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Why Friendship is Hard to Cram into Our Busy Lives

A few years ago, I planned to spend the afternoon with two girlfriends. I knew, based on past experience, that it would take a Herculean effort to get out of the house, but I was determined to not let my kids, job, or a last minute crisis derail my plans.  

No excuses, I told myself.

When that day arrived, my careful planning unraveled like a neatly rolled spool of thread. The baby fussed and cried, my house was overrun by dog hair, and a last minute work emergency needed my attention.

Maybe I should just stay home. I told myself. I have way too much on my plate. I don’t have time for friends today.

I knew this was just a knee jerk reaction to my day. If I pulled out now, I would be putting today’s tasks over real relationships. I would be giving into stress, rather than stress relief.

No excuses, I told myself again, as I left the to-do list on the kitchen counter, kissed my kids goodbye and joined my girlfriends for the afternoon.

What Happens When You Choose Friendship Over Frantic

It wasn’t easy to leave everything in disarray, but as soon as I stepped into my friend’s home, I knew I made the right decision.

As we shared a meal of cold meat sandwiches and potato salad, we took turns sharing the raw details of our lives. There were no attempts to make things look glossy and shiny, like a perfectly staged Instagram picture. This was life uncensored. 

Although it’s easy for me to get caught up in all my daily demands, I’ve realized that friends are essential for living a full abundant life. I need to make time for friends, no matter how busy I am.

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Three Reasons You Need to Make Time for Friends

1. Time with our friends allows us to share our burdens rather than carry them ourselves.

In a world where social media can make a home look like a staged shot from a magazine, real life can be shockingly messy. When we begin to discover that other people aren’t as perfect as their profiles, it allows us to quit hiding the truth of what life is really like. 

This only happens when you spend time with friends in the context of sharing and connection.

According to a recent article in Relevant Magazine,

“27 percent of millennials said they have no close friends. More than 20 percent said that they had no friends at all, and 30 percent said they don’t have a best friend.” 

Without friends to help us through times of stress and loneliness, we bear the burden ourselves. And sometimes, it’s just too much.

While we ate chips and salsa and hashed out our problems that day, I slowly realized the stress of my day no longer felt as hard to carry. My life hadn’t changed at all. I would still arrive home to a dirty house and a long list of unfinished tasks.

But now my friends shouldered the load too, and it was the relief my weary mind needed, which leads to the second reason we need to surround ourselves with community.

2. Time spent with community doesn’t change my situation, it changes me. 

A few hours altered the whole trajectory of my day, helping me see the blessings and not just the burdens. After several hours of nonstop chatting, I realized that time with them was worth leaving everything undone. 

I felt less stress, more relaxed, and ready to face everything I’d left undone. It’s not a question of whether we have time for community, it’s a question of how we make time.

To make time for friendship, it’s important to make it a priority. You can do this by:

  • putting it on the to-do list
  • planning a regular meeting time
  •  setting friendship goals. (Yep, some of us need to make it a goal to accomplish it.)

3. Friends are a constant in a changing world.

The Bible says, “There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24 ESV). This shows us that good friends aren’t just a convenient addition to our schedules, they become like family, standing by us through the chaos and the calm. 

They don’t leave us when we’re going through hard times, but support us when the challenges of life become too heavy. As we carry each other’s burdens, we ultimately hold up one another.

Next time when my day is falling apart at the seams, I don’t have time not to reach out to friends. In other words, no excuses.

10 ways to help a hurting friend

 10 Ways to Help a Friend Who is Hurting

Do you have a friend who is going through a hard time? Then I have something that will help!

This free printable gives you ten ideas that will help you support a pal, no matter what she is going through. You don’t have to come up with mind-blowing ideas or lavish gifts to show you care. When you snag this list, you’ve got it covered, quickly and easily. 

Click here to access the list.

Plus when you sign up for my email list, you can get access to all of my free printables in my resource library!

Yes, I need that!

Sara

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