New Year’s Resolution Thinking

New Year's Resolution

I love New Year’s Resolutions.  Do I keep them? Well, maybe. Kind of.

This year when I was searching for 2016’s Resolutions, I discovered something terrible–

I make the same New Year’s Resolutions.  Every year.  And I never keep them because they go outta sight, outta mind, around February 1st.

I write them in different notebooks every year, in a rush to get them down and set.  Then I set that very same notebook down and can’t find it/remember where it is/ lose it.  Ack.  I am a mostly organized person so this drives me crazy.

One year I talked a friend into doing this Setting Goals System on Steroids curriculum.  Not the real name…will protect that company.  We ordered our pages and set our goals after hours of pinning interest boards and listing our good, bad and ugly to prepare for the monthly inventory.  This notebook was intense.  It had each week of the month sectioned off into tiny little squares where you had to put an X if you had completed that days specific goals.  So really 5 x 5 Xs.  Oh, my.  I gave up after about a month. I just couldn’t keep up.

Now I appreciate what she was trying to do. You have to review your goals.  They need to be measurable, etc.  And you have to basically remember from day to day what those goals are.

Ha.  I realized on Dec 24th this past year that I can’t even remember what my Word was for 2016.  Then my sweet daughter-in-law pointed out my cute chalkboard with the word WRITE on it.  “Isn’t that your word, Leslie?”, she gently asks.

“Oh, yes, I think it is,” as I hang my head in shame because it was sitting right there at my sink.  All Year.

Remembering is important when you are trying to keep a goal. Pretty basic.  So how do you remember?  I think one way is write it down.  In a book that you keep all those type things in. And then maybe you write it down in your To-Do list every day.  And maybe you tell people, because maybe they will remember and keep you accountable.  That is what I am counting on for 2017.

Having Time to do your new goal is also super important! I realized that I don’t carve out time to do my goals.  I write the same goal down and then don’t adjust my schedule to help me keep that goal. For example, I noticed in December when I started this process I found several notebooks.  Each notebook represented a year of goals and I saw that I wrote down “Read More” each year.

But did I actually read more? Well kind of, but not like I would have liked to.  I realized that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is also the definition of insanity. I know that I am not insane.  But obviously in this area, I am insane.

So in 2017 I have been working on this goal setting a little differently.  I decided that I needed to actually  schedule a time each day to read.  It was going to take a little work on my part.

I like to read at night.

I like to go to bed at the same time each night. We decided 10:00 pm was a good time to turn out the lights.

It takes me about 20 min to get ready for bed.

I realized I just puttered around each night up until said bedtime and then rushed to get into bed, but then there would be no time to read.  SO- A lightbulb flashed, and I came up with this brilliant idea.

I would start getting ready for bed at 9:00 pm.  Everything would stop at 9:00, no matter what I was working on, and I would get ready for bed.  Then I would have 30–40 minutes each night to read and also accomplish 10:00 pm lights out.

Brilliant!

And guess what? It is working!

Some nights it is super hard to not do one more thing- one more email.  One more text or check on something or throw something in the laundry or do one more to-do because you know, “it won’t take long.”

Now I put it all down because I have a SURSEE waiting.  30-40 minutes to READ.  Yippeeeeeeee!

But, it is work. It takes saying no. Now you might be thinking, hello? That is not that hard to figure out, but for me?  Well, it was a little hard.  The idea that I had to say no to somethings, to say yes to, reading, that was a hard concept.  I think I can keep packing the stuff in on top of other stuff and get it all done.  But my end of the year realization was, I had spent another year trying this stacking and packing, and it didn’t accomplish my reading goal.

This year is different.  I am getting ready for bed a little earlier and letting somethings go at night.  And I finished my first book of 2017 two nights ago.

What about you?  What New Year’s resolutions are you making and what are you letting go of or changing in order to accomplish your goals? Do tell.

#RestandReceive is also going well.  I am practicing resting in His word and His truth and receiving so much goodness. This “Read More” goal is also a subset of the Rest and Receive.  I have a few more resolutions that I will spill out over the next few weeks.  Sursees Galore. Plus I will share with you some of the books that I am enjoying as a result of carving out time.  Cheers to you whether you make goals or not.

xo

How to Pray for the Ones You Love

flowers for friends

Hey gals,

Wanted to share a little Sursee here today about prayer.  One thing I have learned from others is that praying actual scripture is a great way to pray for someone.  I was reminded of this  as I was praying for one of our sons, and I thought, ” I will just pray Ephesians 3:14-21 for him.”

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,  to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21

When I woke up today, I thought I need to share this Sursee with y’all.  Maybe someone out there might be encouraged by this.  This is why we need girlfriends and conversation and community. When we share what we are learning or discovering or trying in our lives, we spark ideas in one another.  You tell me something you are learning, and it spurs me on to love and good deeds.  Then I share something I am learning to encourage you.   Yay! for girlfriends.

So here is your Sursee for today: Use Scripture to pray for your kids.

I even made a printable so you could print it out and put it in your scripture journal or send in a card to a friend or tape to your mirror.  The possibilities are endless.

Here is to praying through scripture.  Cheers!

Two Words that Help any Conversation

be curious

In our society today, we are not very civil in our conversations.  If I have a different idea or opinion from you, I shudder to express it.  We struggle listening and hearing what the other is saying.

A friend shared with me the other day what another friend shared with her about how to handle a difficult conversation using two words.

Now you don’t actually use these words, you think them in your head.   When someone is dumping their diatribe on you or expressing an opinion that might not match yours you think:

BE CURIOUS

What,  you might ask, do I mean?   When you are in a conversation, I want you to remember to BE CURIOUS.  When I am curious or even say, “Tell me more about that”, my face doesn’t look shocked or anguished or mad-mad.  Instead I have an open, questioning, friendly look on my face.

When we are curious, we are open to listening and finding out more.  We aren’t usually trying to think of what we are going to say to rebut the argument or thought.

When we are curious, our faces say, tell me more.  We think of questions to ask and we lean into the conversation.

I am trying this now when I get into a difficult conversation where I might not agree or where I don’t know what to say.

I think, Be Curious, Leslie.

I think just those two words make all the difference in how I listen and respond.

I also see how this could help when talking to our kids.

Be Curious, Mom.  Be Curious, Dad.  

Your teenager has all kinds of ideas in his head  and when we have the look of curiosity on our face, I think more words will be spoken and conversations will happen.  The mantra, Be Curious helps me to listen well.

So where can you be curious today?  With whom do you need to adopt a look of curiosity on your face and remind yourself in your head to

Be Curious.

Do tell.

 

 

 

Mentoring Moment :: Embrace the Children God Gave You

Mentoring Moment embrace the children God gave you

 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children

Titus 2:4

  In Titus, the older women are encouraged to remind the younger women to love their husband and love their children.  We all need that reminder.

So here it is—-Love your kids.  Embrace them.  That word EMBRACE  is a word I have latched onto in life.  EMBRACE

Isn’t it beautiful and cozy?  In the dictionary Embrace is defined like this:

1.  hold (someone) closely in one’s arms, especially as a sign of affection.

or
2.  accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically.
To hold closely.  To accept.  To support.  Willingly and enthusiastically.  Argh.
Embracing our kids is pretty easy when they are all cuddly and newborn and their breath smells delicious. But what about when they are an obstinate 2 year old?

A mischievous 4 year old?

A bossy and loud 6 year old?  And on and on.

Embrace the way God made them.  Love your children.

Embrace that they are the ones for you and your husband.  God picked you to be their parents.

Receive them as the gift that they are with all their warts and quirks.  Receive.

Embrace.  God created your kids with gifts and talents and warts and quirks.

Become a student of your child and Embrace him.  Embrace how God made her.  Stop kicking against the goads, resisting the gift that they are.

I had a friend challenge me once asking me if  I was receiving one of my kids as a gift or was I trying to change him?

Hmmm.  Busted.  I realized I was I was trying to change him and not embrace the way God created him.

Another time I was standing in the shower and was lamenting a time in one of our kid’s early high school years.  I remember crying out to the Lord to change the situation.  Take it away.  I was refusing the gift that it was.  The gift that this son was.  I wanted it to be easy. And neat.  And clean.  I was turning away from the challenge.

I heard the Lord whispering,  Embrace it, Leslie.

What, Lord?  Embrace? Oh, yuck-ola, not this.

Yes, Leslie, this.  Embrace it.  Receive it.

This, Lord?  I think have a better idea of how this should go down.

Again, gently He asked me to embrace and receive this challenge  as a gift.

That word again.  Embrace.  So snuggly.  Warm.  But this was not a warm, snuggly event.  It had pokey edges that felt sharp and uncomfortable.  But at that point I realized that was what I was called to do, by FAITH.

Embrace and receive.

Your children are a gift from the LORD.  A gift.

Rest in who they are.

They are a masterpiece that is not yet finished, but hey, you are not either, are you?

Embrace the season they are in …..whatever season that is…it will be over soon.

Embrace the children God gave you.

Embrace the snuggles. Embrace the trials.

This idea of embracing the children God gave you is something you can discuss with  a mentor.  You know I love the idea of mentoring.  Your mentor can encourage you to see the long term, and have faith in what you can’t see.

Also, she can encourage you to trust the Father with your children and she will remind you of the truth that you know.  She can encourage you to have faith..and remember what faith is…

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hebrews 11:1

Things hoped for.  Things not seen.

A mentor helps put it in perspective.  God’s word puts it in perspective.

So today, can you wrap your arms around your kids, embrace them and receive the gifts that they are with open hands?   Embrace them, love your children- warts and all.  Do tell how you do this at your house.  I love hearing from you.  And could you pass this on to a mom that needs to be reminded? xo

 

Scripture Journal :: One Way I Battle the Negs

 

 

Scripture Journal 2

Yesterday I wrote about an idea for a Scripture Journal that has helped me spend time with the Lord when I feel out of sorts or just need an easy way to get into the Word of God.  Today I want to share some of the verses I use in the journal to battle when my mind starts talking crazy.  You know those lies and negative self-talky stuff that starts happening.  Battling the Negs. Ugh.

To start with, I believe that God’s word is powerful and life changing and so meditating on it and memorizing it and going back to it really changes me and my thought patterns. In Hebrews 4:12 it says that the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  

This tells me that God’s word can help me discern what is truth and what is a lie. Yay!

So how do I battle negative self-talk?  Here goes.

  1. I start with remembering who God is when I am battling negative self-talk. I do this in the morning because scripture has that pattern.

Psalm 92:1-2 It is good to praise the Lord and make music to your name, O most High, to proclaim you love in the morning and faithfulness at night.

Psalm 90:14 O satisfy us in the morning with thy lovingkindness, that we may sing of joy and be glad all our days.

2. Find verses that name your identity and describe who you are.  Meditate on your identity In Christ. Good, good medicine.  You find your own scripture, what speaks to you, gal.  Here is one that I have written down since I love singing…

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with love, he will rejoice over you with singing.

3. Next, I remember that it is a battle for my mind.  A battle, gals.

Ephesians 6:10-17 says  10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

I need armor and protection. Put on, take up– these are action words.  I see in this verse that this  putting on the armor helps me stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  I also need to protect my mind and thought life through meditating on the Word and my salvation or identity.  See it again here:

taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Our sword is the word of God. Awesome.

4.  We are active in this process.

II Corinthians 10:5   We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

Do you see in this verse we are destroying speculations.  We are taking every thought captive; those negative thoughts, that is what we need to capture.

5.  I can’t be lazy.

I Peter 1:13  Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

I am to prepare my mind for action.  Not going to be lazy and let any and all thoughts in.  I am to be fixing my hope on GRACE and Jesus.  Yes.

 6. Next I see this little pattern. Don’t be anxious+Pray+Be Thankful= Peace of God guarding my HEART and my Mind.

Philippians 4:6,7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

One of my mentors this past summer, flat out told me I worried too much. She reminded me of this verse and told me the Hebrew word for Guard is like the word for a sentinel on the top of a castle wall, walking back and forth, back and forth.  Constantly guarding.  Guarding my Heart.  And my mind.  I need that!

And lastly I read a little further in Philippians and see that:

 6.  I am to replace my thoughts with His thoughts.  

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8,9

I love thinking about this verse and thinking of things in my life that I know are true, honorable, right pure, lovely, good repute, excellent, worthy of praise.  Those are the things on which I am to fix my mind.  Remember too, gals, we don’t have to go it alone.  We depend on Him to help us, guide us.  We need Him- can’t do this without Him. And He is faithful to walk through this life with us. Amen.

So those are  a few of the verses that I use to battle that cray-cray  negative thinking in my head.  And the verses are written down in my Scripture Journal.  Do you have a verse you go to when you start that talk? Have you found a journal to start writing the verses that speak life to you?  Do tell. xo

My Little Scripture Journal

 

 

ScriptureJournal

I received a message from a reader asking me what verses do I put in my Scripture Journal that I mentioned on the God Centered Mom Podcast.  Specifically, she asked for verses that help battle negative self-talk.

So let’s go backwards.  My Scripture Journal or I might have called it notebook, is something I started using to hold all the verses I wanted to remember.  These  are verses that I wanted to memorize or verses that spoke to me.  You know ones  that really minister and give life, but sometimes you can’t remember exactly where they are in the Bible. I now write those verses down in this little journal.  It can be any little journal that you have lying around.  I know you have one:  you received it as a gift or saw it in Target and bought it and you are saving it because it is too cute to use.

Well, I have the use for it, gal.  No more saving.  That little Surseee of a Journal can become your truth fighter; your reminder of who you are in Jesus. Your little go-to when the day starts and you are slow. and can’t figure . out. What to read?

Do you ever feel like that?
I do.   I am too tired, too sad, too whatever to even figure out where to read in the Bible, so I grab my Scripture Journal and voila! It is all there.  It is not great quotes or worldly wisdom, although I do have files for great quotes. ( You knew I did, right?)

The Scripture Journal is my little go-to for those mornings I described above and let me tell you, it works.  God’s word does not return void when I read it, and as I go through the verses,  I am encouraged, given life.

Reminded of who I am in Christ and my identity as a daughter of the King.  I’m forgiven. Free. Loved.  Bought with a price.

I am also reminded of what I need to think on–Things that are good and right and beautiful.

I also am encouraged about God’s faithfulness.  But I stray.

The Scripture Journal is for you to fill in.  I can’t tell you what to put in yours…  What speaks to you right now?  What is the Holy Spirit trying to tell You?  What have you been learning or moved by when you read the Bible.  Those verses are what goes in Your journal.

A Scripture Journal is also a great gift/SURSEE for a graduate or a new mom.  You could write a few of your favorite verses in there to start them off.  How lovely is that? Your handwriting and your verses.

Hope this idea of a place to save verses helps you.  Hope it helps you get in the Word in an active way. Tomorrow I will talk about some verses that help me to specifically battle that negative self-talk.

Do you have a favorite verse you would include in your journal?  Do tell.

XO

 

Mentoring Moment :: You Have What You Need

 

Mentoring-2

You have what you need.  I am thinking here about wisdom for living.  Being a friend.  A wife.  A mom.  A neighbor. Just being YOU. You have what you need to live.  You just have to receive it.  But let’s go back a few years ago to a conversation I had when I was stressing out about raising teens.

My mentor spoke some wise words to me when I was wondering what books she would recommend to me to read about raising our teens.

Her words kind of took my breath away.

“You don’t need another book, Leslie.  You have what you need.  In the scripture.”I remember thinking, Whaaaatttt?  But I have so many books, and so many of them half-read on my night stand.

The other part of me thought. Yes. She is right. Again.

We are all into simplifying right? So how much simpler can it get than to search God’s word for wisdom in raising your kids?  It is all right there.  And, if you have joined me in the One Year Chronological Bible reading, you will get to it all in 2016.  It is all right there, divided into 365 beautiful bite-sized pieces.

Now I don’t think she was saying that we never read a book about kids or spiritual life or whatever.  But the crazy, frenetic pace of life that I was in and thinking that just one more book would have the answer to all my questions was just not true.

She encouraged me to trust that the Lord could speak to me through His Word and to have faith that the Holy Spirit could speak to my spirit and give me what I needed for the everyday.

Another mentor, just a few months ago, challenged me that I needed to study scripture with my Mom Heart group.  She asked me what we went through when we got together and I told her a book about marriage or kids, or sex or spiritual life.  She looked squarely at me and with no hesitation said,

“You need to be teaching those girls that they can get into God’s word and study it for themselves.  Teach them they don’t need to go through a study or another author.”

She was very firm. She always was.  And I have thought and thought about her words.  They are true.

You have what you need in the word of God.

So. I am telling you gals; I am passing on what I learned- You have what you need.

Spending time in the Word is all you need for life and godliness.  You have what you need, gal. There are wonderful Sursees waiting in God’s word for you today.  Let me know what you find.

Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, and piercing as fas as the division of soul and spirit , of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

 

 

 

Reading the Chronological Bible in 2016 :: Finding the Sursees

morning and night chronological bible

Y’all have heard me talk about reading through the Bible using the Chronological Bible before, I know.  But I just have to toot its horn one more time. I have received some emails/messages from friends about how do I do it over and over OR what do I do when I read through it again; so I thought I would share a few ideas about how to make the Chronological Bible reading work year after year.

Let me just start off and say that I love reading through the Bible this way.  It weaves the stories together and you feel like you are reading a novel.  For instance, when you are reading through the stories of David in Kings and Chronicles, you also read through the Psalms. When you read through the Gospels you read all the versions of the miracle back to back.  When you hit Acts, you read the Epistles that match with what is happening in Acts.  Love.

The  deciding factor for reading this version of the Bible was the first year I read through it and hit Leviticus.  Now that is not the most scintillating book, but I was struck with the repetition of the phrase,

I am the LORD your God.

 

Chronological Bible

Over and over I read that and underlined it. I was encouraged by God’s reminder to them that He was their God and then His instructions would follow.  I need those reminders that He is who He says He is. That He is looking out for me.  We all forget don’t we?  Thank you, Leviticus, for the reminders.

So here are some tips for reading through the Chronological Bible.  Hope this helps.

I mark it up.

I underline passages that speak to me and write a notation for the year. Like thisShowing the years in my CB                                           It is amazing when the next year I read and I see my underlining and think, “I don’t even remember that!” Or, I put another  year marker by it because it still speaks to me.

I also grew more bold and wrote bigger in the margins with things that I wanted to remember.  Like the word GRACE or Thankful for this.  This year I plan to get some of these

 

Chronological Bible-4

to draw a little in my Bible.  I know there is a whole world of Bible journaling out there where people decorate their Bibles.  Going to try a little of that.

I Write it down

I buy a little journal or spiral notebook to keep with my Bible, and I write the date for the day in it and write longer thoughts about my reading.  Just something that causes me to think or a question I have, or a praise for something I read.

I Look it Up

When I am in the Old Testament and have a question about something in Ezekiel, I look up the passage in one of my Bible commentaries and read what a scholar has written to try and understand what I am reading.  I also have looked on the internet in John MacArthur’s website at his sermons that correspond with the passage and listened to that during the day. Dallas Theological Seminary also has resources that I have used to try and understand some of the more difficult books.

I ask a Question

I have several gals who are reading through the Bible with me and sometimes when I get stumped, I email or text them to ask my questions.  They are so helpful to respond and tell me their thoughts or questions.  Love that idea of community and reading with a group of gals.  It also like a little accountability group for me.  I know they are reading, so I keep on plugging through, too.

I tell a Friend

In my little community of Chronological Bible Readers, I will often share a verse that meant a lot to me in an early morning text.  I love the connection I feel with them when I do that and they share randomly with me.  Really makes me feel like part of the Body of Christ. Like I am not alone out there reading.

I also use texts to send out to gals that I mentor when something has jumped out at me.  I will make  a visual and send it out.  I use the You Version Bible app because it lets you highlight a verse, copy it and text it.  It also lets you put a pretty background on it and send as an encouragement.  I love the feeling of connection I get when I do that and I hope that it encourages the gals that receive it.

I use the Kindle version when I travel

Instead of lugging my big Chronological Bible around on a trip, I use the Kindle app and have downloaded a version so that it is at the ready.  I found this was easier than trying to read it on my phone with just the Bible app and my notes about where to read.  A lot of times the Chronological Bible skips around between different books and it makes it hard to do that on the Bible app.  I am all about easy and the Kindle version of the Chrono Bible is easy.  Now, I will say, it is not the same translation as my hardcopy  Chrono Bible.  I don’t worry about that. At all.  I just read the day that it is and go on.

I do not stressed if I get behind

If I do get behind, I just read a bunch of days when I have the time.  I also have just skipped to the day that I am living.  I figure that I will read it all again next year and will catch the days that I missed then. God just wants me to spend time with Him and wash over my brain with His Truth.  I think He gets it when I get behind, and I have learned to not sweat it.

Join me?

So will you join me this year?  Let me know in the comments, and I  will add you to my community of gals reading through the Bible.  It is such a great, great way to read through the Bible and be encouraged.  Let me know if you want to join…I am reading the older NIV  Tyndale version, but you pick the version you want and we will mostly be together.  Let’s look for Sursees together.

I have to say a big thank you to my friend, Paige, who introduced me to this wonderful Bible several years ago. She encouraged me to give it a go and I have loved it.  xoxo

 

 

 

How to make authentic friendships with your kids in tow

how to make authentic friends

I was on the God Centered Mom podcast recently talking about friendships and wanted to write a little more about some of the things I did when my kids were younger in the area of friendship with other women.

As I was talking with Heather, a flood of memories came back about how I connected with other women when my kids were young.  I think I needed women’s friendships and was looking for ways to live life with other gals.  One way I made meaningful authentic friendships was to invite people into what I was already doing.

Sports? With four boys you know I was involved in sports.  I would bring cooked hotdogs/buns/chips and a camping table and serve a quick meal to the families of the ball players.  Not so hard, really.  I had to feed my troop; I might as well feed others.  And hot dogs were an easy go-to.  I would grill at home and then wrap in foil and put in a cooler to keep warm.  I learned to embrace the sporting event and see that as a place to make relationships, instead of dreading the time sitting in lawn chairs in the heat.  It took a little while I might add, to figure that out.

In the summer we had a membership to a neighborhood pool, and I would invite friends to come swim with us.  Scheduled around lunch, we would swim for a few hours, eat lunch and then everyone would go home ready for a long afternoon nap.  When my kids were babies, they would nap in the shade in the pack-n-play.  Lots of good conversations happened around that pool.

Sometimes I would do things without my kids.  I had night time events where I would make a gal’s dinner and we would have a speaker or work on crafts.  Have a girl’s night once a month at your house.  Serve easy snacks and have a topic to discuss or watch a chick flick or talk about what you are cooking.  Make the time for girlfriends.  You will find that you will be rich in relationships when you are done.

I would invite friends over for a casual lunch and let the kids play in the backyard and then sometimes let the younger ones nap while the older ones played and the moms visited.

For a weekend night, we would invite another family over to eat an easy pizza supper and then lay kids down on pallets while the adults visited or watched a movie.

I tried to get involved in women’s ministry and have that morning be a time of conversations and teaching.  Good for the soul.  Look around the circle of your group and pick one gal to call later that week and connect with her.  Make intentional choices- cast that net.  It is worth it to step out and reach out.  We are all wanting connection. You be the one to do it.

Through my homeschooling circle, I signed up for all kinds of fun field trips and would enjoy the fellowship that happened over a quick lunch after.  I remember going to the What-A-Burger by the airport and the boys loving watching the planes take off and land while I got in some quick conversation with the mom before the whole thing fell apart.

I mentioned on the podcast that I had to embrace the chaos and not expect everything to go perfectly.  That worked better when I thought through our schedule and made sure no one was hungry or in need of a nap during a time with friends.

I met friends at some of the cool parks in town and was always ready to explore new outdoor spaces.  Lots of good conversation can happen around the swing-set and climbing forts.  I always tried to remember water and wipes and snicky-snacks or made a quick lunch that we ate there.

I also piled the kids in the car and would go visit friends who lived in another city.  The picture above is when I drove a few hours to have the life-giving love and conversation of a dear friend. What a gang of kids!  Those were good times.  The fun of lots of kids running around and deep and long conversions with a friend who lived on the other side of the state was worth all the hassle of packing up all my people and driving.

I used to have a day a week when I would set these play/field trip/ friend times so that it worked with my schedule.  It was a fun day to look forward to all week.

As you can see, I like to schedule. I feel like that helps me to make connections.  If that is not your forte, hang out with someone who has that strength and let her plan for you. I have several friends who tell me all the time, “If it were not for you, I would never do anything fun!”  Well, alright then.  Find those gals who plan and link up with them.

I also scheduled in time to call or write friends.  I had to schedule it.  Back in the day, it was expensive and you had to call on the off hours when it was cheaper.  Now, I text a friend to find a good time we can both talk.  Ahh,  so much easier.  But I still schedule those phone calls into my week.  And I write a lot of letters.  What is more fun than getting some snail mail?

As your kids get older, pick moms in your kids classes to be intentional with and get to know.  You will be surprised at the relationships you will gain, such a treasure trove.  In each of my boy’s classes I have dear, dear friends that I met and grew to love because I was intentional in serving with them at school, calling them, hanging with them at the basketball games and having them over to eat.  I also organized fun activities with the boys and their friends as they got older and would invite other parents to join us- a trip to the swimming hole in Ft Worth, A Senior Ski trip with the whole class, trips to check out colleges, TV watching binges- hello LOST watching group, after game pizza and ice-cream parties. The list goes on.

Another way to have authentic friendship in the midst of the crazy is through a mentor.  She can listen, encourage and laugh with you.  She also can give you ideas of ways she spent time with others when she was younger.  She will often be able to meet you where you are and be more flexible than someone your age.  I had mentors that would come stay with the boys while I went to get my hair cut and we would have a good visit on the front end.  A mentor will be a life-giving gal who can breathe energy and new ideas into those days that seem impossible.  I know mine have done that and still do!!

Hope some of these Friendship Sursees help you figure out how to make connections with other women.  Would you share ways that you connect with others or find the time for friendship? We all need a little help and imagination in this area.  I would love to hear from you…. xoxo

 

 

 

Sursee Saturday :: Let’s Share our Best Ideas

 

A friend recently sent me a text with an idea for a Friendship Sursee.  Check it out.

Friendship Sursees

These cute little kleenex boxes fit in the cupholder of your car.  Love.  Our Kleenex box is constantly rattling around in the back floorboard, just out of reach of my arm when needed.  When the boys were little, it was stepped on and crunched by feet or empty! This Kleenex tube sits protected in your cup holder, ready to help.  A great idea for a fun Sursee for a friend or your own car.

Another friend told me what her dear friends did for her this week.  Listen to this.  She lost her wallet and later that night her friend brought over a new wallet!  Not only that, it was filled with more Sursees…restaurant gift card, cash and a VISA gift card.  Woo-Hoo.

How sweet is that?  Losing your wallet is the worst.  This made the day end on a joyful note for my friend.

I love hearing stories like the one above because it gives me ideas to file away in my brain about how to love well.

These two examples also sparked an idea in me. I need to ask you all to send in your best Sursee Ideas for a friend or family member.  We all need inspiration, and I know y’all have received some awesome Sursees over the years.  So send me your ideas.  Give us all some inspiration and encouragement as we see and hear about your creativity.  Comment on this post below or tag me on IG so I can see your fun idea

When I return from Italia, I will have a Readers’ Sursee Saturday and share them all with you.  Sound fun?  I am excited.  I need some infusion of creativity, and I bet you do, too.

xoxo