Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Cultivating Friendships

by Lisa Jordan @lisajordan
I spent this past weekend with four close friends, celebrating our belated Christmas and one of their upcoming birthdays.

Before I had gone to hang out with them, another friend commented that she didn’t have a group of friends like mine and expressed a twang of jealousy. Earlier in the week, another friend shared she wasn’t good at nurturing friendships.

I get it. As we go through different stages in our lives, our friendships may come and go as well. Even though we may pinky swear in third grade to be best friends forever, life doesn’t always allow for those childish promises to be fulfilled. Not only that but as we grow and mature, our attitudes and opinions change, causing rifts and distance. Wives and moms can become too consumed with their family roles to take time for outside friendships.

Cultivating friendships is essential because we were created for relationships. God didn’t design us to spend our days alone.

Even though I have a very healthy marriage and a strong relationship with our two sons, I need my female friends to sustain me in ways that my husband and sons can’t.

For the most part, women understand other women. PMS, anyone? Try to get a guy to understand that one.

Not only that, but there’s a connection between friends that is different than a marital bond or one between a parent and a child. While my husband and boys appreciate my stamping, scrapbook layouts, or crocheting/knitting projects, my female friends are the ones who share those hobbies and totally get my need for some crafting therapy. 

Chatting with a friend over coffee feeds my inner needs of being heard, being noticed, and being needed because hopefully, I’m strengthening that relationship with my friend as well.

But what if you don’t have a close-knit friendship or circle of friends, and you want one? How do you go about cultivating those friendships?

Think about what you want in a friendship and what you’re willing to sacrifice and give because any relationship worth having requires sacrifice, compromise, and your willingness to invest in that bond.

How do you like to spend your free time? Are you a classic movie buff? An avid knitter? An outdoorswoman itching to go for a hike or launch the kayak as soon as the ice in the river melts? If you’re involved in particular hobbies, see if there’s an acquaintance who shares your ambitions. Take the first step. Invite her to grab some coffee, hang out, or do something you'd both enjoy. 

Pray for your friend. Take the time to drop a note in the mail, send a text or email, or pick up the phone to connect with your friend. Do something to show how much you value your friendship. 

Once you allow a relationship to grow organically, you'll want to spend more time with that person and cultivate a friendship that will feed your soul and make it blossom. 

What about you? Do you have a close friend? How did that friendship come about? What do you do to cultivate that relationship?

8 comments:

Author Savannah Rose said...

When I was in school, I had many, MANY friends. Close friends. After we all graduated, we kept in touch for a while. It's been almost 29 years since we walked across our football field, anticipating what the world had in store for us. Little did we know adulthood had a way of separating even the best of friends. Life...that's what we blame. I try to keep in touch with my friends mainly through Facebook. Because most of us live in or around the town we grew up in, we run into each other at the grocery store or while we're out and about. Work hours during the week usually structure our off time on the weekends where we try to catch up with family...or just catch our breath.

My husband has joined a gym, so for 3-4 nights a week, he and three of his friends spend an hour or so working out together, male bonding I guess you'd say. Some days/nights, while he's gone, it would be nice to have someone to just sit down with and have girl talk over a glass of wine or cup of coffee. Maybe find someone who shares the same reading interests. (We do not have many book clubs in my neck of the woods.)I just posted today about how society has changed when a new neighbor moves into your area. We longer greet them and welcome them as we did a couple of decades ago.

You've given me a lot to think about with this post. Maybe I'll just go ahead and bake a cake for that new neighbor I mentioned in my blog. Never know...could be a new longtime friend right across the street from me. Thank you.

Debby Giusti said...

Thanks, Lisa, for a lovely blog post! As a military family, we moved every two to three years so I've had to say goodbye to a lot of friends over the years. It's always hard to let go.

Hubby and I have stayed in GA now for a number of years. I have a lot of friends, but two are friends of the heart. I know they're always ready to help with a smile, a hug, or words of encouragement. We used to meet weekly and go over our faith journey. We meet less often now, but I can always count on them. I hope they feel the same about me.

Jill Kemerer said...

I'm so glad you were able to spend quality time with your friends! Like Debby, I've had to leave most of my friends due to moving, but it's great to stay connected with them on Facebook. Some of my closest friends live across the country. It's hard not to see them! I'm thankful for technology!

Jackie Smith said...

I treasure my friends...esp. those of many years. I'll attend a lunch tomorrow of high school classmates and be excited to see about 15-18 there! Two have died this year (we are OLD) so we few try to lunch monthly.

Merrillee Whren said...

I'm in the same boat as Debby. We've moved a lot and recently moved from FL to AZ. Starting over to cultivate friendships can be difficult. I've made friends here through tennis.

Terri Reed said...

Great post Lisa. Cultivating friendships take time and energy. For me I have lunch dates with friends as a reward for getting my work done. The week after a book is turned in I will book a date or two for each day. It gives me something to look forward too.

Pamela Tracy said...

I told my husband not to long ago that I used to make friends easily, but now it's somewhat harder. Mostly because of time. I have to carve out time for friends. I'm looking forward to someday having time to enjoy coffee :)

Christine Johnson said...

Wonderful post, Lisa. Friends are so important! My close writing friends are a treasure. I love every time we're able to get together. And I adore my quilting group. Then there are those close friends who totally "get" us. As writers, we tend to spend a lot of "alone" time, so maintaining friendships are key to sanity!