Friendships only last when we’re intentional about them.
Intentional doesn’t always mean impossible or even difficult. Sometimes it just means doing extra things here and there to make sure we are connecting with others. Granted, there are seasons where we all have to put our energy into surviving illness or trials or meeting demands or deadlines. But ultimately, far too often, wouldn’t you agree that we take the easy route when it comes to investing into quality friendships? Rather, we unintentionally adopt our cultures’ messed up definition of what a friend should look like.
God created us to need each other. He is the creator of friendships, and if it is truly our goal to bring him glory in all areas of our life, then we should seek to do it in the area of friendship as well!
I’d like to invite you to claim October as the month to be intentional about our friendships by joining me in the Focus on Friendship Challenge. As time has passed since I’ve completed writing my book, I’ve had time to think about what it says even more.
This year has not been one where I’ve been great at investing a lot into my friends because, well, I’ve had a baby. Consequently, as rich and blessed as my life is, I’ve also been a sleep-deprived zombie, and I have not been great at learning how to cope with it. Recently, however, my sweet baby has decided to start sleeping a little more, and I’ve been able to think about how blessed I am to have so many incredible friends in my life. Then I started brainstorming how I could start showing love and appreciation to the people who are important in my life and thought it might be fun to have others join me.
Can you imagine the effect we could have on our communities if we all took time to express our love and appreciation to those who have made us better people?!?
So here are a couple of guidelines for how you can participate in the challenge. (Some of you may have been a part of blog challenges in the past, but many of you have no idea what I’m talking about. I’ll try to explain my version of a blog challenge.)
1. Each Monday during the month of October, I’ll give you a post with the guidelines for that week’s challenge. You’ll have a whole week to accomplish your goal. Most of the challenges will require little to no financial investment. You can make it as elaborate or as simple as your current season of life allows.
2. Complete the challenge (see example below) and then head on over to my Facebook page and let us know you got it done! Feel free to share about your experiences there, but you don’t have to! Some things are better left as personal, but accountability is good, too, so choose which path works best for you. The important thing is that you make the effort to be intentional in your friendships!
Here’s an example of what a challenge will look like. It would be great practice to go ahead and get warmed up doing this “trial challenge” in the week leading up to the official Focus on Friendship Challenge next week.
Identify at least 5 of the most positively influential people from your past. How did they help make you a better person? What did you learn from them? Pick at least one (all five would be great if you have the time of course) of these wonderful people and then contact him/her in some way (whether through a card, an email, or text) and let them know how much you appreciate what they’ve done to make your life richer. If you have more money to invest, you could give them a small gift. If you have a tight budget, you can just contact them electronically. Either way, taking the time to love on them will mean so much!
Someone once told me that no matter how much we admire or appreciate others, we aren’t doing them any favors until we make the effort to communicate our feelings to them. Making a difference in someone’s life does not have to be hard. Oftentimes it’s as simple as saying “thank you” and “I love you.”
Oh, and if you are interested in reading more about how you can find and choose true friendship, you can purchase my eBook as well.
Are you up for the challenge? I’d love to know who all is doing it with me! Leave a comment, send me an email, or let me know through Facebook or Twitter if you’re joining in! It would be wonderful to see hundreds of people across the country being touched by a few people who took time to be intentional enough to say thank you for being a good friend. So go make a difference! Be a friend! Enjoy the joy that will come from your efforts. 🙂