I have been blessed me with people in my life with whom I consider myself very close to. However, along life’s journey, I have found that developing and maintaining these relationships takes quite a bit of work. When we moved to North Carolina and left our best friends in Delaware, I was lost. I was not sure how to ever make a friend again, and as an introvert, I was scared to death! Over that summer, I found a book by Lisa Whelchel titled “Taking Care of the Me in Mommy” where she talks about the importance of taking care of yourself so that you can be the best mommy to your children. She has one chapter dedicated the importance of frienships. It’s still not easy, but it gave me the encouragement and strength to put myself out there, to be a friend to others and work to develop relationships in a new place. At the same time, it takes work to keep those old relationships strong.
I have learned that strong relationships function two ways. I give and they give. And sometimes we get together and cry that neither of us has given in a while and we reclaim that bond.
Why do strong and positive relationships have to be so hard to maintain? As a culture, we have initiated a sense of urgency for the unimportant. We keep ourselves busy and occupied with many things. Some are important, some are just urgent, and some are truly a waste of time (surfing the web for umpteen hours after you told your hubby you would be in bed in a minute…Guilty!). When there is so much going on, it is hard to take time away to care for ourselves, let alone those relationships in our lives.
Now I need to give a shout out to all those people in my life who put up with me slacking on the relationship end of things. All of these people are really important to me in my life. We share commonalities (and differences) as well as love each other unconditionally. Thank you!
Doug – my hubby! We keep realizing that we need to reconnect, that we have drifted, and we’ll have a date and then realize we should do this more often … and then the kids, schedules, and life get in the way and the dates never happen. Hmmmm….sounds like a pattern we need to break! Date night this weekend????
Dawn (& Patrick too) – our best friends we left in Delaware. We would still love for you to come live down here! J Pastors and teachers are needed everywhere! J You both opened your hearts to us when we needed it the most. We may not talk often, but the reconnecting is always really sweet!
Emily (& Brian) – While Dawn & Patrick our the godparents to our oldest two children, you are charged with our youngest … which I think is going to be the toughest! Your faith and hearts are always true and kind. I learn how to be affirming and supportive from you. Let’s get that night out on the calendar soon!
So if my personal relationships mean so much to me, shouldn’t my professional relationships also be positive and healthy? It means, just like my personal relationships, I need to take the time to give it my focus and attention. To spend time with other people in conversation. To take the time to write the small note (thank you Emily!). To reflect on the best way to communicate information. To communicate in ways that the other person is able to respond to. And to pray constantly. It’s a tall order, but it is definitely worth it when I am able to form a bond with a family that can get us through and over any roadblocks that may come our way.