Tag: friendship

One Month to Love: Risking Awkwardness

Are your close relationships in the danger zone of “Just Okay” ? 

In each of our close relationships there is a serious need for awkwardness. The kind brought about by diving benaeath the surface and getting real. There is a tendency in long term friendships or romantic relationships to reach a place where we feel we know all there is to know about the other person. Think about it, you’ve been besties for 15 years for crying out loud, what’s there to learn? Or perhaps you feel there’s nothing more to your little brother, after all – you changed his diapers. Maybe you even overlook your parents’ evolution into changing adults?

Instead of intentionally seeking to learn more from these individuals we settle for the following: “How was your day?” “It was okay, yours?” “Eh..it was fine.” Voila! Nothing was said, nothing was learned, just vague generalities. We become strangers to each other and before long, have no idea who our loved ones have become. However, all of this can change, the moment we risk being awkward. When we ask the uncomfortable questions.

News Flash: People are not Mind Readers! 

Yes, I’m sure you know this, but it needs to be said. For example I like to shop (duh, what’s the name of this blog… hello) and that is no secret. My friends also like shopping. What most of them don’t know is that I prefer to shop alone, early in the day, without a crowd. I’d much rather eat with a group than shop with one. Unfortunately, my friends aren’t mind readers, so when I’m squimish about going to a big mall on Black Friday it only appears as if I’m avoiding the squad.

While my scenario wasn’t a serious one, this same principle applies to your familial relationships and the romantic ones. We all recieve love differently. Some of us respond to gift giving, while others need verbal affirmation, still some require acts of service to truly feel loved. The point is, none of these needs will be met without us verbally expressing our needs to those who love us. Let’s resolve today that we’ll risk the awkwardness by asking neccessary questions. Let’s have the willingness to be uncomfortable and go deeper!

One Month to Love: Acting Intentionally

Previously in our devotional study we learned how to give those in our circle the undivided attention they deserve by being present in every moment and actively listening to what’s being said. In week two, we now focus on the intentional actions needed to foster deep connections. This inquiry raises one question in particular…

Is your life too crowded? 

Have you become such a slave to your to-do lists and your demanding work or school schedule that you’ve completely neglected to spend real time with the people closest to you? The truth is, you don’t have time to do everything that everyone wants you to do, and you never will. However, you do have time for the important things… which is building our closest relationships. We must intentionally create space for these relationships to grow by not overcrowding our days with busy work, and taking time with God, family, & close friends.

Remove the obstacles. 

For many of us, this Thanksgiving will be the first time we’ve actually spent real quality time with our families. In our frantic dash to buy ingredients from the markets and bake the necessary pies, we’ve lost sight of what the holiday is actually about. To intentionally create space, we need to prioritize who gets our precious time. Family first… everyone else is second. Allow God to divinely interrupt your regularly scheduled program. After all an “annoying” interruption, is often God’s way of slowing us down to show us what’s really important to Him & Us!

One Month To Love: Being All There

“Right now, there are three relationships in your life that trouble you.”  This was the bold statement that greeted us in the opening chapter of our 30 day devotional “One Month To Love” by Pastor Kerry & Chris Shook. I’ll be honest, this statement caught me off guard, however as I seriously considered it, I knew it to be true. As I begin examining the relationships I have with the people closest to me, I see much room for growth and improvement.

September 12th we began this devotional and week one was all about The Art of Being All There, how to truly be present with those we love. I have to be honest, I seriously struggle in this area. We are a generation of multitasks, possibly even more so than our parents due to the reality of social media and technology overload. How often are you having a conversation with someone but going through your mental to do list? Or sitting at the dinner table on a date while checking your IG notifications?

Active Listening involves being fully concentrated on what is said rather than just passively hearing the speaker. It is the act of listening and responding with the intention of producing mutual understanding. Knowing this, I’ve realized that I’m often not as attentive as I should be with my loved ones. It’s my desire that I become a daughter, friend, and wife who can be all there. One of my fiancé Jason’s favorite sayings is “Just be”. It’s a reminder to actually live in the present, to take it all in, and to love, listen, and nurture those in my inner circle.

Squad Goals: A Beautiful Team

What about your friends? Will they stand their ground? Will they let you down again? What about your friends? Are they gonna be low down? Will they ever be around… Way back in 1992 prophetic psalmists T-Boz, Left Eye, & Chilli released a song to remind us all to evaluate one of the most influential relationships we have – our friendships. In chapter six of our Beauty Begins devotional, Megan Shook Alpha discusses the importance of surrounding ourselves as women with a team of Christ-centered peers who encourage us to chase after God. Before we review the lesson, take a moment to think about your circle of friends. Are these women (or men) of integrity and virtue? Do they uplift you and support you? Or do they use and abuse your friendship?

Ladies, one of our biggest struggles is properly choosing relationships. This includes both frienships and romantic partners. The first thing to note is that it is a choice! You decide who becomes your friend, which means that you reserve the right to end toxic friendships as well. Right now many women are headed off to college this fall. Other women are preparing to relocate to another city for work. Perhaps you are deciding if your current boyfriend is husband material? Whatever the case, it’s crucuial that you learn how to choose your “team”. Proverbs 18:24 says “There are friends who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.” 

Right now, over age thirty, I have the same two best friends that I had at at six. I have acquired many other friends ( whether seasonal or permanent ) through high school, college, and work. However, these two women are my covenant partners that have stood the test of time and battle. I’m grateful to God for recently sending other women into my life who have shown to be full of love and integrity. How can you decide who fits the criteria for a godly friendship? Ask yourself, do these friends have a relationship with God? Are they involved in kingdom ministry? Do they put you down? Do they talk about you behind your back? Do they pressure you to sin?

After reading the questions maybe you’ve realized you could stand to be a much better friend yourself? Don’t worry, next quarter is all about that very topic, but for now, make a conscious decision to start living out the fruit of the spirit. Encourage your friends to live a life of righteousness, in thought and action. Extend grace to them when they fall and lead them to repentance. Forgive them when they make human mistakes…none of us are perfect. Lastly, don’t be afraid to listen to the Lord when He leads you to end close friendships that don’t glorify Him. Trust me, by employing these methods, you will surely have a beautiful team!



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