Intentional Friendships

Friendships. . .they take a lot of intentional effort and time to build. But they are so, so worth it! When I think of the many friendships I’ve had throughout my life, I find they are usually connected to a specific season of my life. Not always is this the case, but friendships can often change with a new or different season of life for me or my friend.

I have found that in my current season of motherhood (having 2 middle school kids, one elementary age, and 2 preschoolers), I must intentionally make time and invite friends into my life. It’s very easy to get caught up in the mundane duties of motherhood and neglect inviting others into my world. But I need friends and believe it is God’s idea for community among His people. I am so refreshed in my spirit and encouraged in my heart when I spend time with friends who understand the struggles of life in my season and yet remind me of the hope of the Gospel in day-to-day living.

Intentionally pursuing friendships with other ladies requires several things from me:

  1. Letting go of the idea that I must have a “clear” schedule to include others.
  2. Doing away with the false expectation that my kids will always mind their manners in front of my friends and never embarrass me in any way.
  3. Releasing the fear that my house isn’t clean enough, my refrigerator is not stocked properly, my yard is not manicured (you should see my backyard right now…UGH!), or my playroom is neatly organized (it stays a disaster on most days)
  4. Fighting the lie that says “I’ll make better friendships when the kids are older and I have more time to invest in others”
  5. Believing that others need my friendship and want me to invest in their lives
  6. Inviting others into my “real” life and being transparent with my struggles
  7. Planning ahead to spend time with a friend. . . sometimes with my kids and sometimes not
  8. Sacrificing time and money to prepare a meal for a friend, to clean her house as she’s grieving or recovering from surgery, buying groceries and fun snacks for her family as a way to encourage her when her husband needs more work. . . simply giving to others!
  9. Praying for friends and their needs on a daily basis. . .and letting them know I am praying.
  10. Remembering that I am training my children to have healthy friendships. . .and friendships are a gift from God.
  11. Realizing that I need friendships from ladies in all walks of life.
  12. Letting go of the idea that friendships just happen. . . they usually don’t! To have a friend, I must be a friend. And that takes intentional work.

So during these summer months, I’ve been intentionally pursuing friendships.  Lunch meetups, visits to the hospital to welcome my friend’s new baby, last-minute Sunday night cookouts, fireworks with my best friend and her family, state park picnics on July 4th, pool playdates, desserts on a week-night, and extended phone conversations when our kids are napping or asleep in the evenings. All with friends who are dear to my heart. Friends who encourage my soul. Friends who speak truth into my life. Friends who give hope when the days are hard.

And it’s been a full and rewarding summer thus far! I’ve found that as I initiate and pursue friendships, I am so richly blessed. God continues to give me more of Himself in the lives of my friends. His grace flows abundantly in community.

Let me encourage you to intentionally pursue Godly friendships. You may be thinking that you don’t need another friendship or have time for that, but someone needs YOU. And we all need each other. Life is sweeter when shared with friends!

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

 

 

 

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