About the Author

Jessica Turner is the author of Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter and Thrive, and blogs on The Mom Creative. Every day is a juggling act as she balances working full-time, making memories with her family, photographing the every day and trying to be...

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  1. I don’t know if I spend enough of my time and energy on my out-of-town friends.

    Life is often so busy that it is very easy to simply forget to make time for those friendships the same as I would make time for my friends that are closer to home. Or I make excuses – she wouldn’t mind if I didn’t call her, she has other friends there and I have other friends here, so my words aren’t going to be missed.

    It’s hard to be intentional about cultivating out-of-town friendships because friendship is supposed to be effortless, and with busy lives sometimes spending time on other people, especially people far away, is anything but effortless.

    I think prayer is a good place to start; it’s something I’m doing anyway, and taking a few extra minutes to pray for a friend is an easy first step. Once that friend is on my mind at least once every day, taking other steps will be easier.

  2. I love this post. I have a chronic illness that keeps me home most of the time – so I rarely see friends who live in my area. Sadly, they just don’t have the time to come over and visit. So instead, I’ve turned to the web to find new friendships, and been overwhelmed with some amazing women. These are some great ways to continue those friendships. Thanks much for sharing this today!

  3. Thank you! I am pulling out my Christmas list and going to get stationary today! I need to be more connected this way! Thank you for making me smile and miss them today! Miss them in a good way! We moved 21/2 years ago And knew no one. So, all my friends all my family are 2000 miles away! I long for a cup of coffee…… But a note written is going to suffice! Maybe they can read it over coffee! Maybe ill write that on the outside of the envelope! 🙂

  4. this is so perfect today Jessica! shared it with my (in)spired ladies as we begin our community life together. thank you!

  5. Fantastic! I am far away from some of my dearest friends as well. Oh the things you do for love! I moved from BC to Ontario Canada to marry my true love. But I left some of my dearest friends there and am slowly working on developing friendships like those here. I do send mail to those friends but not as much as I should. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Beautiful words and so true. I’ve written about some similar themes lately…especially the pen to paper…and God using us in ways we don’t even know, when we pray. I’m so glad you got to meet your Sara…and to know she is joyously waiting till you meet again. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I have a friend like this named Sandy Coughlin @SandyCoughlinRE with The Reluctant Entertainer. I reached out and she responded and we have been friends ever since. I have been going through breast cancer treatment and her sweet mama died from it. That connected us immediately. I knew I could count on her prayers through it all and she has been an incredible online friend. I have several actually. Luann Collins @LuannCollins is another. We have same number of children, 6 ea, same last name, same kind of dog, we prefer white chocolate and we love the color purple just to name a few of our similarities. What I have discovered is that it does take two. I can not expect my online friends to always shower me with comments, text or reTweets. I must do my part as well as true friendship would be if she lived where I did. Its the same but just a little different. With the way we can stay connected via social venues its easy to build relationships online, good ones.
    Ones that last a lifetime.
    Thanks for the post.
    Barbara†
    @madreminutes

  8. I agree with Barbara, Madre Minutes. It’s hard to keep up with everyone with social media, so many blogs, online friendships, but the connections … when you just know “they are there for you.” You can always pick up the phone or text, or even send a note in the mail. The best for me is to think of them during the day, and offer up a simple prayer. Great post! Thank you for sharing!

  9. I just love this Jessica! Thank you for sharing about your friendship with Sara and your thoughts. So great! Missing her with you and thankful for how God is using her still!

  10. I have a family friend who lives 10 hours away. She had a miscarriage at about 14 weeks earlier this year. I found a local florist online and ordered flowers for them. I also made a point to send them a card when it was about the baby’s due date. I wanted to remind them that I was still praying for them and that I hadn’t forgotten about their little one.

  11. I have lived several states away from my very best friend for over 15 years now. One of my favorite ways to feel connected (Aside from calls, texts, facebook,etc) is throughout the year we collect our favorite things that we have discovered throughtout the year(Think Oprah but on a much smaller scale:-) ; and for birthdays and/or Christmas we send them to each other. It’s so enjoyable and makes me so happy to give and share something I really love!

  12. Standing ovation for this, beautiful Jess! I have many more friends who live out-of-town than in-town, so I doubly appreciate these very doable ways of lovin’ on them.

    Goodness how I wish I lived in your town! But since I don’t, I’ll settle with telling you I think you’re the awesome sauce X a million. Much love to you, friend!

  13. I’m so glad you wrote this post at this moment because I just moved away from all my friends and am in the midst of starting over fresh in a brand new city. It’s so overwhelming to feel lonely and lost, but I really needed this reminder that I need to really continue to cultivate those relationships I already built, but from afar. Just because I moved doesn’t mean those friendships are doomed!

  14. When I moved from my hometown five years ago, a dear friend suggested a weekly phone date. To this day, we still talk every Friday at 2pm. That kind of intentionality is a rare and precious gift — as is she. Thanks for the great suggestions!

  15. Great post. Ten years ago, I moved from Australia to Norway and have been living in Europe ever since. Long distance relationships are hard, but so much harder when only one person is making the effort. Don’t underestimate the value of birthday cards (not just an email), having flowers sent (as another person mentioned), a quick phone call, or sending/emailing photos of what you’re up to so that you can feel connected. Long distance relationships can be really rewarding!

  16. skype is the most wonderful way we keep up with long distance family and friends. fb is another :). Techonology today is a true blessing. I recently had the opportunity of meeting up with a childhood friend I have seen since we were 12. I think sending Christmas card pics (I actually send Valentine pics as I realized when my girls were baby/toddler it was easier for me to do and enjoy in January :)…) as well as snail mail little encouragement cards or gifts from time to time. Love this post! Happy day to you.

  17. Great post. If you find a friend your soul connects to, it doesn’t really matter where they live. But don’t let that friendship slip away through your fingers. Keep it going.

  18. Great advice! It is so important to me for my distant friends to know that I truly care about them, but I don’t always have a lot of time.

  19. I have a friend close to my heart who lives halfway around on the other side of the earth. I send emails, photos of flowers, check out her blog and comment. I pray. Once we put together a little something in the mail for her and her chicks. I agree, while the internet opened a new way of bridging the distances and smoothening out time zones it is a special feeling, to give something the friend can hold in her hands. My daughter and I had such a wonderful time putting the package together and it was almost magical to see photos of our friends with the gifts we sent. By the way, this friend and I have never met or spoken.

  20. I happen to stumble upon this… Or God sent me here tonight. I am new to blogging…so I am completely lost! In the community I live in its hard to make friends, but I think it’s that way in a lot of places. I am looking for exactly what you shared… deep, authentic, rich friendships, so Im hoping to learn how to blog and find some amazing friendships…

  21. U know I still go to Sara’s blog page to see what her sister writes. I loved reading Sara’s blogs. Her words always came at the right time. That’s why I love reading (In) courage. Everyone’s words come just at the right time.

  22. Thank you. I am active duty military, so I have friends all over the country, not to mention the world. These really are awesome ideas that can definitely brighten their days! Thanks!

  23. As a missionary very far from home, it is hard to explain how to friends at home how much we need their contact. There are so many reasons people don’t stay in touch, but none of those reasons help us when we are feeling lonely and far from home. Receiving a package from home is like Christmas!! Receiving an email or a letter is like a big hug. I hope that you are encouraged to love on people far from home, it means a lot to us!

  24. Amen Amen and Amen! I try to often email some friends I met through a weekend walk (Emmaus community). They are older and live in several different states.

    I try to stay in contact some with them. They often send me prayer requests and I respond by praying and emailing back to check on their requests.

    I send cards often to people, family, friends. I believe that in this day and age of electronics it is nice to receive a written card. It tells me that someone is thinking of me and took the time to write a nice note.

  25. I can tell you I do not do a very good job of loving from afar. It is really easy for me to get wrapped up with what’s right in front of me and let the busyness of life fill my time. These are great ideas and I definitely want to use them to make a better effort. I love that you don’t just make these suggestions, but you actually DO them. I have been on the receiving end of all five of these from you! I am honored to be your friend and feel your love from afar!