Relationships are so important to our soul care.
For women especially, this is an area that can deeply feed one’s soul or starve it. Depending upon how we’re showing up in our current season (you need healthy relationships in EVERY season ladies!) will impact our relationships.
I’m not saying it isn’t important for us to prioritize our marriages or present-parenting of our children. Those things are very important. But, what I’ve noticed time and time again is that those relationships are often used as an excuse for keeping deep, authentic, relationships with encouraging women at bay.
You may feel like you don’t have time or heck, that you don’t have the energy, but you will find yourself rejuvenated when doing life consistently with a group of women who build you up.
The ladies below are some of the women I regularly prioritize time with because I regularly leave having had my soul rejuvenated.
Before you start telling me – or rather yourself – why you can’t do this, let’s focus on what you stand to gain by making it happen.
5 PERKS THAT COME FROM PRIORITIZING TIME WITH YOUR GAL PALS
1. You will surround yourself with a supportive + encouraging community
Are you going into the relationship already needing support and encouragement? That’s not a horrible thing, but if you’re not starting relationships with potential friends considering what you have to offer them, then it’s going to more likely cause friction in the coming to know one another. It can also be how you accidentally set the tone for dynamic of the relationship.
What are your strengths? What do you enjoy? What do you have to give to others that inspires and energizes you?
2. You will get to see the best parts of yourself
The right gal pals will keep holding up your mirror to show you the things you seem to miss when you look in it by yourself.
This is hard for me. Even though I’d spent a lot time listening to all kinds of things, I’ve generally had a difficult time believing the best parts of myself.
I’m silly and have a great sense of humor.
I ask meaningful questions to help people dig more deeply.
I am people smart.
Incredibly observant. Highly sensitive. Introverted – yes, I’m truly an introvert.
I like loads and loads of quiet time to reflect, journal, read and think deeply, which does not make me an over thinker by the way.
I’m learning to be able to sit in the same room with girlfriends and hear them say these and many other lovely things about my person while looking them in the eyes. Not bowing my head or looking away, interrupting them in favor of telling them the lies I so often believe about myself.
This is not all I show to my friends and it is not why I hang with them (or them with me) but hearing from folks who willingly “shore you up” with support and encouragement is so good for your insides.
You know, the insides that can (and do) impact other people’s insides…
3. You will dream and envision your future more clearly
The right relationships will point you back to the Truth of God. They will remind you of the power in your relationship with your Lord and Savior. Those girlfriends will pray with and for you, but also push you.
When you are tempted to stay in the lane someone else put you in, they will encourage you to try a new lane or be bold in the lane where you belong. Even if it means you’ll not be the “best” in the field you will have your influence pointed out to you – and it will be valued and valuable for your soul.
4. You will dare to be greater than the role(s) you serve in
You are more than the roles you serve in – wife, mother, employee, volunteer. That is how you serve others, it is what you do. Not who you are.
Because the husband is your partner, the kids grow up, the job or responsibilities may change and the organization’s schedule may no longer fit into your schedule. Some of these things will change with seasons and some will change due to your perspective.
When you truly understand that you are more than what you do you’ll consistently free yourself up for spending quality time with girlfriends without guilt. Because you know that your husband (or friends or parents or neighbors) will watch your children. And that your children will be better human beings if you don’t wrap your whole self and schedule up into their little selves. You already know that taking time from work makes you more productive in the long run and serving others can roll over into what you have to offer your friends.
I’m not talking about the pressure of a weekly appointment. Or even every month. But, I am talking about making consistent effort to get significant other, mama, work free time. Time away from these roles to show up as you.
To wear something that doesn’t have throw-up or food stains on it.
To apply your makeup in its entirety without interruption.
To order food that you don’t have to cut into smaller bite-sized pieces for someone else.
Time like this means making margin for dreaming, daring and boldness.
5. You will grow + like the woman you’ve become
If growth is not one of your primary reasons for pursuing friendship, then you ought to re-evaluate. I’m not bossing, just trying to save you some heartache.
If you don’t want to help those you spend time with growing into more of what God has made them for (and inviting them to do the same for you) then you will frustrate yourself and build a relationship on rocky ground.
It doesn’t mean that you need to have ginormous goals each time you meet, but that you at least develop trust that they can speak into your development.
Please don’t hear me encouraging you to put your girlfriends – their opinions, schedules, dreams, etc – above you and your relationship with God, your spouse or children. I’m simply nudging you to consider how you might make consistent time for these very special relationships.
We hear things differently when we’re in relationship with other women who can hear us and who allow us to speak into them and their lives.
After posting the last photo, I learned that there were many women not in the photo who approached some of my gal pals and asked how they might be included in something like this. In another post, I’ll write – as a planner – how to make these kinds of get togethers a priority for the seasons I’ve walked through and that many of you readers are in now.
It’s not easy, but the perks of regularly making time for these and relationships will truly help you not only feed, but truly nourish your soul.
And if you haven’t already, head over here to get prepared for some community soul care in September!