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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

#TuesdayTreasures: Guest post by Karen Pashley

Good Morning Friends,

It is with great pleasure I bring brand new author, Karen Pashley to share something she treasures with us....

Girlfriends—The lost Art of Healthy Female Relationships

"My friends are my estate." —Emily Dickinson

Ladies, if you’re like millions of women across America, doing their level best for their families, you know how it goes most days . . .

We nurture and we love, we kiss booboos, we juggle, and we pull our hair in a ponytail for the third straight day. We serve ourselves the last piece of chicken because it’s the ugly burnt one. We stay up later, get up earlier, drive across town and back, then across town again for our kids. We run as if our bodies have been issued a lifetime warranty and our souls can thrive even as they are continually depleted—and in the process of managing the lives of those we love, we are missing out on one of life’s most rewarding gifts.

Girlfriends.

I’m not talking about the women from the PTA or the football boosters, or our yoga class. I’m talking about deep, strong ties to other females—the kind of relationships that sustain us through the ups and downs of our crazy lives.

Girl talk. Laughter. Transparency. Shoulders to cry on, hands to clutch in prayer.

True friends are our cheerleaders, our mirrors, and our safe places. Ladies, we need each other!
In my new novel, I explore what goes through the mind and heart of a Christian wife who discovers her prominent husband is having an affair. Set in an affluent Southern community, I can totally relate to the struggle she feels when she contemplates her family’s future if the scandalous secret were to become public.

What my character realizes, is that among her tennis league pals, her neighbors and fellow moms, and even her church friends, she finds no one she feels comfortable confiding in. While her situation may be extreme, the feedback I’m hearing from my readers is that this yearning for deep female connection strikes a chord with many of them.

The women who came before us had a lot of issues to contend with: equality, career limitations, protocol to adhere to, standards to aspire to. But what they suffered due to societal ignorance, they made up for through their bonding and support of one another in the most intimate ways. Childbirth, child rearing, the responsibilities of preparing food and making clothing for their families, and the wisdom imparted from the older women to the younger about marriage, parenting, housekeeping and the faith and strength of character they needed to do it all with grace and dignity.

These women knew the value of girlfriends. The Bible is full of examples of the importance female connections. We see examples throughout the scriptures. Naomi and Ruth, Mary and her cousin Elizabeth, Esther and her precious fasting friends, and so many others.

Today we “bond” over soccer team meetings, snack duty, carpooling, office lunches, Facebook posts of our “amazing” lives and brilliant children, and the like.

No wonder so many women yearn for deeper, more meaningful friendships where they can be themselves—shortcomings and all, and be loved and accepted anyway.

As my fictional character discovers in Precious in His Sight, true relationships start with being vulnerable and willing. And meaningful friendships are often discovered in the most unlikely pairings when we open ourselves to the possibilities.

I thank God for the sweet sisterhood I enjoy with a diverse group of women. I might never have become close with any of them had I not been bold enough to be real and honest, and to allow my true self to be exposed.

Friendship is like a precious gem—a treasure of indescribable beauty and value. It is God-given, God-designed, and in my opinion, good friends are the nutrients needed in the starving souls of today’s multi-tasking women.


So make a point to call an old friend tonight. Get together for tea. Go for a walk in the park. Have some girls over for pizza and a movie. Be a friend to someone new. It’ll be good medicine for the both of you, and you’ll find that time spent with a good friend is an investment that yields the highest return!

You are so right, Karen! Friends, especially girlfriends are definitely something to treasure.

In addition to speaking and writing, Pashley is an accomplished foodie who founded “Girls Dine In,” a monthly gathering that is part supper club, part cooking class where she brings women together for great food and fellowship in the Nashville area. Whether cooking or writing or speaking, Pashley has her finger on the pulse of what women need, and she believes “Precious in His Sight” will resonate with women in a real way. Even before it was published, the novel was already garnering attention. The book was awarded first place in the unpublished novels competition at the 2014 Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference. The novel deals with some difficult moral issues that an unsuspecting wife must face. And the life-altering choices the book’s main character ultimately makes are already challenging a lot of Christians to think about their own personal beliefs.

“The life of a Christian is not all peaches and cream, nor should it be,” says Pashley. “But when we bend down and pick up the bricks of hardship, one by one, and apply the cement of the Holy Spirit to them, we are building an impenetrable wall of faith that cannot be constructed any other way. We must work with God rather than running from Him in our hardships. We must never lose our hope. Storms will come. We shouldn’t fear them. With God, we can persevere with dignity and joy.” For more information, visit www.KarenPashley.com.


Karen's debut novel, Precious in His Sight can be purchased at Amazon and other online retailers as well as your local bookstore. I've read this novel and it is definitely worth your time, energy and money! You can read my review here.

Hope you enjoyed today's treasure. 

Until next time, take care and be blessed!
PamT

13 comments:

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Karen,

Congrats on your debut novel! Thanks for the reminder about friends. We do lose track over the years.

Karen Pashley said...

Thank you, Jacqueline. The novel is touching women's hearts all over the country, which is such a gratifying experience. My own girlfriends have stood by my side through the ups and downs of writing and releasing a book, and for that I am truly thankful!

Nightingale said...

Girlfriends are a treasure. I don't know what I'd do without mine.

Tanya Hanson said...

I have four dear, lifelong friends I call my posse. One is my husband's sister, another my bff since we were five. We take several short trips together every year. Your book interests me because I could never remain with a man who betrayed me. I wonder how your story ends? Best wishes for much success, Karen.

Diane Burton said...

Best friends are a true treasure.

Patricia Kiyono said...

Lovely post. Connection with friends is so important, yet it's so easy to forget in the daily grind.

marilyn leach said...

Thank you for your post, Karen. Your book sounds like it holds blessings for all your readers. I am so grateful for the true friends in my life. They are worth more than gold. Cheers

Marissa Garner said...

Your post makes so many wonderful points we should all remember. Best of luck with your new book.

Alicia Dean said...

Excellent post. I have many friendships that I treasure. Sounds like your book is a heartfelt and compelling read. Best of luck!

Leah St. James said...

So, so true. In addition to my sister, I have several really close girlfriends I call sisters of my heart. (One friend I've known since grammar school days, a looong time ago.) I have been so truly blessed by their love and friendship. Great message.

M.J. Schiller, Romance Author said...

I am blessed in the girlfriend department. There are three ladies in particular...we call ourselves The Squad. And my two besties...time with them = stress relief! Thanks for sharing and best wishes for PRECIOUS IN HIS SIGHT!

Susan Coryell said...

I'd say for "my generation" (young adult maturing in the '60s) the greatest struggle was to balance out family with career demands. Responsible, reliable and affordable child care was particularly difficult. When we had a nano-second to bond, we women mused about how to do and have it all without decomposing. Your book promises a fresh look at a new generation of struggling females. Good luck.

Karen Pashley said...

Just wanted to re-visit this post and reply to all the wonderful, insightful comments. I was out of the country for a couple weeks and didn't keep up with y'all. Thanks for your responses and interest in the subject of girlfriends, and my new novel. Blessings to all!