When I was a little girl, I thought adults had it made. They could stay up as late as they want, eat what they wanted, talk on the phone whenever they wanted (hey, I thought that was important when I was little), and go out with friends on a whim.
Ah, the Good Life.
Somehow, the life that I now have as an adult is not quite the one of my childhood imaginings. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a wife and a mom, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But stay up late? I’m exhausted by 9 pm. Eat whatever I want? Sure, if I was twenty years old. Talk on the phone? Well, ok, but please don’t mind the screaming in the background and the interruptions every thirty seconds. And go out with friends? Give me a few weeks while I line up the sitter, make the plans, get the friends together and……hey, where are you going?
Time. It gets harder and harder to find. And I’m finding that as I get older, it’s more elusive than ever to find that time to connect – with girlfriends, specifically. Does anyone else have this problem? I don’t have less of a need for girlfriends, but I do have less time to devote in cultivating them.
As a result, so often we as women are just lonely. We want someone who gets us, someone who can help us resist that fourth cookie, who can go shopping with us and tell us not to get the jeggings, but the cute pink tunic would be really great.
Or maybe that’s just me. Please, someone, tell me not to buy the jeggings.
I think that’s another post.
When was the last time you connected with a girlfriend? No, I mean really connected? Not just superficial conversation, but what-is-your-biggest-burden-right-now-friend conversation? How-can I-pray-for-you conversation? This is what we need, it’s what we were created for, and it’s what we long for. I’m convinced that the majority of women I see daily, whether it’s in my neighborhood or at the grocery store, are just lonely and longing for deep, meaningful connections.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
Women need friendships. We need to cultivate, strengthen, and deepen our relationships with other women. Here are a few simple ways I’ve come up with to bless my friends – the married ones, the single ones, and the widowed ones. Try one, and then share one of your own. Sharpen me, please!
- Every woman wants to feel loved and celebrated on her birthday. Acknowledge your friends birthday, but go beyond a phone call. It can be as simple as picking up Chick-Fil-A and some balloons and dropping by her house for an unexpected birthday lunch. Or grab her favorite dessert and stop by. But make the effort. I promise it will bless her.
- Make an extra batch of something you are really good at – cinnamon rolls or muffins or an apple pie – and surprise her with it, just because she is the kind of friend you can call at midnight when you need to talk. OR because you want to be that kind of friend.
- Pay attention to what your friend is struggling with. Then pick up a book, or a pack of pretty cards, or grab your kids and make some soap – but whatever you choose to do, package it up with pretty ribbon, and include a note that you are praying for that specific need. It may brighten her whole week.
It’s hard to feel lonely when you are reaching out and blessing others.
As I sit here writing this, I have an extra batch of cinnamon rolls in the oven with a specific friend in mind. My husband just glanced my way and gave me a wink. My kids are laughing and happy and in desperate need of a bath.
Ah, the Good Life.
By Megan, LifesongLeave a Comment
Holley Gerth says
Megan, you are so right–friendships are one of the best parts of life. Thanks for reminding of the “why” and throwing in some practical “how” too. A beautiful combination that I imagine makes you a wonderful real life friend.
p.s. Just say no to jeggings! I am speaking to myself here too. 🙂
Thank you Holley! And that’s just what I needed – I’m gonna return the jeggings now! 😉
I Live in an Antbed says
Relationships do take “work”. And there is an intentionality that is required about the cultivation. I must confess, most of the time I am focused on my family. Having and homeschooling 7 children leaves little time for other things.
That is why finding friends through blogging is so intriguing to me. There is such a flexibility here to be able to use little snippets of time scattered throughout my day (and night).
But, I must also remember to reach out and touch the people I see, too. Thank you for the ideas.
Thank you friend! It is so easy to get caught up in our busyness and neglect some of the more important things, isn’t it? I agree that the blogging world is a neat avenue for pursuing friendships! I wish your antbed was closer to mine so we could have a little “real world” friendship time! 🙂
I Live in an Antbed says
Would definitely love that!!!
The last time I really connected with a girlfriend was in July–or rather we got super close to connecting then she realized she needed to go because her husband was expecting to come home to a cooked meal. Before that it was last October…but that was more of a one-way conversation…I like your ideas to cultivate relationships because they seem fairly non-time-consuming, yet would mean a lot to people–necessary for someone like me who barely finds enough time to keep up with veryday life.
Oh, man, that’s a long time ago, VA! It’s so hard to make time to get together and connect with friends, but it’s always so refreshing afterwards, isn’t it? Praying you find some time to deeply connect with other women! Thank you for your sweet comment!
I love those suggestions. I agree, it is so important to really connect with our friends. It has been so long since I’ve had the -time- to really connect with my friends. Between their busy schedules and my busy schedule… we can’t coordinate.
To add to your list… one thing I’ve always liked to do to let my friends know I’m thinking of them (when I’m pressed for get-together time) is surprise note cards/cards in the mail– for the ones who live farther than a half hour drive anyway– for no other reason than to say hello and I miss you.
Thanks for the great idea Nickie! I do always get that warm fuzzy feeling when I get a note from a friend in the mail. I’m adding that to my list! 🙂
God has been so good to me and blessed me with two close friends but it took major upheaval in my life before I let them in. Things had to go really bad before I realized I needed to reach out for help on a human level (and not just a spiritual level). These two girlfriends were strategically placed in my life by God to be there when I needed them. God finally got it through my head that it was ok that I was so messed up…these women would love me anyhow! They did, and still do. In return I have been able to be there for them as well. I am moving out of state in less than 2 weeks but I now know these women will be my best friends forever! I can go with peace and joy in my heart, knowing they will continue to “sharpen me” and pray for me even from a distance!
Thanks for your post!
Thank you for sharing, Karen. Isn’t it crazy how it sometimes takes some major event before we realize ‘hey, I need to get me some friends who really KNOW me!’. Praying for your move – I know that is a big transition!
Great ideas! Thanks for the reminders that our friends/relationships are an important part of our lives and something we need to make time for. Blessings!
Thank you, Paige! Back at ya! 🙂
Beth Williams says
This may seem a little crazy, but my husband’s ex-mother-in-law & I are best friends. We go to church together & if he or I should miss for some reason she will call us. She keeps us informed of church happenings.
I was/am blessed to pray for her daughter, make things for the couple’s birthdays & give them Christmas gifts.
I have a women’s Bible study at church & we all connect with & pray for each other. This is where we learn the “little secrets” of each of our lives – the fact that none of us is perfect.
Yes, and the sooner we realize that the more transparent we can become, ya know? When we aren’t all concerned about appearing to have it all together. Thank you for sharing, Beth!
I posted a blog post today about this! If you are looking for friends sometimes you have to be the one to open the doors of your home, order the pizza and make it happen! I just had 20 ladies from church over last night for dinner and the dishes in the sink this morning bring me joy!
For over 3 years I have had a group of girls called the “Good Morning Girls” where we email each other every morning after we have our quiet times. This tech accountability group has become more than just accountability – it’s grown into deep friendships and enjoyable nights out over coffee and deeper discussions – they are a blessing!
I started a blog to help other women build these sorts of groups here: http://www.goodmorninggirls.org The fall groups are coming to an end in December but we will start back up again January 15th! It brings me joy to see Christian women following Heb. 10:25 – gathering together to spur each other on!
Keep walking with the King!
Courtney, I LOVE this idea! What a fabulous way to hold each other accountable and connect at the same time. I will definitely check it out! My first thought is oh I’m due in February, so how could I commit to something in January? But I quickly dismissed it, because it seems like there’s ALWAYS a reason not to, isn’t there? 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing! Blessings to you.
What a great, reminder! As women we seemed to be wired to take care of everyone else first and ourselves last; this, unfortunately seems to lead to a lack of female friendships once we get married/have kids. I love the simple ideas of baking/making something or writing a note just to say “thanks”.
So true, Courtney! Thank you for your sweet comment! 🙂
I find this to be so true. I am a single mother and my closest friend is married with 3 kids (I have 1). It’s unbelievably hard to get together with her, especially during hunting season when her husband is gone a lot. Friendships are so important though, so I send her a text or give her a call every so often just to say hello.
Thank you for sharing, April. Sometimes technology keeps us too connected, but I am thankful for the times when it makes it much easier to stay connected! Texting is a great way to send little bursts of encouragement. Thank you for stopping by! 🙂
Kathryn Howard says
Amen!!!!! I am in a seriously friend deprived season and it is so hard. I know the Lord isn’t going to leave me here, and I am growing closer to HIM as a result, but I miss girl talk…and those heartfelt connections. Thank you for sharing and for making me feel less alone. It helps to know it’s not just me. Have a blessed day, sweet sister. I plan to put some of those great ideas you offered to work and start cultivating some new friendships rather than pining and longing for them to appear at my door. Thanks for the reminder and the kick in the tail (and leggings look great under long skirts or for an extra layer under jeans, but that’s about it!! lol!! Unless of course, you are under 10 years of age….) Happy Day to you and all your readers..Love, Kathryn
Thanks for the laugh, Kathryn! I’m returning the jeggings. 😉 There are definitely seasons where it seems harder to maintain close relationships. And I’ve been there, too, thinking that women should just be coming to me and WANTING to be my friend! 🙂 It definitely takes effort, and is so worth it! Thank you for your sweet comment. Blessings back at you!
Brittany @ Hope in the Daily Grind says
Megan – Thank you SO much for this post. Just this morning I was crying tears upon tears on being homesick and missing my family and friends. My husband and I are from Tennessee (I saw you’re from Knoxville on your bio! We went to college at UT!!) and we moved for his job about 3 years ago. We’ve been in our current location for about a year, and while we’ve made some good connections here, I am still yearning for that deep friendship of a good girlfriend. Just a few minutes ago the thought went through my mind that maybe I should be doing more to connect with people than just expecting it to happen on it’s own, and then I read your post… Sometimes God has to be really clear and direct with me to get the hint, and I don’t think it could get any clearer than that. 🙂 Thank you, thank you, thank you.
P.S. Jeggings – I have had to talk myself out of them a few times now, and luckily it’s worked every time. Just say no. Skinny jeans, yes. Jeggings, no. 🙂
Oh, Brittany, I can so relate to this! My husband and I have moved many times, and it is always such a challenging and faith strengthening thing to be isolated and start all over. And it’s always hard to be the one that needs to reach out, isn’t it? Where in TN are you from? Praying for you, friend, that you will find those God-ordained friendships that make your heart happy and for no more tears on the keyboard! Well, unless they are happy tears. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing – I know a lot of other women can relate as well.
PS I’m so returning the jeggings.
Kristen@Moms Sharpening Moms says
Yes, Megan! I love this post about taking encouragement beyond only words into beautiful works that bless. Awesome!
Thank you Kristen! I so appreciate your words! 🙂
Megan – I do feel that many of us are truly lonely. We love God and do have a relationship with Him, but we still long for that one-on-one girl friendship. I love your ideas of how to bless others. I have had the privilege of being on the receiving end of sweetness on my own birthday – and it is one I will never forget. Not because of the gift, but because of the kindness of my friend. Thank you for reminding me that I can be that person to someone else.
And jeggings? I’m glad you had the strength to resist!
It is such a good feeling to be blessed by others, isn’t it? And it makes you want to bless all the more! Thank you for sharing, Amber! 🙂
I may or may not have had the strength to resist. 🙂
Megan – You are a great example of what being a good friend is. Very fitting for you to write this post. 🙂 Loved it.
Aw, thank you Anne! Is this the Anne that I know and love? 🙂 You wrote like perhaps you knew me, but sometimes it’s hard to tell. Thank you for your sweet comment, either way! 🙂
Mel's World with Melissa Mashburn says
Love Love Love this…I can so completely relate to every single thing you said…well, except for the jeggings…what are those? 🙂 Thank you for sharing your heart and your ideas with us…I so needed that! 🙂 Melissa
Thank you Melissa! And jeggings are “jean leggings” – a fashion trend that may or may not be for those over 30. 🙂 I bet you’ll start seeing them everywhere now. 🙂 Thank you for sharing!
Thank you so much for all your encouragement, ladies! I just want to bake cinnamon rolls for all of you and stop by your house unexpectedly to bless you. Ahhh, a girl can dream, right? Blessings to you all!
Love, love, love this post Megan! Its so true and so timely as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday. I’ve lived through the truth that sharpening is not always pleasant. It can be downright uncomfortable, messy at times, and result in less than desirable circumstances. But I’m grateful for your reminder today to make time for those things that are really important… to go the extra mile to connect and reach out and be that kind of friend that we all need. Blessings to you!!
Thank you so much, J.Noelle! Blessings right back at ya! 🙂
Beautiful in Him says
Thanks for the reminder. It makes you feel special when your friends REALLY celebrate you and your friendship
Yes, it always does! Thank you for commenting!
emily freeman says
I love it! I was just tonight thinking of all the things (and people) lately that have been neglected because of this busy and busier life. Great reminders here, thanks!
Thank you, Emily! I hope it allows you to reconnect. It’s so easy to get caught up in our busy lives, isn’t it?
Jeri @godsdreamsforme says
You’ve just made it so simple to be a blessing to a friend. I really appreciate that. I can totally make extras. Beautiful post.
Thanks so much, Jeri!
Thanks for your tips! It’s hard work for me to maintain friendships, especially with my husband, four children, and Granny all needing me. And I am a stay at home mom. And I homeschool. Of course ,face to face girl time over chocolate and coffee sounds the most appealing, but since that doesn’t happen very often, I’ve had to think out of the box and get creative. There have been some really great visits over facebook IM, quick texting back and forth to check up on each other (while I’m sitting on the couch doing school with my youngest), or even a quick visit as we clip coupons furiously in the van before doing a money-saving grocery shop together. These have been encouraging and rewarding. And in those times where I feel like I’ve stepped away from the rat race to be relational, but everyone else is still too busy to connect, I take it to the Author of relationship, who knows me like no other.
Great point, Nita. That’s really what it all comes down to, our relationship with Him!
Renee M says
Hi Megan. You are a beautiful example of someone who treasures friendship and is willing to give your time to bless a friend. I am thankful for how God has given us a long distance friendship full of long emails through the years as our litle girls have grown year by year. We started out with questions about nursing and now they are questions about homeschooling. 🙂 I wish we lived closer so I could bring you dinner when # 3 arrives! Thanks for writing this post to encourage me to reach out and encourage the friendships I\’m finally making here. I\’m thankful for you!
Thank you for the comment, Renee! 🙂 I am very thankful for your friendship as well – I just wish we lived closer! And I’m totally open for dinner after the baby….if you’re up for a little drive. 😉
Thank you for this post; it’s so easy to relate to! And your suggestions are both practicable and easily applicable! I’m thankful you’ve made this particular call to serve and bless others (and be blessed in return, too).
Thank you, Caroline! I’m glad that you found them useful! 🙂
Love languages. you can use the same ones and apply them to our (woman to woman) friendships. find out what YOUR love languages are regarding friendship first. i believe that is a responsibility we have and a huge tool. Then share that with your friend AND ask what her’s are. if she doesn’t know, get the quiz and have her take it with friendship in mind. THEN, purpose to speak her love language, knowing that you could do all of these other things for hours, but a few minutes of purposefully speaking one’s love language will speak more and do more for them than all that other stuff.
that being said, this mutliplies when you watch what others do, they tend to do what they want done to them. same is true for yourself.
so, not only do purpose to speak one’s love language, yet you recognize when she is speaking her love language to you! and how precious that is! even if it isn’t your love language!
i’m so passionate about this.
Great point, Luann! I’m familiar with love languages for my husband and kids, but it’s not often I think of it from my friend’s perspective. That would lead to many more great ways to bless, I’m sure! Thank you for sharing. 🙂