Build a Bible study group. You and your girlfriends can grow closer to God and each other by starting a Bible study group and inviting other women to join and grow along with you all. When setting up the group: make a schedule and stick to it, starting and ending on time and ever canceling a meeting except for emergencies; designate both a committed leader and a backup leader to fill in whenever necessary; start each lesson off in a fun or thoughtful way to capture the group’s attention right away; stay focused on the Bible study material and save social conversations for afterward; and don’t try to counsel women in challenging situations (instead, listen, pray, and refer them to your pastor or a Christian counselor).

Plan girls’ nights (or days) out together. Set aside some special girlfriend times to have fun together with some kind of theme that you all would enjoy. Some ideas: nature walks, a spa trip, a makeover party, a reality show party, gardening, painting, swapping clothes from each other’s closets, stargazing, shopping for antiques, or volunteering for a local charitable organization together.

Plan fun trips and spiritual retreats together. Go on vacation with your girlfriends to enjoy fun adventures that you couldn’t experience at home: from tours of beautiful national parks to cruises filled with shows and food. Schedule some weekends to get away to a quiet place for spiritual retreats together as well, seeking to learn and grow in your faith during your time together.

Accept the seasons of friendships in your life. Keep in mind that some of your friendships may last for many years, while others may only endure for a short season. Respect God’s timing for each friendship, realizing that each friendship accomplishes different purposes in your life and the lives of your friends. Enjoy the friendships you have, and let go of them when you or some of your friends need to move on.

Adapted from God, Grace, and Girlfriends: Adventures in Faith and Friendship,copyright 2011 by Mary R. Snyder. Published by New Hope Publishers, Birmingham, Al., www.wmustore.com.           

Mary R. Snyderr’s busy blog (http://www.maryrsnyder.com) is one of multiple ways crowds of women connect with this leader’s message of hope, joy, and adventure in Jesus Christ. As Premier Christian Cruises Girl’s Get-A-Way group coordinator, contest director, and girlfriend leader, Mary has a following that’s near, far, and across cultures because she carries God’s holy truth in her messages with God’s love, humor, and vivid detail.

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles (http://angels.about.com/). Contact Whitney at: angels.guide@about.comto send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer.