shannancloud@gmail.com

Elk City, Oklahoma

Turning "what if" doubts into "even if" faith!

Are You a Friend That Will S.T.I.C.K.?

It was a Thursday night. That only meant one thing…..BOOK MAMAS via ZOOM!

I have this amazing group of Christian writer friends that God has blessed me with. We met during a virtual writers retreat back in April. To this day, I have only met 1 of them in person, but they are a new amazing part of my life and I can’t imagine writing a book without them. We call ourselves the Book Mamas because we are all in the midst of writing a book we hope to someday “give birth to!” 

The Book Mamas have truly been a redeeming quality for this chaotic year of Covid 2020. And here’s why they are so amazing….they truly are the real deal. They are who they say they are! If someone says they are an international travel guide who loves the Lord and loves to run, that’s her! If someone is from another country and lives here now and has an unbelievable life story that you only see on “LIFETIME” television, that’s her. There are so many amazing, godly, and unbelievable stories that make up the lives of The Book Mamas and they are nothing but the real deal!

During our last Zoom meeting, when explaining to a friend about who The Book Mamas are, Monica Bard said, “they are just someone who sticks!” Proverbs 18:24 states, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”  You are either an unreliable friend or a friend who sticks closer than a brother. And here’s what I’ve decided she meant by that!

S is for support. We support each other’s dreams, big ideas, crazy thoughts and are an amazing source of encouragement! They are friends that will cheer you on and cheer you up. They are there in a Group Me chat message to share hopes, dreams, prayers, frustrations, and doubts. They are honest, kind, encouraging, truthful, and fun. They are amazing cheerleaders, heart healers, hand-holders, and faith finders. I love their support. Who needs your support? Are you a supportive friend?

T is for truth.  We share our joys of life and writing with each other. They are some of the first ones, and sometimes the only ones, to read certain pieces of our books that we are currently working on. They are honest with a touch of grace. They’ll share their heart that is encompassed with Scripture about what we are each going through. They continuously point each other to the truth…about God, about our stories, and ourselves. Are you a friend that is focused on the truth?   

I is for integrity.  Integrity is a hard thing to find and be and do these days. Too many people want to tell you who you should be. Too many people want to place unrealistic expectations on you; too many people are out to destroy other’s morals and character. I read once that integrity is based on values, not personal gain. The Book Mamas are each in different writing stages of a book, but we offer feedback based on the value of glorifying God, not our own personal hope for publishing a book better and faster than the others. Are you a friend with integrity? 

C is for community. There is no greater place that hope can flourish than in community.  When you are isolated, you are defeated with no hope of return.  When you are in community, there is always hope because there is someone else to hold you up, pray to heaven on your behalf.  Belonging to a community lets you rest in their prayers and hope until you can find your own hope and strength again.  Life happens in community.  If 2020 has taught us nothing else it is this …we were created for one another; created for community; created to be together; created for communion… a common union where we share joys and sorrows. Who is in your community?

K is for kooky. If anyone is the goofball and dork of the group, it is me. And sometimes, I’m a BIG DORK. And it’s just when you think these godly, gifted, and glorious women of God aren’t as fun as you, you blink on Zoom and waaa-laaa…they are kooky, fun-loving, and as zany as anyone! They are more than you could handle because they are amazing. They give me a run for my money when it comes to being kooky, hilarious, and full of life. But with every fiber of their being, they really live their lives and write their stories to give God the Glory! Who are your kooky friends that just let you be you?

As we finish up 2020, a.k.a. the worst year of eternity, be a friend that will S.T.I.C.K..  It will surely redeem the year and make you a better person going into 2021!

Proverbs 18:24, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,  but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”  (Or closer than a book mama!) 

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