She was dressed in denim, the edges of a diaper peeking out of her waistband. Her much bigger brother was playing soccer, and as it was Senior Night, family pictures were taken mid-field at halftime. After, as the players headed to the locker room and their parents back to the bleachers, she made a break for it. Running in the opposite direction of her mama, she owned the entire field. Following her trajectory, I realized she was on a mission to retrieve a wayward ball, and once she scooped it up she ran to the center of the goal and plopped it down. Mission accomplished. She turned and (finally) accepted her mama’s escort off the field.
I was mesmerized by this tiny pony-tailed cherub. And she was coming our way.
But not really our way, her way, one of her own kind except a little bigger. She was a preschooler-magnet in those pink leggings and glittery Frozen tee shirt, but it was those cheeky Hello Kitty boots that closed the deal. Heck, they even smacked my ovaries and made me re-think our sealed quiver!
They were far enough away that I couldn’t actually hear them, but I knew exactly what they were saying. The Little One initiated the conversation by pointing to Big Girl’s boots and smiling; the expression on Big Girl’s face indicated this wasn’t the first time she had received a compliment on her shoes, and tugging either side of Little One’s hairbow, she returned the admiration. Soon enough they were deep in conversation, happily playing and oblivious to the entertainment they were providing for at least an audience of one.
Remember when friendship was that uncomplicated?
Remember when friendship was born in play? When your neighbor or the person next to you on the playground was good enough simply because they were there? Remember when “strangers were just friends waiting to happen” and you weren’t intimidated to be the one to strike up a conversation?
Remember when friendship was easy and we were for each other not threatened by one another? When we said what we meant and meant what we said? When we were open and vulnerable and lovingly honest? When feelings weren’t quickly bruised but victories were quickly celebrated? Remember?!
Having moved fairly recently, I’ve found myself taking the advice I’ve often given my children:
Be the one to BE the one.
I’m not sitting around waiting on someone else to invite me to do something, I’m reaching out to those to whom I’m drawn. I’m finding the benefit (of new friendship) far outweighs the cost (of possible rejection)! It’s a calculated risk I’m willing to take. I’ve been stunned by how open people are, how willing they’ve been to invite me back into their lives. Especially at my age, I presumed women wouldn’t “need” new friends, that their friendships would be firmly established without room for one more.
Never have I been more delighted to be wrong.
Over the past year, I’ve listened to one woman after another share her struggles relative to friendship. And the crazy thing is we all want the same thing! A small group of trusted friends and confidants, others with whom we can share life. All I can figure is satan thrives in defeating us in the places where the Kingdom should be flourishing.
I’m excited about an upcoming email series offered by incourage that taps into this very thing: friendship on purpose.
Incourage invited their author team to offer tips along the theme of becoming the friend you wish you had, because our community has also heard this common lament.
Sign up now and you’ll receive two daily tips April 6-10
that will encourage you to pursue friendship on purpose.
In addition to exclusive content not shared anywhere else, they’re sweetening the deal
with free gifts, coupon codes and sneak peeks of new products
shared only with those who sign up for the series.
Please say you’ll join us?