Talking about friendship today. I am blessed to have some seriously soul-connected friends who get me. Now each one doesn’t understand all parts of who I am, or like all the same things I do. Nor are they readily available to me at every moment I may need them. But seriously, in this beautiful season of gratitude one thing that keeps resonating in my heart and mind is how grateful I am for friends who challenge me and walk along side me through both the hard and the exciting parts of life. I am grateful they love me well, and do it knowing who I am to my core.
I have a friend I cook with, we serve others’ meals, we meal plan and compare her healthy recipes to my not so healthy ones, we swap ingredients and leftovers, and we feed each others’ hearts as we feed those around us. There are the friends I talk “shop” with no topic is untouched; motherhood, marriage, shopping, working out (or not working out,) new recipes and how fast it took me to get in and out of Costco the day before Thanksgiving. This text thread blows my mind almost daily. Then there is the friend who does Bible Journaling with me, and when we go to conferences or sit through church together I can count on her to want to break down the notes we took, discuss what we are learning, and how we want to apply it to our lives. She asks hard questions, presses me, and wants to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those around us, together. Others sit around the table from me and share the hardest things in their lives, also celebrating when we hit milestones and jump into new adventures; they have been there for so many years now it boggles my mind. I also have the long distance friends who care more fully for me and my family than I can comprehend and despite the fact that miles separate us we pick up right where we left off.
I know a few things about friendship. The good ones take work, require honesty, and our hearts must be willing to listen, change, and go to new places. This is what creates the ever evolving relationships that will last a lifetime, rather than a season. I also know that no one friend can do it all, be it all, or provide everything I need. Well… except one person. His name is Jesus. As I dove into Day 23 in 100 Days of Grace and Gratitude and the topic was “fellowship,” it quickly struck me that what this particular entry was exploring was “fellowship with Jesus.” Boy am I grateful this year for fellowship with Him. It looks different each and every day. Some days it’s silence on the drive to pick up a kiddo from school or listening to Scripture or a podcast while I do household chores. Other days it includes time at my desk creating and reflecting on what He has been saying to my heart. Sometimes it is all I can do to take just a few seconds to center myself on a mediation about His goodness and His gifts to me. But it is the fellowship that is so good. It is precious.
As I thought more about this fellowship with Him I wanted to really look at Scripture and write out some of the traits of this special friendship. What makes it so unique and how can I in turn extend this kind of true fellowship with those around me. And it was so clear even just in the four Scriptures on these pages that there are somethings that this friendship with Jesus is, and provides, that I can work to extend to others. There is so much more about HIs character, His promises, and His fellowship to be found. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
- has been there
- has shared experiences
- is compassionate
- is loving
- guards me
Lets be this kind of friend to each other.
Here you are seeing a glimpse into a very special weekend, and a very special friendship that I guard with my life. This particular friendship is featured here today not only because it relates back to Bible Journaling and my love for all things crafty, but because when I look at what makes it so special and significant it fits all the criteria I listed above. I am learning how to be a better friend in this friendship. That is something I will hang onto for dear life.
Once a year we get away and we have a shared experience. We talk about things in our pasts, in our present lives, and in our dreams. We create together, forming literal altars of remembrance to what He is doing in and through us. This year we literally just did a “staycation” and found a gorgeous, local spot to drag all our supplies to. I mean she even brought a folding table! We set up in two different spots, spread out, and dove into God’s Word and into relationship with Him and each other. We ate seriously good food and fed both our souls and our bodies.
So what kind of friend do I want to be? Which friendships do I want to dedicate my time to? How can I show others Jesus, and demonstrate a Jesus-fellowship to? It’s in relationship that we are sharpened and it’s in relationship that we can grow a better version of ourselves. I challenge you to think first, “how can I be a better friend?” and “how can I grow my fellowship with Jesus?” before you write a mental list of all the friendships that have petered out or all the people you wish you were friends with. Start with the people in your path already, write a list of ways you can love them better.
-listen to them.
-ask them about their past, be specific.
– might they share a dream for their future with you?
– can you serve them? bring a meal, grab their forgotten grocery item, make them a gift
(I mean I recently had a girlfriend bring me an “arm pit mask,” like literally brought me a concoction that I was to add apple cider vinegar to and put on my armpits as a detox. That is friendship.)
– give them your time, your heart, and share when they ask you to.
I want to close with one Bible Journaling related tidbit. This entry is nothing like I’d originally envisioned when I read the content days before I sat down to get creative with it. Any guesses why? My sweet, very artistic four year old found my Bible Journaling desk and added some sweet extras to quite a few pages. Rather than fume or scold I chose to incorporate. I just created right over the top and where I could I left them visible. He contributed some important pieces to the entry… three of the letters of his name, a precious border and a HUGE heart lesson. It does not have to be perfect to be precious. And this same lesson is what I need to remember in my friendships. Precious is so valuable, and with it comes imperfection. It’s in the imperfections that we are given the chance to be authentic, to go deeper, and to find true fellowship.