As I was visiting with an acquaintance the other day, they made a comment about what great friends Kristin, Julie, and I seem to be and how they wished they had a good friend of their own, a “perfect” friendship.

And although I agreed that Kristin and Julie are wonderful friends—or framily, as we like to call each other—our friendship is far from perfection. In fact, often it is just the opposite. I cringed as the woman spoke, knowing that social media often only portrays the lovely side to many things in life, including our relationships. And although I have no plans to air our dirty laundry for others to observe, I do think it’s important to talk about the messy side of friendships, and how you can still have great friends.

So here are a few things I’ve learned about great friendships, and how we survive (and thrive!) through all the ups and downs of life.

Good morning, friends! Today's post is from Jen Spiegel, our dear friend and collaborator on our new book Grace for the Misfits: 31 Days Pursuing the Unconventional Favor of God, arriving NEXT Monday. In the meantime, Jen's writing today about broken-tailed blessings, and her post is a little preview of what we've got in store for you in our Misfits book.

I was at a women's conference last fall when my husband did the unthinkable. I'd warned him against it many times, but in a sudden burst of courage and obstinacy (fueled by my absence, I'm sure), a few cute pictures on a website had him driving an hour from home to pick up something I'd said no to more times than I can count.

It was Saturday afternoon, and as the conference was winding down I received a text from my hubby. It read, "Have I told you lately how beautiful you are?" There was also a picture.

A picture of a dog.

A picture of a dog in my living room.

After spending a few minutes oscillating between shocked silence and disbelieving laughter, I pulled myself together enough to finish out the conference and then headed home, not quite sure what I'd do when I got there.

We'd been down the dog road before, and it wasn't a journey I was excited about taking again. Ever. I've always loved dogs—other people's dogs, not ones that want to sleep in my bed every night and steal my bagel every morning.

Y'all, it wasn't pretty when I got home.