I am finding that I am in a new season of cultivating relationships. Continuing to foster life-long friendships, repair some, let go of others and create new ones. I had expectations of living next door to my best friends as we raised kids together. Cooking out on weekends as family, girl weekends to the beach and our kids becoming best friends as well. As I find this to not be my reality I’m finding it hard to picture what place friendships hold in this season of life. I am surrounded by 3 little people all day who need and want my undivided attention making play dates difficult for me and more of a parenting exercise in kid socialization than coffee with a friend for me. I moved away from 30 year friendships and there is no replacement from that. I was pregnant or nursing for the past 5 years and that put challenges on friendships. Life happened and friends moved away or choices drew us apart.
But what I was so lovingly reminded of by my husband is that as great as having girlfriends is that is not the only definition of a friend. Having a sister, a mother and a husband who know me well are friendships that are life-long, share deep memories and will not change with distance!
As I watch my three children grow I have a deep desire to help them become friends. Not just siblings who share memories and gather on holidays but friends who share in daily life, speak truth to each other and learn to love each other well.
In our family afternoon rest time is serious, it happens every day, on vacation or at home and life is scheduled around it. The last month though I have found my oldest two asking to play together more during rest time. My answer was no for a long time. But slowly it has grown into having solitary rest time for the first hour and then allowing them to play together for the second hour. They are still in one of their bedrooms with the door closed and are aware that rules still apply. But, I have seen them grow in their desire to play together and their ability to interact well, work through problems and share ideas!
It has helped me grow patient in my own friendships realizing that time will produce long lasting friendships in this new place. It has encouraged me for how our family will continue to grow together. It is true in all things that through hardships growth does occur but things have to be broken away first and that hurts. IT is painful to die to our sin, change our expectations or talk about disagreements. But as we continue to choose each other, to learn and talk we will grow! I tend to want to force it, to find the formula to make it all happen but it happens naturally over time, I just have to be patient…and that is what is hard!