Monday, April 11, 2016

Review: The Gift of Friendship

The Gift of Friendship
Edited by Dawn Camp
Revell, 2016


Sharing secrets. Laughing until it hurts. Hugging through tears. True friends are one of God's greatest gifts.

Whether next door or in the next time zone, our friends provide some of our most important relationships. We cherish time spent with them, bemoan time spent apart, and look forward to the next time we can have coffee or rush to greet them as they walk toward our door. And nothing warms our hearts like stories of true friendship.

Collecting over fifty true stories from some of today best writers, Dawn Camp offers readers a chance to sit back and experience the gift of friendship. With its beautiful photographs and poignant prose, this collection is a great gift for a dear friend and the perfect pick-me-up any time you need a boost. Contributors include Crystal Paine, Liz Curtis Higgs, Tsh Oxenreider, Myquillyn Smith, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Lisa-Jo Baker, Jessica Turner, Lysa TerKeurst, Bonnie Gray, Holley Gerth, Renee Swope, and many more.

My thoughts

I tend to be an introvert, so this book really spoke to me. Not that I don’t have friends, because I do; but I often fail to stay connected with them like I should. In fact, I wasn’t very far into this collection before I stopped to phone and write notes to a few of those special people in my life, and was greatly blessed as a result.

The Gift of Friendship is an inspirational collection from several of today’s popular writers, edited by Dawn Camp, and also includes beautiful photography by her as well. Included are such topics as Building Community, It Takes a Friend to Be a Friend, Hospitality, Vulnerability, and Making a Difference. I’m familiar with a few ladies who contributed to this collection, and I made new “friends” at the same time. I recommend reading The Gift of Friendship slowly, a chapter at a time, and you’ll discover that the experience is similar to surrounding yourself with a group of encouragers.

Rather than trying to describe this book further, let me point out a few things that I found especially touching . . .

  • I have been surprised at how close relationships can be formed online, so I appreciated Dawn’s words in the Introduction:  “Don’t let anyone tell you that a friendship that begins online must lack a foundation. Treasure friendship in whatever form it takes.”
  • Francie Winslow talks about the importance of deepening our relationships in a world of high-tech social media where we are “connected – but rarely known.”
  • I loved the humorous experience Liz Curtis Higgs shared about her friend’s friendship bread and starter dough, resulting in this reflection:  “Sometimes the best friendships get off to a messy start. Just keep squeezing, add the right ingredients, and let it bake until done. Delicious.”
  • Sarah Forgrave uses the beautiful analogy of a quilt to illustrate the give and take of friendship:  “Some of the fabrics were colorful and vibrant, while others faded into the background or had frayed around the edges. The quilt maker took these frayed pieces and stitched them next to a sturdy piece. As each scrap of cloth connected with another, the weak ones became stronger, until the squares were stitched together to form a quilt. A quilt with no evidence of frayed edges. A quilt as beautiful as its most vibrant pattern.” My takeaway is that when I’m weak, I need to share with a trusted friend(s), letting others come alongside me and trim off my frayed edges. When I’m strong, God stitches me next to someone else to hold them together.
  • I especially enjoyed Dawn Camp’s personal stories that are scattered throughout this collection. In one chapter, she describes how people reached out to those in need during a southern ice storm, how “tragedy breeds everyday heroes.” I could definitely relate to that, as I live in Georgia! In another chapter, she encouraged me to find a safe place by looking for someone I can trust - and, at the same time, to be a safe place for friends who need to talk. In the last chapter, Dawn talks about mother/daughter closeness, ending with an anonymous quote that perfectly describes the precious relationship my mom and I had:  “A mother is your first friend, your best friend, your forever friend.”

The Gift of Friendship is a great book for personal reading, but would also make a wonderful gift for a special friend. Highly recommended.


Dawn Camp is the camera-toting, homeschooling mother of eight children. A featured blogger at (in)courage, her beautiful photography previously graced their monthly calendar and currently decorates the desktops of women around the world. Camp blogs at and is a featured photographer on Adobe's website for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom software. She lives with her family in metro Atlanta.

Thank you to Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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