Cultivating Friendships

posted on: Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Today has been good.
Our friendship tanks have been filled to the brim.
We spent the morning and lunchtime with a group of friends.
There is nothing sweeter than watching eight little people five and under 
play together happily while the moms sit back and drink coffee:)
 I think it may have been a dream.
 
We ended our day at another set of friends home for dinner.
We sat around and chatted until my three turned into pumpkins and it was time for bed.
 
I've been thinking lately about friendships.
On Sunday I drove back to the town we used to live for a baby shower.
All of my girlfriends from our old church were there.
We spent the afternoon laughing and visiting...and again... I left feeling happy and my friendship tank was full.
Would you believe I hadn't seen most of those girls in almost eight months 
and they only live a little more than an hour away?
It makes me cringe to even write it out.

Life just happened... 
moving...
a baby...
an hour drive seemed more like an eternity for some dumb reason..
I was too tired...
it was a "hassle" to load all the kids up for a morning play date...
I love being home...
 
And between the excuses and the "busyness", friendships were put on the back burner.
And not intentionally put there...it happened because I was NOT intentional about cultivating them.

On the way home from the shower I was talking to my girlfriend who lives in the same town as me now.
We were talking about how silly it was that we hadn't seen our old friends in so long.
How it takes effort and initiative to maintain friendships.
And how it is WORTH it to take that effort and initiative.

Then this morning I happened to read this blog post written by Sally Clarkson (one of my favorite authors!).
And would you believe she wrote a post entitled "Cultivating Your Own Circle of Friends."
Seriously... go read it.

My favorite part of the post is this:

"Loneliness is epidemic and people feel invisible all over the world, wherever I travel.
And yet, for us to build those invisible threads from our hearts to the hearts of others, we must be intentional. It requires us to reach out, to invite, to make time for sharing life and all covered with love and grace."

"To make time for sharing life."
 
That's my favorite part.
Because I am guilty as it gets about not taking the time to share life.

It's ironic because earlier in the year I wrote about wanting to be more intentional in my life.
With the Lord, with my family, with finances.
But somewhere along the line I forgot to add friendships in there.
I had just assumed they would blossom and grow on their own.
I couldn't have been more wrong!

My prayer this fall is that I will be intentional with my friendships.
How are you with cultivating friendships?
It is obviously a struggle for me...
turns out being a stay-at-home mom has turned me into a bit of an introvert :)
I love being home with my babies and staying put.
I love not having anywhere to be.
 And sometimes talking on the phone is hard... especially with three little ones.
Mornings are loud over here...lots of excitement.
And afternoons are sacred :)
I dare not make a peep because I'm afraid it will wake up one of my nappers.
 
Is anyone else like this? 
I'd love to hear ways you "cultivate" your friendships!
And does it come easily to you?




______________________________________________________________________
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18 comments:

  1. I love this! It's beautiful. I feel alone all the time. Like maybe I have one friend who I never see. It makes me very sad. You are blessed!!!!

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  2. Oh my goodness, friend. I totally get this. Since moving home from Texas and Elijah being born, I feel like I have not been a very good friend. To anyone! I let time get away from me and before I know it, it's been far too long since I've spoken to people I really care about. Thank you for the reminder and the encouragement that I am not the only one. Love you and miss our late night texts ;)

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  3. I would never have known that about you at all! You seem so open and like you have a million friends! I love this post so much. I love your honesty. I was just telling Jeff about how I have to be so intentional if I ever want to see anyone or meet up with anyone. It's just so different being at home and having your kids as the focus and their needs met first.

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  4. I can totally relate! I think a lot of mamas have trouble finding time for friendships. this is definitely an area that i struggle with! I think the easiest way for me to cultivate friendships is inviting people over for dinner! GREAT POST!

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  5. I would love to know your "everyday" routine. I am a Momma to three, home on maternity leave....I would love to know how you balance your day so you are not overwhelmed and the kids aren't spending the afternoon cranky...as my older two (four and two and a half) refuse to nap! Tips...advice...just a post written about how you stay sane :)

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  6. This post is wonderful. And so true. I think with blogs and social media, it is so easy to just consider those folks as 'friends' and some of them may be or come to be...but our 'real friends' get put on the back burner. I know that's the case for me at times. I'm trying very hard to make those that have been by me through thick and thin feel important and loved and appreciated. Because they're they ones that really matter.

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  7. This was so good. I am having to fight for this now more than ever because of being in a new place and having to make new friends. I would love and be content just having my 'online' friends because I truly get filled from you all. However, there is something about face to face that is so precious and much needed. It has to be a priority and I'm realizing that more than ever.

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  8. Thank you for the reminder of being intentional. This is a lesson God has been teaching me this year!

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  9. This is so beautifully written - thank you for the encouragement and reminder. I love your cute blog.

    www.eatblogpray.blogspot.com
    xo

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  10. Beautifully put and a great reminder to be intentional. I realized with hang a bloggity blog you also cultivate friendships and are drawn to those through the web which can come easier at times with nap times, schedules and a teething baby so being intentional with my "real life" friendships get put on the back burner. Loved this post!

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  11. Thank you for sharing from your heart about friendship. It came at the absolutely perfect time and spoke volumes to me! Isn't that like the Lord?!

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  12. This spoke straight to my heart tonight. I'm always in need of encouragement to be intentional & what a beautiful reminder that that should include friendships.

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  13. I love the "little sister" sitting next to Cade. (On his right) What a sweet group of kiddos!!

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  14. You are one of my FAVORITE friends, even if it's hard to catch each other on the phone. I love you and your family to death and you are such an inspiration to me as a mother! Love you girl!

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  15. Great post. I feel lucky to have 3 of my best friends within 30 mins of me who are all new Momma's like myself. However, I am 7 hours away from some of my best girlfriends and you are so right it takes being intentional to maintain these friendships. Thanks for the reminder, I feel I need to add this to my own life as well. And what a fun play date!!

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  16. I found your blog a few weeks ago through The Wiegand's, and I really am liking it! This post is definitely relatable to me. I'm in a place where I really need my friendship tank filled, and it's been pretty hard to connect with people in a new-ish city for my husband and I. On the bright side, we are starting to get connected at church, and it feels so good.

    www.annetheadventurer.com

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  17. Great post!

    We have been at a new church for about 5 months, and I am trying to be very intentional about making friends. It's hard for me, because the majority of my peers are moms with empty nests and/or career women . . . so they just don't "get" a 50 year old woman that still has 4 young ones at home and has been homeschooling for 21+ years.

    Only through the blog world have I been able to find other women "like me", but I do work on having face-to-face friendships even if they don't really understand the life that we have chosen.

    Laurel :)

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  18. gosh. glad i'm not the only hermit :) i really cherish my time to myself and love being home, not feeling rushed or hurried or frantic trying to get out the door (even if it's just to a friend's house). i went through a very hard year last year, and it caused me to retreat (though i've always been an introvert, this really did me in). we just starting going to a new church and it is my heart's most fervent desire to make friends. i've been praying about it and really being convicted that i'm the only one holding me back from it! relationships and friendships are waiting just around the corner. i just need to take the first step, invite someone over to swim, or for coffee or whatever. it feels like dating though, making new friends. a new, awkward, out-of-my-comfort-zone thing that i also *desperately* need. thanks for sharing your heart here. and for "listening" as i pour out mine! ha! :)

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