|My dear friend, Anne|
In the sister/friend department I am ridiculously spoiled with ~
*two wonderful sisters
*six adorable sisters.in.law
*two lovely daughters
*many sweet friends around the world
*and, most recently, great blogging friends.
This year, instead of Christmas cards, I found a cute, feminine, winter card that I am sending this month to my closest friends in each city where I have lived. (I only have 30 cards, so apologies to my friends that would have been 31, 32, 33 ...)
But, I often hear from women that they are lonely and lacking deep and meaningful friendships. So, with 60 years experience of making friends, I offer you my top ten ways to make sisterhood friends.
Ten: Pray for God to provide the friend(s) you need and then keep your eyes open. I do this each time we have moved.
Nine: Be friendly. I am an introvert so will never be the cute, funny, upfront belle of the party with a crowd around her.
I will be the quiet in the back of the room person, who is smiling and with an open spirit, introducing myself to a few people.
I have many friends, because I take the initiative to be warm and friendly.
Eight: Be yourself. If I am comfortable with myself, it is easier for women to want to be my friend. No games, no pretend ... just me.
Seven: Take the initiative and invite someone you just met (and like) out for coffee. This provides extended time to get to know each other and, if it is awkward, you can keep it short.
Six: If that goes well, invite them to your home for lunch. I feel I know a person more, once I have seen their home. (their decorating style, their books, etc.)
Five: Do not prejudge a person, deciding they would not make a good friend. (too tall/too short, too conservative/too liberal, too put together/too messy, too wild/too boring etc.) I have become close friends with women that are very different than me.
Kate, (who drew my blog header) and I call our friendship, "the mismatch made in heaven." She is tall, skinny, loves clothes, sparkly things and animal prints, is an extrovert and the list of ways we are different, goes on and on. I am none of these, yet we are the dearest of friends.
Four: Do not give up easily ... sometimes you have to just gently barge in. For various (usually painful) reasons, some women are rather shut down when it comes to making friends. Be gentle and keep pursuing them. Some of my closest friends, have come this way.
Three: I believe you can never have too many friends. Of course, you will not be intimate friends with everyone. But I really believe, every woman you meet, has something that only she can offer you. I have learned a lot and cherished some friends that I have only been with once.
I have saved my favorite two ways to make sisterhood friends ... for last.
Two: Take every chance you have to pray with women. Prayer is such a personal thing and leads to deep friendships.
When our kids were little, I prayed once a week with Dana and Kae (while our kids played together.) We met in each others homes and also enjoyed lunch together. Three years of praying together creates a true friendship.
I pray with women at church, in my home, on facebook, on the phone ... any chance I get.
One: My #1 way that I have made close, deep and longlasting friendships is to ... do ministry together.
I have planned retreats, started MOPS groups, lead Bible studies and done so many other creative things in ministry with beautiful women who became ... my friends ... my sisterhood!
Do you have good friends?