Over the years I’ve begun compiling a list of reasons why we need good friends. For example:
1. To proof read your resume. Seriously, have someone make sure you’re not putting stupid stuff on there. 

2. Calorie-laden food and beverage is best enjoyed in pleasant company. The calories diminish with laughter. Which is why book club and girls night are a means of exercise for me. 
3. Your kids don’t become your identity. Because to true friends you’re not H/M/C’s mommy, that is just an element of your identity. You’re YOU to good friends. 
4. Friends provide occasion to put on pants with real zippers and get out of the house, even if just for a walk. They also help you decide if you’re to a point that you can pull off horizontal stripes, jeggings or a fun hat. In short, friends are crucial to the shopping and wearing process. Because we all know husbands just don’t know how to answer the epic questions centered around how we really look in particular garments. 
5. Friends straighten a crooked theology. 
Though the first 4 reasons to have friends have been quite important to me as of late, number 5 poked his head in to say hello this past week. One of my favorite parts about being a youth director was our monthly cluster/cohort meeting with other area (NW Ohio) youth directors. I loved who I worked with, we had a great mix of personalities and perspectives and they always helped fulfill my hankering for thoughtful conversation. I’ve really missed several of these individuals over the years, as I’ve become further removed and as others have moved on to other positions and callings as well. My youth director friends landed a position in my Top 5 Groups I wish I could have a Reunion with list (also mentioned: college friends and my youth group kids). 
So when I posted the other day about some wonderings I had about God “moving into the neighborhood”, I asked a friend to educate me about a related topic. You know, Luther and the entire movement of the Reformation. Nothing big. And my friend was good to offer up some resources for me to be enlightened. 
He was also kind enough to call up my Trinitarian theology and show me some holes in my thinking. I was thrilled. 
The essence of blogging, for me, is to ponder; I’m such a verbal processor that this more or less keeps KLR from having to set the phone down while I rattle off umpteen different thoughts while she gets the dishes done or pays attention to her husband. I never hold that any post is absolute, but rather a beginning point. I’m not in a pulpit (nor do I want to be. Nor should I be). But if I were, my bloggy thoughts aren’t the place to begin.They’re more of the chatter over coffee “what if” variety. So, apologies if anyone ever thinks that they’re much more than that. 
Perhaps that’s why there are some pretty heated debates in the bloggy/social networking world. Others don’t have friends, like I do, who will simply converse and correct. Ask, differ and question but in a loving and considerate way. I’ve had more than one spiritual conversation over my meanderings, and I appreciate each one. Well, the ones in which I’m not simply trying to be converted to another way of thinking… but most of my conversational partners also enjoy a level of cerebral exercise, so it’s a mutual understanding that agreeing isn’t necessarily the goal. But sharpening, opening the eyes, or even heart, is paramount. 
I hope you have friends like that. Good friends that ask you to think, reconsider, or even go back to the drawing board. Friends that say, “what if…”. Yes, I hope you have friends like that.  
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