Springboards & Friendship

Did you know that there are three different types of diving boards? There’s the diving block, the platform and the spring board.

We’re familiar with the diving block because of the Olympics. They’re sloped with the purpose of providing competitive swimmers to push off of at the beginning of their race.

The platform is typically the highest diving board. It’s material is rigid and doesn’t flex well.

And then there’s the springboard. It’s what we grew up diving off of at the neighborhood pool. It’s more flexible than the other two types. It’s purpose is to enhance a diver’s take-off so that they can dive higher, longer and/or more beautifully.

Over the weekend, I got back from vacation with some of my best friends. This was our third trip together, but some of us in the group have been vacationing together for even longer than that. We’re a hodgepodge of people who knew each other in high school, then turned college friends, people who were in small groups together in college and then some fun additions post-college. We’ve seen each other’s messy sides, and have continued not just to keep being friends, but to vacation together and deepen the friendships.

Fortunately we didn’t have a diving board in our house’s backyard pool. I can only imagine the shenanigans and possible injuries that could have ensured. But, what if I allowed my annual Friendcation, and more specifically my friendship with these people to propel me into deeper friendships with others in my life.

Could I use my community experience with those friends as springboard into deeper local friendships?

I tend to have a filter that I use with people. There’s like different versions of me that you can see, but it takes a long time for me to let someone completely in. Living in Indianapolis with so many college friends has enabled me to live life according to that pattern.

But what if it didn’t have to be that way?

What if I let myself be fully known even if they’re not someone who has known me since I was in college?

What if I trusted someone even if they haven’t seen me at my worst?

Even more, I could be believing something that’s not true about friendship and letting it hold me back from deeper local friendships and from going deep with people quicker.

Is it possible that I’ve been afraid that opening myself up to new people would take something away from the longstanding relationships I already have?

It is possible. In fact, it’s probably true for me. In many ways, I have let myself live in a scarcity mindset when it comes to friendship. Yes, I cannot be best friends with everyone, but friendship isn’t something that’s limited. Being friends with someone who I met post-college doesn’t take away from a friendship with someone who I’ve known for almost a decade.

A scarcity mindset operates on the assumption that something is limited. Money, resources, time or even relationships. When operating under this assumption, you ration what exists. It’s important to realize natural limitations on things, but relationships aren’t necessarily something that’s limited.

You don’t just get one best friend in your life, and never have the opportunity to make another deep relationships. Obviously we only have so many hours in a day, so there are so natural boundaries, but I am not given just one good group of friends. I’m not cheating on them by having other good friends.

Just like the springboard’s purpose is to propel divers higher into the air, being known and loved by this group of friends can springboard me into other special friendships.

I usually start the week after vacation in a slump. It’s not uncommon for me to cry saying good-bye to these friends, cry on Sunday morning after church and cry on my way to work on Monday morning. Coming off the community high has never been something that I do well, and this is no exception. I’ve realized that it has very little to do with the life I’m coming back to or my local friends, I just love being on vacation, I love the tradition and I love those people.

But this year was a little bit different. I still came back from vacation bummed that the week was over. I still missed my friends. The difference was, I started asking myself a new question: Could I use my community experience with those friends as springboard into deeper local friendships?

I tend to have a filter that I use with people. There’s like different versions of me that you can see, but it takes a long time for me to let someone completely in. Living in Indianapolis with so many college friends has enabled me to live life according to that pattern.

But what if it didn’t have to be that way?

What if I let myself be fully known even if they’re not someone who has known me since I was in college?

What if I trusted someone even if they haven’t seen me at my worst?

Even more, I could be believing something that’s not true about friendship and letting it hold me back from deeper local friendships and from going deep with people quicker.

Is it possible that I’ve been afraid that opening myself up to new people would take something away from the longstanding relationships I already have?

It is possible. In fact, it’s probably true for me. In many ways, I have let myself live in a scarcity mindset when it comes to friendship. Yes, I cannot be best friends with everyone, but friendship isn’t something that’s limited. Being friends with someone who I met post-college doesn’t take away from a friendship with someone who I’ve known for almost a decade.

A scarcity mindset operates on the assumption that something is limited. Money, resources, time or even relationships. When operating under this assumption, you ration what exists. It’s important to realize natural limitations on things, but relationships aren’t necessarily something that’s limited.

You don’t just get one best friend in your life, and never have the opportunity to make another deep relationships. Obviously we only have so many hours in a day, so there are so natural boundaries, but I am not given just one good group of friends. I’m not cheating on them by having other good friends.

One of the greatest gift I’ve ever received is to be known and loved by my group of friends. They’re my people. I’d walk through the fire for each and every one of them. But, they don’t have to be the only deep relationships in my life. I can and should let the comfort I have with them springboard me into other special friendships.

It starts with them, but it doesn’t have to end with them.

Do I Have To Be Friends With Everyone?

During my first two years of college, I puked my problems all over anyone who would listen. Unafraid of sharing my struggles and deep details of my life, I basically introduced myself with a “Hi, my name is Caitlin. Let me tell you all about my problems.” For better and for worse, I lived unfiltered with almost everyone.

Eighteen and nineteen year old Caitlin trusted everyone with intimate parts of her life, and even shared stories that involved other people. It was a messy way of living. Eventually, wiser friends started speaking into my habits, and encouraging me to find a few trusted friends to share the full story with. Cultivating a group of friends, some who are close with each other and others who are not, has been one of the best things I ever did.

Isn’t it good to be real and honest though?

The short answer is yes. We should be authentic with all people. Making eye contact while you’re in the check-out lane at Target to the cashier is kind. Asking genuine questions and listening for the response to your friends at the coffee cart at church is good. Sending thank you notes to your children’s teachers is a way to encourage them.

In fact, more than being authentic, we should be transparent with most people. Being honest with your co-workers and boss about your workload is wise. Sharing with your child’s teacher about some of the difficult behaviors you’re seeing at home allows the teacher to better meet your child’s needs. Opening up about what material needs your family has during a difficult seasons allows others to help.

But, intimacy with a few people is how we are truly able to be known.

It would be easy for me to sit here and tell you the people I think you should be known by — your church small group, your college friends, your neighbors — based on what I’ve seen work for me or for people who I’m close to. It is tempting to even give you a magic number or to tell you to find these people and never let them go, but intimacy isn’t a destination that you arrive at and forget about. Intimacy is a constant battle.

I’ve got a group of four friends who are all in a constant conversation with each other. They know my hopes, dreams and fears. They’re usually the first women I share a prayer request with or who I celebrate with about exciting news. Outside of them, I have several other friends, too, who get the full, unfiltered story, but outside of them… This level of intimacy has taken time to develop. We didn’t walk into deep friendships with one another; it’s taken prioritizing, serving and trusting each other through the good times and the bad times.

I do share vulnerably with others outside of this group, but I don’t go into an interaction expecting to be fully known by someone else. I’m always authentic. I’m usually transparent, but I’m not always intimate.

Is this unkind? I don’t think so, and I don’t think the Bible says so either.

Jesus had twelve friends. Of those twelve friends, there were three who He was closest to.

He interacted with all people authentically; serving them, preaching to them and healing them. He was transparent with most of them. He wanted most people to know who He was. But on his last night on earth, He shared most intimately with his closest friends. He did this believing that if they knew Him, they’d be able to share with others. He was committed to His disciples looking radically different because they knew Him.

The more we look at Jesus’ relationships and study how He interacted with others, we’ll find that He was authentic with all, transparent with some, and intimate with few. In doing so, He sets an example for the rest of us to follow.

How To Be Friends With Your Spouse

Suzy and Jared Davis are two of my best friends. They’ve been married for almost five years, but prior to getting married, they dated for almost five years. So they’ve had over ten years of friendship, as friends first, then in dating and now in marriage. From the very beginning of their marriage, they’ve committed to building a life together, not just trying to live two separate lives alongside each other under the same roof. I asked them to share some of the practices that have helped them deepen their friendship within marriage.

Putting Your Spouse’s Needs Above Your Own

Suzy and Jared benefitted from knowing each other for a while before getting married. They both share how important it’s been to see each other at their bests and their worsts. Through unfortunate situations, they walked through grief and disappointment together, but that has allowed them know how the other responds to the difficulties. They have also been able to each one another at their best, and know how to work towards both of them thriving.

They’ve also spent time being a student of one another so that they can anticipate needs before they’re vocalized. This isn’t possible without a deep knowledge of each other, which for them has been cultivated through spending time together. Communication is also an important part of knowing each other; they’re quick to talk with one another and share about the highlights and lowlights of their days and weeks.

Establishing a Rhythm for Living

Early on in their marriage, Suzy and Jared worked hard to develop some healthy rhythms for weekly and yearly life. They enjoy cooking together, often run errands together and even share the responsibility of keeping their house clean. These weekly routines are helpful and can help make mundane responsibilities fun. Throughout the fall and winter, they enjoy Indiana University Athletics, and prioritize watching sports together. They also pick out their Christmas tree and go to the apple orchard each year. Establishing traditions throughout the year has made marriage more fun, and allowed them to look forward to things year in and year out.

Spending Quality Time Together

Whether it’s new adventures or picking a show on Netflix, Jared and Suzy prioritize spending time together. They’ve enjoyed discovering favorite restaurants in Indianapolis, walking their dog and going on bike rides. When one of them has time off work, they try to both take the day(s) off for outings around the city or day trips. When it’s possible, they try to avoid making household chores his or her responsibility and instead choose to work on tasks together.

Working Towards Mutual Goals

Suzy and Jared share their hopes and dreams with one another, which helps plan for their future. They do their best to pray through decisions, carefully plan and stay on track towards their mutual goals. They are committed to each other’s dreams whether that’s pursuing a masters degree or working towards staying at home with children. Being each other’s biggest advocate and cheerleader is important to them as a couple.

Advocating for one another for the Davises also means being a united front for friends, family and church community. They try to live lives that are intertwined, and that includes friendships. They share friends and value spending time with each other’s families.

Too Lazy to Love?

Today’s blog is written by another best friend of mine, Tyler Chernesky. He helps pastor a church in Kansas City, and his insights on friendship are so important especially in a distracted age.

When I was in college, I discovered the captivating German board game Settlers of Catan.

My friend and roommate, Wes, introduced it to our house. Soon, we were hooked.

We’d play together late into the night. Rivalries developed. Tensions flared. And it was a blast.

Then, one day, we discovered that Catan had an online world – PlayCatan.com – where you  could play Settlers anytime, anywhere with strangers from all around the world.

No longer did we have to wait until all the roomies were home to get started.

No longer did we have to clear the table and bust out the board.

Now, we could play catan online.

The truth is: it wasn’t long until I became an addict. I logged on to PlayCatan as soon as I woke up and didn’t quit until bedtime. I was on it all the time.

I played Catan while my roommates shared stories about their days.

I played Catan when I was back at home, visiting my parents.

Wherever I was, I played Catan.

And, one of my little habits during those days was to take a screenshot as soon as a Catan game ended – to celebrate a victory or to document a loss.

One morning, I looked in the folder where I stored these screenshots, and I realized that I had over 750 screenshots of completed Catan games.

And it was then that it hit me.

I’d allowed myself to get so wrapped up in this online world that I was missing the life that was happening all around me.

I was giving my roommates, my parents, and my classes only partial attention. I was settling for online diversion when I had real life people to my left and to my right. I had allowed something insignificant to keep me from what matters most.

Have you ever been there?

Have you ever been so caught up in something trivial, in something addictive, in something that starts satisfying but becomes an all-consuming habit?

Have you ever been distracted?

The answer, if you’re honest, is: Yes, I’ve been distracted.

And that’s okay! Distraction is a human phenomena. Distraction happens.

And it’s happening with greater and greater frequency in our increasingly busy and connected world.

The problem is: Distraction destroys depth. It keeps us so busy skimming the surface, that we never take the time or effort dive down for more.

And distraction destroys  friendships in two key ways: 1) Distraction can keep us from good friendship, and 2) Distraction can make us stale in friendships.

Distractions can keep us from taking time and making effort to cultivate soul-enriching relationships. And distraction can plague relationships we already have – focusing our attention on topics of conversation, and cultivating habits of interpersonal relation that ultimately lead to shallow connection.

So how do you combat distraction?

Here’s what I’ve learned: It starts with rest.

Unplug. Stop. Breathe. Sit. Listen – to your own heart, and to God.

Where do you need to slow down? Where do you need to dive in?

What habits of behavior or habits of conversation are keeping you from intimate relationship?

What relational connections are you missing because you’re too wrapped up in things that do not matter? What friendships need revitalized ways of relating?

Distraction makes us miss what matters most.

As you think about your life and friendships during these 31 Days for Friendship, what destructive distractions need to be minimized so that the goodness of friendship can grow?

Perhaps the World Ends Here

A poem by Joy Harjo

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.

We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.

It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.

At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.

Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.

This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.

Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.

We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.

At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.

Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

The Fruit of Friendship

Today’s blog is written by a best friend of mine, Charissa Birnbaum. She’s high energy and a true friend to all. 
I traveled away from home for about three weeks recently and, for the first time in my life, I was sad to leave because I was actually going miss my friends. I’ve never had relationships like this in my entire life, which screams volumes to me about the weight of impact one person can have on another. As I personally felt that weight while I was abroad, I had to take a step back and think about the kind of friend I was to my friends. If people can leave such an impact, what was mine going to be in the lives of my friends?
While oversees, I met a man who shared the most brilliant analogy about friendship I had ever heard. “Friends are like fruit,” he said, “Some are soft like a peach: easy to know and easy to befriend. Some are like oranges with layers that require you to pull back slowly and carefully. Others are like coconuts, and it’s going to take a lot of effort to crack them open.” With most people, I think I’m like a banana. There’s a little bit to peel back, but it’s pretty easy to do and doesn’t take a *bunch* of time (See what I did there? Banana jokes…I’m full of ‘em!) I respond best to people who put a little effort into peeling me back, but I’m willing to offer up whatever personal information you want whenever you’re ready to ask for it.
If I’m a banana, it can be natural for me to hang out with other bananas. But soon enough I’m going to look around and have a *bunch* of friends that look just like me, talk just like me, and empower me to stay exactly how I am. And that’s no fun. Can you imagine the perspective I’d gain if I took the time to crack open a Jackfruit?! From the surface, bananas and jackfruits have nothing in common. But did you know that when a jackfruit is ripe, it smells like bananas and pineapples? And did you know that both fruits actually originated from the same region? I’d never know how much we had in common if I never put in the effort to crack Jack.
What I’m trying to say is that the best friendships might be hidden under an exterior requires effort to get past. The most life-giving relationships are often formed with people who look, think and act differently than us because they cause our perspective to widen and our view of the world around us to come into clearer focus. Love isn’t one-size-fits-all, even in friendships.
It’s natural to approach others as if they receive love and view the world the same way as ourselves. But what if we became learners of each other? What if we sought the opportunity to love old and new friends based on their unique design and made it our mission to know them for who they are instead of taking the easy route past them because they aren’t like us? I want to be sensitive to my sensitive friends and bold to my bold friends. I want love to have its way over my preferences so that I can appreciate and celebrate God’s image-bearers with enthusiasm!

Friendship With Jesus in Marriage

Today’s blog is written by my best friend, Katherine Marlin. She’s an amazing friend who I truly wish could be friends with all the people I know. She loves well.

Marriage & friendship is an interesting topic and one that could go fifty directions – so I thought I may give thoughts on one: friendship with Jesus in marriage. Friendship with Jesus is something I didn’t expect to grow within marriage. I don’t mean I thought once I got married I wouldn’t grow spiritually. I mean I didn’t really expect the hard things in marriage to reveal another side of friendship with Jesus that I wouldn’t see anywhere else. This new friendship with Jesus happens before the uncomfortable conversations or after the big arguments – the times when Chris and I have a difficult discussion and there is no one else to call upon but Jesus. In those moments, I literally reach the point of crying out to God through tears and gasps and barely can get out “God, help me.”

You may be thinking, “wow, their marriage must be terrible” – but honestly, it’s not and it’s actually pretty amazing. This hasn’t happened all that many times – I could probably count on two hands when I’ve reached these points. But these times still stick with me. I can vividly remember the most recent time six weeks ago. It was terrible and beautiful all in the same breath. We had both said some things we regretted saying, in tones of voice we regretted using. I left our bedroom and bawled, sitting on the couch in the dark. Those next few minutes alone asking God to help me, to help us, took me another step deeper in intimacy with the Lord. In that moment, and in moments similar to that, I am pushed to the point of belief that Jesus is all that matters.

When the closest and dearest thing to me has failed me, I still have Jesus, and He is more than enough. I have thoughts in my head that if our marriage is going to be awful now because of this fight (which is a terribly dramatic thought for me), everything will be ok because Jesus loves me and knows me and chooses me over and over again. Jesus understands me when Chris misunderstands me. Jesus loves me when it doesn’t feel like Chris loves me. Jesus chooses me when Chris is pushed to the point of having to make that decision over again. The comfort from this sentiment alone makes moments like these completely worth it – to get to a point in my soul where I am convinced again Jesus is all that matters. Friendship with Jesus is a relationship that remains when all others fall short – when your friend lets you down, when your co-worker demeans you, when your kids disrespect you.

I love how the Passion translation describes our new uninhibited access to God through Jesus “And now we are brothers and sisters in God’s family because of the blood of Jesus, and He welcomes us to come right into the Most Holy Sanctuary in the heavenly realm – boldly and with no hesitation! For He has dedicated a new, life-giving way for us to approach God. For just as the veil was torn in two, Jesus’ body was torn open to give us free and fresh access to Him! And since we now have a magnificent King-Priest to welcome us into God’s house, we come closer to God and approach Him with an open heart, fully convinced by faith that nothing will keep us at a distance from Him.” Hebrews 10:19-21.  This access to God, this friendship with Jesus, this community with the Holy Spirit, is an unshakeable and reliable force in our lives that won’t ever let us down – if others please us or fail us, may we continue on deeper with the Lover of our souls.

 

Living Without Walls

Today’s blog is by one of my best friends. Chris is wise and a GREAT friend. 

If you were to come to my city, Las Vegas, the first thing you would see is the Strip. That four-mile stretch of well-lit hotels, casinos, and bars that is world-renown for providing excess in whatever you could want. However, if you ventured off the Strip with me to “normal Vegas”, you’d find normal grocery stores, normal banks, and normal restaurants. The one thing you might not find “normal” is our neighborhoods. Instead of nice picket fences surrounding houses, you’d find concrete walls. This interesting façade indicates an uglier truth of Vegas: loneliness. We don’t just lead the nation in addiction and suicide because of our casinos, but because of our walls.

We all put walls up when we’re scared or insecure. The problem with walls is they not only hold fear and insecurity in, but also keep intimacy and friendship out. The kind of friendship that lets you relax and that lasts through storms. Although I wouldn’t ask him for marital advice, the biblical figure, Solomon, has great things to say about tearing walls down and building friendship up. Here are three things I’ve learned from him about cultivating lasting friendships:

  1. Friendship Is Fundamental   9Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

You’ve probably heard this verse most often at a Christian wedding, but I love it for friendship! Solomon takes common imagery of the day and advocates friendship is both effective and safe. However, he uses the word “pity” for anyone who doesn’t have that bond. The first step in cultivating lasting friendships is the desire for them. Otherwise, your pursuit for them will dwindle at the first sign of resistance.

  1. Friendship Is FoundOintment and perfume delight the heart, And the sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel. – Proverbs 27:9

Today, anything can be made sweet. Even the most bitter drink (coffee, in my opinion) can be made sweet (see: Frappuccino). What’s interesting about this verse, though, is when Solomon penned it sugar had not yet been discovered. That means anything that was sweet in Solomon’s day was not made, but found. He says friendships are similar. There must be some common value, interest, or experience that you build a friendship upon. Don’t hear me say complete similarity is necessary, but there must be a base of commonality.

I pastor a church in Las Vegas and one of my best friends here is Emaurie, our worship pastor. I like sports; he’s artistic. I’m from the suburbs; him the city. I’m Type A…he’s definitely not. I teach; he sings. I have a buzz cut; he sports dreads. But yet there’s a deep friendship between us. It’s one founded on love for Jesus and expanded on the shared experience pursuing Him in a dark city. CS Lewis said, “Friendship … is born at the moment when one man says to another “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself”.

  1. Friendship Is ForgedBetter is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. – Proverbs 27:5-6

This might be the most foregone point of the three because today, we tolerate least what offends us most. However, I’ve found an absolutely essential key to cultivating lasting friendships is healthy conflict. The picture of a blacksmith comes to mind as he “forges” metal. Every time he swings the hammer into the distressed steel, it gets stronger. What would happen if he swung his hammer at distressed glass, though? Would it get stronger? Of course not, because the chemical compound in steel promotes strength in conflict, while that of glass promotes a shattering. Choosing friendships forged in steel means all parties allow constructive criticism and refuse to move into offense from it. This is possible only when you know the other person loves and has your best in mind. And that reality lived out in friendship opens you both up to the refining process of healthy conflict!

I want my life to be void of walls that bring loneliness and full of lasting friendships that bring life.

The Gift of Going Second

Right now many women on Facebook are going public about the sexual assault they’ve experienced. When I woke-up this morning and checked Facebook, I was stunned by all the women sharing about their experiences. Being in a sorority and on a college campus in the 2000’s, I heard countless stories about friends who were victims of sexual assault. It happens everywhere; not just on college campuses, but it is definitely prevalent there. These stories are not new to me, but when you see such a large number of people in your network sharing, it’s overwhelming. It’s truly an epidemic.

They’re posting two words: Me too. Some are sharing more details or that it wasn’t just once. It’s not just millennial women either. Truly, they aren’t just women. Sexual assault and harassment victimizes men, too. We all lose when we pretend it isn’t happening and when victims are afraid of speaking out. Especially in terms of sexual assault and abuse, it’s usually a silent suffering. It is often shameful for a victim to speak about it. That’s why most women stay quiet.

But today, on a very public platform, they’re telling of their experience. They are sharing because someone else went first. The first woman (or man) to speak gave them the gift of going second; the opportunity to say, “Me too.”

Today it’s about sexual abuse and assault. October is infant loss and miscarriage awareness month, so women are sharing about that, too. It’s lonely when you think you’re the only one with that experience. Then the loneliness can lead to shame. You can begin to believe that your experience is unique, and you’re the only one. But when others start talking, and you realize that you’re not alone, you become more confident in sharing about your experience. You then free others up to do the same, knowing that you’ll be met with acceptance, and not judgment.

Thankfully I don’t have a personal sexual assault story or an infant loss or miscarriage story. But friends close to me do. Even if it’s not the exact same experience, when they’ve shared,

I’ve become more courageous about sharing about my deep hurts, too.

Vulnerable friendship gives that gift. The gift of saying, “Me too.”

Friends who have shared about the struggle to become pregnant have allowed me to share about waiting in my singleness without feeling shame about my own longings. Instead of living in isolation about whatever I’m walking through, I can choose to share and be met with acceptance and love.

It’s tempting to live in surface level friendships with people, but relationships where you bear each other burdens and invite your friends to do the same are where friendship is best. If we really want to fight against loneliness, it’s vital that we share the deep parts of our heart, even it’s hurt and pain.

It’s been devastating to see the stories shared today. It will continue to be difficult to hear them. But there is great power in sharing not only to create awareness, but also to connect vulnerably with others.

20 Questions to Ask Your Friends

If you were on death row, and were about to eat your last meal, what would you want to eat?

Follow-up: Why would you be on death row?

How do you give and receive love?

What are you asking God for?

What are words that you want to be true of you?

Follow-up: What needs to change for that to be true?

What’s saving your life right now?

How do you know that I really love you?

How do you most experience God? (In community, in worship, in nature, etc.)

What are five things that are always in your fridge?

What’s one of your favorites? (Favorite anything.)

If you won the lottery, what’s the first place you would shop?

Next year looks better because…

I’m most like my mom/dad because…

What’s the best news you’ve heard this week?

If you would have one meal with any person dead or alive, who would it be?

What did you want to be when you grew up?

What would you super power be?

I want to be taken more serious in the following area…

What do you dream of doing?

What would your best friend say about you?

What’s a great story that best defines who you are or who you want to be?