The Value of Cultivating Friendships

by | #TellHisStory, Encouragement, Friendship | 7 comments

A friend sent this meme to me recently, and it’s the perfect representation of what’s happening in my world right now.

In the last two months, my family has been walking through a difficult season filled with pain and heartbreak. Through it all, God has been there every step of the way. Because of the busyness in everything we are dealing with, I haven’t had the time nor the brain power to write a new blog post. I’ve decided to repost one from last year that aligns well with the values series I’ve been doing.

In September, I started a blog series based on my values, beginning with living out your values, five ways to value your faith, and three ways to value family. During today’s segment, I will be talking about the value of cultivating friendships.

As I mentioned previously, my values are faith, family, friendships, health, writing, work, and creativity. These seven values define who I am and how I strive to live my life.

Before writing this post, I searched my blog for previous posts about friendship. One thing is certain–I wouldn’t be where I am without my friends,

And that sentiment holds true today, especially as my family is walking through a season of trials.

Over the weekend, I spent quality time with a group of friends. Due to our busy schedules, we haven’t been able to get together as often as we’d like. Also, we live about ninety minutes apart. Between those face-to-face times, we stay connected through texting, video chats, and social media.

Valuing togetherness

Getting together in person, though, takes time and planning. None of us are in a position where we can “get up and go” at the spur of the moment. Between families, work, and pets, we have other responsibilities that prevent spontaneous get-togethers. So planning is essential.

On Saturday, we gathered on the back patio of our friends’ house and soaked in the conversation, laughter, and sounds of nature as balmy breezes whisked our faces while we ate our lunch. As we enjoyed the tranquility of the afternoon, I admired my friend’s green thumb and the way she had transformed their backyard into a serene oasis. Green plants, vibrant pops of colorful flowers, hanging bird feeders, and peaceful wind chimes offered soothing refreshment for our spirits.

After lunch, we stopped for ice cream, then headed to the beach. We walked along the surf, dug our toes in the sand, and allowed the midafternoon sun to kiss our faces. We concluded a perfect afternoon by taking our signature group selfie, passing out hugs, and promising to get together sooner rather than later.

In the midst of my current busyness, it would have been so easy to cancel the plans and focus on my growing to-do list. However, I needed to step away from my busy schedule in order to return more refreshed and productive. I try to live my life based on my values of faith, family, and friendships. Since friendships are one of my core values, I needed to set aside work to enjoy essential rest with my friends.

Created for relationships

God created us for relationships—first with Him, then with others. As we move through different seasons in our lives, our friendships may change as well. My friends relate to me and feed other parts of my soul that my husband and sons can’t. That’s not a slam against my guys in any way. I value their significance in my life. There’s a bond between friends that is different than a marital bond or one between a parent and a child. And while my husband and boys may appreciate my creative endeavors, my female friends share those same hobbies and understand their value—in the creative pursuit and spending time together.

God created us for relationships—first with Him, then with others. #tellhisstory #relationships Click To Tweet

Chatting with a friend over coffee feeds my inner needs of being heard, being seen, and being together because, hopefully, I’m continually cultivating those relationships as well.

I have one friend I see once a month. We meet for breakfast or lunch, and before we part, we look at our calendars and schedule our next date. I have friends I see once a year because we live all around the country. Knowing I’ll be seeing them allows for anticipation to build, and our reunions are so sweet.

Cultivating friendships

Cultivating friendships takes time and discipline. What do you want in a friend? What are you willing to sacrifice and offer? Any relationship requires an element of compromise and investment.

Cultivating friendships takes time and discipline. What do you want in a friend? What are you willing to sacrifice and offer? #tellhisstory #friendships Click To Tweet

If you’re struggling to cultivate your friendships, think about how much time you’re willing and able to invest. Invite a friend to become a walking buddy or maybe meet for a cup of coffee at your favorite shop.

If you can’t get together, send a card to express your appreciation. Words go a long way toward cultivating friendships.

I love this quote by Dale Carnegie, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Take time to cultivate the kinds of friendships you’d like to have. First by being that kind of friend, then invest that time in others. Over time, those friendships will bloom and grow, rewarding you with relationships that last a lifetime.

Your Turn: How are you doing at cultivating your friendships?

How are you doing at cultivating your friendships? #tellhisstory #friendships Click To Tweet

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7 Comments

  1. Anita Ojeda

    I’d say I’m below average at cultivating friendships. I keep relationships with immediate family members strong, but I don’t do enough of nurturing and discovering new friends. I use introversion as my excuse. But introverts need friends, too! I’m so sorry you’re going through a rough spot. May the Holy Spirit draw close and comfort you.

  2. Lisa notes

    I agree that good friends can make such a difference. They are a primary way I see God! It’s been a tumultuous year among my friendships this year. But for the friends that have remained, I’ll be forever grateful for their love. I try to tell them often how special they are!

  3. Maryleigh

    Friendships are such a God gift! I’ve learned to see a flow and ebb – of the times we walk closely and then walk farther apart and then closely again as seasons of our life changes. I am intentional about relationships – and they do take cultivating. One new thing going on in our family, is our DILS and I get together once a month for girl time! It’s a blessing to see a sweet sisterhood come out of that! Praying God’s rest, refreshing, restoration as you walk through your challenges!

  4. Lisa Kay Blair

    Friendships are priceless, Lisa! I’m so glad you took the opportunity to pull aside and refresh with friends. I’m so sad to hear your family is enduring a difficult season. I pray the Lord brings comfort to your hearts and wisdom in the midst of all the decisions you are having to make. May His peace guard your heart and mind.

  5. Donna

    Great thoughts Lisa, sometimes it feels the work of cultivating friendships outweighs the benefits, until…we spend a special time together like you described, then we understand how important relationship can be.

  6. Lois Flowers

    Lisa, I’m sorry that you’ve been going through a painful season lately. I’m thankful you have such wonderful friends who can come alongside you and walk with you through it all. I have several friends that I am intentional about meeting up with … some over the phone and others in person. Two are better than one, that is for sure. Hugs, friend.

  7. Linda Stoll

    may you experience God’s lovingkindness and rest as He mends you, body and soul. may your friends be present and kind to you during this rough time.

    and yes, i’m all about re-imagining posts from the past. thank you for not pushing yourself to produce, friend.

    bless your weekend.