The Unbolused Cookie

Embracing both the planned and the unplanned.

Safe Harbor (Part 2 of 3 in the Community and Connection Series)

Gabrielle Oldfield

Safe Harbor (Part 2 of 3 in the Community and Connection Series)
Monday, July 27, 2015

Part 2 of the Community and Connection Series

The enemy (yes, I'm talking about Satan) will use any trick or lie in the book to keep us separated and isolated.  If you don't believe there is a Satan, then let's just say that sometimes you may believe lies about yourself for any other variety of reasons.  You may believe that no one cares about your friendship or that you are "less than" and have nothing to offer.  You may think it makes you weak to need friends or you may feel like an outsider.   (As a short aside, I will use social media as an illustration.  It can be a wonderful tool to keep connected, but I have also seen it used as an emotional sledge hammer pointing out what awesome things certain people were not invited to.  Be compassionate in how and what you share.)

Believing these lies about ourselves keep us from God's plan for abundance, fellowship, and fulfillment.  The pressure to make something happen can be daunting, but we all have to start somewhere, right?  Below I've shared how I began, I'm hoping you may feel relieved to know you aren't alone and encouraged to jump right in.

I had to be realistic about myself, my lifestyle, and my expectations for a friendship.  I allowed myself to take baby steps and below are my top four takeaways at this point.

1. If you don't have much in the budget for socializing think of those things you like to do that aren't costly.  Hiking, walking, coffee only,  Netflix nights, or lunch at each other's houses may prove a good starting place.   Remember though, no judgement on housekeeping--SERIOUSLY--whatever you both have to do to let that go--do it.

2. This may sound silly, but put it on your to do list or in your planner's task list.  Make creating time to spend with friends a priority.  

3.  Your kids will survive if they have to make choices, like the rest of the world, and cannot do EVERY sport, activity, retreat, class, and party that presents itself during the month.  Teaching your kids not to over commit themselves is a gift to them and a gift to you.

4.  Be okay with starting small and having grace and compassion for the efforts of others.  Recognize each other's strengths and weaknesses and roll with it.  Don't analyze every interaction, that's exhausting and crushes the comfortable nature of a true friendship.

To end this section I like this scripture:

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  Proverbs 18:24

This is just a hint of the importance of choosing your friends.  There is nothing wrong with having fun friends, several hundred Facebook friends, or casual acquaintances that you enjoy, but those relationships are very different from a deep friendship with a person who is your safe harbor in any storm.