Today I’m guest posting over at (in)Courage. I hope you’ll visit me there where I am talking about marriage. And all my girlfriends who have already had a little tiff with the hubs this morning sigh wondering if I’m peaking in your windows.
Rest assured I have not, but I feel your pain sweet sister. Remember, Art and I have our fair share of growth opportunities. Smiles.
So, at (in)Courage I’m chatting it up about marriage. But over here at my place today, I thought I’d share with you why I think the right kind of friends are crucial to encourage us in the vital roles we women play.
Sixteen years ago, I pressed my forehead against my front door window while tears quietly slipped down my cheeks. I watched my husband pull out of the driveway and head off to another day at work. I then turned to look at what my day would hold- a crying baby, a messy house, and an overwhelming feeling of dread. How could this be?
I finally had everything I ever thought would make me happy, fulfilled, significant, and satisfied, yet I was more miserable than I’d ever been. Finally realizing a great husband, healthy baby, and a comfortable house with a flower bed planted out front weren’t the answer to ultimate happiness in life rattled my soul to the core.
My whole life had been designed around getting these things that would finally fill me up. When they fell short, I slid to the ground and cried, “God, I can’t do this. Where do I go from here? How do I find you? Help me!”
A few weeks later, my husband called and said there was a woman in his restaurant who wanted to meet me. I glanced down at my spit covered sweatpants, ran my hands through my greasy hair, and willed my mind to override the desire to pass on meeting her today.
I couldn’t handle the relationships I had in my life, I certainly couldn’t make time for more. Plus, if I got too close to women who appeared to have their lives together, they’d judge me for the pitiful way mine was falling apart. No, my role was to give everything I had to my family.
But that was exactly the problem. I was giving everything I had to my family with nothing to fill me back up- no one to encourage me past the hard spots- and no one to share practical advice because she’d been there, done that.
So, I crammed my diaper bag full and headed out the door.
Over the years, I’ve thought about that pivotal decision to pursue and embrace the necessity of friendships. Not only have they helped me personally, my friendships have been crucial to my success (and sometimes survival) in my roles as wife and mom as well. What I once thought would take away from my family, has proven to add a richness I couldn’t have gotten any other way.
Here are some practical ways friendships can help us:
~ Find a friend who does something well that you wish you could be better at. It may be managing paper piles, cooking, organizing kid’s rooms, creatively loving her husband, effectively disciplining her kids, or a hundred other things. Whatever it is, ask her if you could spend time observing how she does what she does so well. Women love to talk about things they do well.
~ Choose a friend with whom you feel comfortable to pray. There is no better gift we can give our family then to be a wife and mom who prays. Praying with a friend about our families will not only knit our heart closer to the ones we love, but to that friend as well.
~ Pursue a friendship with someone who is one stage behind where you are in life. Offer them practical help in their area of stress and weave in the wisdom you gained as you went through that same stage.
Why not spend some time today praying for the friends you have and the friends you’ve yet to meet. God loves to answer those friendship prayers! And trust me on this, go ahead and wash your hair, just in case you get a call today like I did all those years ago.
Speaking of washing your hair, what kind of shampoo do you use? Is it expensive or cheap? Do you love it or just use it because you had a coupon? I’m having some shampoo issues and would love to hear any advice you have. Oh, and certainly, if you want to comment about friendships, I’m all ears on that topic as well.