I wouldn't have risked reaching out to others. Without entering into relationship with others, I would have missed authentic connection. With the vulnerability that comes with honest connection, I learned the importance of identifying safe people. Finding safe people cushioned me with love and courage to face conflict for the things that matter rather than choosing peace at any price. Learning conflict resolution skills made way for intimacy, and intimate friendship created an atmosphere of grace.

Grace, of course, ushered in self-acceptance. Embracing myself helped me believe and receive God's love. Resting in his delight changed me forever.

For years, I tried to get to an understanding of God's grace and love all by myself. But God had a different plan. He created us for relationship-not only with himself but also with others. If God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit need each other, then where in the world did I get the impression that he was impressed with my Lone Ranger exploits?

The truth is I need friends.

There, I said it. That was hard. I don't like needing anything because to need feels dangerous and is dangerous. But the reward is nothing less than the possibility of intimacy with God, yourself, and others. In my opinion, that is the closest thing to Heaven on Earth.

Chapter Two

The Facts of My Life

Once upon a time ... and so begins my storybook childhood. I am the firstborn child of two parents who loved me. At the age of four, I became a big sister to an adorable baby brother. Along the way, we always had at least one beloved family dog.

As with all storybook tales, there was a mix of good and bad, dark and light, happy and sad. But until fairly recently, I could only allow myself to see the positive, look on the bright side, the glass is half-full perspective. I admit I've been a die-hard Pollyanna.

Well, I can't say the irrepressible optimist in me has died, but she's certainly facing some health challenges. Looking at the darker chapters of my childhood story has been a reluctant journey for me. I've been afraid of the dark, and I didn't dare go there alone. Thankfully, God sent wonderful friends to hold my hand and gently guide me along the way.

For instance, not long ago I was having tea with my friend Marilyn Meberg (who also happens to be a therapist). We were talking about my very public struggle with weight when I was on The Facts of Life. I got to the part in the story where I share how, during seasons two and three, my character, Blair, started gaining a lot of weight. (I'm going to blame Blair for packing on the extra pounds, so I don't have to take any personal responsibility for it.) As you can imagine, the producers weren't very happy. After all, they had cast me to play a character who looked a certain way (beautiful and thin), and I was quickly outgrowing that role (and my Eastland Academy uniform).

(Continues...)



Excerpted from FRIENDSHIP for GROWN-UPS by Lisa Whelchel Copyright © 2010 by Lisa Whelchel Cauble. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Foreword....................ix
Acknowledgments....................xiv
One I Need Friends....................1
Two The Facts of My Life....................12
Three It's Okay to Be Needy....................24
Four A Merciful Breakdown....................42
Five Where Do I Begin?....................64
Six New Friendships with Old Friends....................79
Seven Women of Faith....................92
Eight Who Are Safe People?....................115
Nine Afraid to Be Free....................132
Ten Let's Get Real....................141
Eleven Conflict Can Be a Good Thing....................152
Twelve From Head to Heart....................163
Questions for Reflection or Discussion....................179
Appendix One: You Gave Me a Friend....................185
Appendix Two: Practical Steps for Developing and Growing Friendships....................190
Appendix Three: Conversation Prompts....................213
Notes....................219
About the Author....................222
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Makes you think about your friendships

    Friendship for Grown Ups by Lisa Whelchel was actually pretty interesting. Especially if you grew up watching Facts of Life and know who Lisa Whelchel was. This book actually made me rethink how I approach my friendships. It made me re-evaluate how I am as a friend and how I can be a better friend. This book did include a lot of her past friendships and how they worked and/or didn't work. I would have liked to see this book a little more informational than biographical. But overall, it really made me think about my friendships and how I could be a better friend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 26, 2010

    Transparent, Honest, Enjoyable, But...

    You may remember Lisa Whelchel, she played the character of Blair on the TV show The Facts of Life back in the eighties. She recently released her latest book, Friendship for Grown-Ups. As a childhood actress and celebrity she appeared to have it all: beauty, success, fame. Even as a wife, mother, and follower of Christ she put forth the veneer of perfection in all she was and did. In her book, she reveals the truth. Having struggled with building and maintaining relationships all her life, she openly shares the challenges she faced and the journey she took in learning how to develop authentic friendships.

    Having watched her TV show back in the eighties, I looked forward to reading her book. As a Christian woman and homeschooling mom I was interested in what insights she had to share in regards to friendships as a grown-up. The book was easy to read and I appreciate her transparency and honesty in sharing her heart. There are three appendix' in the back of the book. The one I found very helpful contains Conversation Prompts. However, I found the book disappointing as it mixed a lot of popular psychology with theology, rather than resting on solid biblical truth as a foundation.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    Really?

    Why can't anyone write a short, simple review?

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2010

    Great Insight from Her Personal Experiences

    Remember when friendships were simple--when who's house you'd sleep over, the game you'd play next, and how long you'd hang out were about as complicated as it got? Secrets were safe, conflict was short-lived, and no matter how huge a fight seemed, you knew, "I'm not your friend anymore" really meant "By the time I see you at school tomorrow, everything will be back to normal." Oh, for simpler times when a friendship bracelet or one of those two-piece "Best Friends Forever" necklaces was enough to keep you connected. In the words of Edith and Archie Bunker, "those were the days."

    Fast-forward about 25 years when time, hormones and circumstances all converge and change everything. Now, instead of Edith and Archie, it's another T.V. star from my childhood with some wisdom to impart. In Friendship for Grown-ups, Lisa Whelchel (remember Blair from The Facts of Life?) addresses the challenges of maintaining friendships once friendship bracelets are not enough. In this quick-read, Lisa talks candidly about her own struggles with adult friendships and how the "friend who sticks closer than a brother" helped her to overcome.

    Lisa shares a number of lessons she's learned over the years. She discusses how she learned the value of transparency and proper timing in developing relationships, and allows us to be a fly on the wall as she navigates the often muddied waters of adult, female friendships. Her subtitle emphasizes her intention to share what she "missed and learned along the way," and to accomplish this, she invites us into some key friendships she's both enjoyed and endured as an adult. I couldn't help hoping that she'd changed the names to protect the innocent, as she discussed some very sensitive issues. I do, however, appreciate her sharing those experiences as they offer some valuable lessons for the reader.

    The book includes a discussion guide, conversation prompts, and a section entitled, "Practical Steps for Developing and Growing Friendships." I definitely recommend adding this to your arsenal as you fight to build authentic and lasting friendships.

    I reviewed this book as a part of Thomas Nelson Publishers' BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    easy to read

    I think that writing a book would be one of the hardest things to do. Not only would you have to be a good writer (which I am not) but you would also have to be willing to be transparent and make yourself vulnerable. After all, your book will in some way open up a part of your life, your thoughts and emotions. Then when your book is reviewed, you are putting yourself in a position of those qualities that you've shared being criticized.
    In her book Friendships for Grown Ups, Lisa Whelchel does just that. She candidly discusses walls that she had built around herself for protection and the lack of ability to build friendships because of those walls. Lisa openly and honestly shares her deep, personal struggles and how God began to break down those walls in her life. She discusses how needy she felt and how she was finally able to begin building deep, lasting relationships.
    I did enjoy the book and at times could empathize with Lisa's struggles. I felt that the book offered some good tips,but I will say that at times I was grateful not to be a friend of Lisa's with all the details of that relationship being shared so publicly! My first thought was that the book would be better geared toward teens or young adults. Yet as I've read reviews for her book, I was amazed at how many adults shared how they too could relate with Lisa's experiences and insecurities. My only real problem with the book is when she shares about having a male "sponsor" that she called daily to talk about her problems. Lisa did end the relationship when she realized where it could lead, but perhaps she could be a bit clearer that a relationship of that type should never be started. This would be a good book for anyone who struggles with developing friendships.
    I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2010

    Do you need help making friends? Read "Friendship for Grown-Ups" by Lisa Welchel

    Friendships for Grown-ups by Lisa Welchel

    I've been a fan of Lisa Welchel's for quite some time. She has been a great role model for young women when there weren't many to be found. Therefore, I was thrilled to be sent her book "Friendship for Grown-ups" to review by BookSneeze.

    This book poignantly describes how Ms. Welchel struggled to have real, meaningful friendships as she grew up. She explains why she built walls around herself - mainly for protection - and how God was able to break down those walls. It was a journey that I'm sure was painful at the time, but one she is obviously glad she made.

    I found myself relating to some of the things she faced as a young woman who loved God. I cried along with her as she struggled with learning to make real, meaningful friendships. I understood her desire to be known for who she is and yet still loved. Her journey, and the lessons she learned along the way, are inspirational as well as heart-felt. The lessons were clearly well-learned as she was able to give "Practical Steps for Developing and Growing Friendships" at the end of her book.

    Not only did Ms. Welchel bare her heart and soul in this book, she opened the doors for others to share her journey. She encourages us to get to know ourselves, as well as develop a real, personal relationship with the God Who loves us, and then we'll be able to open ourselves up to other friendships. The journey may be painful at times, but it will be so worth the time and effort.

    I would highly recommend this book to others who may be having a hard time making friends.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2010

    Very Relatable

    I had the chance to review Friendship for Grown-ups by Lisa Whelchel through Booksneeze.


    The former Facts of Life star describes how she had to learn to come out of her shell and trust others. It was by God's grace that she was able to find true friends, but not before she had some painful experiences.


    While this is more of a memoir than a how-to book, it was easy to see the lessons that she learned along the way.


    I had previously read her Creative Correction book and participated in a Bible Study based off the guide to that book. In addition, I grew up watching Facts of Life, so it was really interesting to read her story.


    I could identify with a lot in her book and would recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 26, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Friendships are a Gift

    One of the best things for me is that my very best friend was able to make it to my party with her lovely daughter. I have not seen her in over a year and was thrilled to have them at my home. Now we have friends but to spend time with my Bestest Friend of over 35 years made my heart sing. It is so interesting how our friendship has grown as we became grown-ups. Seeing us through the birth of our children (even though there is a 19 year difference in their ages), marriages and divorces, moves all over Texas and the world...friendship has held as a very tight bond.

    Do you have that kind of true friend? Is there a friendship that makes being a woman (or man) that much easier? What is the best part of a close friendship no matter how far apart you may physically be? Lisa Welchel (from The Facts of Life) has written a book, Friendship for Grown-Ups. It is part of the Women of Faith book selections. I loved reading this book and it made me think so much of my great friendships. It was great to read how our friendships are gifts from God. That as gifts we are to treat them special. And of course the best part of a gift is un-wrapping them and seeing the beauty unfold. Lisa takes us step by step into why we need friends and how to appreciate the beauty of the gift friendship is. I do wish to thank Book Sneeze for sharing this great gift with me too!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Friendship for Grown-Ups What I Missed and Learned Along the Way By Lisa Whelchel

    Friendship for Grown-Ups What I Missed and Learned Along the Way
    By Lisa Whelchel
    I was not drawn to read the book Friendships for Grown-Ups - What I Missed Along The way by Lisa Welchel because I knew her as the person who played the character of Blair on The Facts of Life. It was actually the title that drew me to the book.
    In this book Lisa shares about her personal need and longing for deeply connected friendships. She describes friendships from her youth through current relationships today and she calls them a journey with many bumps in the road and no final destination. Each corner you turn promises more adventure.
    Lisa shares about the wall of busyness she built to protect her from intimate relationships and the freedom that came from true, intimate friendships when she began to tear down that wall and other obstacles that protected her from becoming transparent.
    Lisa explains that there are levels of friendship. Some may be just an acquaintance for life while others are true "safe" friends for life. She offers suggestions to take you from one level of friendship to the next and how to identify "safe" friends.
    Lisa shares how her faith in God is the foundation to her having authentic friendships and her friends are the visible manifestation to her of God's grace. Like Gods grace, true "safe" friendship says that there is nothing a person can do to change the way a friend feels about you or you about your friend.
    I relate to Lisa and the struggles she has had with friendships. I feel like I am a lot like her in many ways. To me it seems easier to just not have close relationships. When you open your heart to trust a friend only to have it trampled and torn because your trust was misplaced, then a person tends to withdraw from going back to that place because of the pain and humiliation. Lisa has shown me that just because one friend betrays does not mean that all will do the same. She has shown me that I am missing out on the "visible manifestation of God's grace" by not stepping out and trusting once again to find true "safe" friendship. I am now beginning the same journey Lisa. Thank you for sharing.


    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    An Amazing Read for All Women!

    Friendship for Grownups is a great gift for women of all ages and faiths. Despite the fact that author Lisa Whelchel found strength from the Lord's word and guidance in learning to form and nurture valuable friendships, the tips and advice that she offers are for everyone. Friendship for Grownups is an account of Lisa Whelchel's personal and emotional journey through life as she learns to drop the mask, be a safe person and nurture relationships and friendships that mean something.

    Lisa takes her close relationship with God, uses His Word as her guiding light as she learns to let down her façade and defenses, and let people see her vulnerability. She trusts His Word wholly as she works hard to nourish and nurture the different types of friendships she forms. She shares her journey and learning with us and gives to us Friendhship for Grownups, a book that every woman must read and use to create and strengthen meaningful, life-affirming friendships.

    This book will make the perfect gift for moms, daughters, sisters and friends. Use it at your book discussion or read it along with a friend and make use of the honest and sensitive approach that Lisa has taken to develop great friendships in the grown-up world. I reviewed this book thanks to www.booksneeze.com

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2010

    written from her heart

    Author of Creative Correction, pastor's wife, former child actor, mom, FRIEND. Author Lisa Welchel shares her candid and enlightening outlook of friendships. I was sad with her as she shared about a good friend spilling secrets. From the back cover: "Do you long for a true friend? 'I'snt that what we all want? To be seen, in all our glory, for better or worse, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and still be embraced'?"

    Friendship for Grown-ups: What I Missed and Learned Along the Way is a touching story of how Lisa developed her own friendships. We can all learn from (and often relate to) her struggles.
    I received a free copy of this book from BookSneeze.com in exchange for my honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    We all need friends!

    What I have taken away from my reading of Lisa Whelchel's book Friendship for Grownups, is a reminder that we were created for fellowship with God and friendship with people. And both matter to all aspects of our life. And both are interrelated.

    Though Lisa's life is well known to millions of people from her acting days on the show "The Facts of Life' this book introduces her to a new group of people who perhaps have never seen the show but now know her as one who, by and with God's grace and help, broke through the barriers of fear and anxiety regarding friendship, and into a new depth of relationship with God and others.

    Autobiographical in nature, Friendship For Grownups reveals the struggles of an adult to get past deeply held inner barriers that caused her to rely more on performing 'perfectly' than to develop a manner of appropriate honesty in developing good and life affirming relationships.

    And you do not have to be a former Hollywood child star to know how hard that is.

    Lisa provides some practical ways to help people in her struggles to find 'safe people' in which to confide and also support in return; the deeply renewing value of friendship given without regard for an expectation of friendship in return; and an honest recognition of fear that comes with risking one's deepest hopes, dreams, fears, and failures in the pursuit of rich and honest human community and faith in the Lord. But most important is her discovery of the link between honesty in our human relationship and honesty in our relationship with the Lord and how the one can aid the other in really experience the grace and love of God.

    Though it is written with women in mind, I guarantee you that many men would benefit from reading this book.

    (Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Blogger Review program called Book Sneeze (www.booksneeze.com) I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.")

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2010

    Friendship for Grown-ups by Lisa Whelchel

    She may always be known as Blair Warner, the snobby girl on the Facts of Life, but in real life, Lisa Whelchel is anything but. In her book, Friendship for Grown-ups, Lisa recounts her difficulties in opening up to people and guarding her true self. She tells of how she used her faith to help her open up and develop close, meaningful relationships. It's not your typical book written by a "celebrity". She comes across as someone you'd like to get to know over coffee. Although we don't have the same backgrounds (I'm not a celebrity by any means), her experiences and feelings are similar and far reaching. It's easy to feel a connection with her, as you would a friend, through her writing. The reader walks away having learned something that will help foster their own friendships through faith and opening up and showing someone who you really are. A great book for individuals and also a great book for book clubs. Though I feel it was aimed more for a female audience, men can learn from it as well. Blair Warner (Lisa's role on Facts of Life) wasn't the only one to have "a brilliant idea" - Lisa did too by writing this book. Much enjoyed and will read again.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com <http://BookSneeze.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Inspiring

    We're grownups aren't we? But sometimes we don't act like grownups, especially when it comes to how we manage our friendships. In her latest book, "Friendships for Grownups," Facts of Life star and Women of Faith speaker Lisa Whelchel helps readers grow up a little in their friendships. Using her own personal experience, Whelchel opens up about the importance of both finding and becoming a safe friend. She teaches readers to find friends they can be open with and grow with. In such friendships, people can feel free to be themselves and to act human. Whelchel also discusses how grace in friendships can point toward the true grace of God.

    With a beautiful heart for women and a wonderful humility, Whelchel has written a book that will hit a core with any reader. It certainly hit a core with me. I've always been a loner, but I've also always desired deep friendships. While I still have no idea where to start finding such friendships and while my desire to be a part of a team of women (like Women of Faith) has only deepened, Whelchel's story has given me courage. I recommend this book for anyone and everyone with the same deep desires for open friendship.


    I received a free copy of this book from BookSneeze.com in exchange for my honest review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2010

    An Honest, Vulnerable Account of Adult Friendships

    I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

    What I love most about Lisa Whelchel's book about grownup friendships is the honesty of her writing. I have read two other books that Lisa wrote. While I learned a lot from those books, I didn't feel that connection with Lisa as a person that I feel with some other writers. I felt like she certainly knew what she was talking about, but I thought that she was way too "together" to be friends with someone like me. Not that I often become friends with the authors of books that I read, but I like the feeling of connection. I certainly connected with the Lisa Whelchel who wrote this book. Her vulnerability is so prevalent throughout this book that at times my heart truly hurt for hers as she chronicled her struggle to learn how to be a friend and to receive friendship.

    For me, this book was not only a primer about friendship, it also led me to think a lot about my friendship with God as mirrored by my relationships with others. I've been thinking a lot about grace and how I receive it. From this book I learned how to choose a safe friend, but maybe more importantly, I was confronted with the idea that maybe I have not been the friend to others that I truly want to be. I'm not sure that I have always been a safe friend, but now that I know better I can do better.

    Another thing that I love about this book is that in the appendices, Lisa offers questions for each chapter that helped me to think through what I had just read. She also gives very practical and doable applications that relate to the information she shared in each chapter. I enjoyed the list of conversation starter questions she includes as well. I like it when a book pushes me past assimilating thoughts and into working out those ideas in my daily life.

    I think this would be a great book to read and discuss with a trusted friend. Having a true friend with whom you can completely be yourself and share your life makes each day a little richer and is certainly worth the effort.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2010

    Friendship for Grown-Ups by Lisa Whelchel

    I went to my first Women of Faith conference this past weekend with a group of ladies from a local church. I only knew two people that were going and I wasn't very close friends with either one. I would classify them both as friends, but they weren't the type of friend that I would call out of the blue if I really needed help. Lisa Whelchel was there Friday night and I was really looking forward to listening to her speak. Several of my friends have read her book Creative Correction and a couple of others. I waited until I returned from the conference to open the book, because I knew I didn't have time to finish it before going and I wanted to hear her speak first. Lisa Whelchel is a new author for me and I was a worried about opening this book. I never imagined I would fly through it and sob like a baby while reading. From the first paragraph of the book, I did not want to put it down. Lisa's way of writing was very vulnerable and honest. I cried as I thought, I could write these exact same words. Of course, my writing would not be as beautiful and poignant as Lisa's were. This book is full of stories of situations that happened in Lisa's life with different relationships. There is scripture to back up a lot of what Lisa is saying. This book validated some feelings I have had after friendships ended. The book explained safe people and how we all need them. I realized that I have not always been a safe person and that several people I have considered safe people really are not at all safe. There was so much wisdom in this book, but at the same time it was an easy read. It felt like she was sitting across the table talking to me. I would recommend this book to others.

    Per FTC guidelines: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Booksneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2010

    Uplifting, but chaotic flow.

    I read this book in less than a day, at least, I read all of the book itself. I haven't gotten around to looking at the large chunk of various guides and appendices at the end of the book yet. At 178 pages, it's a relatively quick read. While I must say I did like this book overall, I feel that it had a few shortcomings that stood out to me quite glaringly. The first is that it jumps around so much, that it's impossible to gain any idea of what sort of time line these events she deals with happen in. I think it would be much more helpful if I could discern the time line, to be able to truly grasp her journey. Second, I feel that while the author may not be, this book markets itself almost as a self-help style of book, while it's most definitely not. I do not think it was ever the author's intention for this book to be a self-help book. I would describe this book more as the recap of a person attempting to follow the guide of a self-help book, if that makes sense. She documents her experiences with growing and trying to learn how to get and maintain friendships.

    The biggest thing that bothers me about this book is the numerous references. This book relies very heavily on referencing other books, quotes, articles, including the bible. I have not read any of these other books, and I am not one who studies the bible to any degree. So these references, while they may sometimes include quotations, make it very difficult to get everything possible from this book. It's almost as if to get everything one could from this book, that person would have to go and read all of the books the author mentions, as well as look up all the different scripture quotes.

    All of that being said, I do admit that I liked this book fairly well. It seems fairly "real" to me, and mostly realistic. Though not all of us have the luxury of being able to go to various conferences and going on different retreats to find out who we are and what we need. However, I wish more people would follow this road, and use Lisa as a role model, because this world truly needs more "safe people," as she calls them in the book. It would be refreshing if we could all follow some of her examples and be good friends, as well as have good friends.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: As a participant in the book review bloggers program, I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers. Reviewers are not required or encouraged to post a positive review. The opinions in this post are mine and mine alone. This disclosure required by the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    We All Need Friends

    Like many women my age, I grew up envying the relationships between Blair, Jo, Natalie and Tootie on The Facts of Life. I thought the relationships between the girls epitomized everything that a friendship between girls should be ~ loving, supportive and genuine. In my child's mind, I didn't realize that the friendships were fictional. Lisa Whelchel, who played Blair, writes: "I think there is a certain irony in the fact that the television show I was on was all about female friendships, and yet in real life I had very little experience with close relationships." This book is her exploration of what impeded her ability to develop close relationships and how she found healing and acceptance.

    Written in a casual tone, Friendship for Grown~Ups is part diary and part self~help book. Lisa asks challenging questions and provides thoughtful insight into a topic that can be overlooked in the day~to~day lives of "real" women: friendship. As busy moms, we know how important it is for our children to develop relationships with their peers but we often forget how important it is for us as adults too. Or, as in my case, we spend so much time focusing on our children that we forget how to develop/maintain friendships.

    I appreciated the honesty with which Lisa wrote the book. It had to have been difficult to be so vulnerable and expose past hurts. I believe that is one of the key points of Lisa's book: It's ok to be vulnerable. In order to develop and maintain friendships as adults, it involves a certain amount of vulnerability and trust. Like Lisa, I struggle with making and maintaining relationships because of a fear of rejection and thinking that I'm bothering people when I call (or text). Lisa offers a look at friendship from a Christian perspective and asserts that God allows us to be put into places of vulnerability to open our hearts not only to Him but to other women around us. Lisa encourages us to step out on faith and believe that God will place the right people in our lives at the right time.

    Disclosure: This is a Thomas Nelson Review. I received this book free through Booksneeze.com in exchange for a review. I am not required to write a positive review, just an honest one. This did not influence my opinion of the book.

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    Posted July 29, 2011

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    Posted September 27, 2011

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