Monday, February 28, 2011

You've Got a Friend

I have to back up a little bit to last Thursday night because I had the MOST fun girls night I have probably ever had. The girls from our Sunday School class get together once a month at each other's homes and we have kind of a potluck dinner. Then we all sit in a circle around a table or the living room and Laurie will ask us questions like "What is your favorite restaurant in all the world" or "What did you do on your first date with your husband" or "When was the first time you kissed you husband" and we will all share and we have gotten to know each so well that way and I have laughed so hard I have almost peed my pants and Thursday night I was almost afraid I was going into labor I was laughing so hard.

(Amy, Kacy and me)

I know I write a lot about my amazing group of friends and I don't do it to brag about how wonderful I have it. I think it's more of complete AWE that I have been blessed so much. I was lucky to have good friends in high school and college but I have NEVER needed friends like I do in this stage of life.
(Julie, Ginger, Bethany and Elizabeth)

My secret dream is that no one in this group would ever move away and that we would all still be close and living here when our babies are teenagers and we would live those years together and instead of talking about not sleeping because of crying babies or breastfeeding or the challenge of toddlers............we would be talking about not sleeping because our kids are driving or the challenges of dating or letting our kids go! And then I dream we will all be together when our kids leave home and we can experience the Empty Nest together. And we can talk about being alone with our husbands again and crying when our kids call home and paying for weddings. ha!

(Amber, Jessica, Laurie, Beth and Jennifer)

I know the reality is half of our group will move away or life will change. But I would be the happiest girl alive if we just all lived here and stayed friends and did our whole lives together. They are the biggest blessing in my life. I always think I don't know how anyone makes it though life without Jesus or a good group of friends.
I love my friends because in one moment we can be crying we are laughing so hard about stories from high school or early dating or kid experiences and in the next moment we can be talking about the Holy Spirit and His prompting in our lives and reading books like "Crazy Love" and "Radical" and changes we want to make in our spiritual walks and what that looks like. We can talk about being intentional as parents to hope that one day our children are passionate about Jesus when they are grown. We can experience fun times together - but when something bad happens - we know that we will be overwhelmed with giving, meals, visits to the hospital or phone calls from one another.
(Berkli,Vonda, Rachel and Ashley)

I know some of you have written me that you wish you could find a true group of friends. AND it IS so hard when you are grown to do this. Your family has to come first but a girl needs her friends. So I was thinking of ways to suggest finding a group of friends and I'd LOVE if you would share in the comments ways you have connected with a group of soul sisters!

1. My first (and main)suggestion is going to be at church. But it isn't enough (I know this from experience) to just visit a church on Sunday mornings and fill a pew and go home. You HAVE to get involved. The best way I know is to join a small group or Sunday School class. YES - it's intimidating. When Scott and I first started going to our SS class - we were SOOOOOO chawed (embarrassed). Most Sundays we would look at each other and go "Do we have to go?" but we knew we had to press on. And it took a few months for us to really get to know anyone. BUT I'm so glad we did - because they are our LIFELINE! Do it and keep at it - you will never regret it. You may have to visit a few churches or classes or small groups to find the one that fits - but make it a priority! Your husbands will make friends with Godly men too! Is there anything better?
(I want to add - if your husband won't go to church with you - go anyway. Don't nag him to go. Just go. It may be incredibly hard - but visit Sunday School anyway. And then just pray God works on your husband's heart and that he begins to see a change in you. You never know what God can do............................)

2. MOPS groups. There are these in most areas of the country. What a great way to find other moms of small children.

3. Okay - a lot of you AREN'T moms of small children - but of teenagers or school aged kids. Get involved in their activities - find other moms of your kid's friends, classmates, teammates. Smile, introduce yourself, invite them over for play times! (or after school activities for snacks).

4. Junior League or other volunteer organizations. If you have a heart for serving - what better than to find other friends/women who have that same passion!

5. Neighborhoods. Maybe your neighbors have a bunco group or a play group. Investigate and invite yourself if you have to!

6. (I'm adding this..............) Two more things - if you have just One close friend - that is a blessing! You don't have to have 20 friends. One true friend is a gift!
Also - don't worry about ages - sometimes stage of life is the most important thing - whether you are single, divorced, married, whatever.............. because I'm a late bloomer - a lot of my close friends are 25 or 28. A good 10 years younger than me. And there are women at church I love who are maybe just a few years older than me - but they are almost at the empty nest stage so even though I adore them- it might be hard for us to be close friends in this season. Or maybe you are a young mom (23 or 24) and none of your friends are there yet - don't be afraid to hang out with older women like me who have young babies. I promise we can still be fun! :-)

How have you made friends??? I'm going to pray that each person reading this either has this circle or will find a circle in 2011 to enrich your life!

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