Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Friendships - making them and keeping them

Today on "Build Em Up" - we are talking a very important subject - FRIENDSHIPS.

I would say the biggest blessing in my life throughout all of my life outside of my family have been all the amazing friendships God has given me.  

I honestly feel like I just lucked out in this department.  Although I know better - God has just really blessed me.  I'm asked about friendships and how to make them so often and I hate to even give advice. I don't know if it's something I have anything to do with - I'm just super super blessed. 

But I know as women we all need and crave friendships.  

Honestly my earliest memories involve friends.  I remember my best friends I had around the age of 4.  We moved a LOT in my childhood so I was constantly having to make new friends.  This may be one of the reasons I have always been able to make friends - it was a forced habit.  But I always had great friends.  In fact I recently have found some of my best friends that I had back in 4th - 6th grade on facebook.  I hadn't seen them in 30 years.

I think there are two key things in having good friendships as an adult woman:

1. You have to put yourself out there
2. You have to be a good friend yourself.

This sounds like a simple thing but these are both difficult.  First of all - it's hard to find and make good friends and it can be extra tough if you are shy or fear rejection. And second - we are busy. We are all wrapped in our lives with our families and it can be tough to make any extra time for friends.

But I urge you to make the effort to find a group of friends.  I can't imagine life without a group of good friends.  We women need other women to be able to share with. We need other women to cry with and pray with and laugh with.  Our husbands are awesome but they just can't always fill that gap that only your girlfriends can.

So you live in a new town or you have lived somewhere for 20 years but you just find yourself without any good friends.  What do you do?

Well - I think the easiest thing to do as a busy mom (or single girl) is to make friends where you are.  Maybe that means making great work friends.  I was always blessed to have people in every job I had that I enjoyed being with.  I went to lunch with them and we talked on breaks and on business trips.
Or maybe you have school aged kids and that means you make friends with other moms on the soccer team. Or other moms of kids in your children's class. It just is going to be easier to maintain frienships if it's with people you see on a regular basis.  I have so many friends that I adore but we just aren't in the same places or don't run in the same circles and although I would love to see them all the time - we can have the hardest time scheduling time to get together.

Maybe you need to join the Junior League or start talking to the cute girls in your zumba class at the gym.  You might go to lunch and find you have a lot in common!

For me the BEST place to make friends has been at church.  That's another reason I URGE you to get involved in a church.  And that doesn't mean showing up on a Sunday morning and sitting in a pew. I've been that person for years at different churches and I never made ANY friends that way.  You HAVE to get involved. Join a Sunday School class, the choir, or a Bible Study.  It may take a little while but go to the social functions they have.  You may have to force yourself for a little bit until you get to know people but I PROMISE you won't regret it.

And once you make those friends - you have to BE a good friend. I'm not always good at this. In fact I'm a complete failure a lot.  But text your friends. Send emails and check on them.  Call up a few friends and meet them at the park with your kids.  Sometimes you might have to be the one to get things going.  Invite a few friends over for a play group.  Take meals when your friends are sick or have babies.  Remember birthdays and organize something fun for them.  Have girl nights. You will be a better wife and a better mom if you get some time away with girlfriends.  I guarantee.  Offer to keep your friends kids when they have appointments or so they can have a date.  Hopefully they will do it for your in return. And if not - you will know you were just being a good friend. Pray for your friends.

Finding good friends can be a lot like dating. And there are friends you may only have for a season. Everyone will not be a lifelong friend. You may even find good friends through blogs! I have made some amazing friends through "the Internet".

Also pray pray pray every day for your children and their friendships. Who they are friends with will affect so many of their life choices. I pray daily for good friends for my girls as they grow.

I can't stress enough how important friends are.  Mine have made my life so rich and I'm thankful for every friend God has put in my life. I'd love to hear what you have to say on this subject.

And don't forget the topics we have coming up! Our next one is going to be extra special!!!

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