8 Striking Truths about Friendship from Michele Howe’s Book, Part 1: Signs of a “Good” Friend

Maggie Swofford shares her thoughts on what makes a good friend. Insightful. Delightful. Inspirational.

Hendrickson Publishers Blog

By Maggie Swofford, Marketing & Editorial Assistant

Friendship is a complicated subject that I love to think about because of all the fascinating dynamics and emotions that go into finding and sustaining a true, deep friendship. As a result of my curiosity and excitement in regards to digging into the details of what makes a friendship a good one, you can imagine my glee at getting the chance to read Michele Howe’s book Navigating the Friendship Maze: The Search for Authentic Friendship. As I dove into Howe’s thoughtful advice, there were so many fascinating points that I could barely keep up! She attacks friendship head-on, addressing topics and issues I hadn’t thought of. She doesn’t evade the difficult and complicated matters of “bad” friends and gives sensitive advice on how to cut off unhealthy friendships. Not only that, but she discusses intimate details that friendships should possess in…

View original post 1,986 more words


What’s Your Breed?

Navigating the Friendship Maze: The Path to Authentic Friendship

Awhile back, I asked readers which letter they felt they most closely resembled.

I was a “C” for control.

Today, I’m wondering what type of canine breed you are?

I’m a bulldog.

You know — tenacious, determined, persistent, hanging on to the bitter end type of person.

Like any breed (or personality) there’s some good and not so good aspects to feeling a kinship with a specific characterization.

It’s good to stay at a task until it’s finished.
It’s good to persist through setbacks and disappointments.
It’s good to never give up hope

What’s not so good is when your inside is telling you to quit and your driven-ness won’t accept defeat even when it’s the most sensible step to take.

While sticking with a project, goal, job, relationship through thick and thin can be admirable…it’s not always the wisest choice long-term.


View original post 211 more words


Navigating the Friendship Maze, a Review



Publishers Weekly review of my new book, Navigating the Friendship Maze.

Celebrate with me!

Howe (Empty Nest, What’s Next?), who reviews books for PW, passionately if narrowly addresses friendship between women within a “sin-ridden, broken world.” For Howe, female friendship is an agency of evangelism in a three-sided relationship composed of two women and the Bible. In three sections, she covers 30 aspects of friendship, explaining why biblical friendships are essential, defining the kind of friend every woman needs, and outlining how to become a best friend forever. She writes about frenemies, mentors, peers, healers, hurters, funny friends, and challenging friends, among other types. Though Howe focuses on Christ-followers and “godly women,” she allows for the inclusion of those standing just outside her tent who are yearning to be saved. She acknowledges “how powerful biblical friendships are and how they impact our lives for good,” and proposes that readers work hard to maintain faith-based communities. Each brief, digestible chapter ends with a summary of key points, a prayer (more prosaic than poetic), and three notes on friendship for further study. Women seeking to learn more about how to approach different friendships will enjoy the simple fundamentals of Howe’s “God-honoring” instructions. (May)


What Letter R U?

Written six years ago! I still struggle with the letter “C” taking command of my thoughts and life. But…there has been some progress made. Go God!

Navigating the Friendship Maze: The Path to Authentic Friendship

This day is starting out as an auspicious one. Don’t you love that word?

Auspicious = favorable. Love it.

Woke up at 415am (after sleeping six hours straight which might be deemed an almost miracle) and checked FB to see if my son had posted an update during the night. He had (and this photo is it.)

Okay, it’s not technically an “update” but since he is traveling in Istanbul I’m just thankful to see via FB that he is 1) safe, 2) eating, 3) taking it all in (in that order.)

As a mom to three daughters and one son, I define communication very differently between the two sexes. My girls and I talk (text/email/chat) daily. My son (not so much) but when he does (text/email/chat) it is in succinct soundbite phraseology, which…

View original post 667 more words


Falling Down and Getting Back Up Again

Courage… it looks different to each of us.

Navigating the Friendship Maze: The Path to Authentic Friendship


Two days ago I was minding my own business when someone dared me to climb a tree in our yard.

I couldn’t say no.

I looked at the tree and thought, yep, I can do that (which comes from watching too many reality shows…and forgetting how old one is…)

The bet was on…$10.00 said I couldn’t do it.

It never occurred to me to be afraid I might hurt myself.

I had my sights on getting up that tree and ten bucks is ten bucks.

Well, I got part way up…scraped up my arms and legs and dropped back down in defeat. Sadness.

Then my daughter came over and swung herself up with ease.

I tried again.

I got my foot stuck…so there I am hanging piteously and I can’t get down (or up)…and I start laughing (even though it wasn’t funny.)

My daughter starts supporting me then my husband…

View original post 99 more words


The Boomerang Effect: Leading (and Living) by Posture and Presence

Leading by example…it never goes out of style.

Navigating the Friendship Maze: The Path to Authentic Friendship

I got up early this morning with email hackers on my mind.

Yesterday, while driving to a dinner appointment, I started getting texts/emails/calls from concerned friends that my primary email account had been hacked. Like almost all of the bogus emails floating around (and I get them frequently from just about everyone on my email list) this letter declared I was in London (I wish!) and needed money (true enough) so please send 1000 euros immediately (to which I asked my closest friends who alerted me to the bogus email, “Did you wire me the money yet?”) 😉

My friends are smart people.
They knew better than to follow the lead of something that didn’t sound quite right.
So they did what good friends do, they checked their facts just to be sure by talking with me.

As I laid in bed last night unable to sleep, I considered how…

View original post 340 more words


10 Questions with Michele Howe

Hendrickson Publishers Blog

Hendrickson Publishers interviewed Michele Howe about her newly released book Empty Nest, What’s Next?

10 Questions with Michele HoweWhat is your advice for readers just beginning your book?
I would love for parents entering the empty nest season of life to try and forget all the advice others have told them, especially the false statement that parenting ends when a child turns eighteen. The truth is that parenting, for the most part, gets even more challenging. As I write in the text, “little people = little problems while big people = big problems.” In the same way that our kids grow into adulthood, they also face adult-sized trials and troubles just as us parents do. This is never easy because a mom or dad’s parental heart still beats with the same intensity as when the children were young. If we go into the empty nest season with the expectation that it will be a…

View original post 978 more words