Okay so it has been a long, dare I say, suspenseful wait since this post.
But it just didn’t feel right to talk about my New Year’s Resolution until I had actually spent some time putting it into practice. Plus, with the nature of it, I didn’t want people to spend all year second guessing my motives.
My NYE Resolution for 2012 was to be a better friend.
I didn’t really know what it would look like and didn’t really have any specific goals. I just felt very convicted that it was something that I needed to refine in my life. Being a INFJ (for all you Meyers-Briggs people) means that I prefer friendships to come to me. I would much rather be the pursued than the pursuer. But I realized in the course of this that I had been leeching off of a lot of great friendships but wasn’t really giving up my fair share.
I asked God to open up opportunities for me and just lead me in the right direction.
I also found this verse, which I felt fit the theme quite nicely.
“And mark that you do this with humility and discipline–not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love, alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.” Eph 4:2-3
Here are some practical ways I set out to ensure my resolution:
-Started a new play group this summer with some friends from church
-threw several “Pinterest parties” (guests bring a craft and supplies to work on while I supplied food, drinks, and basics like scissors and a hot glue gun. We all walked away with an accomplished project or two!)
-hosted one or two date nights for friends (N and I picked a specific night and kept all of the children–of relatively the same age–while the parents got a free night out)
-Studied my friends that seem to come easy to friendship and tried to imitate their ways
-Developed a “Bring a friend” clause. Just like Jay Kessler (former president of Taylor University) talks about how to accomplish missions when you have a family: he says whatever you do, “bring a kid” along with you. I decided that whenever I was venturing out to a new restaurant, the museum with MG, or even to run off-the wall errands, I would call a friend to join me.
While some of you come very easy to these standards (lucky!) and others of you totally feel me, these things that I set out to do are all outside of my normal comfort zone. I have to admit, I would much prefer someone else to be in charge of playdates, others to initiate invitations, and I greatly enjoy my independence when I shop. But there was never a time that I regretted my decision to do otherwise (at least after the event was over) and I actually received much more blessing in return (imagine that!)
Some unexpected but fun things that came out of it:
-New friendships and blossoming old ones
-A realization of how blessed I am
-Feeling like I finally have a “community” around me. Friends to call when something goes wrong, or I need an emergency babysitter, or I even need to borrow a quarter cup of oil (yes we do actually have neighbors that will give you this stuff! I might never have discovered it if I hadn’t asked :))
-MG is being socialized with some of the best and brightest friendships I could ask for. I am relishing that I get to choose all of her relationships right now and they all stem from families that I know and trust. Even though she doesn’t yet have a sibling, she is learning how to interact with others on a weekly, supervised basis. The best!
-A very rich and full year
In conclusion, I am so thankful that God urged me to do this. I have learned so much about myself and others. I have gained so much more than I gave. And I do feel like I have quite a long way to go, but I feel like I am on the right track to progress. One of the main lessons I learned is that there are so many women (SAHMs, especially) who are looking for the exact same thing I am. All I had to do was put myself out there and they opened themselves up to me. I do feel that my resolution slacked, specifically from September to November, as I was struggling each day just to get out of my pajamas. But looking back, it was during this time that I was able to reap some of the benefit of the friendships I had discovered throughout the year, as I felt friends, both new and old, give to me much more than I had spent the first 8 months giving.
All of the lessons and blessing from this year’s resolution were so worth it.
So what is my resolution for 2013? Still working on it. But I do hope that my 2012 resolution is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.