I remember one day when I was sitting with my sweet little grandma and I just wasn’t present at all in the moment with her. I wasn’t listening to what she was saying and I was day dreaming about my own desires. In that moment the Lord interrupted my thinking and I felt Holy Spirit gently say “Honey, if you miss these moments you are missing the meaning of life” …snap. Don’t you love those moments where God totally shifts your mind on things?
Relationships are literally the meaning of life. Relationship with Papa God, others and ourselves. This is what matters.
Before I write 10 ways to love others, and before I post cute pictures of my friends and I – let me tell you real friendship in no easy ride. Real friendship can sometimes actually be real painful. We fight for our friends. We fight for connection. And sometimes it’s really really hard. I have cried many tears over my friends for many reasons, and sometimes we lose friends. Now that’s rough. Behind some of these pictures with my dearest ones, there has been a lot of pain. Misunderstanding, fall outs, betrayal, isolation, helping each other through our heart breaks, loved ones dying, arguments, drugs, seasons of self destruction, heartache, rejection and working through forgiveness. Behind these photos with my darling ones there is so much joy, we’ve had the most amazing moments ever, traveling the world, so much love, understanding, choosing each other, brave communicating, many hugs, laughing fits, crying in each others arms, adventures, standing together through all of it, encounters with God, so many in jokes, finding ourselves, discovering our identity, growing in our faith together, festivals, some of the greatest moments of my life. These photos are highlights in the middle of a lot of beautiful joyous mess
friendship can be the most beautiful mess in the world
we must fight for our friendships
even when we feel like giving up
I believe God designed friendships in a way where there are certain people who become close souls to you only for a season, and there are some people who you know you’re going to be friends with for life. And at the same time, thats kinda your choice. You’ve got to choose each other. They are your people. The people you could go a year without seeing and you go back to how it was before. People who you can pick up the phone and just say how you really feel about all the life stuff.
I met a girl in L.A once and she told me that she saves up her money to take her friends out to the finest restaurants to eat the best food and drink the best wine, because her friendships were the most important thing to her. She delighted in spoiling her friends simply because she was thankful for them and she wanted to show her gratitude for them by radical generosity. “I don’t care about money” she says “I care about the moments with my friends”
this inspired me
I want to look after my best friends on a new level. I want them to feel valued and loved and appreciated after being with me. I want them to know that I’m in this for the long hall. And I’m willing to spend my time, money, energy, into investing into these darling ones
To my dearest friends, this is for you
(pictures in no particular order)
10 Ways to Love Your Friends
1. spend your money on them
buy each other meals. take each other out. buy each other gifts. buy each other drinks. lets be more generous. lets not be tight with our money. I’m not saying be a door matt. but lets be more intentional with our money towards our friends. the last picture I just posted with the red letter box, that pretty girl on the left – that’s jess. she’s one of the most generous people I’ve ever met. she buys people groceries, she throws dinner parties for her friends, she’s always hosting people, cooking for people. Argh. Jess. Love you babe. I wanna be generous like her. she inspires me so much.
2. quality time
spend time with them. be intentional with your time. do things you all enjoy doing together. you see those two beautiful girls in the picture above? That’s Lorna in the middle and Michelle on the right. We spend a lot of quality time together. These girls inspire me in ways I couldn’t fit on a blog. Something I love about them is they always carve out time for their relationships. Friends and family. These girls are so loyal and they always put in the extra energy. Spend time with your friends. Even if it costs you. Go on adventures, walks, and eat together. Drink coffee, explore, chat, share. Have nights in, movie nights, bonfires in the garden nights with a lovely glass of wine, laugh together, be silly together. do things that you’re friends are interested in even if you’re not. Make time. I know life is busy. but this is just as important as the work in our lives.
3. always be there for each other
see that little munchkin in the nerd hat in the pic above? that’s Hollie. and holy heck we have been through so much together. there was a time a few years ago when I broke up with a boyfriend, Hollie dropped her plans, rushed to mine and picked me flowers on the way. some of the most precious moments of my life have been laughing with my girls but actually some of the most precious ones have been where we have all seen each other in our worst possible state. we have cried a lot of tears together. share your ugly parts with your best friends as well. allow love to come in by sharing your heart in your lowest points (with the right friends of course) never be afraid to cry, and never isolate yourself from the people who love you. your friends and family count it a joy to be there for you honey. don’t rob them of that
4. champion + pray for them
you see this stunner above on the right? that’s Kerri. Kerri is the most encouraging people I’ve ever met in my life. I say with confidence I wouldn’t be as free as I am today if it wasn’t for this woman. she calls out the gold in people to the point where people literally get free from things they have struggled with for years. and heck does this one pray. kerri covers everything and everyone in prayer and I know when I’ve had a rough day, I know I can pick up the phone and this prayer warrior will be quick to go before God with my situations. she is amazing. call out the gold in your friends. you will see them become so much more free by celebrating their greatness.
5. communicate + choose connection
this gorgeous lady above on the left, this is Beth. one of the many things this one has taught me is to communicate how you feel, in order to deepen our connection as friends. if you need something from your friends don’t be afraid to let them know. if your friends have done something that has frustrated you let them know, if you’re friends are making dumb choices, let them know. Do what Beth does. be brave, love deeply, and communicate. Fix things that are not right. Make friendships even better. She’s amazing at this. she always follows her heart and she chooses to be brave in order to deepen connection even if it’s uncomfortable. don’t be afraid to speak up. real friends do this for each other. ‘the wounds of a friend can be trusted’ // Proverbs 27.6
6. have your girly nights
now this little peach above to the right is Gaby. and one of the many many things I love about this girl is she always wants her girls nights with her best girlfriends, and when we are all around she always makes sure this happens. you can never get too old for slumber parties right!?!?! make time to have chill nights with your girls. we have had some of the greatest laughing fits on these evenings, the best chats till 3am, eaten all of the junk food in the world, and gone through each others hand-me-down clothes to snap up some funky new outfits. my favourite hand-me-downs sessions are at gabys. because she is one of the stylish chicka’s I know! so I can be cool for free ; ) thanks Gabs. Love you
7. pursue them
this lady to the left above is Rhonda. can I just say guys, I’m finding it hard just picking on one point about these incredible humans, hahaha. But this woman right here fights for the relationships in her life. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her support. If Rhonda hadn’t of pursued relationship with me I wouldn’t have the honour of being apart of her family. and the blessing they are in my life honestly brings me to tears. pursue your friends. even in the hard times. pursue them. fight for them. or if there are people you want in your life, pursue them to. spend time really getting to know people. build new friendships. build old friendships. we don’t want to be passive. we want to make an effort and be intentional.
8. gifts + surprises
dang. I’m running out of points so I’m going to have to do two in one. In the middle pic on the left, this beauty is Carley. And the bottom right, that’s Tammy. one of the sweetest things about both of these gorgeous ones is they always buy cute little gifts for their loved ones. Carley gets so excited about giving gifts to people and loves seeing their faces as they open them. Carley on numerous occasions has bought me bath bombs and bath goodies. now you guys know me. I love my baths. this makes me feel so special. and Tammy. oh this girl is special. we have been friends for 20 years (HAHA WHAT) and we are still as close as sisters. when Tammy travels to different places she would always bring cute little gifts home for her loved ones. and if she sees something random that you’d like she’ll pick it up. she shows people love by her generosity and gift giving. buy little gifts for your friends. write them letters and notes. send post cards when you’re away. do it now and again it doesn’t have to be all the time. thoughtful gifts is such a sweet thing to do for your friend.
9. grow in your faith together
this nut above on the left is my spiritual soul sister Michelle. I know God brought this girl into my life. we have so much history. we pray together. we prophesy over each other. we share our processes together, what God is teaching us, growing in us, we journey together. we hit up the worship nights together, the christian festivals, we’ve traveled together, we’ve grown in God together, we’ve have encountered God in radical ways together, we’ve challenged each other, and kept each other accountable. There have been times where myself Michi and Lorna have stayed up until late into the night talking about the wonder of God! our revelations. and sometimes just having tons of banter and laughing our heads off. what a gift! Michelle, my lily among the thorns!
10. love them well
my best friend at the bottom of the pic, Lorna. another gift from God in my life. there is too much to say about this one but one of the biggest impacts she’s had on my life is the way she loves people. Lorna doesn’t tolerate gossip about others, she shuts it down and she’s quick to stand up for those she loves. oh man this inspires me every time. she doesn’t judge. she loves the one in front of her no matter their story. when I’ve made mistakes, lorna has always reminded me of the gospel, and that I’m loved even when I don’t feel like it. lorna loves her friends by keeping their trust and honouring them. I know, she would never betray anyones confidence. she doesn’t realise it at all, but she changes culture everyday just by being herself. treat your friends this way lovely ones. never gossip about them. keep their confidence. don’t tolerate anyone speaking about them to you. never judge. love unconditionally, just like Lorna.
by no means will friendship ever be perfect. and obviously some friends live far away. but thats cool – that doesn’t mean you can’t still be best friends. make the effort. travel. meet once a year. or whatever works for you. pour what you can in your own way to the relationships in your life. look after your treasured ones. open up your heart. I know it might be a scary thought for some of you to open yourselves up to new people again, and that’s okay beautiful, God is with you to help you open your heart one step at a time. If you don’t have good friends in your life then I have good news for you – it was God’s idea to give humans friendship, so start praying into this and ask God to highlight people to pursue friendship with, and ask Him to bring the right people into your path. It’s never to late to have a new best friend, and God’s a good father! He will give you what you need.