Barbie, Me, and Tenacity

There are times in my life when I do not think I can go on any further. During these dark seasons of doubt, I need voices of insistence to light the way. My best friend, Barbie, is one of the people who coaches me through those long tunnels of insecurity.        

My best friend, Barbie, and Me in high school


In a recent conversation with Barbie, she told me I was tenacious (my paraphrase follows):        

“JoDee, you amaze me with your persistence. You are tenacious. You go after something you believe is right for you to do regardless of what it takes. Most people would look at all the hard work required and say, ‘forget this,’ but you roll up your sleeves and take it on.”        

As she spoke, my heart sang. I knew she was right, this kindred spirit who has known me for the past thirty-seven years.        

Barbie always makes me smile!


We first officially met when I was spying on her practicing her cheerleading routine. We were freshmen in high school and both highly competitive and tenacious. I heard about her talent and was curious to scope out the competition before the Junior Varsity Cheer Squad try outs.        

She caught me peeking around the corner and a big smile spread across her face, even though her leg was up in the air balancing ballerina style. Of course, I had to introduce myself, and the rest is best friend history.        

Best Friends Forever!


Over the years, Barbie has taught me so much about being tenacious. She has overcome very difficult circumstances and challenges. We both lived similar life stories. What happens to me eventually happens to her and vice versa.        

Sad at cheer camp


We both ventured overseas as missionaries, married missionaries who turned into ministers, had a boy and a girl, got divorced, lost our ministries, sought new careers in business, and built successful lives. Whew! That was a sentence full.        

The online Webster definition of tenacious is “tending to hold fast, not easily pulled apart, seeking something valued or desired.”        

How fitting this definition is in describing our enduring friendship and what we mean to each other. Because we “hold fast to one another” and are “not easily pulled apart,” we give each other the strength for “seeking something valued or desired.”        

Graduation Day


Our paths somewhat veered apart when I quit my arts and craft business that my sister, Gina, and I co-owned. I pursued a career in education and Barbie went on to expand her successful floral business securing accounts with top name clients such as Coldwater Creek, QVC, and Williams-Sonoma.        

Barbie gets ready to ship floral wreaths


Yet these last few years we find ourselves coming back together in purpose. We seek ways to raise literacy funds for youth, both stateside and internationally. Barbie even purchased eight laptops for a literacy lab I facilitated.        

Students using the computers Barbie purchased


Recently, my appreciation of my best friend increased to levels I never dreamt possible as she talked me off an insecurity ledge.        

“JoDee, I don’t know what I would do without you!” Barbie insists.        

I returned her sentiments, “I know I’d be crazy without you to process my life and feelings with.” I added.        

As I walked and we talked over the phone (Barbie lives in another state), her resolve in believing I can do this writing thing filled me with new strength.        


“You can do this! Don’t think for a moment you can’t. Stop reading all that information that tells you that you’ll fail and put your energy into what you can do! One day you will look back on all this inner turmoil and laugh. God has a plan for your life and for your writing and it will come about.”        

I stumbled along the sidewalk in the over one hundred degree temperature drinking in her words as living water for my soul. She is tenacious in her continued counsel and support of me and my dreams. Everyone should have the privilege of such a precious friend. They help you open up the doors of possibility in your life!       

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