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3 Secrets to Lasting Friendships

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I sat across the table listening to their laughter and admiring the bond between two older women I’d just met at a luncheon. Their friendship was uncommon and my heart craved the kind of connection they had.

The way they loved each other, how well they knew each other and how much they enjoyed being together reminded me of a Hallmark commercial. But this wasn’t television, it was real life.

When I asked how long they’d known each other, they both replied, “More than 60 years.”

More than 60 years? Now I was more interested in listening than eating lunch. I put down my fork and picked up a pen to take notes. How did they meet? What did they do to build a lifelong friendship? What kind of moments and memories filled all those years and kept their hearts so closely knit together?  Here’s what I discovered:

They were intentional about making their friendship last because it mattered to them. After meeting in grade school, their friendship grew and continued long after they both married their high school sweethearts, who played football together.

Things had to be planned and time together had to be priority. Their families vacationed together for years. And when they were young and had little money, they’d all get together for a meal while the kids played in the yard. But as their kids got older it became more challenging, so they’d get together and play cards once a week — a tradition that was still going strong.

They determined early on they would be there for each other no matter what. These two lifelong friends were now widowed and counted on each other for companionship and laughter, weekly shopping adventures and everything in between. And they had an understanding between them. If one of them starts feeling down she’ll call the other and say, “Hey, I need to get out of the house.” And then they go do something together.

I thought about how different our generation is, how busy we are. How much we rely on screen time more than face-to-face time…. 

Click here to keep reading. We’re talking about our craving for connection and how to develop lasting friendships over at (in)Courage. I’d love to hear your thoughts and pray for you and your friendships, too.

 

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For the Weary Woman Who Is Tired of Losing it

 

One morning I was working from home, alone. The house was quiet, and I was feeling all kinds of productive. That week marked the final stretch of a big project, and I had planned a fun family dinner and game night. 

Life was peachy. And I felt like such a good mom.

Then my kids came home from Grandma’s house, earlier than planned, and one of them did something that was not-so-peachy! A few minutes later, another child did not do something I asked him to do.

All of the sudden I lost my peace and patience right in the middle of my kitchen.

Let’s say, our family game night didn’t start off on such a great note.

When I went to bed that night, a soundtrack of harsh words replayed in my head.  Guilt convinced me I was a terribly, horrible no-good-parent who had permanently damaged my kids’ emotional well-being.

Shame pointed its finger in my face and told me I was the worst mom on earth.

In the past, I would have shook hands with shame and agreed with guilt. But something was different this time. I had learned the difference between conviction and condemnation.

Condemnation came with cruel broad-sweet statements: You’re such a failure. You’re so hypocritical. You are never going to change. But God’s conviction was specific: Your words were harsh. Your attitude is critical. You need to apologize.

Condemnation says we’ll never change. Conviction shows us how we can.

My friend Lisa-Jo recently shared on her blog about a morning meltdown at her house that broke her but also became a turning point for her family:

I waved my arms and made wild statements I didn’t mean and slammed the milk down on the counter and all the cereal bowls shook. And then under all that screaming I heard a quiet noise. My soft-spoken kid, the one with glasses and my blue eyes. He had his head bowed low over the breakfast counter and tears were quietly trickling down his cheeks. And what he whispered under his breath is burned in my mind.

Why is everyone in this family always yelling at each other?

It hurts to type it. It hurts to remember it. But for me, that was the moment. That was the point of no return.

That was when I knew something had to change. And that something was me….

I wanted a different story for our mornings. I wanted to dismantle the disastrous hamster wheel we were trapped on.

I wanted a do-over. I wanted scream-free mornings.

So, slowly I started doing things differently. Things I thought I couldn’t change, we did.

It’s been five years since that shameful morning, and the change in our family that I treasure the most. The change I literally comment on every single morning to my kids because I can’t believe this life in a scream-free house has been possible.

Here is the best news: Lisa-Jo packaged up the things that have worked for and transformed her family. Simple tips that have made radical, life-giving differences. Things that can help us all – not just survive but thrive!

She’s created a temper-toolkit video series that’s releasing this week, and a FREE printable checklist with everything that works for their family called The Scream Free Morning Routine that you can get for FREE today! It’s a beautiful printable I taped to my refrigerator. You will love it!

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If you’re tired of losing your peace and patience SIGN UP HERE for the Scream-free Morning Routine printable (it’s FREE)!