The girls and I went to the arboretum the other day with some friends. We spent hours there walking around. The kids explored the stream bed, watched birds and climbed rocks. My friend and I had a couple of hours to catch up with each other.
This has been a whirlwind year. Between homeschooling, working and two kids in competitive sports, there’s been very little time for anything else — including friendship. As we walked through the arboretum the other day, I realized that I miss my friends. Little snippets of phone conversation or quick texts are no replacement for long talks and shared adventures.
There was so much more of that when my girls were little. We had time for play dates and afternoons spent hanging out with friends. Now, it seems there’s little time for lazy afternoons filled with shared laughter and conversation.
I came to the realization this weekend, though, that just because our lives have changed, it doesn’t mean our friendships have to fall by the wayside. We moms need friends. We need people we can call, text or email when the world is crashing down or the kids are driving us nuts. We need those people who can make us laugh in the middle of a crisis. We need those people who can give us perspective when all we can see is what’s right in front of us.
When life gets busy and it seems like it’s all we can do to keep all the balls we’re juggling in the air, we have to be intentional about not dropping the friendship ball. We need to put dates on the calendar for moments with friends. We need to be diligent about not letting too much time get away from us between times spent together.
We need to foster friendships not just for us. We need to foster them so our kids can see what healthy friendships look like. They need to watch us navigate the waters of friendship so that they can learn how to navigate their own friendships.
God didn’t intend for us to walk this path alone. He intended for us to be surrounded with people who can encourage us and offer words of wisdom. Those people are our friends. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.” God knows the value of friendship, and we need to know it, too.
If you’ve let life get so busy that your friendships have taken a back seat, make a decision to change that. Decide today to be intentional about your friendships. Set aside some time to meet with a friend. Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Put a date on the calendar to have coffee with a friend. Your life will be richer for it and your kids will learn to be better friends by watching you.