Celebration of Friendship - Another Balcony Girl's Lesson

Friendships are undervalued these days. We have a lot of acquaintances – people we go to school or work with, people we see at church or at sporting events, or even at parties. But how many do we call a true friend? The kind of friend who speaks the truth in love, or that perseveres with us even in hard times? In this friend, we find a love that does not look for anything in return, as we look for ways to promote the interests and the happiness of others!

My Balcony Girls group learned another valuable lesson today, as we spent a day celebrating “friendship.” Since one of the girls in the group is moving away, today we had to say good-bye. It was not easy, because this one darling girl has been a real bright spot in the other girls’ lives for three years. She has also felt pain that none of these little girls have experienced, having lost her Mommy to cancer just 18 months ago.

Just this week red, vibrant tulips are blooming in our backyard. The Balcony Girls and I planted these bulbs in memory of this girl’s Mommy. What a true sign of friendship – because every Spring as I look at the beauty in these flowers, I’m reminded of what a beautiful woman her Mommy was, and how much that Mommy loved her daughter. We admired these tulips together today, talking about how these girls were there for their friend during a difficult time. And I must add that our sweet friend has been building a true friendship with her wonderful step-Mommy now, an added blessing to her young life!

This cohesive group of girls seemed to understand the loss today, of a friend moving away. As we celebrated, reminisced, signed journals, ate a yummy *GIANT CUPCAKE, exchanged gifts – you could just feel the love in the air.

We talked about a survey that was recently done, in which it was determined that the qualities that people find most valuable in friendships are: honesty, trustworthiness, loyalty, sense of humor, caring, fun, loving, understanding, good listening and kindness! Many of these virtues we’ve discussed in past Balcony Girl lessons!

We talked again about how friends are always there for each other. How we are to value our friends and give them priority in our lives. We should continue to build up and not tear down (our Balcony Girl’s mission!).

Yes, true friends are rare – and if we recognize their worth, we will continue to cultivate them. I have no doubt that these girls will stay in touch with their friend after she moves away. And friendships will continue to grow, even through cyber land.

Lastly, as the girls each painted their names onto a pillowcase to be sent with their friend, I explained that a true friendship mirrors the love God has for us. It is not just a “relationship” but also a generous love.

What a beautiful thought that is!

(My oven died right as I was putting our GIANT CUPCAKE in the oven this morning! So I quickly rearranged our snacks for the day, and I ran over to my neighbor's house to use her oven. Oh, when disasters happen! We’re having a dinner party tomorrow night. HOW WILL I DO IT WITHOUT AN OVEN? )

*If any local friends want to borrow my cool cupcake pan, give me a call! Don't buy one - they're $27 at Target, and I'd be happy to share!!


Myrna said...

How fortunate for the Balcony Girls to know the meaning of true friends so young---I'm excited because my kinship meets tomorrow---A group of women meeting together regularly for over 12 years!! I can't begin to share the rich benefits we have known :-)

A dinner party without an oven? Just think about camping. Stove top and BBQ are the key appliances----or a crock pot.

Ice cream with toppings is a great dessert that people don't usually have at home. Or yummy stove top Cherry Dumplings---Sweetened cherries (or other fruit) brought to simmer then top with Bisquick dumplings, cover and cook---absolutely fabulous with cream!!! Puddings are another no oven option. I remember a Thanksgiving my sister's oven went out right as the turkey went in---ask me, I'll tell you sometime.


~nanashouse~ said...

Once again~~as a new reader, thank you! I have a house full of 12 year old boys tonight. They don't want to bake--they want to have "missions" in the backyard! I'm all about Peace so this is hard for me :-{

So, while I get over myself, I am cooking meals, snacks, making beds, and fielding phone calls from Moms.

I'm just so Blessed to have them all here.

Dawn said...

I love the cupcake pan and so sorry about your oven! What a beautiful lesson for these girls to learn about.

Anonymous said...

Very cute cake pan!

~j~ said...

Now THAT is a cupcake pan.. bless your sweet neighbor for the use of her oven.

Those girls are absolutely precious looking. What a beautiful day of celebrating friendship Sandy. A day that they will tuck in their hearts and always remember with such joy is such a priceless gift. The sun was out the tulips blooming, the cake was baked, really a perfect day.
What a sweet read at the end of my day, many thanks Sandy,
love j

Org Junkie said...

Oh how hard for them to be losing one of their friends. What a beautiful send off you gave her. I've never heard of a giant cupcake pan but now I so want one :)


ValleyGirl said...

Another beautiful lesson, Sandy. These girls are so fortunate to have someone actually take the time to teach them the importance of true friendship at the age they are right now. It's important for all of us, but exactly at their ages, it's downright vital! Those early teen years can be rough on a girl.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hi, Sandy, haven't been by in awhile with my schedule these days..in and out of town & just plain busy. Just wanted to say hello and WOW, does that giant cupcake look scrumptious!


tearjerker said...


You are not allowed to make me cry at work!

How beautiful friendships are...my best friend lives in Kansas and, like us, have been having some financial difficulty. She is due to have her second child next month (possibly sooner, I can't wait to be an auntie again!) and last week had their phone cut off due to nonpayment. Well, it just so happened that I decided to call her right at this time and got a disconnected message. I was beside myself with worry until she got it reconnected and called me! (I know, worry does no one any good!)

BTW- I just saw one of those big cupcake pans for the first time about two months ago at Sur La Table. My husband is a chef so can you guess what his favorite store is?! LOL I don't remember how much they wanted for it though.


Anonymous said...

Blessings on that dear girl who lost her mother, Sandy. Heart just goes out to her! What a gift this time together must have been.

deb meyers

Tammy said...

This brought tears to my eyes, Sandy...so beautiful and poignant, and yet such an underlining joy underneath the sadness here!

GiBee said...

Sandy -- what are those books? They look very intriguing!!!

The cupcake looks delish!

Christine said...

What a tender time for your girls. I was reading and couldn't help feeling that these girls have a treasure that few receive at their age- knowledge of true love and friendship grounded in Christ. I know I never did! You are a blessing to them, as I know they bless you.
(This book better come out before my daughter is 8 or so, so I can start my own group with a "blueprint"!)

Mrs. Jones said...

Your Balcony Girls lessons are so appropriate for my daughter right now. She is in 7th grade, and trying to work through friendship troubles.

Have you ever thought about writing a book about Balcony Girls?


Andrea said...

That was such a touching post. I love the creative ideas like writing in journals, and painting their names on a pillow case for their friend.

They really are blessed to have these wonderful friendships.

And you are a blessing to all of them as you try to cultivate those growing friendships.

tjhirst said...

As a new reader from woolgatherings, I have quietly been enjoying your philosophy on entertaining. This post reminds me how isolating our social customs have become, keeping us from developing those true friendships you express. Your welcoming nature invites me to persevere and continue to open my own home to others that my family and I may connect with true friends, something that is essential for the next generation to carry forward.

Irritable Mother said...

These girls have, indeed, learned a wonderful lesson. True friends are rare and a precious treasure. I hope this lesson stays with them for their entire lives.

Kirstin said...

What a wonderful thing to celebrate! It sounds like they had an amazing time!

That cupcake pan is soooo cool! Too bad you don't live closer to me!

Sue Cramer said...

Absolutely awesome, love it!


Nadine said...

What a great story of friendship. I'm sure the little girl will take all the good things you have instilled in her and the friendships of all these girls with her.

Cool cupcake pan.

Rhonda said...

What an wonderful lesson on Friendship. These are girls are so blessed to have you in their lives and giving so freely of your time.

The cupcake cake is adorable!! I'm going to borrow it. When can I come over? Hah!

Anonymous said...

sandy - you are such an inspiration! i hope to one day start a group similar to balcony girls... thanks for all of the good advice and ideas.

Kristen said...

We lost a dear friend to cancer just this afternoon. 34 years old and she left behind a 6 year old girl. I hope and pray that she will encounter friendships like this along her life to help her get through life without her mommy.
Another treasured post. Just lovely.