21 September 2015

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad, Friend

A Friend Loves At All Times (Proverbs  17:17)

I don't know if it's old age or the fact that I'm a mom or the fact that I live in the northeast but I have turned into a horrible friend.  I always thought I was one of those people who would send cards at just the right moment, call to chit chat randomly throughout the week, remember everyone's birthday and anniversary (without the help of Facebook), memorize children's names and ages, and remember to send care packages for the holidays and just because.


I can't keep up.  Whether it's summer time, fall, winter or spring I always find myself wondering how in the world is it the END of  September (or fill in the month) already?!  I haven't seen or talked to half of the friends I wanted to, and I still have a birthday party to plan, curriculum to buy, memory books to make, doctor's appointments to schedule, christmas shopping to start....the list goes on and on.  

How does one be a good friend to those she loves AND be a good wife, mom, daughter, sister, etc?  

It frustrates me to no end that I can't take a twenty minute phone call, or read a book, or think clearly, or remember the years my kids were born in.  How did I become this person?!  I am MISS CONGENIALITY for crying out loud!  I love people! I love staying connected and keeping up.  How do I choose between friend and family or friend and spouse or friend and laundry?  

Over the summer I was at my bestie's mother's 65th surprise party and most of the time I was worried about my kids behaving and not running, more than spending time with my friend.  I was so preoccupied with keeping everyone quiet and together, and keeping Micah from flashing everyone his tummy (could he please keep his shirt down?) that I missed out on the joy of just being there.  I hate that!

This past week our mentor at MOPS spoke about how she had to give up friendships during the time when her kids were small.  She had "friends" get mad at her for not returning phone calls and she realized, listen if they can't understand that I am in over my head, and give me some grace, then maybe I am not the friend they need.

I think we as women can be very hard on ourselves and each other. If there is any advice I will pass on to my girls when they get older it will be that when you have a young family, and by that I mean kids who are still nursing, or in diapers, or toddling around your home, then you may have to for a season focus on your family and not see your friends as much as you used to.  But!  But there will be friends that it won't matter how many times you called during the month, or how often you sent a card, all that will matter is that you can pick up wherever you left off and it will still be wonderful.

I am thankful for those types of friendships.  The ones who give me lots of grace through all the ups and downs of motherhood.  That's another thing I will teach my girls.  Give your friends tons of grace.  We all make mistakes, we are all imperfect, we all need lots of forgiveness and loads of grace.  

No one intends on being the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, friend.  But sometimes, you just can't help it.

The beauty of a friend loving at all times is that even through your busy times, sad times, chaotic or don't even think about calling me right now times...your REAL friends (the ones who are in it for the long haul) love you no matter what, they "get" you and they know that you will come around again!  Sometimes loving a friend is giving them space, listening when they do call, helping when they are hurt or overwhelmed, and even them just knowing you are a safe place to fall is wonderful too.


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