Just the other day I talked about pressing questions I was pondering.   One I mentioned was should I cute my hair?  I had a question about what it means to cute your hair… and I honestly didn't have a clue what Elaine was talking about.  She asked if it was a Southern thing… and I probably responded with something like ‘Aren't you darling for asking,' because that's what I do when I don't know what you're talking about.  So Elaine — I meant to type CUT my hair.  Should I CUT my hair now that I'm 50.  It's something I think of from time to time.  Long or short I do want CUTE hair.

I mentioned the Bible study I was working on in my last post — the one that I lost the manuscript in what I like to refer to has the EPIC hard drive failure of 2013 (also known as – why Mary now BACKS UP EVERYTHING and all the TIME).   I've written for years — I have a couple of books.  My latest released just a few years ago – God, Grace and Girlfriends: Adventures in Faith & Friendship.  I've written articles and booklets on things I know little to nothing about — but I'm an AVID researcher.  You know those little books you see in the grocery store check out line?  How to Fix this or that.  I've written a few of those — on plumbing problems, installing ceiling fans, etc.  I've written about the stock market — in fact I wrote for Charles Schwabb for a season.  I've never been afraid of a subject…. until I wrote a Bible study.  OH MY!

And I didn't write just any Bible study I wrote about being authentic – “why in the world did I pick such a topic?  ”  This thought crossed my mind more than once or twice.  I'm sure I must have asked this question at least 754 times as I wrote.  After all, I'm a good Southern girl — we just sweep it all  under the rug and then put a cute table over it.   For some reason — and it could only be God Himself, I wrote about authentic friendships.  I wrote about authentic faith and about authentic life. I pulled that rug back and showed all the dirt under it and then I tossed out the rug and the cute table.

Above all of this — I (or I should say WE as I could NOT have done this without the incredible work of Melinda Garman and Karen Barrows) wrote a Bible study — and that alone is a sentence I thought I'd never write..  I've probably led more studies than I can count.  I've led studies written by others, I've led others as we walked through scripture and I've prepared messages for groups small and larger.   But there was something so overwhelming about writing a Bible study.  I'm just a mess of a woman who struggles to get time in with Jesus.  I mess up A LOT!  I fall into sin and sometimes I just jump right in with my eyes open.  I told you I'm a MESS!  Why in the world would the Lord want me to write anything for anyone?  That's another question I asked myself over and over.   I don't have an answer.

I've written about authentic faith and what it means.  I've talked about it here and there, but  to write a Bible study… that's a whole new level of OH MY WHAT AM I THINKING!

After all I'm a people pleaser — I want to make people happy and I want them ALL to like me.  A LOT.  I know I have issues and I told you I'm a MESS.

So, I want to know something from you — what do authentic friends mean to you?   Do you have them in your life? And what does authentic faith mean to you?  I would love to hear your answers.