Last week we told you about our sweatpants book club, the one we’ve created to read through Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships together. And then we were BLOWN AWAY by your response! You all are our people, our sweatpants friends — and we can’t wait to start this book club with you!
As I shared with you last week, each week will come with a Facebook Live video (Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST, starting April 25) where I discuss part of the book with one of my friends. Today I’m excited to tell you a little about each of these amazing women, and what we’ll be chatting about each week of the book club.
WEEK 1: ANN VOSKAMP (April 25)
Meet Ann: An instant friend since we met seven years ago in the Dallas airport en route to Guatemala with Compassion International. There is pretty much nothing Ann doesn’t know about me. From ugly cry to all the grossest and most vulnerable parts of my heart to my highest highs, Ann has seen it all and loved me through it all. She is a farmer’s wife, mom to seven, and is my heart Jonathan friend. I know that we’ll still be friends when we’re old and gray and in rocking chairs out on her farm’s front porch. I will likely have no teeth left but since she’s got better dental luck than me, she will still have more than just gums to offer the world. And we’re going to kick off the study by unpacking a new definition of friendship.
What we’re talking about:
How We Define Friendship in This Book – It Might Not Be What You Think
How To Use This Book – Start Anywhere!
WEEK 2: HOLLEY GERTH (May 2)
Meet Holley: Holley is one of the co-founders of (in)courage, the woman who invited me to be the community manager here, a fellow tea aficionado, and a friendship mentor to me. She’s walked me through some of my own worst friendship fears with the wisdom of a counselor and the courage of a gladiator. She is a fierce-hearted and I love this so much about her. She’s seen me at my broken down worst and never stopped praying and guiding me through. I take notes when Holley talks about friendship and I quote her to anyone who will listen. She’s going to unpack some of our friendship fears with me this week.
What we’re talking about:
Section I. WHAT ARE WE AFRAID OF?
Chapter 1: The Fear of Being Hurt. Again. (Friendship PTSD)
Chapter 2: The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
Chapter 3: The Fear of Being (or Including) the New Girl
WEEK 3: ANNIE DOWNS (May 9)
Meet Annie: Who makes you laugh quite like Annie Downs, right? If you could bottle joy I think it would be called Annie. But what I love about her more than her laugh is her honesty. Annie is always the realest version of herself. She gave up makeup for Lent and I think it’s the most beautiful reflection of how so many of us already see her — true, real, open, and utterly accessible. She gets what it means to invest in friendship on purpose. And she has also lived the hard learning that we can’t remake people in our own imagine but have to let them be made in God’s image. And how that will sometimes cost us something. Yea, we’re going there and talking about the things we can’t change about our friendships and probably aren’t supposed to anyway.
What we’re talking about:
Section II. WHAT CAN’T WE DO ABOUT IT?
Chapter 4: We Can’t Always Have Friendship Our Way
Chapter 5: We Can’t Expect Other People to Fill Us Up
Chapter 6: We Can’t Control Other People’s’ Stories
WEEK 4: CRYSTAL PAINE (May 16)
Meet Crystal: Crystal and I spent 18 travel hours together on a plane trip to South Africa. I threw up three times. So yea, she KNOWS me knows me. And we’re still friends 🙂 Crystal’s heart must be the size of the African continent because she is my generosity mentor. She pours every scrap of what God’s given her in talent and skill and knowledge and resources into the people around her. Which is why she ended up on a plane headed to my homeland. Together our blogs sponsored a community center and vegetable garden and water point and the whole thing got out of control and now Crystal’s whole family has been to South Africa and pretty much fallen in love with the people and the community we are honored to serve there. So trust me, she’s a great teacher to share about what friendship really takes.
What we’re talking about:
Section III. WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
Chapter 7: Dare to Go First and be Un-fine
Chapter 8: Create (Imperfect) Time and Space Together
Chapter 9: Experience God Together through Shared Sadness and Celebration
Chapter 10: Live Like the Kingdom of God Is a Co-Op, Not a Competition
Chapter 11: Stop Trying to Find a Seat at the More Popular Table
WEEK 5: CHRYSTAL EVANS HURST (May 23)
Meet Chrystal: A cheerleader and a champion for women. Chrystal brings laughter and enthusiasm into the room with her and to know her is to feel braver and better about yourself. She knows Jesus, family, and good cooking, and man do I love that being around her you’re definitely going to have some of that rub off on you. She’s not afraid to ask hard questions and take the time for real conversation. We met at a conference about five years back and it made such an impression on me, I’ve been grateful for that new friendship that continues to grow. So I’m so glad I get to talk to her about some of those harder friendship gifts we have to learn to give one another.
What we’re talking about:
Section III. continued WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT?
Chapter 12: Give the Gift of the Benefit of the Doubt
Chapter 13: Don’t be Afraid to Listen (Even If You Don’t Like What You Hear)
WEEK 6: JAMIE IVEY (May 30)
Meet Jamie: Pastor’s wife, big-earring wearer, and podcaster, Jamie knows how to listen and how to ask good questions. She understands who she is and is interested in the people around her and understanding who they are. There’s something about her that just makes you feel welcome. You want to sit and talk for hours in the sun while kids play around you and learn her ways when it comes to great eyelashes and earrings. Her gift for getting people to open up is the same gift that I think makes her so good at understanding how to be a friend to yourself before you can be a meaningful friend to someone else.
What we’re talking about:
Section IV. WHERE DO WE START?
Chapter 14: Practice Being a Friend to Yourself Today
Chapter 15: Practice Being a Friend to Someone Else Today
I can’t wait for you to meet these women. So grab some of your own sweatpants girlfriends, invite them over for pizza, and get comfy. Then tune in to listen to me and my sweatpants girlfriends chat our way through the chapters of Never Unfriended.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Some of these women I “know” from their writing…others I do not. Looking forward to getting to know them and their insights on your terrific book and this river called “friendship” that we are all navigating!
Thanks for joining us Bev — it should be so fun!
Hi. I would like to participate but I am not on Facebook. Am I still able to do so? I hope there is a way!! Many blessings!
Hey there Michelle — yes we’ll be emailing our book club folks with updates as well 🙂
Thank you for answering !! Will I be able to see the Facebook live events? Either as they are happening or later on? Also, I manage a locally owned Christian bookstore in Fort Myers, FL and I had the opportunity to meet you mother in law last month!!
Lisa-Jo, I am new to this group and have never heard any of these women, but God sent me this link because He knows I need it. I was a military wife up until June of last year and we are having an awful time transitioning to civilian life. We spent several months on unemployment and when my husband finally found temporary work he was not making more than the unemployment only getting taxed on it plus some. Our home was/is in foreclosure status, the bills I can not meet every month. Last Christmas I don’t even want to discuss for our two boys. I was/am never any good at making friends. We can’t agree on Church to attend and our lives are pure chaos. I am eager to start the series to learn from other strong women as well as have conversations with adults that are not my children (one of whom is mentally and physically disabled at the age of 12. The physically disability started at age 5.) Ugh, I’m rambling, but so very excited. ~~ Amy 🙂
Brittany Grable says
Nice to meet you! I am so excited that God led you to this study. I pray that the messages He has for you through it come through loud and clear. Excited to get to know you better through studying together 🙂
Joanne Peterson says
You’ve had so many changes, and all of that is stressful. Military life from what I’ve heard from people who have been military families have the moving around and then the having to make friends all over again in a new place. So very often the new person. Special needs add another layer of hard stuff, and to find people who will listen and understand your vulnerability and the reality you face daily is priceless and a gift. Adding both mental and physical disability, is even more of a challenge. I will pray for God to bring those people into your life and He teach you through this study how to receive and be the friend you desire. There are no mistakes in God’s economy, and I am certain you will be able to hear with your heart other people as they speak, and become friends. You will find those gifts, and people will discover the gift you are. Blessings, Joanne
Hey there Amy, Oh man seasons like that are SO hard. I hope the book club will be a spark of encouragement in the midst of a difficult season of transition!
Beth Williams says
Can’t wait for the book club. I’m already digging into your book. Love your honesty and openness. Most of the women I know already, but can’t wait to get to know some of the others. Sounds like fun. Wish I could be there with you guys in person.
Thanks Beth — love hearing that!
Beautiful group. 🙂 Look forward to the sharing and the caring and the laughing and the crying and all the other “ings.” 🙂 May it be a difference-making offering and may the Friend of friends be glorified through it. ((hug))
Hi Lisa Jo,
I got your book and read it through and am still awed by your way of writing about things that I have dealt with (not well) over the years. I am, for the most part, home bound so I printed out the lovely cards and the commitment and gave them to one of my daughters-in-love, with the book and prayer.
Dana holds classes for women, she uses Essential Oils, makes lip balm, facial cleansers, loves on women of all ages and teaches them how to pamper themselves, and her every response to “how are you?” no matter who it comes from, is “I am blessed and highly favored!” When I gave her the things last Saturday she told me that she has been invited to join a writer’s group of women from another church, because one of them had read her daily devotions on FB. I am waiting for the beautiful card holder and cards so I can give her those. Thank you for all of it!
I am reading Ann’s book and the thrill stays with me. I am so o o o grateful for (in)courage and this wonderful community. Thank you all.
Since I don’t need to be on FB I’d like to join the book club.
Tori Rask says
I *LITERALLY* cannot wait. OK, maybe not LITERALLY because I can wait because I’m going to have to. But I can’t wait. This book is absolutely rocking my world and putting words to so many things my heart has always known and NORMALIZING things for me that I thought were just me and letting me know that I’m not alone in the things I have struggled with. Basically all of Chapter 5 had me like, ” THAT’S ME! THAT IS SO ME! THAT IS ALSO ME! AND THAT RIGHT THERE IS ME!” I read it twice and will go back and read it again. And these guests are fantabulous. I actually had the honor of taking a selfie stick picture with Jamie Ivey at the Noonday Collection conference in 2016. She is so wonderful. I CAN! NOT! WAIT! for this.
Thanks for sharing Lisa Jo! I’m excited to start!
If I can’t watch on a Tuesday night, is there a way to watch it later?
Natalie Tull says
I can’t wait! I am so excited and love every one of those women! I found out about the Sweatpant Club because Lisa Jo, you have been on like 3 different podcasts I listen to in the past 2 weeks…God Centered Mom Podcast with Heather MacFadyen ….. That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs….and The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey! I enjoyed them all and cant wait to spend even more time in the space of you Lisa Jo and all these wonderful girlfriends you are sharing with us! <3
Patricia Brown says
As a loyal reader of (in)courage I am interested in acquiring the book. Is it available on Amazon? secondly I am not a member of Facebook or own an iPhone. Thanks
I’m pleased to see that I am not alone in those two areas. I am finally (almost) used to medical people asking me”you don’t HAVE a cell phone?” with an incredulous look on their face.
And I am thankful every day for (in)courage and these women, so “Hello” again. I’m glad to see you here.