Monday, December 2, 2013

Logging The Hours


Can I get real and kinda weirdly vulnerable here for a second?

My husband and I have always kind of struggled with friendships. There, I said it.

Now before you start thinking we are weirdos or drama starters or anything like that, let me stop you. We don't have trouble making friends at all. In fact, one of the best things about my husband is that I can take bring him into any friend group and he gets along with everyone. We don't really take ourselves all that seriously so it's easy to mix in any group of people.

And not only that, we thoroughly enjoy meeting people and getting to hear a piece of their story. We are total extroverts did I even need to clarify that one? and it often fills us up to spend time with other people. I mean, even on our anniversary trip to Excellence Playa Mujeres we made friends with other couples.

The thing is, I kinda think this hurts us in the deep friendships department. I know that sounds weird but hear me out.

At this year's Influence Conference Shauna Niequist said something that I buried deep down in my heart because I kinda didn't want to unpack it yet. In talking about her supper club she said something along the lines of "The only way to really truly get close with people is to log the hours. You have to really do life together". (Gosh I wish I had her actual quote- do any of y'all have it?)

This is a really weird concept to me. Sure, my husband and I log the hours... but never with the same people. We have our work friends, our online friends, our neighbor friends, friends from our new church, friends from old churches and old small groups, friends from playgroups, family friends, friends from work, friends from back home, our kid's friend's parents, friends we met in China, friends we met on vacation. And we really love these people. Really love them

But I wonder how many of these people would consider us friends and not just acquaintances? I've joked before on here about how I love to make dinner for people and kind of have a set menu when we have a new couple over. But how many couples make it past that first dinner? And how many of my daytime mommy friends make it to that first dinner at all?

Honestly, not that many. And not because we don't totally enjoy them and our time with them and hopefully not because they don't enjoy their time with us but because we are always spreading our time thin to hang out with #allthepeople. We for sure don't hang out with anyone more than once a month, and usually its more like once every couple of months even though we see people almost every week. And we just recently started going to a new church and have made some new friends (even some who blog!) who we really really like.

I'm not sure really what I think of all this. Part of me thinks our friendships are this way because we aren't from around here. A lot of people already have their friend groups that they've grown up with, and although a few people befriend us, they're primary friends remain the same. Part of me thinks its because its a weird and awkward thing to make friends in your late 20's can I get an amen? I'm also not super sure what to do about all this. Do we just keep hanging out with all the people? Do we love on everyone but really try to log the hours with just a few?

What do y'all do? Do you have a core group of friends that you log the hours with? Do you spread you spread your time out with different friend groups? Do you do something different altogether?

16 comments:

  1. I totally feel you with this post girl!! I think also being a mama it makes it harder to get out with friends especially taking time to make them.. I have so many friends but usually only hang out with a few mainly because they're mama's too so it's not as frustrating with just one child and they get you. :)
    Heather at http://likeamorningcupofcoffee.blogspot.com/

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  2. Oh boy, I hear you. My husband and I are in almost the exact same situation as you. Our lives are full of amazing friends but there are so many that most of the friendships aren't quality friendships. It seems that, as life goes on, we just seem to 'collect' more friends from different areas of life. As I am increasingly craving deep friendships, I have been struggling with how to do this. One way that I have found helpful is to have a prayer triplet at church...two friends who I meet up every three weeks with (alongside everything else we do) to share a meal, share what's going on in life and to pray for one another. It really is so good to have two friends who know me deeply :)

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  3. This totally isn't weird. It can be really hard to put in the time and be vulnerable with people. And I think that for most people, their 20's is when that starts. I'm in my early 20's and married. We're trying to develope those deep friendships in our new home as a lot of college and high school friends (who we dearly love) are at very different stages in life or places on the globe! I think it is unhealthy to have only deep relationships or only lots of loose friendships. It is something I feel like will constantly be changing and evolving as God moves people different directions and places. We need both. And some of those "looser friendships" will become deep ones over time. At least that's what I'm praying for!
    Alesha <3

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  4. I like this a lot. It's nice to read an unresolved issue. I am called, by many of my friends, a butterfly. Because I float around, dropping in on different groups in different seasons. I have friends everywhere but my close friends don't hang out. So while I do have the ones I'm close with, I find I never get the invites to the camping trips or the group getaways because I'm not close enough to enough people. I often wonder at my strategy, if it's smart. I think often it feels safer, to only let myself get so deep with people.
    This is a good wrestle. I hope we get to hear more about it.

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  5. Oh man. Ben and I are the WORST friend makers and keepers. He's a super social person when he needs to be but to volunteerily make friends and invest in friendship is like too much work. He is kinda greedy with his personal time and prefers to spend it alone with family. And I totally can't blame him, especially when he was in the military and worked 342938947987 hours a week. (and I totally sounds like I'm blaming him, but I'm not. I'm totally the blame too) But it's something we've really been wanting to change and work on. We're always in a small group and we do things with those people and we consider them friends, but we haven't ever really taken the time to invest in any one particular friendship. The older I get, the more I realize we need to change that and just do it.

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  6. couples bible study every other week is our jam. and we text a lot and email a lot with prayer requests and stuff.

    i have a few friends that i am just straight up intentional with. i call them (my two best friends live far away :/) and text them and just keep them in the loop.

    otherwise, the husband and i just find that having regular dates with some friends is helpful. we have a neighbor date with our good neighbor friends almost every week-- but if we have to miss a week, it's ok because life happens. they are chill "dates"-- pretty much just going over to each others' homes for a drink and hanging out for just an hour or so.

    but schedule regular time. that's the key for me.

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  7. SUCH a hard thing. My hubby and I struggle with this because it's hard to find a couple you both click with. It's just harder once you're married and have kids. I have my best friends, but we have 80 billion kids and work in ministry and have crazy schedules so it's just DIFFICULT. I could go on and on about community and how bad people stink at committing to things, but we won't go there ;)

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  8. It is so hard to make new friends in your 20's. When I married my husband 2 1/2 years ago I moved away from everything I knew to his world, his friends, his church. I love the church we go to, its no longer his church but our church. However making new friends was super awkward for me. I hung out with a lot of people every so often and logged the hours with the ones I felt the strongest connection with. Its not easy to maintain a honest, deep, meaningful friendship as adults but the rewards I have received, the blessing God has poured over those relationships makes it so worth it. Pray for guidance on who you are meant to really spend time and get close with. Hope that little thought helps. Praying for you and your family.

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  9. This post totally makes sense to me. While I don't feel like I have expert advice to give you, I can say that investing in the relationships that mean the most will yield the most meaning. At least, that's what I've found to be true for me. I know a lot of people and have loosely "kept in touch" with a lot of people from the past (meaning social media, really), but my closest friends are like family to me. We're spread all over the world, so I may not have regularly scheduled dates with them, but we make time for each other. We text. We write. We Skype/FaceTime. We e-mail. We visit, if that's an option. I have what I call "for real" friendships with them, not just "when things are good/fun/funny" friendships. We challenge, support, pray for, and tease each other. I have a lot of friends but only a handful of best friends, and it works for me. They mean so much to me, and I feel that it's mutual. However, it happened organically. I am by no means encouraging you to sit down with a list of friends and start crossing off names! Keep doing what you're doing but really start to invest in those you feel most connected with. Oh, gosh. I just gave advice even though I swore I wouldn't. Sorry!

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  10. Girrrrrl, me and my husband are the SAME way! There are parts of me that love being friends with "all the people" as you put it, but then there are other parts of me that wish we had "our people" too. I have wrestled with this in my own heart, and me and my husband have talked a lot about it. We genuinely believe we are called to love ALL people - so we try our best to do that. Sure, some people we will click with immediately, while others take time. But we are intentional in our calling to love all people, by actually NOT spending time with the same group of friends, on purpose. If we feel like we've been hanging out with a certain couple frequently - we'll switch it up and invite someone else to do something with. It's equal love, for everyone, I guess. It can be weird and then oddly lonely too at the same time, but I feel like it is what we are called to do. Great thoughts! :)

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  11. This was so thought-provoking, Ashley! I have no answers. ;) I think when I've been frustrated with friendships in the past it's meant that I'm supposed to put some work into them. I have a close group of friends that I depend on, but some of them we only see every once in awhile or at church. Sometimes it's hard to figure out who and what and when, but if I were you, I would pray about who he's calling you to in this season. I find that God answers that prayer is unexpected ways. Also, one of my good friends says that it's okay that there are ebbs and flows of friendships. That's normal and the good friends always stick around no matter what season you're in.

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  12. This is so thought-provoking, Ashley! I don't have any answers. ;) My good friend reminds me that friendships ebb and flow, and sometimes are closer than other times, but the good friends stick around and are there when you need them. Whenever I feel like you are feeling, I think it's time to press in to friendships and it helps me to pray about who God wants me to pursue and then jump in. Praying that you find your people!

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  13. Argh, my comment was eaten. Hopefully I'll remember everything I said!

    I think you can have a few close friends or a lot of superficial (for lack of a better word) friends, but you can't have a lot of really close friends. That's just not possible. Neither is good or bad, right or wrong, it's just what you choose for yourself. So you have to decide which you want and base your decisions on that.

    "Part of me thinks our friendships are this way because we aren't from around here. A lot of people already have their friend groups that they've grown up with, and although a few people befriend us, they're primary friends remain the same." I think this is a cop out. All of the friends I have who I'm really close to now are women I've met in the past 2.5 years...basically since my son was born. And yet I've been living here since I was 8. (I'm only being this blunt because I know you and am pretty sure you won't be offended. :))

    "Part of me thinks its because its a weird and awkward thing to make friends in your late 20's." Yeah, it IS weird and awkward to make friends anytime after, say, college, but my goal when I had my son was to find other women in the same place in life who I could befriend. As awkward and difficult as it was for an introvert like me to put myself out there, I put myself out there and put in the time with some women who I can say are my closest friends right now.

    Yeah, you do have to log the hours to get that closeness with friends. And since there's only so many hours you can expend, you have to choose who you're going to spend those hours with. Are you going to spread yourself over a lot of different people or are you going to put in a significant amount of time with a few chosen people with whom you feel a particular connection? There's no right or wrong answer, it's just how you choose to spend your time. I've made a point of going to the Monday Morning play group, and those of us who go regularly have grown really close. It's all about where you place your priorities.

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  14. My husband and I are actually on the total other end of the spectrum. We are both introverts, but even like that we're different--he could go his entire life with just me and his family and be TOTALLY HAPPY. So weird, but true. And me...I need people. In my own introverted way, of course, but I need them. I was really intentional about living in community when I was single--lived in discipleship houses for almost two years, met regularly with other women, discipled other women...hubs and I even led a small group when we were first married. It's a. what I think Jesus asks of us, and b. so stinkin' hard but always worth it. People are messy, but Jesus is in the mess.
    Now, we're in a new city, new church, and we have two itty bitties, and I have no. car. Eek! All I can say is, THANK GOD FOR THE INTERNET!! And the one amazing sweet wonderful friend I do have :D

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  15. Ashley, you shared this so extremely perfectly. I think we all struggle with the same thing in that we do log the hours and we do genuinely want to connect however, it's almost always never with the same people. Things get messy or true priorities are mushed together. It is so great to see that we really can make the time for those we care about.

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  16. i am the worst about spreading myself to thin

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