I love friends; who doesn’t. Life can become rather scary, sad, dull, bland, and lonesome without taking the time to make and keep friendships thriving along the way. After all, friends help to put the energy and spice back into our lives. Friends can be classmates, work peers, neighbors, sisters, or even a brother. Someone who loves you unconditional. As mothers, our children grow up, leave home, and without the yearly holidays coming around we might not even get to see them very often. But, with friends you don’t need a holiday, birthday, Mother’s day, Father’s day or even a special occasion to get together; just some time nestled out of your busy schedule to meet somewhere to snack and chat. It doesn’t even matter the location. It can be a back yard swing, a kitchen table, a living room sofa, a gym, a front porch rocker, a hiking trail, a swing in the park, a drive in the car, a stroll through the Avenue, chairs at Barnes & Noble or Starbuck’s, a booth or table at your favorite sandwich shop or ice cream shop, or even a table at McDonald’s. When you’re with a friend, it doesn’t have to be the Ritz Carlton. Several weeks ago, I met with one of my dearest and long-standing friends at Chick-Fil-A. We nearly homestead the place chatting and laughing our way right through the lunch hour to nearly the dinner hour. Our lunch time together was like a dose of medicine to the soul. Today, I repeated the same scenario with two other friends (one being a cousin as well as a friend) at a Mexican Restaurant nearby. We arrived at 11:30 and left at 4:00. We laughed, we talked, and we even prayed together. We provided support and encouragement to one another; and it was truly a swell time together. I don’t think a vitamin B12 shot could have helped more. When I left, I actually felt revived in my heart and spirit. True friends leave you feeling refreshed and strengthened; ready to face the challenges of life. With friends, the cares of life seem to diminish; if for only a while. As I was driving home, I pondered the fact that if everyone could find enough time to spend with one good friend chatting, laughing, and sharing our hearts, we could just about shut-down the counseling business! After all, counselors are trained good listeners and when we have friends who are good listeners, our troubles don’t seem as large anymore; they’ve been shared with a friend. I am so thankful for my friends, both old and new, who have put spice into my life and helped this girl out so many times by just listening, chatting, laughing, and being there for me. Today, you may have friends like mine and know exactly what I’m talking about. If it’s been a while since you’ve visited with a friend, don’t put it off any longer. Pick up the phone, send a message on FB, or send an email setting up a time to snack and chat. You owe it to yourself and to your friends. You both will feel years younger when you depart (maybe not in appearance!) and your steps will feel lighter. And, remember if you are in a situation right now in your life where you can’t find alone time with an earthly friend talk to Jesus; day or night. He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother, and He will always be there for you. Friends…The Spice of Life.