the kind of friend that makes the extra stop

I dropped two little people off at preschool.

Rushed to Target to pick up a needed item. Had to be fast. Chris was at home waiting for me to return so he could go to work.

I really wanted a nice hot caramel macchiato, but the line was long. Not enough time to wait. Bummer.

I fast paced walked through the store, got my items, checked out.

As I looked up, a saw a good friend just getting her coffee and about to leave the store. I waved and said hi.

She was surprised to see me and then handed me the coffee and a pumpkin muffin.

“These are for you. I was going to drop them off at your house on my way to work.”

She didn’t have a coffee for herself. She was on her way to work. She made a special stop with me in mind.

I want to be that kind of friend.

The kind that thinks of others before I think of myself.

The kind that goes out of my way to be thoughtful towards others.

The kind that makes the extra stop.

My friends are teaching me how to be a friend. Especially in the last year.

I want to not be so self absorbed. So distracted. So in my own little world.

I want be the type of friend that my friends are to me.

What about you? What kinds of thoughtful things have your friends or family done for you? What are some simple ways others have expressed kindness to you or ways you’ve expressed it to others?

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  • Tammy - I have a friend who’s a very talented professional baker. A few days ago, I was telling her how much I adore macarons but never treat myself because they’re so expensive (understandable given how labour intensive they are). Today she was making a huge bunch of macarons for a wedding tomorrow, and she made some extras just for me. I was so shocked when she dropped them by this afternoon. I didn’t even know she made them for her work! I thought she only baked cakes!

  • AliceL - I think you have to let go of wanting to be a perfect friend, I think that seeing all that your friends give you already you must be NOW a pretty good friend… If you were a crappy self centered person you would not get all the support & love & special gifts from your friends… I think you already give tons to other people just by being youself & letting others love you just for who you are!!! You share your whole beautiful family & life with strangers, that is so very generous.
    I don’t know you from Adam & Eve, I live in Europe, miles & miles away from you, & I love you & your amazing family, you inspire me to be a better person everyday…
    I think that you are an amazing friend & I think that many many others also think that!!!
    Keep it up, no more no less.

  • Leanne - I think sometimes just being who you are is enough. We can’t always be the one that does make the extra stop, but the time we do will be the time it is perfect and needed by that person. God puts us where we need to be! Blessings to your friend for being there today for you xo

  • Alisa Biggs - I had so much fun on my birthday in doing 37 random acts of kindness to celebrate each year i have been alive. My girls went with me & was having fun & it taught them how to give without even knowing someone. Some people looked like u was crazy & some were very grateful.

  • weekends are for joy en masse » A Holy Experience - [...] on the Weekend:  This read so encourages, yes? Couldn’t it change the whole weekend into amazing? {See [...]

  • Annie - Ashley—-

    Ive known of your blog for quite sometime……since you posted your darling bedroom with the chicken wire….:)
    lol
    I haven’t followed many blogs in the last few months, but i clicked on yours last night and spent an hour crying and laughing and in total awh of your strength and goodness. What a cute little family!
    You are so blessed!
    I sure hoooope you don’t mind that I mentioned you in my blog post last night on my page. I just had too…lol
    I wish you and your family all the best in the WORLD!!!!
    xoxo
    Annie!

  • ellen patton - I never say “call me if you need anything”. I just do things for people. I have a friend who is a young widow and when she travels I give her “3 wishes” for things I will do while she’s gone (ex., clean her kitchen, water her plants, put her addresses on her computer, drop things at Goodwill, etc.). I once saw an old woman dragging her luggage up the stairs in the subway station in Boston. I ran by her on my way to work, got to the top of the stairs, and then ran back down and said, “LET ME HELP YOU.” She clearly needed help but didn’t have to ask for it. When we got to the top of the stairs she said, “God bless you!” It was one of the sweetest moments of my life.

  • Bethany - My best bud showed up at my work one day with a frappuccinco and some owl themed office supplies. We share your love of happy office supplies. Made my day, week, year!

  • Mindy - Hi Ashley ~
    I don’t know how to email you directly, so I will just post a comment even though it doesn’t have anything to do with this post.

    I’m not sure if you have ever come across this blog – but it is awesome! rageagainsttheminivan.com

    this post in particular might help in the future
    http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com/2012/07/parents-please-educate-your-kids-about.html

    anyway – i love your blog. keep posting more pics of little one.

    take care

  • Nataliya - Gosh this is just so beautiful. Your friend is awesome but I’m sure you are too. Because she wouldn’t have done this for you, if you hadn’t been the kind of friend that she wants to keep:)

    I have been thinking about this a lot recently. When I had my daughter, my first priority was her and my husband as it should be, but I started neglecting my friendships more than I probably should’ve. I had stopped investing time in my friendships as much.

    Then early this year my dad passed away after a short but traumatic battle with cancer. When that happened, I was expecting a lot from my friends, I thought they’d be there every day, they’ll help me get through it. I was expecting a lot from them, and needless to say, I got hurt and disappointed.

    However later on in retrospect I realized, maybe I hadn’t been making them a priority in my life since becoming a mother, maybe I hadn’t shown them that they were still important to me. Maybe I hadn’t invested in my friendships enough. That was eye opening for me, and I want to be a better friend now. Because only when we spend good times together and make memories are we able to cry on our friends shoulders when something sad comes our way.

    Thanks for sharing this little reminder. We all need good friends!

  • kiley - I completely agree with your sentiments about becoming “that kind of friend.” We live about two hrs. from any immediate family, but we are so blessed to have “in-town, adopted grandparents.” Our beloved, Miss Libby, gives me a whole day off once a month while she cares for my four children. In recent months, she’s been helping out weekly on dr. appt. days while we anticipate the arrival of our fifth little one who could arrive at any time. Squeal!!! I can only pray that I’ll be the servant-hearted, Godly mentor to another young mom that she is to me. In the meantime, I often pray that my heart and eyes will be open to see other’s needs and have a desire and willingness to show them love.

  • Gena@BakeAllTheThings! - My mom taught me to be this kind of friend and it’s the friend I try to be. I enjoy giving little gifts, running needed errands, helping with mundane tasks, anything that helps bring a little joy, lift a bit of burden, soften a tragedy, encourage a little smile.

  • Jedidja - Amazing post! I will be such a woman as your friend!

  • Megan - My husband is deployed to Afghanistan for 9 months, and my mom and many others have been so amazing to us by doing big things and little things. I had my third son in the middle of this deployment, and my mom stayed a few MONTHS (my sweet dad, also sacrificing by not getting to be with my mom many miles away), to help us out during this time! Friends randomly come snag my kids, or bring us a meal. They have ALL taught me so much, and have shown me the way I want to be for others!!

  • Jen - That is lovely! I have a friend that lives far away, but knows that a certain time of year is particularly rought for my and she always manages to send me the most thoughtful card at the most perfect time. Unexpected joy.

  • Mary B. - Approximately one hour ago, the last of 5 couples left the party. The party was at our house for a dear friend who is battling cancer. We called this a “Life Party”. We served her favorite foods and had a custom made cake that said, “Celebrate Life”. We told story after story of times a 38 year friendship holds. We laughed, prayed, cried & sang. It was sweet fellowship , sweet friendship, and sweet worship.

  • Angie - My birthday was on the 21st and I was stuck at home as my little one just had lip surgery (cleft lip revision). Two friends stopped by with Starbucks gift cards and one brought a latte and cake pop. The next day we received an unexpected meal. I have wonderful, kind friends too. I am glad you are being taken care of!

  • Sarah (SophieBugsMom) - Friends are the best! Even better when they live in Target with us!!

    Glad you guys are settling in and getting used to being a family of 7!

    I was following you on instagram but somehow, your feed is no longer showing up… I believe you are following me, however, as of this past weekend. Is there a way to re-follow you? I can’t request it via the follow button.

  • Chantel - I love this. Great friends are so special! Thank you for the reminder to go above and beyond for my friends!!

  • Stephanie Charest - this gave me tears in my eyes. i want to be that kind of friend too. and it may sound weird, coming from a complete stranger…but i really like you. i think you are so lovely. and i’m very happy that your daughter is home.

  • Brooke - GREAT POST!!! this warms my heart to no end!! Great people do great things! :)

  • Beck - Such a beautiful reminder!

  • girlfriends | - [...] want to be this kind of friend – [...]

  • erin kirby - i linked back to this post on my blog with my own little story of an act of service + a free printable. :)

    http://www.erinlovesearl.com/2012/10/just-because-i-think-youre-rad-free.html

  • Erica - This post literally brought tears to my eyes because 1) I am lucky enough to have good friends, and 2) I totally sympathize with you wanting to be that kind of friend. But you know what? You must already be a great friend and not even know it because your friends care about for a reason. So don’t worry about what you aren’t doing as it seems you are already doing enough :)

  • Katy - It’s hard to be that type of friend…but I’m working on it. I think it ebbs and flows, too. When you need it, they’re there for you, and vice versa. You’ll have your chance to be that type of friend when it’s your turn.

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