Investing in Friendships

6
Mar
2014

Imperfect-Friendships

I have procrastinated writing this post – honestly because I know how I struggle in this area.  Pushing ahead and making effort to create new friendships is hard work.  I know I am not alone.

As moms we are busy and overwhelmed, so when it come sot putting one more thing on our ‘to-do’ list, like “make friends” it can be too much.  But you know, God created us for relationship – with Him and with others.  I need to be reminded of this daily and I also need practical ways to break out of my tendency to just  hang out with myself.  Because honestly, I am not so great all the time!

“Having good friends is like having money in the bank.  When life gets rough, they are there when you need to make a withdrawal.”

Do you feel like you have a group of friends you can call in, like in the examples Jill gave?  I have my group of bible study friends, but honestly, I would rarely if EVER feel like I could call for help.  I am so darn stubborn and independent – I will hardly ever ask for help or let my guard down.  Ooops, another thing you learned about me!

This chapter has been a real wake-up call for me, I need to invest in my friendships.  PERIOD!   Real, in-person friendships.  I am great at online relationships, that is the heartbeat of my business and my livelihood, but taking the time to intentionally create in-person relationships has taken a huge back seat.  I would say, honestly, I am just being lazy.

It is easier to stay home.  

It is easier to not find a sitter when my husband it out of town.  

It is easier for me to complain than to change this area.  {So I just sent a text message to a friend asking to do something tomorrow evening…..seriously, right in the middle of writing this post!  I stepped out and did it, the time to start is now!}

“Today is the day for you to call a friend you want to get to know better or invest in a friendship you already have.”

Apply the Antidote

Did one of the areas Jill shared about speak to you more?  Changing your expectations, pursuing humility, pursuing courage or being confident?

I felt for myself that pursuing courage really resonated with me.  I tend to have the fear of asking for fear of rejection. We all struggle with something, remember – we cannot compare our insides to someone else’s outside – always!

I am a big card sender – love me some mail in the mailbox!!  So why not pick up the challenge Jill issued in the application section of the discussion questions – 

Send a card or a note to a friend.  express your appreciation for this friendship and share word of encouragement with her.

This can be a card in the mail – or in person.  You know it will brighten her day and it will also likely make you feel pretty darn good too!

What encouragement or ideas could you give a mom who is struggling with building or finding new friendships?

Did you find the mommy manners at the end of the chapter helpful?  Would you add something else to the list?

“There are no perfect friends – just fellow moms, trying to do their best and discovering that there’s more joy in doing life together.”

Begin reading Chapter 7 for next week – come back tomorrow as I will share some photos and tid-bits from my trip to Hawaii – if you know someone who is experiencing PTSD symptoms, you will want to specifically hear what I have to share on that!

PS – did you write the love note to your spouse?  I did and it went over in a BIG way!

Chapter Six – Forging Friendships

4
Mar
2014

Umbrella with dark clouds 

Everyone likes to say, “It takes a village,” when it comes to raising kids – well, I think when it comes to motherhood in general it takes a village.  Motherhood can get very lonely when you are in the midst of toddlers, diapers and endless nap schedules that can keep you trapped inside and alone for hours on end.

I hear from new mothers all the time about the change motherhood brings and the depression it can also carry with it.  Our life changes and it can be overwhelming, suffocating and endless.  But there is one thing that can help in the midst – friends!

“Friendships are an important part of mothering.  We desperately need each other.  However, friendships are not always perfect.”

It is true, every mom needs to have a ‘village’ of other mothers surrounding her and supporting her.  You can find great support in many areas – church, MOPS, neighborhoods, the library, parks and other children’s activities, so what can keep some moms from seeking out the support from others?  Fear.

I do feel that fear can play a role in our ability to reach out to others; fear of being judged, fear of failure, fear of rejection and fear of not fitting in.  I pray that you can jump out of the fear that could be holding you down – and begin to create wonderful friendships in the season of motherhood.

There are many seasons of motherhood and you will likely have many seasonal friendships too, but you could also get really lucky and connect with someone for a longer ‘life’ friendship.  Those are to be truly cherished.  I loved reading about Jill’s story with different friendships and the need those filled.  Didn’t it make you smile?

I honestly struggle with ‘motherhood’ friendships.  I would consider myself to be an introvert, which is exactly why having a blog and writing is perfect for me.  Putting myself out there for others in person can be daunting, exhausting and create a sense of apprehension for me.  {WOW, I can’t believe I shared that with you all!!}  

Currently I am in a bible study group with 8 other gals who I love dearly.  I work from home, which does not allow me the ‘conveience’ of being in an office to create friendships in that environment and my kids aren’t in activities where I have to stay while they are doing them, but soon I will enter into that season again with my 4 year old.

I have to try really hard to create space for creating and nurturing relationships – and honestly I stink at it.  One of my goals for 2014 is to intentionally create time to meet with those in my bible study group – OUTSIDE of our normal meeting time.  It is hard for me, as I have limited time and struggle with justifying paying a babysitter so I can enjoy some time away with a friend when my husband is out of town.

We all have our areas of weakness – it is knowing and admitting it and then putting ideas into action that can make a difference for us and perhaps another mom, who may very well feel just like you.

What part of motherhood friendships do you struggle with?

How can you be a good friend to those friends you already have in your circle?  

How can you make it a point to venture into new friendships?  Are you a “Here I am” or “There You Are” person?

Did you download the discussion questions yet for this week?  You can do that here.

No More Perfect Moms Week SIX

3
Mar
2014

Main-No-More-Perfect-Moms Friendships can be so hard!  Do you feel like that or are you one who can accumulate lots of friends and experience that in a way that fills you up?

I loved the story shared in the video, how God can use so many different circumstances to grow us too, even in friendships, those life lines we need each day!

Here is the agenda for this week:

{If you are viewing this post via email, you will need to click through to the website to view the video}

 

Week 6:  March 3 – 7 , 2014

Monday – watch the video, download the discussion questions for WEEK SIX  

Tuesday – come prepared by having read Chapter Six, join the conversation

Wednesday – check in over at Facebook for a few questions 

Thursday – read the blog post on applying what we’ve learned this week; get started reading Chapter 7 

Was there something that spoke to you in the video?  

Do you find yourself to be a “Here I Am” or “There You Are” person?

I am sure we’ve all had friendships that have disappointed us, what have you learned from those experiences?

Please share in the comments and hop over to the Facebook page.   

Fourth of July Weekend Reading for Moms

3
Jul
2010

Short and sweet this weekend – great posts from around the web.  I am slowly acclimating myself to life with a newborn.  What a joy it has been, so much better than I could have imagined!  God is so good, I am blessed beyond anything I could have imagined!