Welcome to Day 24 of 31 Ways to Embrace Lopsided Living!
Several years ago I ran across this quote from author Anna Quindlen, “The great motherhood friendships are the ones in which two women can admit how difficult mothering is quietly to each other, over cups of tea at a sticky table with spilled apple juice and littered with markers without tops.”
It was one of those sentences that seeped into my mind and heart, so rich in truth. We mommas need people to gather at our sticky tables!
But the more I’ve thought about it, we need sticky tables in every area of our lives. We were created for relationship—first with God and then with others. Our busy culture often leaves little room for genuine connection. We have friends at the ball fields and friends at work and friends at church and friends at the gym and all those friends on Facebook … but somehow in the middle of all these people, we are missing true community.
I don’t know about you but sometimes I really start to believe I’m alone. I don’t see the truth of how others are struggling in their lives or facing their own challenges. I forget my friends have their own doubts and insecurities. I pull in instead of reaching out. Do you do that?
Today we’re looking at an important principle of Lopsided Living —
PEOPLE ARE THE PRIORITY!
It’s easy for us to fail at connection and and community because we are consumed with simply making it through the day. If we’re honest with ourselves we tend to stick with the relationships that are easy rather than fighting to stay in those hard relationships.
A couple of years ago, I led an (in)couragers groups, Parenting Teens and Thriving. One of my favorite parts of this group was when one person shared a difficult situation so many other moms were quick to say, “Me too!” The thing is, it takes courage to be the one to say, “I’m having a hard time right now” or “I really don’t know what to do” or “I just need a friend.”
A big part of living lopsided is being willing to invite others into our lives.
God created us for fellowship with Him and with others. And, as believers, we are admonished to come alongside each other in all situations, whether good or bad.
Paul exhorts us, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15
I once did a group Bible study about learning to listen to truth over lies in our lives. As we were talking about what lies we believe, the core of most of them was simply this: I’m not good enough. The sweetest moments of group discussions were encouraging one another and pointing each other back to the truth. Left to myself, I can get lost in the lies of the enemy. Having friends I can share honestly with helps refocus me on truth.
I need that. And I’m guessing you might need that too. Which leads me to today’s challenge:
IDENTIFY A RELATIONSHIP YOU NEED TO PRIORITIZE THIS WEEK. PLAN A SPECIFIC TIME TO CONNECT WITH THAT PERSON.
Y’all, we really do need each other! Desperately. Last week I went to lunch with some of my dearest friends. We sat around a table in a Mexican restaurant laughing over the fact we couldn’t read the menus written in Spanish. We celebrated a new grandbaby on the way. Encouraged a friend whose son has just left for the Navy. Dreamed with another about a new possibility in her life. And mostly, we just listened and leaned in to connect. These things matter! Make the people in your life a priority, even when it’s inconvenient or hard.
So go ahead, invite someone to pull a chair up to the sticky table in your life! You might be surprised how much joy you find in doing so.
Yesterday’s post: Whatever You Do
Coming tomorrow: Encourage someone.
Index to every post in this series here.