The Power of Friendships

This morning I woke up to day number 3 of being sick.
Ugh, as my husband showered and dressed for work I looked in the mirror as I was coughing
and despised what I saw looking back.
Haggard, bags under my eyes, swollen dry lips...
Really it was a sight for sore eyes.

Determined to make it through the day 

I set my daughter up with some Valentine's Day crafts
and put the baby in her jumperoo.
For the time being everyone was happy and I could lay on the couch.

It wasn't long before I had someone on my shoulders

and one on my boob. 
All I wanted to do was crawl into bed and sleep the day away.

Sometimes, life as a mom is like this.

We are in our pajamas far too long,
covered in spit up
and forced out of bed when we want to sleep the day away.

Once I got everyone settled I sat down with a cup of coffee and opened up my email.

What I found was my daily devotional from Proverbs 31 Ministries

Lysa TerKeurst
FEBRUARY 12, 2015
3 Ways to Find Life-Giving Relationships
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works." Hebrews 10:24 (ESV)
Lysa TerKeurst
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 and lonely than I’d ever been. Finally realizing a great husband, healthy baby and a comfortable house with a flowerbed planted out front, weren’t the answers to ultimate happiness in life, rattled my soul to the core.
There are deep places within our soul that God hand-designed and reserved only for Him to fill.
But my whole life had been focused on getting these other things that I thought would fill me up. So 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 that day.
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. I just didn’t have the whitespace for anything but 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. They’ve made our key verse, Hebrews 10:24, come to life for me.
What I once thought would take away from my family, has proven to add a richness I couldn’t have gotten any other way.
If you can relate to the season I was in, here are 3 practical ways to find life-giving friendships:
1) Find a friend who does something well that you wish you were better at.
It may be managing paper piles, cooking, organizing kids’ 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.
2) Choose a friend with whom you feel comfortable to pray.
There is no better gift we can give our families than to be wives and moms who pray. Praying with a friend about our families will not only knit our hearts closer to the ones we love, but to that friend as well.
3) 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 like I did all those years ago.
Dear Lord, You know the friendships I need in this season of my life. So I’m praying today for the friends I have right now and ones I have yet to meet. Help me be a God-honoring friend who always points them back to You. In Jesus’ Name Amen.
I can say that the way Lysa and I differ is that in the season of life I do have amazing people in my life to encourage me through these tough spots. I have an amazing family, and in-laws (to of whom live downstairs and have been a big help the past couple days!) I have friends that know me and fire me an encouraging text. I am so thankful for them and blessed to have them. 
When we moved to Portland 4 years ago I left with a stubborn heart. I was determined not to make new friends because I already had awesome ones at home. And I didn't need to make new ones just to say good bye to them at the end of 3 years. 
Boy oh boy did God prove me wrong! Not only did I meet new friends, but some of them who wold become some of my best friends. I have said it here before and I will say it again/ Becoming a mother alongside Marissa and Michelle made for some life long friendships. Not just them, but many others through school and church. 
Yes, we did have to say good bye and it hurt my heart so incredibly much. My heart hadn't ached like that in a long, long time. I cried big, ugly messy tears as I said good bye to each one of them. BUT, there is good news. If you invest in those friendships they will last. Of course it is a two way street, and when it works, it works well. 
Michelle and her family live just over an hour away, and her parents happen to live a hop, skip and a jump away. We get to see them often and it makes my heart swell with gratitude. Marissa and her family live further away then I would like but that's what it is. We have used up flight points and spent money to work on this friendship and we have both commuted to see one another. We get to spend Easter weekend with them this year. I am so thankful for FaceTime and Skype for these long distance relationships. In just a couple of weeks Spencer and I are returning to Portland for the first time since we moved back to B.C. and it will be a sweet reunion! We are so excited to see our old friends again! 
Friendships are a blessing, in every season of life. If you are relating to Lysa, like I did, and afraid to step out in your over-stretched yoga pants, spit covered shirt and overflowing diaper bag to meet new friends... just do it. It may be scary, but it will be worth it to open yourself up to someone else. Chances are, they need you too.

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