A True Friend

A friend loveth at all times.
Proverbs 17:17

During one of our visits to Ohio, our Amish friend, Daniel, told us about a surprise anniversary party he and his wife had planned for some of their friends. As they gave us the details about the great lengths they’d gone to in order to keep the anniversary couple from finding out about the party, I was struck with the realization that a true friend goes the extra mile to do something special for someone they care about.

Another instance of friendship came to mind during the time we spent with some of our Amish friends in Pennsylvania. They actually gave up their bed and moved to the basement so we could have a room on the main floor.

One other time, some of our Amish friends in Indiana invited me to do a book signing in their home, and they invited their friends and relatives to come and meet us. We had an enjoyable evening as I signed books, visited, and ate refreshments.

The depth of friendship isn’t merely about spending time together or doing the right thing toward our friends. It’s about sacrifice and doing for others as we would have done to us. It’s about showing friends that we love them just as Christ loves us. Is there something special you can do for one of your friends today?


  1. Wanda,

    Thank you for “A True Friend.” To have a true friend, you are one yourself, and I believe that you yourself are one of those true friends. Thank you for your testimony and the special things you post for us all.

    • Thank you, Judy. Blessings, Wanda

    • Thank you for your inspiration. You are truly a good friend to many many readers and personal friends. A true friend is someon, who knows all about you and loves you anyways.

    • True friends are really hard to come by. I have my best friend that has been there for me since high school. She had a kidney transplanet so I made dinner for her and purchased lots of her favorite ice pops. For her, my sister and I the best thing we can do for each other is be in our on little book club where we purchase the same books and enjoy discuss them.

  2. Harriet Strawn says:

    What an awesome and exciting life you have been given.

  3. Karen Smith says:


  4. Karen Smith says:


  5. It’s so good to have good friends we can depend on and those unexpected ones that surprise us . That’s real love for others . Our friend Sue & her kids show up on a Sunday evening on our covered deck with a complete meal . They set it up then knocked on our door . We all ate a great supper together . No cooking , dishes or clean up for me to do . We miss our friend so much , she went to be with our Lord at age 48 almost 2 yeas ago leaving many friends & 4 children behind . She had Lupus & we never knew how sick she was .

  6. loretta says:

    I hope that I am that kind of friend, I know that I try to be.
    A reminder to be ever-thoughtful is appreciated.

  7. Michele Hayes says:

    I think we all can do something special for our friends and loved ones when we put our mind and our hearts into it. And sometimes it’s the smallest gestures that mean the most.

  8. Maureen says:

    Thank you for the reminder that we are to be Christ to others. I think we are all guilty of meaning to do well and letting other things that don’t matter get in the way. It is important to step back and remember what really does matter and to act on it.

    I am chronically ill and I know how much I appreciate when friends offer little things, like a visit or a card, or even to run an errand for me. I do my best to try to be a good friend and return the kindness. I may not be able to do as much for them physically, but I make sure I am available for them to share their happiness and sorrows and I make sure to pray for them always. I also let them know how grateful I am to have them in my life.

  9. Rosemary says:

    We realized who our true friends were when our apartment building caught on fire and friends were there helping us. A group of friends came to our new apartment and unpacked boxes for me when the restorers were finished cleaning the salvaged items.

  10. Diane Castiglione says:

    Thank you for all that you do and how you have shown what God wants us to be. I try to be a
    friend and help others when I can. Friends are people that will walk a mile with you even when not asked.
    I have a friend that who will go out of her way to help others. She will bring a meal when she hears that you are not well. She don’t even have to know you that well and their she is on your
    steps with a full meal or to take you to a doctor appointment. That is a true friend.
    Also thank you for all the wonderful books that you write.

  11. deblang says:

    Hi Wanda…. I was so happy to learn about you contest. We recently moved to Florida to help my 90 year old mom and my dad passed away and I have started trying to get her hooked on your books like I am. I cannot wait till your book The Struggle comes out!! Your books inspire me so much!! They are relaxing, inspiring and I always wait so hard in anticipation of what you will write next… God Bless you for all you do…..

  12. Sue Brandes says:

    My best is always there for me and she lives really far away. We keep in touch through many emails and cards. She has gone the extra mile many times. She has truely blessed my life.

  13. Dear Wanda,

    For this contest, you asked that we leave a note here for a signed copy of your latest book, “the Struggle.” Well, I am looking forward to reading it, just about as soon as it is “hot off the press!”

    Love & Prayers,

  14. Suzanne Sellner says:

    This summer I realized that a single friend of mine in another city several hours away would need help as she had a second foot surgery within several weeks of a previous one. In other words, both feet would be bandaged and need to be pampered as she recovered. While her daughter had helped her with the first surgery, she was already busy working and caring for her own family.

    God impressed on me that I could be the one to go care for her at the time of her second surgery–taking her to and bringing her home from the surgery, preparing her meals, preparing ice packs, toting things for her, cleaning up after us, and providing companionship until she could return to her usual activities. Since she slept a lot immediately following the surgery, I too was able to rest and read and felt extremely refreshed upon returning home. It was quite a blessing for me to be with her as well as assist her!

  15. Kathy Rowe says:

    You remind us to be the best friend that we can possibly be. Always be there in good times and bad for that special person. Doesn’t matter if you live close by or a thousand miles away. You both know that you can depend on the other whenever the need arises. I have one such best friend that I have been friends with for close to fifty years. We don’t get to be together very often, but we both know the other is there for us if need be.
    Keep writing and I will keep reading!

  16. Christina Burrell says:

    So true and such a beautiful post. My closest friend is struggling through a painful divorce now. Even though we are miles apart, I try to call, send handwritten notes of encouragement, and reminders of Gods unfailing love.

  17. Mary Jane Miller says:

    Talking about A True Friend, I have a friend who I have know for 42 years and she has been there for me all these years. In fact, she lives in MO and I live in NC. We were neighbors in MO and we have stayed connected all these years. She is always there when I call and helps me when I need her. That’s a True Friend for me after all these years.
    Thank you.

  18. Rita Wray says:

    I am looking forward to reading The Struggle. Thank you.

  19. Toni Coleman says:

    There have been several times that I have been heart broken. My friend Deb has called and invited me to church or just to come to her house to visit. We have traded many books of yours back and forth, and discussed the Amish people. By her being such a friend it has been like an anchor that has been tossed to me in my storms.

  20. DeeAnn S says:

    I try to be ever mindful of my friends wants and needs. Sometime all it takes ia a warm smile to make a bad day better. And putting a smile on their face is so rewarding, it makes my heart sing! 🙂 Thanks.

  21. Katie Haselhorst says:

    You have a wonderful gift of writing. You share the way of having a simple life and how God is important in everyone’s lives. God has given you a special talent to reach so many people in the world and touch our hearts. Not only have you been blessed, but you have blessed so many others with your words. Thank You!!

  22. True Frienda are hard to find…Keep them when you have them..Can’t wait to read The Struggle..Thank You…

  23. Rita Leid says:

    Hi Wanda,
    I really do enjoy your books; your stories are so realistic, I can just picture myself, right there, in Lancaster, PA.; Bird~in~Hand, or wherever the story is. I can see in my mind, what all the folks look like; it’s just so much fun and interesting to read your stories.
    Just today, I finally bought “Love Finds A Way”! Can’t wait for my special ‘me time’, to read it!

    Thanks for your care, concern, and love of your novels, and their families!

    Much Love & Many Blessings, to you, Richard and your families.

    Rita A. Leid, Moore, OK.

    PS: Come and visit our area sometime!

  24. Cathy Gaylord says:

    I have a special friend that is the sister I never had. She is there for me when I need to cry or to laugh. We have been friends for 37 years after she came to work at JC Penney’s where I was already employed. From our first conversation we have been the very best of friends. I thank God for her everyday and that he put her in my life for a lifetime.

  25. Enjoyed reading your comments. Are we not lucky to have friends?
    Your book sounds really good.

  26. B. J. Maxwell says:

    I am so excited to be one of last month’s contest winners. I am looking forward to reading aloud with my niece in two weeks. Then, we’ll give you our reviews. Should be a good learning experience.

    Being a friend is best done with you listen with an open heart. Share confidences which you keep. Lend a hand, ear, or shoulder as needed. Don’t give unsolicited advice. Even with frequent moves I have many long time friends. They are my support.

    Enjoy your books. Break a leg with your play. Wish I could see it on the first run. jean

  27. Wanda Barefoot says:

    Hi Wanda,
    First, I absolutely love your books. There’s something about the Amish life that appeals to my reader’s heart. As for a true friend, I have to admit I have one of the truest friends a person could have. I lost everything I owned, including my treasured books, when our home was destroyed by black mold in 2010. We have to comepletely burn the house down and I was so sensitive to the mold and had gotten so sick, I couldn’t even wear my clothes. Needless to say I was very upset and in need. My friend drove 3 hours to get here and took me shopping for new clothes. He is such a great man and I hope I can in some way repay him for all he has done for me over the years. May we never take our friends for granted.

    God Bless,

  28. Linda McFarland says:

    Hi Wanda, A true friend doesn’t say, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do”. A true friend has already recognized the need and in the process of doing something. My two best friends are my husband and my mom. I know they are praying for me and ready to listen and keep confidences I share with them. Love your books. I must admit sometimes I get so involved I forget they aren’t written about real people.. Since I live close to Lancaster Co., PA it’s fun to imagine where the places you write about are. May God continue to bless you as you endeavor to serve Him & keep writing!

  29. GladysMP says:

    There is a great deal of personal satisfaction to be found in doing something especially nice for friends. The saying ” The way to have a friend is to be one.” is definitely true.

  30. What a great journal entry and reminder for all of us. Currently I am meeting with a younger woman to help her in a struggling marriage.

  31. Sally Roehr says:

    Always enjoy your writings. Looking forward to reading your new book “The Struggle”

  32. Nancee Marchinowski says:

    Wanda, you are such an example of what true friendship is about. You’re have demonstrated that numerous times over the years. My friendship with others involves compassion. I’m will to listen to whatever a friend needs or wants to talk about without interrupting and by offering encouragement when necessary. True friends accept us at face value, without strings attached, and alway with open arms and open hearts.

  33. Denise Untersee says:

    I would LOVE to win one of your books. I have read alot of them and LOVE them all!

  34. Erin Bray says:

    Hi Wanda.

    Many blessings to you and your family. You have been such an inspiration to me, through your journals, as well as your books. I absolutely try each and every day to be there for my friends and my family, no matter what the need. If they need an ear, I’m there to listen. If they need a shoulder to cry on, I lend mine. If they are rejoicing, I rejoice with them. If they need prayer, I pray for them. Just being there, loving them, caring for them, or being that smile when they need it most.. God knows and God gives me the guidance to follow His path to those who need me most.. friend, family or stranger.
    May God bless you and your family Wanda.

  35. Patricia K says:

    Afriend is someone that sends you a card or just a e-mail to tell you that you are importen. Sometimes I will find lighthouse that a friend collects and just take it to her to cheer her up.

  36. Kay York says:

    I like your journal postings.

  37. Pam Lenharr says:

    I try to be that kind of friend to everyone I know. You are a true friend to everyone. I make cards for my friends and put some saying on them like “just because” or somehting simple like that. Family and friends are a big part of my life and I hope I am a true friend to all of them. Thank you so much for all of you inspirational postings. I do enjoy them and enjoy reading your books also.

  38. Chantel Hayes says:

    I have my best friend Jenn. She has been since high school, when some people were treating me bad, she stood up for me, and to them. I’ll never forget that, and she has been a great friend since!

  39. Clare O'Beara says:

    Hi Wanda,
    I am not able to buy your books in the bookshops here in Ireland but I would like to get hold of some of them as I would be very interested in finding out more about the Amish way of life. I agree that a friend will do extra to help a friend – with or without being asked. I have a van so I often offer to help friends move furniture or other belongings. But I ask them to pass on the favour to someone else. I feel that what goes around comes around.
    – Clare

  40. Mary Preston says:

    I find it’s the everyday kind and thoughtful gestures that can come to mean a great deal. For example: I take out my neighbors rubbish bin & she will bring in my mail. Neither of us planning it or expecting it. Good friends are priceless.

  41. these thoughts are so true thanks for sharing them with us on the journal page.

  42. I love reading your Amish books! Looking forward to reading this latest one also. Thanks so much for your journals too…

  43. Theresa N says:

    It’s wonderful you can write books on the Amish and have them support you with book signings.

  44. Patty Tolliver says:

    I love your stories because they always have a message somewhere in the story that touches me in a special way. Very often I am experiencing something that the characters are going through so I am helped right along with them. Thank you for that.

  45. It’s such an inspiration to read all the postings from such thoughtful, wonderful and considerate and helpful friends to many in need. I’m sure these people that have received help are so grateful. Unless, you’ve ever been injured and have the misfortune of not being able to get around and care for yourself, you have no idea how depressing it is to that person. I hope more people will kindly help their friends, neighbors, co-workers, etc. in time of need, knowing this. A phone call just to offer and cheer them up a bit (instead of wondering how they might be doing). Wanda, you’re an inspiration writing these great books for many to enjoy! Thanks!

  46. Jackie W says:

    Enjoyed your blog today…today I am sending my friends emails that they might know how I am spending my day.

  47. Maureen says:

    Jesus is my true friend. He is always there when I need Him. Blessings to all.

  48. Ola Norman says:

    True friends keep us going. Thanks for the great books.

  49. Diane Tjaden says:

    The best thing any of us could ever do for a friend is listen! We just do not take the time to fully understand and hear what people are trying to tell us.

    I have a friend who is very ill. We live many states a part, but we manage to talk with each other on the phone. We have shared many laughs and tears, but all in all, we really talked!

    Your books are such an inspiration to me. I have told many people to read these heartwarming books. Many have taken my advice!

    Keep those books and stories coming! I need them!

  50. Michelle McCurdy says:

    I lost my job back in January and those people whom I worked with had told me that they would keep in touch with me, but sadly they have not done so. I have tried not to dwell on this but it is hard because I had worked with some of them for 11 years. My family also lives about 4 hours from my home in Florida and I am a single mom. I didn’t really have any close friends until last year when I became close with two PTO moms from my son’s school and they have been there for me when I needed someone to talk to about things in my life that are challenging and I do the same for them. I feel blessed to have Carol and Amy in my life and I thank God for bringing them into my life.

    Wanda–I really enjoy reading your books and I cannot wait until The Stuggle becomes available.

  51. Being a friend is very important to me. You have to be a friend to have a friend.
    Wanda you should know your Inspirational books have brought me through many dark times in my life. Reading how Amish have the same heart aches that we English do and they turn to God and don’t wave on their faith. I never feel alone.

    Thank you sooooooo much and please keep the books coming

  52. Judy Burgi says:

    Having friends can be a risk at times. I once had a true friend that really let me down. The hurt she caused me. I held on to that grudge for 5+ years before I completely forgave her. We still have a relationship but it isn’t the same. At least we both are trying. I’ve come to realize that our Heavenly Father is our only true, true friend. I’m so happy He will never disappoint us.

    I love your books Wanda. I have met you a couple of times in person and I’m looking forward to seeing you again this summer at the LaGrange, County Library.


  53. Michele says:

    Thank you for your comments on scriptures. I love the one about a true friend loveth at all times.
    God is the truest friend. He is always with us and helps us, no matter what. I love to get your newsletters, they are so much fun. Happy 4th! God bless America!

  54. Hi Wanda,
    You are such an inspiration to me, I absolutly love all your books, I believe I have every one.I can hardly wait to buy The Struggle. I love to read about the Amish and their way of life. If only all people were like them. I love their love for God and family and neighbors. I so would like to have an Amish friend. We have a small Christian Ladies Fellowship that meets once a month, we have prayer and fellowship and I so look forward to it every month. We do our best to help others in need, not because we must but because we want to.
    Wanda I had the privilege to receive one of your childrens books. I wanted t keep it because it was autographed by you, but after much debate with myself I decided to send it to my grand son for his birthday. He will be 10 tomorrow and he loves to read. I know he will enjoy it and then pass it on to his younger sister.
    Thank you so much for your love for the Amish and the love that you put into each and every book.

    May God Bless you in your endeavors,

  55. Amy Koepp says:

    I’m working on listening better and putting others first in the little day-to-day things.

  56. Mandy Bentley says:

    One of my very best friends is JoEllen, who I met at one of your signings/dinners in Charm, OH. We instantly connected. The Lord definitely orchestrated our meeting. The next year after we met, JoEllen and her husband, Bill, came to stay a few nights with us.(We live in Kentucky) During that time was her birthday, so we celebrated with a huge country dinner, cake, and lots of friendship! Last month I had to go to the Cleveland Clinic for some health problems I was having. Since JoEllen lives in Cleveland, her and Bill graciously invited my husband and I to come stay with them while we were there. One of the days while I was at my appt. we came back to JoEllen’s house and Bill told us to go to the backyard for a surprise. There, in the yard, was a beautifully set table and a huge buffet of homemade food! It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, Wanda. If it were not for your dinner we would have never met our wonderful friends.

    • That’s a very touching story, Mandy. Thanks for sharing, and may God bless you and your husband abundantly.

  57. Joney Crowder says:

    Love your books I have just about all of them.

  58. Barbara Michels says:

    A true friend is hard to find these days, But I believe that if you have a true friend that you need to cherrish them, treat them the same way you want to be treated. I enjoy my friends and want them in my life for a long time, so I tell them that I am so thankful for them.

  59. Barb Klein says:

    I really identified with your post. Two years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was devastated as were the members of my family. I talked to God a lot and prayed that he would spare me to see my grandchildren born. I asked for prayers from my friends and colleagues and could not believe the outpouring of faith and love that I felt from those wonderful people. I am now cancer-free and praying that I stay that way. I could not have gone through that without the grace of God and the prayers of my family and friends. I am truly blessed.

  60. Gale Nelson says:

    My mom always told me and I tell my kids this is that you can count on one hand how many true friends you have and when you have one of those true friends you should do every thing in your power to keep that friend and treat them the way you yourself would want to be treated. They are a gift from God.

  61. Blanche Caperton says:

    Will not Heaven be a wonderful place with all of our friends there? We are blessed to be a blessing.

    My husband and I will be at the Blue Gate Theater in Shipshewana on the 24th to see the first showing of “Half Stitched. We are looking forward to seeing you there

  62. B. J. Maxwell says:

    I was recently able to see some very longtime friends while visiting my hometown. Everyone has their struggles. Many lives look better from the other side of the fence. I am always pleased with the joy of caring friends show one another. Today I spoke with a good new friend who has been given a poor diagnosis. We talked long distance for about two hours. I want her to feel free to ask for anything.

  63. I have found such a God-given girl. She is my best friend and shares my hopes and dreams. She loves the Amish just as much as I do and accepts me the way I am. I am so thankful to have found her! I would do anything for her!

    God Bless!

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