My friends are amazing. Whenever I spend time with the wonderful women in my life, I come away refreshed and encouraged. My sometimes emptying cup is filled back up with gratitude and grace. The parts of me that are wearing thin are made stronger. I am connected, and my heart is full.
Time with friends is a priority to me. It didn't used to be. Friend time was a luxury. It was something for after the house was perfectly clean (which it never is) and the laundry was all put away (which it sometimes is, but mostly isn't). And because my life is real (read: not perfect!), there is always something to do, and that was causing me to miss out on the best parts of living some days.
The pressure I put on myself as a woman left me feeling like I was coming up short all the way around. A few months ago, I received a copy of The Me Project: 21 Days to Living the Life You've Always Wanted, and one of the things I did was make a list of 50 goals. One of them was having more time with friends. Now that I call it a "goal" instead of a "reward" (for achieving domestic perfection...which I have yet to do), I see my friend time as it truly is: valuable and to be treasured.
If I wait to enjoy my life's precious friendships until all the other stuff is done, I will often miss out. So I plan my fun things first now. I write playdates into my calendar in ink and leave the other things for the pencil. And the coolest thing has happened! The "work" I need to do gets done faster and more joyfully!
God has made us as women to really thrive within relationships. We need to connect. To share. To tell. To listen. God has equipped us to build each other up in our spirits in very unique and beautiful ways, and I believe the gift of friendship is something that God Himself gives us to enjoy fully. My friends encourage me with God's Word, with their laughter and with their understanding. They bless my parenting, my marriage, my homemaking and my heart.