Nobody's Cuter Than You--A Book You Should Buy

8:59 AMHeather

A sweet friend since college called a couple of weeks ago, sorta out of the blue. And we picked up right where we left off. Whenever that last time was? I'm not even sure. You see, there's a big huge life crisis for her right now. And it's been my greatest pleasure to do what I can to show my support of her. When she thanks me, I want her to stop. Because it's just me, returning the favor. Like friends do.

While she may or may not remember it, it's very vivid to me. That time, 26 years ago, when she took time to sit and talk and talk and talk about the big huge life crisis I was going through. I don't think she has ever thought it was a big deal. But it was a big deal to me. She has no idea the gift it was for her simply stop her day completely and allow me to talk and cry. 

The older I get, the more I realize and treasure the gift of these kinds of friendship. And nobody--I mean, nobody--no matter how good they are or how kind or how perfect deserves to have the kind of friends that I have had.

Which is rather lovely, since I started off in the friendship area on shaky ground, from my recollection. Being an Army brat on an Army base with a profound speech impediment doesn't exactly do wonders for building lifelong friendships. 

So it's a big, big deal to me when I got to sit and visit with a friend I've known since 6th grade. She's the one who sang loudly with me to all of Psalty's albums. As in vinyl. On a record player. That had a microphone. I sang off key... but she ended up in a Christian singing group, with a record deal and being played on the radio and even presented at the Dove Awards. She's the one whose mom advised me to pray for my future husband when I was only worried about being asked to the prom. She's the one who threw me a surprise birthday party in high school, bringing all sorts of school friends to my daddy's tiny, itty bitty church's Sunday night service. Oh, yes. Party down at the Second Baptist Church of Lampasas, Texas. Where usually, my sister and I were the youth group.

Friends like high school group of girlfriends...friends like I had in college...they are rare treasures. They are precious. And we would do well to stop and reflect on these friendships--whether they were for but a season and we haven't spoken in decades, or whether you're still raising your now teenagers together. 

That's why I want everyone reading this to go buy a copy of Melanie Shankle's new book Nobody's Cuter Than You, just released TODAY.  If you read blogs, you may be more familiar with Melanie by her blog moniker--Big Mama. 

Listen, yes, this is a ringing endorsement and a kind of a book review for a book I haven't even read yet. 

That's how sure I am that you will love this book. Because her first two books, Sparkly Green Earrings (about motherhood) and Antelope in My Living Room (about marriage) are fabulous. They are funny and endearing and inspiring and just plain feel good books.

So while I haven't yet received my pre-ordered copy of Nobody's Cuter than You, I know it's going to be good. I recently watched the trailer for the book--did you know that there was such a thing? And if watching it yourself doesn't convince you about the beauty of friendship and the awesomeoness of this book, then I don't know what to tell you.

Here's my final ringing endorsement for this book.

I wish I'd written it. 

I wish I'd been that clever and talented to be able to sum up the gratitude I feel toward the friends who have carried me through the years.

For the 11 girls who I "lived" with at Baylor my last two years...I treasure you. I treasure the late nights of eating cookie dough, made just for eating and not for baking. The walking into each other's apartments as if they were each our home, like on Friends. The closets raided for sorority formals and the all hours of conversations about classes, boys, futures, friends and family. The epic Kringle, Jingle and Mingle parties that were busted by the cops--not once but twice--who were oh-so-disappointed that our rowdy college party was alcohol free. 

For the friends who have helped me through wedding planning, marriage, losses, motherhood, migraines, struggles and insecurities. For the friends who have and do faithfully pray for me and invest in my children. For the ones who have "carried my mat," like the friends of the paralytic who carried him to Jesus in order to be healed. It's a great picture of what you've done for me, over and again. For the ones who are related and the ones who have become family by choice.

For my own personal Gulley. 

You know who you are.

Friendship is a God given gift. It's meant to be freely extended and thoroughly enjoyed. It's meant to allow us to feel and to be Jesus with skin on. It's meant to wrap each other in a warm embrace to experience the love of our Father. It's meant to include laughter and inside jokes, as well as tears and consolation during the hardest parts of life.

While I somehow doubt that Jesus ever told his disciples that "Nobody's cuter than you," I feel sure that he felt that way toward them. I feel sure that he treasured them and we know that he encouraged them continually and entrusted them with his great commission.

To celebrate the release of this new book, I'm going to do my first EVER blog give-away. Here's the deal, I'm going to the book signing for Nobody's Cuter than You this Thursday in Dallas. (Y'all come!) If you'd like to be entered to win an autographed copy of the book, then here's what you need to do.

Share this blog post on your Facebook wall. Maybe even tag a friend to honor them for their friendship. Or you can comment below here about your bestest friend and why they are special to you. And I will have a drawing on Monday, April 13th to randomly select a winner and I will notify that winner on Tuesday, April 14th.

Listen, here's the thing. We were made to live in community and to walk through all the hills and valleys of life together.

So as we seek to live this out with those around us, take time to pick up Melanie's new book. Be prepared to laugh out loud for real, and bring a kleenex, too. Because I think it's safe to say this about Big Mama's new book.

It'll make you laugh.

It'll make you cry.

And it'll inspire you!

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