April 29, 2013

Joyful Mom Monday - Be a Friend!

Counting God's Little Blessings
I find that one of the best things that I can do to pick up my spirits when life as a mother seems doomed to utter failure is to find a good spiritual friend!  I am blessed to have many friends.  They are not all mothers, and they do not need to be.  Some are my age, some are older, and some are younger, but I find that whenever I am with one of these sweet friends, I walk away encouraged and refreshed...even if I never had a chance to tell them all of my failures as a mom!  There is something special about a friendship whose bond is the Holy Spirit and prayer.  I hope you all have at least one friend who sharpens you spiritually - who causes you to walk away ready to try again to be - not a better mom or wife or co-worker - but to be a better Christian.  Because that is, ultimately, where all things rise and fall!

If you do not have a friend like one of those, I would encourage you with a few things.

1. Pray.  I prayed for 5 years before I found my first friend who challenged me in this way.   Looking back, I see where part of it was my fault, but I also believe that God was using that time to show me how to find complete contentment in His friendship.  He is our best friend, and He will be everything we need.  Use this time to draw close to Him - the Friend who will never fail.

2.  Seek.  Once you see your need for a friend like this, I believe you will begin to see people who can encourage you in your spiritual growth.  Do not just look at your age group or other moms.  If you cannot find someone who can encourage you, look for someone that you can encourage.  Being with someone whose heart's desire is to grow as a Christian is always an encouragement even if you are the one leading the way.  

3.  Make time.  You must decide that this is something you are willing to make time for.  There have been times when I have done without a hair appointment (BIG DEAL for me!) because I knew I needed coffee with a friend more.  There have been times that I have paid for a babysitter because I knew it would be worth the time and money!  There have been times that I have said yes to my friends even when it was inconvenient because I knew they had done and would do the same for me.  You must decide that a spiritual friend is important enough to give back to.  Do not be a taker only!

4.  Be discerning.  We are talking of a friend who will encourage you in your walk with God.  Friends whose main topic of conversation is fashion, shopping, hobbies, vacations, etc. are friends who may leave you more disheartened than ever.  They tend to be the friends who have you coming home hating your life because it is nowhere close to as glamorous as theirs.  We can be friends with many people, and we need friendships of all kinds, but we need to make sure that our closest friends - the ones we spend the most time with - are spiritual encouragers.  My friends and I talk about all kinds of things in our lives, and we even shop while we do all this talking, but I know our talk will always come back sooner than later to the focus of our hearts - loving God.  

I pray you have friends like these.  They are so important.  They have become one of my most wonderful comforts and have truly enabled me to become a more joyful mom.  It has taken me a long time to find and develop these relationships, and so I do understand where you are if you are struggling right now.  God will provide what you need most in His time, and you will be blessed with joy when He brings those spiritual encouragers into your life.  Thank you to all my sweet friends who have helped me grow in more ways than you will ever know!

Wishing you a day full of blessings,

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