Finding Friendship

Two nights ago I hosted a girl’s night out at my house.  We kicked the boys out (well, we were nice about it) and ate pizza, talked, played games, talked, made sundaes, talked….you get the picture!

Every mom needs a community of women around her who understand what her life is like.

That’s why I wrote an article on friendship in this month’s Thriving Family Magazine, produced by Focus on the Family.  My friend, Juli Slattery has one in there too. 

Instead of posting about friendships today, jump on over and read my article HERE and Juli’s article HERE

If you haven’t had another mom and her kids over for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches recently, how about picking up the phone and getting a date on the calendar? 

The time with another mom will likely refuel and refresh you!

So where do you find–or create–your community of mothers?

We have a winner!

Thank you to all of you who participated in our friendship discussion over the past week and a half. It’s been a great conversation about the joys and the challenges of friendship. I’d like to offer 5 tips for friendship based upon our discussion:

1) You do need friends. Even though finding them and keeping them takes work, it’s important to have friends you do life with. Even Jesus, who was God Himself, lived life with 12 friends that we know as the “disciples.”

2) You’ll never make friends at church or a moms group. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great place to meet people, but the best place to make friends is in your own living room, or by inviting a mom to join you and your kids at a park. Friendships take effort outside of social settings.

3) Forgiveness and grace are the best gifts you can give a friend. Friends are human. They’ll make mistakes and let you down on occasion. You have to know how to handle that—and God tells us that the best way is with forgiveness and grace.

4) Woundedness from the past can keep future friendships at bay. Learn from the past, but don’t let it pull you out of the friendship ring for good.

5) Recognize that Jesus longs to be your best friend. Yes, your Savior first. But your friend, too. That’s why I’m so passionate about Real Moms, Real Jesus. He will never let you down.

Now for our winner! Randomly selected from all of those who participated in our discussion, Mrs. Sidney is our winner! Mrs. Sidney, if you’ll email me directly at jillannsavage@yahoo.com and let me know your address and what Hearts at Home book you’d like, I’ll send it out right away!

Thanks for a great discussion this month!

My Friend MarLo

My friendship with MarLo (far left in picture) is slowly restoring my belief that the pastor’s wife really can have a good friend in the church. I’ve experienced alot of hurt over the years with people coming and going at church. You spend time with them, begin to enjoy their friendship, and then one day they get sideways with something the church does and they disappear. And I do mean disappear…there one day, gone the next.

Would you promise me that if you ever decide to leave the church you are in that you would offer the courtesy of a conversation with the pastor and his wife? Just thank them for their time, their care for your family, the teaching you’ve received in the church. Even if you disagree with something in the church, extending appreciation for what you have received would mean the world to them and would protect their very human heart from being wounded once again.

Back to MarLo…I was honest with MarLo early on and she was willing to let me learn to trust her over time. I’m thankful for her persistence and patience as I’ve learned to step back into the friendship ring at church.

If you’ve been hurt in friendships in the past, don’t let that permanently affect your future relationships. It’s worth putting your toe back in the water! My friendship with MarLo is restoring my broken friendship heart.

My Long-Distance Friends

Last week Mark and I had the opportunity to spend a whole 48 hours in Orlando, Florida at a church planting conference. While there I had the opportunity to have dinner with long-distance friends Nancy (left) and Doris (middle).

Nancy and Doris used to live in Illinois. They also used to both be a part of Hearts at Home. But they both moved to warmer parts of the country (lucky girls!) and now email and phone have to suffice.

Included in my long distance friends are Bonnie in Chicago, Julie in Indiana, and Jody in California. They’ve all been a part of my life at some time—some as far back as high school and some in more recent years.

The best thing about long distance friends is having the ability to pick up right where you left off even if you haven’t chatted for months!

Who’s your long distance friends? How do you stay connected with your girlfriends who no longer live close by?

I’m going to continue our discussion through Thursday when I’ll draw a name from all those who posted throughout our discussion! The lucky winner will receive a Hearts at Home book of their choice!

My "Dig Me Out" Friends

Everyone needs a friend or two who you can allow to see the “less than ideal” side of you. My friends Becky, Tonya, and Diane are those friends.

Being the CEO of Hearts at Home could be a full-time job if I let it be. But I’m unwilling to do that. I’m committed to being a mom first and because of that, I have to let some things slide. That means sometimes paperwork becomes overwhelming or keeping up with details a little crazy. Doing research for a Hearts at Home book or getting ready for a conference can also have so many tasks that need to be accomplished to make it to the finish line.

That’s where these three friends help me the most. They are all Hearts at Home volunteers that come to my house either once a week or once a month or as needed and help dig me out! They’re willing to do whatever is needed. Not only that, but they are great prayer partners as well!

So who is your “see your dirt” friend? Maybe it’s someone who filled a gap while you were on pregnancy bedrest. Maybe it’s a friend that you spend so much time with that you feel as comfortable in her home as you do in your own home! I’d love to hear about your “see your dirt” friend! Remember anyone who comments during this friendship discussion will be entered into a drawing to win a Hearts at Home book of their choice!

My friend Becky

My friend Becky is a cheerleader! She is faithful in cheering me when life is good and when life is hard. She’s also a prayer warrior. When Becky says she will pray…I know she means it. Becky and I live about 30 minutes from each other so we don’t get to see each other real often—but we’ve been known to have some wonderful prayer times together over the phone!

We all need someone who cheers us on! In fact, that’s one of the things we try to do at Hearts at Home. We are cheerleaders for moms!

Who is your prayer partner in life? Have you ever tried Moms In Touch? That’s a great place to find some fellow mom prayer partners!

Who are you a prayer partner for? Is there anyone in your life that you cheer on?

No one friend will be all things to us. We need a circle of friends who provide all the different kinds of friendships we need!

My friend Amy

My friend Amy is like an adopted aunt to my children. Amy and I met at church. She’s single and lives away from extended family so she’s become a member of our extended family.

Amy and I have helped each other out on home projects. We’ve taken care of each other’s animals when we’ve been out of town. We’ve celebrated birthdays together and encouraged each other through hard times. Amy usually joins us for Thanksgiving and Christmas, too. There have been times that Amy has stayed with our kids when Mark and I have been out of town. She knows my kids well and I feel comfortable leaving them in her care. That’s because we’ve spent enough time together to be comfortable.

My friendship with Amy is a reminder that some friendships can be outside of our usual community of mothers. We need to look for friendships in places we might not normally look.

My friend Monica told me today about a group of three older ladies who take her out once a month. These three unlikely friends have become a blessing to Monica. Last month they introduced her to sushi on a ladies night out. Monica is their hairstylist and they have reached out in friendship to her.

Is there someone at church you can reach out to who doesn’t have family around? Is there an unlikely friend you’ve overlooked? How about someone who isn’t a mom or is older or younger than you?

Thank you to those of you who have shared about your friendships or your challenges with friendships. If you haven’t read through the responses to yesterdays post, do so. I think you’ll find you will be both challenged and encouraged!

Anyone who participates in this discussion is entered to win a Hearts at Home book of their choice!

My friend Crystal

My friend Crystal is my walking buddy. She’s also the closest thing to a neighbor that I have. When we first moved to the country, the subdivision I now see out my western windows didn’t even exist. Now I have “neighbors” about a half mile away.

I’ve known Crystal for many years through church and she works at my doctor’s office, too. But we’ve just started building a friendship over the past year or so. We walk in the subdivision when it’s not too cold and we always have plenty to talk about! Her four kids and my five give us provide for endless hours of conversation!

Crystal is also my prayer buddy. When she says she’s praying, I know she means it! I’m thankful for my walking buddy who makes exercise fun! Do you have an exercise buddy?