Making friends can be tough. Over a year ago I had reached out to some ladies from a Bible study, and I'm happy to say that we try to see each other about once a month. With our church being far away, I always feel guilty inviting folks to our home, and it is even harder to get together for just a morning or something like that.
At church, preschool, and even in our neighborhood, it's easy to just be "friendly" with others. It is so much more work to develop friendships with these people who are friendly.
I remember when we first started attending our church we would say "hi" to a handful of people. Even when we started attending Sunday school we still didn't get past the surface. It wasn't until (thank GOD!) a couple felt led to begin a Sunday school class for "young marrieds." This class had two purposes (in my mind at least) to offer a fellowship time during the Sunday school hour so relationships could develop and to teach us to be better God-honoring spouses, though we eventually branched out into other subjects other than marriage. (Many of the couples had been married for 5-10 years, so they weren't exactly newlyweds.) I really appreciate the fact that our church encouraged this special Sunday school class. It did not "disband" until all of the adults of the church were to take core classes to make sure that all of the church had a similar foundation. I miss the class, but it is also good to get to know others, of course.
Just like at church, at my daughter's preschool I was friendly with a handful of moms. I have not reached out to all, but I have invited a couple of M's friends and their moms to my home. Some would say it's a playdate, but I don't. I want to get to know the mom. And it's great that my daughter and son can play while I do.
I tend to rely on email too much for communication these days. (But with small children, it is so nice to not be interrupted or to interrupt...) I have a handful of friends who I telephone semi-regularly, but not many. This past weekend I wrote two letters that were friends. Now, I should also share that these still need to be stamped and addressed, but it's a start.
Though I deeply appreciate my blogging friends, I know that it's important for me to develop my in-person friendships, too. I have a couple of in-real-life friends and family members who also blog, and I have to say that by reading their blogs I definitely get to know them much better!
Of course, friendship is not one sided. I've recently been blessed with the generosity of a neighbor...actually, I should say neighbors! One shares from her garden; another saw something that made her think of me and gave it to me while encouraging me to get out the sewing machine. Kindness is amazing in how it grows and spreads.
So, how do you reach out to others?
Today I'm posting to encourage you and would also suggest that you visit Miller Moments. She has written about her own Operation Friendship...very honestly, too. Her first post is here, and today's post here.
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