The Best Kind of Honking: On Girlfriends and Geese

The last few weeks have been pretty intense for our family.

My husband is transitioning from one career to another, so we’re in that place where it sort of feels like he’s working two jobs.

I am homeschooling our three boys and working two new part-time gigs as a kitchen teacher at our homeschool partnership and a preschool specialist at our library.

We’re feeling the pressure of projects that need completion before the snow flies. Chad and our neighbor spent hours building a new railing along our front steps so we have something firm to hold onto in the icy months ahead. We have squash and carrots to harvest and tilling to complete in the garden and we probably oughtta make room in the garage to actually park our cars in there?

Oh, yeah, the cars — one needs new tires before winter. The other needs a new blower – ’cause you can go without AC in the summer, but try going without defrost in a Michigan winter!

We’ve been up late and up early, with lots of interruptions in the night from a barking night-watchman dog, scared boys, and a bad case of growing pains for the littlest.

I’m trying to stay in my workout routine, which means leaving the house at 4:30 a few mornings a week for spin class.

Woe to the 4:00 am alarm.

Then there’s the headaches – I’ve had them almost daily for weeks. I’m sure they are just a symptom of fatigue and stress, but they’re grinding on my gumption!

We know this is a season. We know life is still really good. We know the house might just have to be messy for a while and we might have to cut the grocery budget a bit, but we’ll make it out the other side just fine.

But last Sunday night, I was tired and anxious and had some awful sinus stuff going on, and all I could do was cry and pray.

I prayed for strength and wisdom. I prayed for perspective. I prayed that my husband and I would still do a good job loving each other and loving our boys even though we felt a little ragged.

I prayed that we would keep our heads up and our eyes up and that we would have the strength to live well day by day.

And then I slept hard. (Until 4 am, that is.)

That morning, I received a message from a friend I hadn’t seen in a week or two that I was on her heart. She was praying for me – for healing, strength, and grace.

On Tuesday, another friend emailed me and shared with me that she was feeling overwhelmed caring for and homeschooling her several children and trying to keep up with all the other things that come with a busy family. She wondered how I was managing and offered prayers of strength, wisdom, and peace.

On Wednesday morning, just as I hauled out the vacuum to clean up the haircut mess on the kitchen floor, the doorbell rang. I shuddered to think that someone might be about to see the state of my house. When I opened the door, it was my dear friend and mentor mom who I haven’t seen in weeks, offering a smile, a hug, and a chocolatey-whipped-creamy frozen coffee. We sat on the couch in my filthy living room and talked about her new grandbaby and my new jobs and motherhood and balance and grace.

Always grace.

On Thursday, I had an hour to kill between our homeschool partnership and my evening shift at the library, so my best girl and I met at a park when her son got out of school.

She and I sat at a weathered picnic table in a stand of tall pines as the boys creaked to and fro on swings that have withstood decades of use. The filtered sunlight brightened her hair and danced on the shells of her earrings.

We vented and laughed and shared our hearts, marveling at how life changes in just a few days. Then we breathed a sigh of contentment, grateful for 45 stolen minutes in the middle of a fall afternoon.

As I drove away that day, all I could think of was geese.

Geese, with their awkward flapping and their loud, unabashed in-flight honking, calling out to one another…

Hey, You — stay with the flock!

Keep the formation!

You’re looking a bit tired, Sister – let us draft you through!

These four women were my geese this week, with their honking, willing hearts.

I suppose honking can sound a lot of different ways, but for me it sounded like emails and park dates and surprise coffee dates on my dirty couch.

My geese. My girls.

Answers to prayer.

Messengers of truth and hope when I was worn and ragged. How grateful I am that they responded to that divine prompting to give me a honk or two.

I hope I will be so timely when I return it.


Maybe someone in your life is in need of hope today. How might you reach out to a friend in need with a hug, high-five, or a little honk of encouragement?

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12 thoughts on “The Best Kind of Honking: On Girlfriends and Geese

    1. I read this one too, Judi! She makes some really great points (though I wish she made them without the condescending tone). This IS a culture that presses mothers to do more, more, more. I know I’ve fallen into the trap many times. My to-do list always feels longer than what I could ever realistically manage, but I’ve also learned to tuck the list in the drawer in favor of a morning walk or afternoon trampoline session. It’s all about balance, right?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is. I stressed myself right out trying to manage everything on my own. When I finally asked for help, I’m pretty sure God said, “All you had to do was ask…”

      If only I didn’t have to learn and relearn this lesson!

      Liked by 1 person

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