Thursday, April 12, 2007

Don’t call me, I’m in a meeting

I have a lot to do today but I’m putting it on hold. I have to go to a meeting.

My colleague and I are meeting over lunch to discuss our businesses: what’s going well, what’s not, and what our projected profits are going to be through the next five years. She has a book to give me that will help me with strategy, and I’m recommending a seminar to her that will help her with staff training. At the end of the meeting we will make plans for a retreat in the summer.

No, don’t worry, I’m not going to sell you something. My colleague is my friend Carol, and our businesses are our families.

Carol and I have known each other for several years. We met when our sons played their first season of baseball together in second grade. I was homeschooling; she was considering it, and we struck up conversation. Then our two older daughters became friends with hers, and that sealed our joint venture in the motherhood business.

Carol is a straight-shooting West Texas gal who calls it as she sees it. I need her in my life. She’s the kind of friend who helps clean out closets and flower beds, and might show up on my doorstep with a roast one day “because we just can’t eat all this.”

It took a while for a decidedly non-confrontational Norwegian girl like me to realize what a blessing this kind of friendship can be. I tell Carol my plans, and she’ll say something like, “Why on earth would you want to do that?” Then I stutter through my reasoning until she is satisfied with my thought process, or I convince myself what a ridiculous idea it was in the first place.

Over the years in our “meetings” (which are sometimes by phone) Carol’s helped me think through our educational decisions (even though mine eventually went a different direction from hers) and discipline issues. We’ve dreamed together about beautiful flowers, and struggled together over keeping laundry and housework from overtaking us. One of the biggest things we do is check on each other’s aim to keep our family schedules from running away with us (some years with better success than others!). Even though our personalities are almost polar opposite, she’s held me accountable to our mutual goal to be the kind of wives and mothers we need to be for our families. It's definitely a God thing.

Mostly, though, we bake cookies and eat them together. Used to, we’d call each other up and say, “I’m coming over. You baking something?” I’d kick the toys out of the way and throw the breakfast dishes in the sink and say, “Now I am! What’cha hungry for?”

Lately, though, our lives have gotten more complicated, so we’ve had to resort to scheduling our appointments ahead of time. Guilt-free, we’ve had this "engagement" on calendar for quite some time now. The little girls will play while we commiserate over chocolate chip cookies. Or maybe peanut butter. Hmm.

We probably won’t solve much, but we know we’re in this business together, and if the phone rings, I won’t answer it.

I’ll be in a meeting.

As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17
  • Do you have a Carol in your life?
  • How can you seek one out?

10 comments:

Lari said...

It's great to have a friend like that. Enjoy your meeting!

Katrina said...

What a wonderful friendship! I do have a "Carol" and our meetings are always treasured, especially these days as they've been few and far between. It's so refreshing to have a friend who doesn't dust when I'm coming over, a friend for whom I just move stuff out of the way so she can sit down to chat. But mostly, a friend who spurs me on to be the best mom I can be.

Shannon said...

I NEED a "Carol"! Any tips for finding one?

Melissa said...

What a beautiful post. You are blessed indeed! I, too, am blessed in that regard.

I've been reading your blog for a while now, and it's been wonderful. Thanks for sharing your heart with such honesty.

Wendy said...

I've been meeting w/one of the pastors wives at our church for over 4 yrs. She has helped me in so many areas. My whole family has benefited because of her. It is wonderful.

I wish more women would take Titus 2 seriously and share their wisdom w/other young women. I also think it is important for young women to think about becoming a mentor to someone someday.

I'm glad you have Carol!

Beck said...

I have a "Carol" in my life, and although I have to work at not finding her abrasive, she IS very helpful to me.

Chrystal said...

What a wonderful friend to have. I am a firm believer that women were not designed to do the job of "wifing" and "mothering" in a vacuum.

God knew what he was talking about when he said that women needed to get together!

org junkie said...

How amazingly special for you two to have each other. I too have been blessed with girlfriends such as this and I can't imagine my life without them. I never would have thought to call our get togethers meetings though, that is a great idea. I love it :)

Laura

Elise said...

No, I don't. And I found myself reading your post and becoming terribly excited to meet my "Carol" someday! For I know I will.
And oh, yes. There WILL be cookies.

Jennifer said...

Oh, I'm so fortunate to have a Carol, or three. For those who don't, I suggest seeking one out. Invite a friend over, with kids if that's the only free time y'all have. Let her see dishes in your sink. Ask her opinion on something and give her permission to speak freely. Carol will come if you invite her.