Jan 082017
 

Hey my friends,

To be completely cliche, but know I am genuine-hope you had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I am slowly getting back into the new groove.  Making some needed changes-for example, GOING. TO. WORKOUT.  I know this is not a new discipline to strive for in January, but once again, seriously genuine about getting my body a movin!  I wonder as you look over your 2016, what stands out to you as some old and “not so lifegiving areas” which were not workin for ya.  And then as you are “out with the old”, what new spiritual, personal health and wholeness, or areas as a mother/wife/friend/worker you can discipline yourself to in 2017?  Now is your time to shine.  His mercies are new every morning and there is hope.  for.  you.  today.

So 2 options to consider for this January 2017-get in God’s Word more and get your body moving more.  If these 2 are resonating with your Spirit but you wonder, but how.  can.  I.  fit.  this.  in my already busy, I’ve got your back my sister’s!

Check out this free 6 week women’s video devotional series, starting Monday, January 30thWOW Hour: Where Waking Up Early Is Lifegiving!  Start out 2017 with a new lifegiving habit;  6 weeks of inspiring stories to encourage and hold you and/or you and a group of friend’s accountable to be in God’s Word and exercise!  Prioritize your wholeness and health as this program will bring you peace for your mind, body and Spirit- you’ve got a couple weeks to get a friend or two to join you on this journey.  Praying for you. to. rock. this.  I will be joining you so you will not be alone!!

And below here are some of my favorite bible study methods and workouts which you can incorporate with WOW Hour or just do on your own!  Just so you know….i am praying. for. you.  So get goin’ with Jesus in 2017, you.  will.  not.  regret.  it.  Look out for the life of enjoyment and purpose you’ve got in store with a Father who we get ALL good gifts from!

I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it … I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.  John 10:10

4 OPTIONAL BIBLE STUDY METHODS

  1. Dear Father, Dear Daughter MethodThis journaling method is how I structured my book, “Sing Over Me: A Women’s Devotional through the Psalms.” It is us, His daughter’s, writing to our heavenly Father, and then listening to hear what He says through His Word and Spirit to apply to our lives.
  • Pray, read (in God’s Word), then write to God. Then see if there is anything troubling your heart or mind.  Write about this to God.  As you write, be transparent.  Ask God questions about the specific situation.  Always end with what you need from God in this particular situation and the truths you know about Him and His Word.

 

  • Be still and ask God to speak. Then write down His promises- “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening” 1 Sam 3:10b  Make sure you are away from distractions and loud sounds in order to quiet your heart and mind before God.  Listen until you have wisdom, an impression, a picture, a verse, or overall peace about what you just wrote to God.  Write down any scripture and/or impressions you receive during this time of listening.  Do not be discouraged if you do not seem to hear anything, God loves to spend time with us in the stillness and He refreshes our heart, mind and Spirit when we are obedient to spend time with Him-even if we aren’t aware of it.  Write down promises and encouragement you found from God’s true, living Word.  Continue to sit in silence and practice the discipline of waiting to hear from the Lord.  Persevere in this discipline of listening to God.  I know I find it extremely difficult in our busy culture to drown out the noise of my own mind, but even more reason for us do as God tells us, “Be still and know that I am God” ps 46:10.
  1. Free Flowing Method
  • Pray for God to speak to you as you read a passage from His living Word (Heb 4:12).
  • Get on your computer or grab a notebook and pen and write what comes to mind! The key is not what we write about, but that what we say is honest and from the heart.  God desires to meet us right where we are, not where we feel we should be or want to be.  He wants true intimacy with us.  Just like there is no right or wrong way to talk with God, there is also no right or wrong way to write to Him.  We can simply tell Him what is on our heart.  If we are concerned about a particular relationship, we should write about it.  If we need to ask Him for forgiveness, we can write down our apology.  If we are excited about an answered prayer, we can express our gratitude.  If a particular scripture is resonating with us, we can expand on it and dig deeper in order to apply it to our current situation.  God has made us all unique, so use your own creativity and style as you write to Him!
  1. A.C.T MethodSome of us need a structured format or plan when starting a new habit. I am similar. I thrive under others’ good ideas for how to do things!  First pray for God to speak to you and read from God’s Word, then:
  • Ask- Write down your prayer requests, God says “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).
  • Confess-Your sin, repent and turn to God for His refreshment and peace (Acts 3:19).
  • Thanksgiving-To God for specific ways He has blessed you, for what He has done for you, or simply for His character traits; write down your gratitude for our Father who is the giver of ALL good gifts in this life and the eternal life to come (James 1:17) .
  1. S.O.A.P Method – S.O.A.P stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. Each S.O.A.P. entry can be one sentence, or it could be pages and pages of thoughtful note taking. Each day will be different as you move through digging deeper into God’s Word.
  • Scripture-After reading a chapter(s) from the Bible, write down the verse(s) which “the Spirit highlighted”/resonated/you had a pull to read over again
  • Observation-Write down what you observed or what truth stuck out to you in these scriptures.
  • Application- Think on how you can apply the verse(s) to your day, week, life, etc. and write about this.
  • Pray-Write out a prayer to God based on how your mind/heart was renewed to God’s ways instead of your prior ways of thinking/acting and ask Him to help you apply this truth in your life.  

30 MINUTE WORKOUT OPTIONS:

  1. Sign up for and train for a race (running or walking): If you are signing up for a 5K,8K,10K, or half marathon race the Hal Higdon training plans were what I used and found helpful in my training:  http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51137/Marathon-Novice-1-Training-Program
  2. Do a workout DVD with the exercise of your choice-pilates, step, yoga, dance, boxing, Zumba, ect.
  3. Do a YouTube workout with your favorite trainer
  4. Walk the hills in a nearby neighborhood
  5. Do a Daily Burn or some other Workout program App on the computer/Ipad/phone
  6. Do a workout class at the gym
  7. Swim laps at a local swimming pool
  8. Go on a bike ride (on a stationary bike or outdoors)
  9. Lift weights combined with a step machine, tredmill or sedimentary workout machine at gym or home
  10. Dance in your living room to your favorite 7 songs

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jun 292016
 

“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness..” John 1:4-5a

“Therefore, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge as our apostle and high priest.” Hebrews 3:1

“Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” Philipphians 2:15

Summer, summer, summer time!  I cannot get enough of the fact that I can go outside.  My kids can go outside.  Our dog can go outside.  But will we?  There’s the real question.  And here is the real issue with it all.  Where I now see the error of my ways-My complaining occurs rain or shine.  Winter means complaining we can’t go outside because it’s too  wet.  Summer means complaining we can’t go outside because it’s too hot.  So I publicly apologize to my Creator God who truly blessed me to live in such green beauty as Oregon and resolve not to complain.  But to make a family new years resolution in June instead of January- Be.  Outside.  And.  Enjoy.

In efforts to keep with our June resolution me and my crew have become VBS (vacation bible school)/camp hoppers.  Church programs are fabulous for providing outdoor activities for kids and I’ve got summer camp flyers comin out my ears, so we are signed up and primed up to be-Playin’, learnin’, sprayin’, laughin’, kickin’, climbin’, runnin’, jumpin’, and swimmin’ in.  the.  sun.  And we will be lovin’ every minute of it mind you.

Well, except for the not so stellar minutes which occurred 2 days ago at our current VBS sensation.

I got my middle, “live for the social”, daughter checked in in about 5 seconds and moved to check in my oldest.  We wanted her to be in a group with her older cousin so she was in with 3rd graders instead of 2nd graders.  The big kids.  Literally.  As I walked my Lucy over to her group she truly was “Lucy Little” from the book “The Little’s”.  There were 7 boys more than a foot taller and 2 girls right in there as well.  I put on my “Mom evaluating/detective hat” and made the 2 second conclusion to atleast survey the land while my thinker, analyzer, slow to warm up artist daughter entered this scene.

The previous 3rd grade teacher extrovert leader started things with a bang.  “Everyone tell your name and tell one thing you like!”She yelled out in sing song form.  And then it began, one boy blurted, “Ryan and I get to go swimming at my grandma’s pool!”  Another right after from across the circle proclaimed, “I have two dogs!”  (No name to be spoken of, but this seemed to be how the game was played.  And how it continued for the next 5 minutes.  Yell out or miss out.)  As I watched the energetic one’s saying 5 or more fun facts and my daughter being the only one not having spoken, my Mama heart was in a wounded, sad state. And then my Lucy motioned me over and whispered to me her first comment which did in fact break my already wounded Mama heart.

“Mama, I don’t think anybody see’s me”, Lucy stated with her head down.  And yep, that comment pretty much took me down.  I proceeded to try to have a “it’s going to be okay, let me make things better” talk with her about the fact that all these kids were older and therefore bigger and that she would be bigger when she is that age a year from now.  And then made sure to tell the group leader her age as well.  And as I was making sure the leader “saw” my daughter, a mini miracle moment happened.  The blonde girl from across the circle said, “Lucy, we haven’t heard what you like yet!  What do you like to do?”  And then the only other girl in the group didn’t miss a beat and grabbed my “low to the floor” daughter’s hand and said, “Hey, since we are the only girls, come over here by us and we want to show you a special game!”  (Okay, are you girls trying to make a grown woman cry profusely in a random church parking lot?!)

And at that point I knew I could leave.  Lucy.  Was.  Seen.  Lucy, who’s name means “Light” had  the sun and THE Son shining on her.

Even in her smallness.  Quietness.  Seemingly helplessness.  And  darkness.  These girls were the light and love of Jesus to Lucy.  And we need to get this- this is how our good Father works people!

He shines on you with His Son, like the sun, through the light and love of His Spirit’s work in other’s.  He see’s you.  He see’s me.  And We.  Are.  Shining.  With.  Love.

So in your day today, when you feel worn out and weary.  Come to Jesus.  He see’s you.  When you are angry at your kids and have no patience left.  Come to Jesus.  He see’s you.  When it seems everyone else around you is more talented, more beautiful, more intelligent, better disciplined, better at cooking/housekeeping/gardening, has more courage, has more creativity, has more money, is “Mom of the year”, is “Wife of the year”, “Jesus follower of the year”,  and has the “Job of the Year”, do one thing.  Come to Jesus.  He see’s you.

You are never to0 small.  Never too weak.  Never too forgotten.  Never so disobedient.  Never so disconnected.  Never so alone.  Then to be seen.  To be loved.  To be shined upon.  By our heavenly Father.  He is light.  And He is life.

What do you do you feel nobody see’s you?

1-Find a place to go without distractions for a little while (with kids it’s hard, but i am not below turning on a movie to have some needed time-I know I am a better Mom when I take time away from my kids to meet with Jesus.) 

2-Open God’s true Word (truthfully it doesn’t matter where in the Bible you open, just open it, because His Word is living and active and will speak to what you need) and ask our heavenly Father to speak to your heart about your true identity as His daughter.

3- Be open to receiving what God’s Word says and be.loved. in this quiet moment.

be seen.  be loved.  Be light.  Today.

 

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Feb 092016
 

Love perseveres….1 Corinthians 13:7b

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Romans 5:3-5

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.  James 5:16

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:26

It is time to air out some dirty laundry.  Throughout my childhood the word “perseverance” may as well have been the word “Olympian” because both were non existent in my life.  I distinctly remember trying a variety of sports/activities/hobbies on for size.  But there was a common thread which determined whether my interest would dwindle or ignite.  The difficulty and amount of work required.  When I learned piano lessons involved hours of practicing outside of the actual lesson, I told my Mom this wasn’t for me.  Neither was ballet, or gymnastics, for the same reason.  In college, I knew I wanted to do a music major, but when Theory class came around, I quit.  The class was extremely difficult and so I considered other options which were easier to me.  As an adult, the above word has been evident in my life.  Although mainly because I was forced into it.

My most recent “must persevere moments” have been due to our now 7 week old baby girl.  The last nine months before she was born, I puked.  Nearly every day and usually multiple times.  But I had to persevere.  When she has been screaming non stop for 15 minutes and my only wish is for 2 hours of straight sleep at night, I have to persevere.  The above two are “forced perseverence” opportunities, but the one I am currently struggling with I have brought upon myself.  One word-Weightloss.  Getting rid of the baby weight involves self control in my diet, hard work with the “Daily Burn video’s” each morning, and an ability to continue doing it even when the scale proves disheartening.  This last Thursday I was ready to go back to my childhood piano playing mindset and let the baby weight stay.

I cried to my friends as I told them of my weeks of work and the scale showed only 1 pound less.  My discouragement was at a 10.  My hope was at a 0.  My heart needed much.  And so they prayed.  For strength to continue the hard work.  For help, healing and comfort from the Father.  For my spirit to be lifted with quick results.  Ultimately-they exemplified how “love perseveres”.  Because they cared for me, they would not let me quit.  But they would let me be encouraged through their caring prayers of hope.

And through their prayers the Holy Spirit comforted my deep wounded soul.  And I know nothing is impossible with God.  And so I continue on this difficult journey.  It may take more time than I would want.  It may take more work than I would want.  It may take more mustering up of discipline and self control than I would want.  But I trust God.  And His Word.  And know through this perseverance, there is character and hope on the horizon.

What are you currently needing to persevere?  Will you ask friends to pray with you to help you endure?

Who can you give encouragement and hope to in order to show you love them and are with them in their struggle?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Jan 292016
 

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.  1 Peter 3:8

Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind (also translated “being like-minded”), maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; Philippians 2:1-4

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  Matthew 7:11

It was the first.  Time.  Going it alone.  It was almost like the movie, “Three men and a baby”, except minus the three men and insert “two girls, a mom” (which equals “Two girls, a mom, and a baby” if you haven’t had your coffee yet this morning).  I have heard the horror stories of going from 2 to 3 kids-“you have to switch from one on one to zone defense”, or, “now no one wants to have you over for dinner”, or, “having no time for yourself becomes the norm”, or, “now you have to divide your brain to multitask three ways, which is almost impossible” and many more.  And they are all true.  (A sincerely, heart felt hats off to mothers with more than 3 children.  Seriously.  You are my hero’s.  And I need your autograph.)

My oldest’s lunch was packed the night before to allow more time to get everyone ready for school in the morning.  Check.  The well laid out plan of attack had circled my mind over the past week as I anticipated this day-“If I get up at 6:45am I should be able to start laundry for the day, then start bowling water for oatmeal while I turn on the fire and read my Bible.  While oatmeal is going, I can run upstairs and make sure the girls outfits for the day don’t look like we are dressing for “Mismatch/backwards Day” and call out reminders for teeth brushing and bed making.  The baby “Should” sleep all the while.  During breakfast I will nurse the baby and then put her in the carseat (trying not to forget the needed binki).  And myself getting ready for the day-well, that was the part that had to be alleviated.  Sweats, sweatshirt, cozy boots, and ponytail was my new mantra.

The morning went off just as I anticipated, except for the minoot fact that my house looked like I was getting ready for a garage sale. (I guess the cleaning up part comes at some other point.)  Oh and the aftermath was a doozie as well-  I was afraid someone might talk to me and I would have to answer and if it was possible to have a word be your best friend, mine would have been “massage”.  Thankfully I had made plans to be with close friends.  Who don’t judge by outward appearance.

Our friend time together wasn’t necessarily what I was anticipating, but it was much, much better.  Instead of mustering up what I would need to repeat the morning I had for the next day, I got to muster up hope.  The word “hope” was in order for my friend.  Her daughter had been having night terrors for the past couple weeks.  For my friend, this meant getting up 20 times in the night.  No more solutions in play.  An an inability to find compassion and understanding.  Tears of tiredness, guilt of a mother, and toiled up past childhood memories of pain.  Ultimately, hope had vanished from the scene.

I thought about my morning, but it quickly left my mind as I was drawn into love expressed by affectionate compassion (like in the above scriptures), and hope for my weary, tear stained friend.  I thought about the scripture, “Love always hopes”.  And was humbled by that mornings mission to do just that.  My other friend was “of the same mind” (like in the above scriptures).  And we spent our morning listening.  Praying for a miracle to occur in hearts, minds, and sleep patterns.  And putting all our hope in Jesus.  My discouraged friend is usually the one ministering to others and had a hard time receiving our love.  She found multiple phrases to express this, “I so shouldn’t have come this morning.  I am so sorry guys.  Seriously, this is a bummer, you don’t have to keep listening to this.  Let’s talk about something else.”  But we two who had gathered with our three didn’t comply.  But were expectant for our God to meet us and answer our plea for Him to do a mighty work.  And I am so glad we did.

The next morning, I missed a call from my friend we had hoped and prayed for.  With crazy schedules over the next couple days I wasn’t able to connect, but I wondered how her night, which had typically been too many wake ups to count, had been.  I saw my other prayer warrior friend at a coffee date a couple days later and she said, “Did you hear about the night terrors?”  I said, “No, I missed a phone call from her and haven’t been able to reach her yet.”  My friend said, “For the past 3 nights her daughter has not woken up ONCE with a night terror!!!”  Wow.  Praise God.  It was a miracle.  It was a brilliant display of Christ’s body coming together in one mind-answered prayer -God’s faithfulness-love always hopes-and a good gift given by the Father to His child.  Oh-Amen Jesus!

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Mar 112013
 

MAKING A QUILT IS ON MY SHORT LIST OF DARING UNDERTAKINGS.  My husband and I were newly married.  We were doin’ the job thing, doin’ the school thing.  But we needed a creative project.  My husband, the Mathematical mind that he is, loved the thought of cutting 100’s of shapes and piecing them together to form a work of art.  Specifically, a quilt.  I went along with the idea, not being a seamstress by any means, or having a clue about how to even begin.  (Gotta love the give and takes of marriage.  This one happened to be a give, but I was way overdue.)

We started in November and set our hopes on quilt Christmas presents.  We went to JoAnn’s and found an abundance of fabric choices.  In order to “save our marriage”, we set a color scheme.  This way we were both able to get the fabrics we wanted as long as it was one of our previously decided colors.  We bought his strange fabrics and my trendy ones (the beauty of telling the story from my perspective).

Because our deadline was a bit overzealous, the quilt became THE activity outside work and school.  Cris cross applesauce on the floor.  Cutting triangles till our fingers were blistered.  Threading the needle.  Again.  And again.

By the grace of God we finished the quilt in time for Christmas.  We had accomplished what we thought to be impossible.  I reflected upon our finished work.  What started as a compilation of disjointed, contrasting styles of fabrics cut into pieces, was now a cohesive, beautiful patterned blanket.

This messy process of learning to make a quilt represents the sometimes difficult process of creating community.  For the past couple years we have not been in a small group.  We have gotten stuck in doing the Sunday morning rat race. We get the family out the door to church, listen to the sermon, sing some songs, and wade through the crowd to pick up our kids from Sunday School.  We feel disconnected from others and are desperate for close community.

Just like our quilt took hardwork, energy, and time, so does forming community.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  The logistics of childcare, coordinating busy schedules, dealing with differing opinions on activity choice, and cleaning the house at times feel overwhelming.  But the rewards so outweigh the challenges.

Community is a choice.  But it is EXACTLY what God desires for us.  It is EXACTLY what we NEED to weather the storms of this life.

We are in the process of piecing together a weekly small group.  It is with unexpected fabrics of people, including neighbors, friends, and co-workers.

We are letting go of the “should be’s” of doing Christian community and embracing what is.  Community can be creative.  It doesn’t HAVE to look a specific way.

Community looks like:

  • Inviting couples/families for dinner in or dinner out.
  • Setting up regular play dates/coffee dates.
  • Coming together for game nights.
  • Weekly exercising together.
  • Gardening together.
  • Spring cleaning together.
  • Participating in a book club together.
  • Regular meetings in a home, church, or coffee shop to study God’s Word and pray.
  • Praying together whenever and wherever.
  • A girls night at the beach.
  • Women’s bible study.
  • Regular movie nights.
  • ________________ (What are you are doing or could do to connect with other believers?)

A patchwork community quilt.  Made with creativity.  Woven together by God.  Worth the work.

Acts 2:42 “They (the believer’s) devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”

Have you felt disconnected from your church body?  Are you doing life with other believer’s?  How can you creatively engage with others this week?

 

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Feb 252013
 

TEARS ARE INEVITABLE (SOMETIMES).  LAST WEEK, I BROKE DOWN CRYING IN THE MIDDLE OF BIBLE STUDY ANNOUNCEMENTS. Not a shining moment for me.  This would be the second close friend moving away this month.

I had been trying to stay strong from the moment I heard my first friend was leaving.  I didn’t want to appear weak and vulnerable.  But when I heard this second announcement, my unexpressed emotions were loosened and the floodgates opened.

Have you ever been barely keeping it together and then something or someone pushes you to the point of tears flowing like a river?  That was me.  Crying uncontrollably.

My tears were tears of sadness. Loss.  Unfulfilled expectations.  All the while, being surrounded by many women whom I just met for the first time.  Talk about showing weakness.  Talk about revealing my lack of self-sufficiency.

Why do I feel as though someone just kicked me in the gut?  I have other friends.  I will still be able to talk with these friends. 

I know moving is God’s best for them.  I am excited for their new adventure. 

Why do I have to be left behind?  Why am I being so selfish as to make this all about me?  Why can’t I hold it together? 

I didn’t understand this new position I was in.

I understood the challenges of moving away from close friends and community.  I had cried myself to sleep many nights as my husband and I moved from Oregon to Texas, Texas to Spokane, and finally, Spokane to our current home in Newberg.

I now recognize there is pain whether you are the one moving away or the one left behind.   God is teaching me truth as I struggle with my friends leaving.

When friends leave us or we leave our friends:

  • There are deep emotions to be expressed.  It doesn’t help anyone to act like the feelings don’t exist.  After I cried I felt much better!
  • Experiencing sadness and feelings of loss means you were doing exactly what you should have been doing. Living in community.  Investing and serving others.  Showing the love of Jesus by loving others as you would love yourself.
  • God see’s our pain and will provide opportunities for new community.  Another friend who I hadn’t see in awhile is going to the Bible study I recently started.  She comforted me with an empathetic hug and listening ear in my moment of, “tears flowing like a river”.
  • We become aware of our dependence on God and others to help us run our race of life well.  I am reading the book called, “A Clearing Season”, by Sarah Parsons, which is a praise to God for His perfect timing.  Sarah says as American’s we don’t like to admit dependence on anyone or anything because that would make us weak.  In contrast, divine strength is “made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).  It is only in expressing our vulnerable, natural human limitations (showing our weaknesses to one another), that we exercise courage and tap into God’s power.  We are weak by nature, but made strong by our ability to connect authentically, ask for help when needed, and unmask the reality of our self sufficiency.  We are strong when we depend on God and on the body of Christ. 

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Prov 18:24

Do you have difficulty depending on God and others?  Will you allow our God and the body of Christ to provide for your needs?  Will you decide today to prioritize living in authentic community?

Jillian

Jillian

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Dec 072012
 

“A true friend share freely, advises wisely, assists willingly, encourages quickly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably.” – Adapted from William Penn (The Word Out Woman)

Admin

Admin

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Nov 072012
 
  • My last post I shared about the importance of friendships. This post is dedicated to the “how” of creating meaningful relationships.

Tips for Establishing Meaningful Relationships:

  • All new things can be uncomfortable in the beginning. Familiarly comes with time.  The more you go, the more times you try, the more comfortable you will get.  When I first attended a Bible study at my church I didn’t know anyone. The ladies were close and I felt like an outsider. I forced myself to push through these feelings and keep going to the study.  Now some of those women are my dearest friends! I would have missed this opportunity if I had stopped quit due to my uncomfortable feelings.
  • The more you give of yourself the more you will receive.  In order to have authentic and meaningful friendships you have to be willing to be a little vulnerable. (This doesn’t mean you must share your darkest secrets during a first conversation!)  Over time be willing to open up and share your fears, dreams, hopes, joys and struggles. The more vulnerable you are, the more your friends will be willing to share themselves with you.
  • Believe that you deserve time with friends.  If you are a mom, develop a support system that will free you up to have time for friendships.  Some of us have husbands that have a hard time supporting us in taking time for ourselves. It is helpful to evaluate, how supportive are you when he wants time with his friends or to do his hobbies? Try to work out equal time for you each to have a break.
  • Set out specific time and energy to have friends in your life.  It is important to trust how vital these connections are. If you believe in the value of friendships, you will be more apt to make room in your life for friends.Form or join interest groups such as garden clubs or book clubs. Joining a faith community is a great way to form friendships.  It is important to remember in this day of social media, email, texting, Skype, etc. that although they are helpful in staying connected, they can not take the place of real life face to face encounters.

I challenge you to take a step today towards making a friend or connecting with a friend.

What is one thing you can do right now to take a step towards friendship?

Admin

Admin

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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Oct 312012
 

Let’s face it our lives are FULL! The demands on our time are GREAT! Often it is our natural tendency to put ourselves last.

Our need for “me-time”, nutrition, exercise, and devotional time seems to always be at the bottom of the list. Sometimes we feel guilty taking time for ourselves. It is just easier to not take the time.

Yet taking time for ourselves and our friends is important.

Why are friendships important?

We are designed to be in relationship. First, with Christ, and second, with others. Women in particular are relational beings and thrive when connected to others in meaningful relationships.

Establishing and maintaining healthy friendships provides the opportunity for us to recharge and connect with others. Having a friend that relates to our stage in life, and that we can share and laugh with, is essential to our mental well-being.

Since life can be stressful, it is vital to maintain friendships (especially after having children). Not doing so can lead to burn out, frustration, isolation or depression.

Evidence suggests these health benefits of friendship:  It increases your sense of belonging and purpose, boosts happiness, reduces stress, improves self worth, decreases risk of serious mental illness, helps you weather traumas and it encourages change of unhealthy habits.

Who should my friends be?

Not all our friends have to be just like us. Friends might be single, married, with kids or without: it does not matter. A friend is someone that you share a special bond with. The critical element is connection.  Connection that is genuine, caring and supportive.

Developing friendships can be scary! You may have experienced hurt at the hand of a friend. The key is to not let that experience hold you back from other real friendships. The benefits outweigh the risks. Forgiveness and learning from the past hurts helps you grow as a person.

At one time or another every woman has feared rejection, felt alone or assumed that the other woman has it all together.

Many times I have heard women say “I don’t have any friends” or “no one invites me anywhere”. I too have thought this and have felt “left out”. After honest conversations with other women I have come to realize that we all feel insecure at times.

Once I recognized that all women just want to be loved and accepted as much as I do, I felt freedom.  Freedom to be myself, to step out of my comfort zone a little and try to make friends.

I encourage you to take an inventory of your friendships.

When was the last time you spent quality time with a friend?

Admin

Admin

© 2012 Standing on Peace

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