Friendships

 

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Mom friendships take work, they take intention.  You can’t just sit around and wait for them to happen.  I wish that was the case, it would be so much easier, right?  If I hadn’t stepped out and gone to my first moms group, I’m not sure how far along on my friendship journey I would be.  It took time, I mean years, and LOTS of prayer for the friends I have now.  I prayed so desperately.  I was so alone, and felt so desperate for that connection.

Im so thankful for all of the friends God has brought into my life since then.  Like I said, I know so many amazing women, that are following hard after Jesus.  It’s truly a privilege to know the women I know.  Every one of them was so supportive when I wrote my first post!  The encouragement was simply overwhelming.  That’s what walking with Christ is supposed to look like:  we laugh with each other, we cry, we support, we love.  How beautiful is the body of Christ!


I wanted to share with you a recent struggle I had with friendships though.  It was over the holidays.  I hadn’t been in contact much at all with my friends.  That’s a time you spend with family, and then you are recovering from all of that holiday excitement.  I’m sure friends texted me, but I hadn’t SEEN any of my friends.  I was feeling lonely and kind of empty.  I wasn’t sure why.  I felt like I was doing okay with God, but something was missing.  I realized that it was the time with my friends.  I started praying about it all, and really seeking God about my friendships, and asking Him how to fix it.  With the busyness of the holidays, my friendships got a little lost, at least my part did.  Jill Savage asks in Better Together, “Is your pace of life crowding out space for friendships?”.  I think mine was, and had been for a while.  None of it was really anything I had created, but just a busy season for me.  May I add, I’m really bad at busy, and I hate it.  There are times, though, that God calls you to things, and He teaches you that only He can do it.  Those are the times I see how He really wants my full surrender, because I simply can’t do it.  He has to, that’s it.  It’s beautiful to watch, but sometimes very painful to grow in those times.  God just stretches us so much.

God showed me that I was the one not doing my part, I was not reaching out.  I was not seeking out my friends.  I dropped the ball, and I needed to change again.  Some of these growing pains in friendships are just simply a shift change in life and routine.  I was simply not able to get out and spend as much time with friends because things in my life changed, and things were different for them too.  Things had changed, but I wasn’t finding ways to make friendships work well in the midst of all of that, I wasn’t on top of it, and I felt distance.  I kept praying, and asked God which friendships to dig deeper into, who I needed to make time with.  It’s hard to tell someone you NEED that time with them.  It feels needy, selfish even.  God has shown me that it’s not.  It’s normal, remember, we are better together!  Chances are my friends need that time with me too.  It’s just hard to say, and it’s hard to admit we need something in this independent culture.

The other thing that can sometimes get in our way is that false sense of connection we get through Facebook and texting.  You are not actually spending time with your friends.  Jill points out, “We experience a false sense of connection thinking we know what’s going on in someone’s life because of what they put on social media.”  It’s so easy for us moms to think that’s enough.  It’s convenient.  We can’t always get out, and sometimes our kids are just plain exhausting/embarrassing to go out into the world with.  So, we accept this cheap imitation of what a friendship should be.  Don’t get me wrong, Facebook is a great place to connect and communicate, it has its place.  It’s not THE thing though.  We need time together, that’s when the truth comes out, that’s when we get real.

Friendships of any kind are hard, but mom friendships seems to be especially tough.  We need so much understanding in our ever shifting, ever changing lives that we have with our kids.  Our families have to be a priority for us, so we feel we can’t have friendships, that they need to be saved for later.  We sure can’t do that, we will be so burned out!  We need our friends, now more than ever!  Fit some time in, wherever you can.  Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, and it may not just be one friend, you will most likely have more to be able to fill your needs, as Jill mentions in Better Together.  No ONE friend can be it.  It’s not fair to put all that pressure on one person, just like with our husbands.  We know he can’t fulfill all of our needs, so don’t expect that of one friend.  We would not want that expectation on us!  If you are struggling with friendships, take it to God and pray!  He will take care of you, it might take some time, it may not.  God’s timing is always perfect, and He always provides.

“Let me say first that I thank God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith in him is being talked about all over the world.”   Romans 1:8

 

Check out Better Together, by Jill Savage, coming in March:

http://www.amazon.com/Better-Together-Because-Youre-Meant/dp/080241379X

Trust and Obey

I have thought about starting a blog too many times to count.  I always had, and have all of these thoughts of what I would say, what I would write about.  I just kept coming up with excuses, and I just thought, “what do I have to say that’s better than anyone else?”.  Too many doubts and feelings like I don’t measure up.  Well, I don’t, but God has filled that gap for me with His son.  I think of Moses and all of the excuses he made, but the lesson we learn there is trust and obey.  God brings that to my mind all of the time.  You don’t have to answer the questions, you don’t have to know what’s coming, just obey!  Seems simple, but it’s so easy to dwell in those fears and doubts, right?

Well, what kind of tipped me this time into finally writing is being chosen for a launch group for a book by Jill Savage, Better Together.  My wonderful friend Ashley says, “just start a blog by talking about the book, and go from there.”  Yeah, easy peasy, right?  I’m not a writer, but when she said that, I thought, well she must think I’m capable!  She’s always right, so I listened!  She has always encouraged me in this way, and has always said she would read my blog.  Let’s test that theory!  We need these friends, to push us, to be our cheerleaders.  I’m blessed with so many friends, amazing women who love God deeply.

This all leads me to what I wanted to mention about this new book.  I’ve only read the first two chapters, and it’s so helpful, so practical.  Jill really spells things out, that’s so good for what’s left of my brain after two children!  She talks about how and where to meet moms, how to make friends.  I didn’t think I’d have to re-learn that skill, but after having Jacob, I sure did.  My first visit to my moms group wasn’t so great.  I was pretty nervous, and it took all of the bravery and strength I had to even show up.  I didn’t want to.  I wanted to hide.  I doubted my ability as a mom, and I was insecure about pretty much everything at this point.  It didn’t go very well, and I wasn’t going back.  The leader at the time checked in with me, reached out.  I was honest, I said I didn’t like it.  She was compassionate, and encouraged me to try again.  After a few times, a girl named Ashley talked to me, who is still one of my closest friends!  Remember, the one who is always right??  Pretty soon, another mom asked me if I wanted to hang out.  Me?  You want to spend time with boring, ole me?  She did, and she and I are friends even still.  I nearly jumped out of my skin at her invitation, I was so excited to have a friend.

Jill points this out in her book, keep trying!  You may get rejection at first, or maybe you just feel awkward.  Don’t give up on finding friends!  Jill says “We need to be with other women who understand our world of mothering, but most of us struggle with some aspect of making those relationships work.”  We are meant to do this together, God made us to need each other!  The thing I’ve learned from being an outsider, is that it’s so uncomfortable to break into those circles.  In the book, she advises to “keep your circle broken”.  Be ready and willing to let other people in.  Look for those looking from the outside in, and PULL them in!  I’m working on this, and want to be more of a “there you are person.”  I want to do better at being welcoming, and seeing those ladies right away that need that pull towards friendship.  That friendship could be with me, or I could link them up with another mom in the group.  Who knows?  We just have to be ready and willing to be used by God.  Trust and obey!

Fast forward over 4 years later, I have two kids, and feel pretty confident as a mom.  I have the privilege of getting to co-lead the above mentioned moms group!  What if I gave up?  I would’ve missed out on God’s amazing plan.  I would’ve missed so many amazing friendships, so many encouraging conversations.  I would’ve missed a chance to glorify my Father, to point others to Him!  I want to say as well, this has all been through the changes Christ has made in me.  I can take no credit, except that I did the part He asked me to.  “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.”  I love that hymn, and God reminds me of it so often, it’s so simple.  Whatever it is that God is asking of you, no matter how small, even if it’s just introducing yourself, obey, you will never regret it.

Want to know more about Better Together, check out this link below:

http://www.amazon.com/Better-Together-Because-Youre-Meant/dp/080241379X