By Judy Dippel,
What happens when two women who don’t know each other meet to talk about a topic they are both passionate about—in this case, the magnitude and importance of women’s friendship? It goes without saying, the result of such a meeting brings hours of non-stop conversation. But more importantly, an instant kinship and collaboration on a dramatically different book on women’s friendship began to develop when Eugene, Oregon writers Judy Dippel and Debra Whiting Alexander, Ph.D. met. The Art of Authentic Friendship: Real Women, Real Challenges, Real Solutions (released in July 2008, Evergreen Press) is the outcome of two years of writing partnership between them.
Their interviews and surveys, of women of many ages and demographics, uncovered the biggest issues facing women’s friendships in today’s culture. Endorsement from Portland author and speaker, Poppy Smith, says, “Friends are good for women! They bring joy, companionship, a listening ear, and crucial support in the ups and downs of life. But, friendships can also be challenging and painful. Sometimes friends hurt us, and sometimes we fail them. Authors Judy and Debra remind us of the joys of friendship, but they also tackle the tough and challenging issues that can arise. Drawing from their survey on friendship, they look at the top challenges women identified. Providing tools, wise advice, Scriptures, and practical helps and solutions, their book encourages women to find, develop and maintain friendships that nurture their souls.”
Judy Dippel says, “There is nothing trivial about women’s friendship. Like exercise and healthy eating, trusted girlfriends and an assortment of other friends, are critical to our well-being—emotionally, physically and spiritually. But like all relationships women have struggles with one another—these range from mild to toxic. We want to be inspired to face challenges with friends in constructive ways. Most books written on this subject celebrate the qualities that make the ideal or perfect friend. This is not one of those books, and that’s exactly why women love it. Throughout, we provide solutions from both God and man (woman). It hits an emotional and spiritual nerve, and is a lifeline of help and hope for every woman who values friendship.”
So, that being said, just what is the number one challenge, women identified that keep them from finding, developing or maintaining close friends? It will come as no surprise to you—time!
Quoted in the beginning of the first chapter is Marianne, a 48 year-old woman says. “I certainly need time with my women friends, but with their busy lives and my busy life, it’s very difficult to just be together, relax, and let friend-stuff happen. As women, we expect so much of ourselves in today’s world. We wear so many different hats, and have so many responsibilities. I honestly think the number one challenge we all face is finding time for each other.”
You will closely relate and find yourself encouraged to know you are not alone in the array of real-life issues that can interrupt your ability to sustain satisfying friendships. Throughout the book, true-life examples from a variety of women are shared along with the authors’ insights and solutions. You will learn to make and keep friends, heal relational hurts, and deepen your most valued friendships with other women. You’ll be reminded how beneficial a personal change of perspective can be, and how Scripture offers solutions to every life issue, as you seek to deepen your relationship with God.
This book is exciting and interesting—nearly like taking a road trip with a new friend, as it brings unexpected curves and important discoveries. At every turn of the page, you’ll find encouraging guidance for differences in attitudes, habits, behaviors, lifestyles and personalities. And the solutions offered are practical, and when applied, promise to bring further contentment and more satisfying relationships with women friends.
Since women are complex, reading this book is quite a ride, so rest up and get ready to learn, laugh and cry as you focus on friendships, both old and new! The Art of Authentic Friendship, by Judy Dippel and Debra Whiting Alexander, Ph.D., 224 pages, PB, $13.99, ISBN#: 978-158169-283-9
To purchase autographed copies, or for speaking requests, contact Judy or Debra through www.judydippel.com. The book is available at bookstores throughout the country. If you don’t find it on the shelf in a bookstore or library near you, ask that they order it—it is a new release distributed to bookstores through Ingram/Spring Arbor. Besides Judy’s website at www.judydippel.com you can also find at a variety of online sellers, such as Amazon.com.
Evergreen Press, Mobile Alabama, is an imprint of Genesis Communications, Inc., a publisher of Christian books since 1987. Its mission is to provide biblical solutions for breakthrough living.
Disclaimer: Articles featured on Oregon Report are the creation, responsibility and opinion of the authoring individual or organization which is featured at the top of every article.