Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Power of True Friendship

Our January 9th MOPS meeting focused on how our 'Beautiful Mess' of motherhood is impacted by FRIENDSHIP!
We all know the importance of true and meaningful friendship but it can be difficult to nurture those relationships through the busy season of parenting preschoolers. Our group was privileged to hear from two lifelong friends, Cindy Shriver and Sharon Oates, as they shared their journey through becoming friends and sharing in one another's hardships and triumphs over more than 30 years. Was it always easy? Of course not. Was it always convenient? Nope. Were there ever obstacles to overcome? Undoubtedly Yes. But through it all, Was the effort important? Absolutely. Did the friendship grow? Abundantly. And the connection between these friends is stronger today than ever.
Some take-aways from their message:
- Give your friend the benefit of the doubt
- Show them grace without judgment
- Make the effort
- Be willing to offer tough love
As we begin another new year, let's resolve to nurture the friendships that we value most. Even the smallest of gestures can move mountains...a text to say "I'm thinking of you today", a personal note in the mail or a scheduled time together to listen and share the details of your life.
Don't forget that OUR role as friend can impact the way our KIDS make friends.
Use this great devotional with your kids to teach the impact of 'sweet' and 'sour' friendships.
Kind Words attract friends!  Proverbs 16:24
"A Spoonful of Sugar"
Sprinkle pepper liberally over a small bowl of water. Tell the child the pepper represents the people around him - his friends. You can name names and talk about how he interacts with those people in real life. Discuss the fact that how we get along with those people is largely determined by how we treat them and speak to them. Words can be very powerful tools, either for good or bad, and it's important to learn positive and kind ways of speaking to our friends and family. If the child is old enough, talk with her about the meaning of the saying, "Stick and stones will break my bones, but words will break my heart."
Now talk about an example of someone who does not use kind words when speaking to others. Using a bar of soap, tell the child the bar of soap represents negative, harsh language. Have the child touch the soap to the center of the water. The soap will repel the pepper and will cause it to be dispersed to the sides of the bowl. Make the comparison that when we speak unkindly to others, they won't want to be around us, and will want to scatter.
Finally, take a teaspoon of sugar and pour it in the center of the water, comparing the sugar to the sweetness of kind and thoughtful words. The pepper will be drawn in to the sugar. Talk about how being loving toward other people usually causes them to be drawn to us, and makes them want to be our friends.

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