Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Value of Nurturing

Cindy left a comment on "Be Still and Know" that leads right into where I was heading next, so I am going to post it here.

Cindy said, "What a true statement, Jerri! I've recently been impressed with the need to have more women friends, and to nurture the friendships I already have. We women need each other!"

Yes, we do.

"The need to...nurture the friendships I already have."

As my daddy used to say, "Now, that'll preach."

Instead of talking about the importance of what Cindy said, I want to talk about the application of it, and I want you to talk back.

A few years ago, a friend of mine went creative for her three best friends' Christmas gifts. She went completely out of the box. She took one friend to an ice sculpture display and a lovely restaurant, one her friend loved but could not often afford. Another friend was taken to a ballet. I was taken to a Michael W. Smith concert. I have no idea how much those gifts cost, but I can tell you for one evening I felt like royalty sitting in my evening dress listening to amazing music in a beautiful music hall. Now, Vicki says she picked those three things because she wanted to go but didn't want to go alone, and her husband wasn't interested. If that is true, his loss was our gain, and I thank the Lord for her generous selfishness.

I confess, this is not an area where I have excelled, but I am working on it. I'll toss out some things I do and have planned for the future.

1. Cards. I used to be really good at sending cards, but then I had children. I have a friend who always has cards to us on time, and I asked how she did it. She said she takes $20 to the dollar store along with her list for three or four months and buys cards for everyone there, goes home and puts the addresses on them, and finishes signing them the third week of the month before they are to be sent out.

I made my easier.

I went to Family Christian store when they had a "buy one get one free" sale, and I bought 8 boxes of cards. On the third week of the month, I do the cards for the next month (or sometimes I do several months at once depending on how many cards I need to send and the time I have right then). Where the stamp goes, I put the latest date possible to send them. I used to put the date they were due, but that only led to procrastination. On Sunday night, I pull out my cards, pick the cards to send that week, and stick a stamp on them. They go in the mail on Monday.

2. Notes. I used to do this a lot, but again, then I had children. I used to pick two or three people from my address book and drop a note to them just telling them I appreciate them and speaking a blessing over them.

3. Coffee with a friend. Not always easy to plan but usually worth it.

4. Cookie exchange. I have never hosted this, but I have attended, and I want to host one. Lots of ladies bring two dozen cookies with copies of the recipe and take two dozen cookies home with them. Lots of eating, singing, and talking involved.

5. Cookie bake. I have hosted this, and it was a hit. I was actually shocked at how much of a hit it was, and I was surprised by the number of women who were unhappy they weren't invited. What I did was simple. Everyone sends out an ingredients list, so we all bring what we need (including utensils, storage containers, and ingredients). We then share our recipes, bake together, and spend the day in a "cookie bee". We talk. We laugh. We go home with tons of cookies for the holidays.

Those are a few things I've done and want to do. Now, your turn. What do you do to nurture your friendships? Tell us.

I know there is some unspoken rule on how much one is supposed to leave on comments. Ditch the rule. It's more of a guideline anyway. Make your comment as long as you need to or email me personally. uniquelyb (at) tx.rr.com I'm going to make a post of all the comments, so share abundantly!

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"It's not the wind in our hair that makes us free. It's the movement of the Spirit, the growth of our invisible side." --Amber Haines

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My simple life plan: To live the kind of life that when asked, "If you could be anybody, who would you be?", I'd choose me.

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