It shouldn’t be expensive to be a good friend.

I’m sorry, but it shouldn’t be expensive to be a good friend.

It’s not about living in the right house, or fancy decorations or going out and buying brand new patio furniture. It’s not about catering five-course meals or throwing elaborate parties or picking up the tab for the entire table at the hottest restaurant. It’s not about lavish vacations you can barely afford, feeling the pressure to over-extend yourself financially sprucing up your house, or going into debt to impress anybody.

You can be a good friend today. As you are. With exactly what you have. You can host people in your driveway with lawn chairs and you can feed everyone frozen pizzas, or invite people to a BYOF night at the park by and that way everyone can do what feels best for them. Play cards, or board games, or just sit around and talk. Just get together and enjoy each other’s company. That is literally all it takes.

I used to think I needed to have all the “right stuff”, but now I know that mismatched plates are the perfect kind of “dinnerware” for a night in with friends. Box brownies are chewy goodness. Potlucks are underrated. Old quilts make perfect picnic blankets. Big pots of potato soup go a long way and aren’t expensive.

It’s just about being together, let’s not overcomplicate it.

Sure, fancy dinners are great, but the real gift is being present. The real gift is listening (and hearing), the real gift is sharing stories and hearts. The real gift is just as easily found with plastic cups in our ratty sweats as it is in high-heels using three different forks. Maybe it’s even easier.

Friendship shouldn’t be a luxury and it shouldn’t be some exclusive club that only allows those on the “it” list to get into. Friendship is for everyone and shame on us as a society for making it seem unattainable.

It should be easy. It should be simple. It shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg and a giant wad of $100 bills to build friendships, so don’t buy into the hype that you need this or you need that to invite people into your life and don’t let anyone make you feel like you can’t afford to have friends.

The truth is, you can’t afford NOT to have friends and it costs exactly $0 to be authentic, kind and fun to be around, and that’s all it really takes.

Written by Amy Weatherly and Jess Johnston

Photo by Matheus GO

You Have to Protect Your Peace (even when people don’t understand)

I’m going to let you in on a little secret:

You have to protect your peace.

You have to draw lines and have boundaries. You can’t give your energy to everything and everyone or it will drain you completely to the point where you don’t have anything left to give.

At some point, you are going to have to put a fence around your heart and say “No. This is what I will be doing for now.” This is what matters. Some people won’t get it and that’s okay. They don’t have to. Losing yourself is not success. Success is keeping a pure heart and never losing track of the things you’ve been specifically called to do.

Boundaries are not selfish. Taking care of yourself is not selfish. Saying “no” is not selfish.

You are not anyone’s savior. You cannot be all things to all people. You have limits, you have needs, you have feelings. You MATTER, and your peace is sacred and worthy of protecting.

I know sometimes that inner voice tries to make you feel guilty. I know sometimes people are critical of your “no”, and dang it that’s hard to swallow. But this is not about them, it’s about you.

I think sometimes we expect ourselves and each other to be super-human. We expect too much. It’s not selfish to have boundaries, it’s brave.

You can’t do it all, no one can, but you can do you. You can stay in your lane and do the things that are yours to do. And you can bravely say no and have boundaries when you need to.

Protect your peace.

You are amazing, but never forget that you are human.


Love,

Amy Weatherly & Jess Johnston

Photo by Artem Kovalev

If you love this you will love our nationally best selling book I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants) https://amzn.to/387iMT4

Dear Friend, When I get it wrong…

Have you ever been a bad friend?

Have you ever stuck your foot so far down your mouth you thought it might be time to move to a new country?

Have you ever dropped the ball and forgotten to text or call back when it was actually pretty important?

Have you ever gotten triggered by something and way overreacted and then been embarrassed?

Have you ever assumed the worst of a friend, when that really wasn’t fair or right?

Have you ever been absent when you really should have been more present?

Have you ever been harsh and judgmental?

Have you ever dropped off the face of the planet because you were just going through something, but you left your friends wondering what the heck was going on?

Have you ever pushed them away because of old wounds and baggage that wasn’t their fault?

Have you ever not given the benefit of the doubt and quickly jumped to negative conclusions?

Have you ever forgot a birthday and felt like a jerk?

Have you ever gotten resentful, and instead of addressing it, just let it fester and grow into something bigger than it should have been?

Have you ever made a joke that (unintentionally) made you friend feel like crap?

Have you ever been wrong? Like you really really thought you were right, but you were not?

Yeah, me either.

Perfect friend right here.

Kidding.

If anyone thinks that they haven’t been a bad friend at one point or another (intentionally or unintentionally) then that’s a bigger problem.

We all screw up.

It’s about what we do when we screw up that matters. That’s where the rubber meets the road. Were we humble? Or did we focus on getting our point across? Did we take ownership or did we shift blame to something or someone else? Did we listen (like really listen) or did we just try and defend WHY we did what we did? Did we prioritize our connection or did we prioritize being right? Were we approachable or defensive? Did we try to understand or focus solely on being understood?

When we screw up, all we can do is do our best to clean up our mess (even when it’s hard, even when it means eating humble pie).

And sometimes it can’t be rectified, and that’s terrible, awful, and so painful, but the only person we can control is ourselves. So did we do our best? Did we try?

That’s what matters.

And maybe if we have more grace for ourselves to make mistakes, we’ll have more grace for our friends too.

I don’t know, but I think that friendships that weather storms and hurt feelings grow stronger and deeper.

Love,

Jess

If you love this, you will love Amy Weatherly and I’s new nationally best selling book I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants) https://amzn.to/3ES0d1c

Photo by Tim Mossholder.

Friendship Isn’t a Freebie

Friendship isn’t a freebie.

It’s not a giveaway or a winning lottery ticket.

Friendship is something you work at and sacrifice for.

It’s something that you commit to and invest in.

Friendship looks like listening (like really listening).

Friendship looks like giving the benefit of the doubt even when you’re spitting mad.

Friendship looks like showing up when things are hard.

Friendship looks like serving (with a meal, taking the kids, or doing the dishes).

Friendship looks like being reliable and following through on plans.

Friendship looks like loving each other’s kids.

Friendship looks like pursuing.

Friendship looks like taking the time to call and text just to say “I’m thinking of you”.

Friendship looks like forgiving.

Friendship looks like diving into the hard stuff and being vulnerable even when it’s scary.

Friendship isn’t something that happens by accident or magic.

Friendship is the fruit of loving each other well.

Love,

Jess

Photo Credit: Richard James

If you loved this you will love mine and Amy Weatherly’s new book I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants). https://amzn.to/37yEMGu

Dear Friends(Who I’ve grown apart from)…

Dear Friends (who I’ve grown apart from),

I hope you know how much I love you. I hope you know how grateful I am for the season that you were my person. I know we’re not in each other’s day to day lives anymore, and that’s sometimes sad, but it’s also okay. Our paths took us separate directions, and I’m grateful for the time we had.

Sometimes I see you on Facebook or Instagram. I see your life now and the things and people that fill it. I see your new home, your new baby, and your new job, and I just want you to know I am so so proud of you. So proud. Even though I no longer sit across from you regularly sharing my heart and hearing yours…I’m cheering you on from afar.

I’m cheering for you with my whole entire heart, my friend. I want nothing, but good and wonderful things for you.

You are a part of my heart and journey forever.

Love,

Me

If you love this, you will love me and Amy Weatherly’s new nationally best selling book I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants) https://amzn.to/37yEMGu

It’s better to have one true friend than a thousand “kinda” friends.

It’s better to have one true friend than a thousand “kinda” friends.


It’s better to have one true friend cheering for you with her whole heart, than a thousand who talk about you when you’re not in the room.


It’s better to have one true friend who wants to really do life with you – even when it’s messy and hard – than a thousand friends who are only there when things are fun and good and easy.

It’s better to have one ride-or-die than a thousand who put you low on their list.


Here’s the deal, and I know we say it a lot. It’s not about how many friends you have. It’s not about having a crew or a tribe – even though that’s awesome if you do. It’s not about having a long checklist of people to call for girls night or to list as emergency contact at your kid’s school.


It’s about finding those people that are TRUE friends – and then cherishing them with your whole heart, because a true friend is absolutely precious.

Love,

Jess

Written by Jess Johnston

If you love this you’ll love Amy Weatherly and I’s new nationally best selling book I’ll Be There (But I’ll be Wearing Sweatpants) https://amzn.to/3K4l7eC

Follow Sister, I am with you. for more.

Choose Friends Who Choose You Back.

Choose friends who are choosing you right back.

Choose friends who are willing to get real in conversation.

Choose friends who are making room for you at their table and willing to invest.

Choose friends who lift you higher, let you relax—who make you laugh harder, breathe a little lighter, and come alive a little more.

Choose friends who always give you space to be yourself.

Choose friends who see you (in all your glory and all your mess) and love you still.

Choose friends who love your people too.

Choose friends who celebrate with you when you win.

Choose friends who know you well enough to call you on your crap sometimes (when you really need it).

Choose friends who text you just to check in.

Choose friends who will remind you who you are (when you forget).

Choose friends who believe the best in you and have your back when you’re not in the room.

Choose friends who are vulnerable and real.

Be the kind of friend who loves her friends well, and choose the ones who are loving you right back.

Love,

Amy & Jess

(Written by Amy Weatherly & Jess johnston)

Photo credit: Rachel Mcdermott

Psss if you haven’t seen it yet check out our new book https://amzn.to/35tE9wB (the workbook is out now too!)

Find yourself a friend who tells you you have salad in your teeth.

Find yourself a friend who’s couch is better than yours on a rough day.

Find yourself a friend who will never judge you for your dirty floor or your venting sash.

Find yourself a friend who is in it for the long haul (even when things get mess and hard and weird).

Find yourself a friend who will go to Costco with you on a Tuesday morning because errands and food samples are better together.

Find yourself a friend who FaceTimes and texts even when she moves away.

Find yourself a friend who thinks sitting on the living room floor with $1.00 Diet Cokes from McDonalds is a good time.

Find yourself a friend who will laugh with you and at you too because we all need to not take life too seriously.

Find yourself a friend who you can trust with the your most sacred secrets and hardest struggles and who is a safe place for an ugly cry.

Find yourself a friend that cheers for you with her whole heart.Find yourself a friend you don’t ever have to impress (not even by putting on a bra when she stops by).

Find yourself a friend who will do life with you. Even when life means playgrounds and Target trips and kid’s meals and tantrums.

Find yourself that friend, and be that friend too.

Love,

Jess

Photo by Nicolas Gras

If you love this you will love mine and Amy Weatherly’s new nationally best selling book I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants) https://amzn.to/3My7EgX

Good friendship won’t feel like fitting-in where you don’t belong.

Good friendship won’t feel like a bunch of pressure to be skinny enough, or smart enough, or rich enough. It won’t feel like a bunch of pressure to be pretty enough, or funny enough, or to have a big enough house. It won’t matter what kind of job you have, or what brand your leggings are, or how old you car is.


It won’t matter if you show up with bad news, or if you’re feeling blah, or if you’re still in the same shirt you wore the day before. It will only matter that you show up exactly as you are.


Good friendship won’t feel like a bunch of pressure to say the right thing, or put on a fake smile. It won’t feel like accidentally saying the wrong thing might get you gossiped about later on, or that being vulnerable will be held against you later on.


Good friendship will feel like your favorite sweats with fuzzy socks. It will feel like the perfect messy bun that sits just right. It will feel like comfort and safety. It will feel like kicking off a bad pair of heels and putting your feet up. It will feel like your favorite meal and a summer evening where the temperature is just right.


Good friendship will feel like an open invitation to be fully yourself, and for the right people, that will be enough. It won’t feel like pressure. It will feel like one giant exhale.
It will feel like you belong, just as you are.


Written by Amy Weatherly & Jess Johnston

If you love this, you will love our best selling book I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants) https://amzn.to/36rmMwX


Follow @sisteriamwithyou for more.


Photo by Hannah Montez

15 Things I Want My Teenagers to Know

1.I really, really, want to get it right, but sometimes I get it wrong. Sometimes I put my foot in my mouth, overreact, and just plain crash and burn when it comes to parenting. When I do, I’ll do my best to make it right. Just please know that even when I’m communicating it poorly, my heart is always for you. Always.

2. Sometimes I get scared and I’m not logical or rational. I’m scared you’ll get hurt or you’ll make a mistake that can’t be undone. I’ve spent your whole life protecting you, it’s hard and awkward to start letting you go. I know you won’t fully understand until you’re a parent, and that’s okay. Just know that sometimes I get scared and I overreact, (and I’m working on that). 

3. Mothers are fierce. We are just wired this way. It’s not something I can turn off or tame down. I am your fiercest defender and your strongest ally. I know it can be annoying sometimes, but I promise it’s a gift (even when it really doesn’t seem like it). I will be in your corner always and forever. You need me, I’m there. Period. The end. 

4. I am always praying for you. Always. You might not understand what a big deal that is now, but trust me it is.

5. Don’t ever ever drink and drive or get in the car with someone who is under the influence. You snuck out and don’t have a way home? You lied and said you were going to a friends? It’s 3am and you think I’ll be mad? CALL ME. CALL ME. CALL ME. You will never get in trouble for calling me. 

6. Speaking of which. CALL ME. The same goes for any other situation you’ve gotten into. Please don’t be scared to make mistakes around me. Whatever you’ve done, it’s my job to be there for you. Don’t let shame make you hide. It’s me and you kid, forever. Let me be your wingman, we will figure it out together. 

7. If you’re wrestling with tough stuff, let’s talk. Are you struggling with your faith? I’m here. Are you questioning big life decisions? Let’s talk. Don’t be afraid to disagree with me or question things you’ve always believed. That’s a normal part of growing up. I will do my best to tone down the advice and listen to what’s on your mind. Again, I’m your wingman. 

8. Be kind. You will interact with a lot of different people. Annoying people. People that rub you the wrong way. Rude people. Hurting people. Being kind has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you. I hope you get to realize your dreams, even more than that I hope you guard your heart and you stay kind.

9. Be respectful of people. Look in their eyes. Give a firm handshake. Open the door for the those behind you. Don’t get so busy and distracted that you forget to be polite.

10. What matters to me the most is staying connected to your heart. It’s not you obeying. It’s not me being right (although I do enjoy being right). It’s not about never hitting road blocks or speed bumps, it’s that our hearts are connected through it all and I will do my part to keep it that way.

11. When I get it wrong I will ask your forgiveness. If I do something that hurts you and I miss it, please tell me. It’s important to me that I make it right.

12. Work hard. It matters. Even if everyone around you isn’t, work hard.

13. I know you’re growing up and you’re becoming who you’re supposed to be, but don’t feel like you have to do it too quickly. Let yourself slide into it, don’t force it to happen before it’s time. Being an adult is fun, but childhood is precious, don’t rush the process.

14. Giving is always better than getting. Look for ways to give instead of get.

15. I don’t think there’s anyway to communicate to you how much I love you, but I’ll try. I am your biggest fan. Forever and for always. There is no mistake you could make or failure you could fail that could make me stop loving you. Ever. I am all in, forever. You can rest when you’re around me because my love is here and it’s never going anywhere. It doesn’t require anything, it’s just yours.