Buncha Mom Sense http://bunchamomsense.com Thoughts on parenting, life, and surviving enthusiastic children Mon, 29 May 2017 03:59:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 A Response to a “One Kid Parent” http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/05/thoughts-parenting-one-kid/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/05/thoughts-parenting-one-kid/#comments Thu, 25 May 2017 03:35:09 +0000 http://bunchamomsense.com/?p=2387 I was shopping at my favorite, all-be-it insane, grocery story with a few of my kids.  I don't remember exactly how many of my kids were on this trip, but I was out numbered.  As I shopped, I was passed by another mother.  A mother of one kid. She said to me, "Wow.  You

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I was shopping at my favorite, all-be-it insane, grocery story with a few of my kids.  I don’t remember exactly how many of my kids were on this trip, but I was out numbered.  As I shopped, I was passed by another mother.  A mother of one kid.

She said to me, “Wow.  You are brave shopping here with all those kids.  I can barely handle it with my one kid.”

I said to her, “Thanks!  You’re brave too! Shopping with one kid is wild, right?  You’re killing it!”

At the grocery store, kids in tow, we are here to score some serious food.  We have a system made for success and a pretty hardcore grocery list.  We add shopping baskets to the bottom of the cart, that’s where fruits and veggies go.   The cart had a cup holder for my coffee. We get bars in row 22 that we start eating immediately and throw the rappers in the cart to pay for later.

If we are honest, I probably got chocolate from the row thats across from Aisle 5 and am sharing it with my kids. (Only because my attempt to smuggle it into the cart and start eating it secretly did not work.  I must work on my ninja skills, if only for having the chocolate all to myself.) And, in keeping with honesty, baby quite likely stole a few drinks of my coffee while I was comparing cans in the tuna aisle.  Good thing it’s probably decaf.

Having a four kid family means I’m way out numbered.  Which means I’m in it to win it.  I have a plan.   I’m there to succeed. I’m aware that success may include having to be flexible. I know what things my kids can help with. I know when it’s time to pop the four year old into the cart.  It’s an odd kind of dance.

I’ve got a metaphorical game face on, yeah. But that in no way means I’m looking at the “one kid moms” or “one kid dads” and thinking, “You aren’t nearly as cool as me.”  What I’m really thinking is, “You are killing it at parenting.  You are successfully grocery shopping with a small human being.  Good job. Fist bump.  Do your thing, yo.”

Dear friends, let’s encourage people and look to see their success. Let’s not be comparing ourselves with others to prove that we are better than them.  That’s a slippery slope of nastiness. Let’s see the best in people.  Even in strangers who take their kids with them to the grocery store.

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What Good Friends know about being a Good Friend. Part Two. http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/05/good-friends-know-good-friend-part-two/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/05/good-friends-know-good-friend-part-two/#respond Sat, 13 May 2017 02:35:31 +0000 http://bunchamomsense.com/?p=2189 Today we continue looking at what people who are good at being a friend have to say about being a friend. All of these beautiful insights are in response to, "How do you be a good friend?  What is important in friendship? Share your thoughts on how to become an awesome friend."  Here is

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Today we continue looking at what people who are good at being a friend have to say about being a friend. All of these beautiful insights are in response to, “How do you be a good friend?  What is important in friendship? Share your thoughts on how to become an awesome friend.”  Here is what some rock solid women in my life replied to this question:

Becoming a Good Friend:

“Honestly, I have sat with the Lord on more than a few occasions and cried sincere tears of sorrow because I was facing a situation that displayed my inability to be a good friend. It was in those moments of despair (not being dramatic, I was completely despairing) that I cried and asked God to change me and make me a better friend. So He has! And I love that that meant making changes that would not only help in friendship, but in my jobs, my family and my overall outlook of myself. He gave me security in Him. It was important for me to realize that if I did not become strong and healthy emotionally that I would never be very good at friendships. In fact, without emotional health I would forever be the “needy” one in the relationship. I actually hated it when I began to see a pattern of meeting with friends and me always crying about my hardships. I hated that I didn’t give them time pour out their hurts and pains,  but I seemed to dominate the time together. So that was the first step for me: Get health emotionally so that I can help my friends. Another thing that I have been learning is not being self-seeking. It has no good end to it. It has been strange to understand the difference between working to get myself healthy (learning to look out for myself and be confident) yet not being self-seeking. The one thing I have found to be important in this equation is humility. Being humble enough to not get crazy anxious about something I have done wrong, instead go to the Lord for my security (not being self-sufficient) and then going to the person I have wronged. Also knowing when it is not important to fight for what I want.”

 

 

What you need for Friendship:

“First what you need is just a real love for Jesus and people.
To want to be encouraging, helpful, to draw them closer to Jesus.
To do what I’d like someone to do for me if I was in that position.

The Lord puts people on my heart and he also gives me love for them.
Not always straight away, so I have to seek the Lord for that.

Encouragement is one powerful weapon against the enemy , so I’ll find ways to do that.
It means laying your life down. Not expecting anything back.”

 

 

Practical Advice for Cultivating Friendships:

“I run into woman feeling a lot like they don’t have any friends and I always say if you want frinds, be a friend. Don’t wait for people to be interested in your life be interested in theirs. Don’t wait for people serve you, serve them and you will have more friends then you know what to do with.
With that said I also mark a true friend or an “inner circle friend” by someone who is just as interested in my life as I am in theirs. That there is an equal give and take to the relationship. These can be hard to find but when you do hold onto them and it might take putting yourself out there a few times to find them. 
I try to tell people to make sure that you don’t have one friend meeting all your heart needs. First find you security in the Lord so you aren’t coming into friendship needy and insecure, but also get your love tank full from multiple friends. It is kinda like spreading out your investments…that way your not draining one relationship.
Also heathy confrontation should be apart of friendship and when its done right it actually brings you closer together. Some of the most unhealthy relationships come from people who try to get over hurts and fences but end up just stuffing them down until they explode rather then talking it through in healthy communication with the other person.”
I was originally going to throw in my own comments at the end of each of these, but each woman’s words hit me so strongly that it felt redundant to add anything.  I feel so thankful to hear all of this.  I just want to let these truths settle around in my heart for a bit.
Let me know what things in this post really hit home with you.

 

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What Good Friends know about being a Good Friend. Part One http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/05/good-friends-know-good-friends-part-one/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/05/good-friends-know-good-friends-part-one/#respond Fri, 12 May 2017 21:08:27 +0000 http://bunchamomsense.com/?p=2172 People who are Good Friends As I prepared for this series, I wrote to about 15 people who I have observed being good friends to people, and asked them what it means to be a good friend.  What does friendship look like? How do you be a friend? What is important in friendship?  Today

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People who are Good Friends

As I prepared for this series, I wrote to about 15 people who I have observed being good friends to people, and asked them what it means to be a good friend.  What does friendship look like? How do you be a friend? What is important in friendship?  Today I am going to dive through some of the answers I received from them. But first…

As I began compiling my list of  who to write for advice regarding friendship, I noticed some things about the people who ended up on my list. These people are both men and women, are a variety of ages, and are from at least three different countries.  But as I began to email these lovely people, I noticed a few common threads that I saw in them…

Characteristics of Friendly people

Kind to everyone.

Friendly people can be kind to anyone. Everyone.  They make others feel at ease, and are often willing to make an effort to connect.

Have a tight circle.

Generally, people who are good, faithful friends, don’t spread themselves too thin.  They are friendly to all, kind, but they have a smaller circle of very close friends.  These people are clearly significant in their lives, and they are able to be a great friend to these people because they aren’t trying to be everyone in the world’s BFF.

They are willing to give people a shot.

Even if you aren’t in their “tight circle,” they are willing to hang out when they have the time.  They might be willing to grab a coffee, or maybe help someone who’s moving, or offer hospitality.  They are secure enough that they don’t try to make every opportunity into a new best friend, but they are also willing to develop new friendships when they present themselves.

(Listen, people are a gamble.  You have to take a chance on them. Making little investments into other people will build really lovely acquaintances over a period of time. Or, these little investments might bring you a new friend.)

 

From the Mouths of Friendly People

 

One of my favorite people EVER, someone who was the first person who I knew to be a truly good friend to me wrote this:

“If you want to have a friend, be a friend!… It’s simple things like texting And calling to see how things are or arrange coffee. And being conscious to not talk about yourself the whole time but to listen and empathise with what others are saying.”  She also talked about having fun.  This is something I feel like people can forget about as adults.  Go do fun stuff with the people you love.  Go do fun stuff with the people that you are getting to know.  Food and coffee are great ways to connect, but also, go have fun with people.

Regarding motherhood, she wrote: “It can be a very isolating time, but after 6 months of basically going crazy with a newborn, I decided to make a pro active effort to get a social life of mums in the community. So I’ve been going to local baby centres and library baby groups and met a ton of other mums in the community. Which has been amazing!!

I love what she says here.  She decided to get ProActive in her loneliness.  She put herself out there and actively sought to make new relationships. DO YOU KNOW how many people I’ve chatted with recently who tell me, “I want more deep relationships.”  “I wish more people would call me.”  “I want to hang out more with people.” I hear you, friends, I really do.  But if so many people are saying these things to me, and many of these people know each other, you know what would change things…. IF ONE PERSON took initiative.  If every person who is telling me this was pro active in, say, six other peoples lives, can you imagine how much would change?

 

Here are quotes from some other lovely souls:

“Being present and available and just there when needed is a big deal. Prioritizing people when they need you. Being in it to build them up, not to be built up.” I love it! Prioritize the people in your life. Be aware of the people who prioritize you in their lives. Be available when people need you. YES! “Also, not being afraid to speak directly even if it’s uncomfortable. But showing how much you love them even when confronting them.” I know this is true. I’ve seen it in action. When you can be super honest with someone but not a jerk, you both come away from the so called “confrontation” understanding each other better. Loving each other more, but also having a better understanding of yourself as a person, and the areas you might need to change in. It can help make both people into the better version of themselves. It also makes your friendship stronger because you know that you can trek through anything together.

“I think the main thing for me is being real and genuine with someone. Not putting up a front like you have it all together but sharing your weakness and strengths that ultimately bring glory to Christ cause at the end of the day I want to be a reflection of Christ to anyone I interact with.” People want to know people who are REAL.   Letting your weaknesses be visible.  Also, being ok with your strengths. BOTH. Choosing to be Jesus to those around you.

 

“The best thing I could think of is being brutally honest. Like how it says in the Bible to share your sins with another. Sometimes that is such a vulnerable place to be in when you’re confessing something brutally close to your heart but it opens deep connection.” Yes.

Sharing what is close to your heart, even painfully close to your heart with trusted friends… Allowing people to really know you.  It is truly amazing to have friends who know you at your worst and still think the best of you.  Being able to be honest and go deep, to be real. I think this also counts for letting trusted people venture with you through hardships (loss, mental health issues, sicknesses).  It can feel way too vulnerable to let people walk through these things with you, but in these places we need each other the most. This builds beautiful friendships.  Being a friend who is willing to walk with people as they face hardship, makes you so precious and valuable as a friend.   People who will walk with their friends through the fire, through the flood,  these are the people we need in our lives, these are the people we need to be.

Friends,

Let’s look for people who are like this,

Let’s encourage these kind of people,

Let’s be people who are like this.

 

See you next week for round two of “What Good friends know about being Good Friends.”

It is going to inspire you.

good friends friendly crowd

 

Want to read about how being rejected freed me to have better friendships?

Here it is: the breaking rock.

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Friendship -Ugly truth http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/04/friendship-ugly-truth/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/04/friendship-ugly-truth/#respond Tue, 25 Apr 2017 18:51:39 +0000 http://bunchamomsense.com/?p=2089 People sometimes talk about the ugly truth...Well, there is something to be said for being honest.  For being able to be real and open with the people in your life.  Not having to mask stuff.  Let me give you an example. I have a friend, let's call her Mary.  She had a C-section with

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People sometimes talk about the ugly truth…Well, there is something to be said for being honest.  For being able to be real and open with the people in your life.  Not having to mask stuff.  Let me give you an example.

I have a friend, let’s call her Mary.  She had a C-section with her first kid.   It wasn’t a great situation. Maybe she actually didn’t need it. As in, it moved things along but probably didn’t save any lives.   The healing process hurt like crazy. But when people found out she had a C-section, they all had pretty lame responses.  “What’s important is a healthy baby and a healthy mom.”  “Aren’t you glad for modern medicine?” “Praise God for doctors.”  Now, while my *friend* Mary agrees with each of these statements, a nice, “Wow, that really sucks. How do you feel about it?” would have been so nice.  Sometimes, things can tend to get sugar coated.  Honesty is beautiful.

Honest truth baby c section

So there’s that. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, let me cut straight to it.  A lot of boring, terrible, not so great stuff that is unhelpful in building meaningful relationships gets excused or passed by under the guise of “honesty.”  You know, “just saying.”  I’m just “calling it like I see it.”  Yes.  Honesty can also be ugly.

I am aware that life is hard.  Very disappointing sometimes.  Maybe because I read too much as a kid, I never really looked at hardship as a good reason to hate life.  You don’t have to be fake and sugar coat things to see the hardship as it is, but still find hope in a situation.  Disappointment and hope CAN actually both be at work in the same person at the same time.

You don’t have to have your whole life pulled together or feel super happy about everything in your world to speak courage when you spend time with a friend.  You can be honest about where you’re at with things, but not let discouragement be your only vantage point.

honesty honest truth

In friendship, I dare you to pay attention to how much time you spend talking about the parts of life that bring you down.  The things that leave you feeling disillusioned.  I’m not saying don’t be real.  I’m just saying this, friends may be the best therapy, but they are not your therapist.  As you make friends, yes, be honest.  But also be INTENTIONAL.  Speak about the things that feel depressing and frustrating to you.  But also, speak about things that make you feel happy and alive.  Speak about the hopeful ways that you are looking to change your world and the culture around you. Ask questions. Listen.

When people walk away from spending time with you, how do they feel?  Assuming that friendship is a two way street, they need to go away feeling at least a little bit heard, a bit encouraged, a bit loved. So be aware what you can add to the conversation to bring these things. I mean, it’s your friendship.  You can do what you want.  But these things make the relationship SUSTAINABLE.

This morning I had coffee with a dear friend.  By coffee, I mean, we sat on the front porch steps in the semi-cold (dog was barking inside!) and forgot to make coffee, (seriously who does that?!?!).  She shared with me what’s going on in her life: her whole family displaced from their home, all their homeschool books destroyed, coping with broken phones, broken computers, and all around craziness.  Despite the insanity of her life, I came away from chatting with her feeling energized and refreshed.  She has learned to be honest, but full of grace.  She is truly like the proverbial woman, she laughs at the things that come her way.  What an example to me of a Godly woman and a kind friend.

If you only take one thing away, let it be this:  Build friendship in a way that is honest AND hopeful.

 

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Friendship step one: Throw yourself on the Breaking Rock. http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/04/friendship-step-one-throw-breaking-rock/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/04/friendship-step-one-throw-breaking-rock/#comments Thu, 20 Apr 2017 05:02:35 +0000 http://bunchamomsense.com/?p=2128 The Breaking Rock I have a picture that I see in my head.  I see it often. The picture is as follows: me throwing myself onto a rock.  The rock saves me from the crashing waves of a storm, and from the eminent death of the undertow.  It also sorta breaks me.   This

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The Breaking Rock

I have a picture that I see in my head.  I see it often. The picture is as follows: me throwing myself onto a rock.  The rock saves me from the crashing waves of a storm, and from the eminent death of the undertow.  It also sorta breaks me.   This rock that both saves and breaks me is Christ.   Christ the cornerstone and the stumbling block.   In Him I find salvation and in Him I find brokenness.  The brokenness that this rock gives is not destruction.  Rather, it is the first step to wholeness.

crashing waves on that rock

In Friendship, the thing that freed me up the most to be me and to be a true friend and to be at peace in the friendships I have was… utter brokenness. I think most people have dealt with rejection issues in one way or another.  For many, feelings of rejection look like this:  feelings of not being enough, not being cool, not being wanted.  These feelings, these bitter roots follow many of us into adulthood.   I had my own share of these issues, and though much of it was dealt with in my late teens,  some lingered on.   It can go deep, you know? I don’t want bitterness to dictate how I see people, how I operate in the body of Christ, or how I build friendship.  So I have been purposeful to weed these roots out.

But let me tell you a story about how it was rooted out in an intense way.

This is a true story

Please Note: The details and the facts have been changed to protect the innocent.

 

It was spring, 1923. My dear friend was planning a  backpacking trip through Italy. It was invite only. Very exclusive.  My friend and I hadn’t spent as much time that year as we normally did. She was busy working for a non profit, I was working hard as director of the local college’s Spanish Club.  But still, we were dear friends.  I was excited for the trip and for the quality time we would get to spend together.

But as it turned out,  She didn’t think I was a good match for the trip.  She didn’t want me to come along.  Turns out at that point I was a nice extra in the film of her life, not so much a leading character.  She went to Italy.  I cried for a month.  She came back from Italy. Life went on as though nothing had happened.  Except, every time I saw her, I started bawling. She never saw me bawl though.  I’m good like that. I wasn’t mad about not traveling.  I can live with that.  But the situation sorta made me think that maybe people didn’t take my friendship seriously. I really started wondering what kind of a friend I was.

I’m not usually that dramatic. Not even close.  I’ve never gone through this with anyone before or since, no matter if they have continually lied to me, or if they have  hated me, left me, lied about me.  But this one time, for whatever reason, by the grace of God, it kinda wrecked me.  I had to throw myself on the Rock and let the brokenness have its way so that the healing could be complete.

I reevaluated every aspect of my friendship life.  Am I kind?  Do I listen?  Can I relate to others?  Do I encourage my friends to seek God?  Am I myself following hard after him?  I threw myself on the Rock.  Again, and again, and again.  I let him break me open, I let him heal me. Break me.  Heal me.  Show me that which is rubbish and remove it.  Some call it the refiner’s fire.  If you want pure gold, you must be willing to go through fire.

 

Some Walks You Have to Take Alone

backpack breaking rock

In the book Mocking Jay there’s this fantastic quote. “There are some walks you have to take alone.”  This was true for me.  My story, which didn’t actually take place in 1923, and actually has nothing to do with Italy, was a game changer for me.  Because it broke within me the roots of bitterness, the roots of rejection that were too deep for me to pull out with my own sheer strength.   The dramatic phase died  out, and I went on with living my life.  As you may have guessed though, my life is different now.  Because when you’re a person who LOVES PEOPLE, when you are a people person, who loves people, and loves serving, and loves having friends, and (oh dear, am I rambling?)  loves serving people…

Can you imagine how much better my life is?  Do you know how nice it is to serve people with the freedom that comes from no bitter roots being in you?  Can you imagine how much easier it is to make accidental friends when you aren’t placing weird unknown pressure on them because you need so badly to feel wanted and important. (It’s nice to feel those things, but the pressure of *having to* feel them is suffocating.) I look at my husband and say, “Man! I love being able to serve in such a pure way. I love being able to truly love people.  Without hinderances tying my heart down.” And I know that as far as friendship goes, one of the best things that ever happened to me was being truly rejected.  Because it led me to the rock that broke the “already-broken-me.” So that I could be whole and healed.

 

So if you ask me, “What’s the first step to building great relationships?”  My best answer would probably be this, “Face rejection.  Face it straight on.  Let it be ripped out of you.  Throw yourself onto the living Rock, and find yourself in Jesus.”  This, and only this, has given me freedom to LOVE loving people. Let us find ourselves on the Rock.

Sitting on the breaking rock with waves

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, our heart is restless until it finds rest in You” – St Augustine

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How to Accidentally make Friends http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/04/accidentally-make-friends/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/04/accidentally-make-friends/#respond Wed, 19 Apr 2017 20:45:36 +0000 http://bunchamomsense.com/?p=2086 There's just SO MUCH to talk about when it comes to relationship and friendship. Today I want to talk about some elements to developing friends and to look at how it works in real life. How to Make Friends If you do some "research" on making friends with people,  studies say you need three

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There’s just SO MUCH to talk about when it comes to relationship and friendship. Today I want to talk about some elements to developing friends and to look at how it works in real life.

How to Make Friends

If you do some “research” on making friends with people,  studies say you need three things:

Proximity, Unplanned interactions, and Privacy.

 

Here’s how those break down.  Proximity means you have to be near by enough that you are actually in each others lives.  This is why kids end up being friends with neighbor kids, and why you might be friends with people from work.  You might even *sorta* feel like you’re friends with the your local barista or  the checker at your most frequented grocery store just from exposure, always seeing them.  Unplanned interactions means well, exactly that.  You have interactions that you didn’t have to plan.  Privacy is needed so that as you develop a friendship you can be real.  You know?  So that you can be yourself.  Because apparently making true friendships requires you actually being yourself.  Imagine that.

There are two more things that I see as necessary to build friendship.  I don’t have any great studies to prove this YET, but maybe when I’m old and more awesome I’ll do my own research. Here’s the two that I’m adding to the list.

Kindness and (mutual) affection.

 

Kindness, because it doesn’t matter how much time you spend with someone, if its all built in sarcasm, talking about how dumb other people are, or if it’s about putting yourselves first and everyone else second, it just doesn’t build a good foundation for true relationship.   Mutual affection, because it doesn’t really matter how much time you get with someone or how real you are able to be with them if they don’t actually care about being friends.  Kinda blunt, kinda obvious.  Really important.  They have to at least care, even the tiniest bit.

Friends together laughing

 

My Accidental Friendship

Ok, so that’s out of the way but I’m sure I’ll come back around to it.  Now, I want to tell you about how I accidentally found a friend.

I’d known her as an acquaintance for a while.  Probably at least seven years.  We have lots of mutual friends, have crossed paths plenty of times, but we weren’t friends.  It wasn’t even a thought in my mind.

Then this happened:

I said to her in passing one day, “You look really pretty this morning.”  And she said, “Awww, thanks.”  We were both set to go our separate ways when something so very fateful happened. A half a second before our ways would have parted, she turned back around toward me and said, “Here let me give you a hug.”  Now, I’m all about hugs.  Hugs make me feel LOVED.  Like people want me in their life.  She hugged me, and I said, “Aw, I love that.  Hugs make me feel loved and like people want me in their lives.” (I’m not just saying that for the sake of the blog.  I really said that out loud.)  We exchanged another paragraph or so and then when on our merry ways.

What happened there?  Kindness and mutual affection.  I told her she looked beautiful, (she always does,) she made me feel significant. It wasn’t a big deal.  Really.  Except that it was. Because it started sometime.  It told us both that we could trust just that tiny bit that the other person was happy for us to exist.  Isn’t that the beginning of friendship?

Carry on.  I ended up having to text her and take a baby shower invite to her house from one of our mutual friends, and we ended up having a hilarious text convo about how my day  was going. About me having to deal with her redneck neighbors.  That’s proximity.  It was someone else’s idea she was getting invited to the baby shower. That’s unplanned interaction.  How was I to know my day would be insane and we’d end up laughing over it together.   Kindness and affection were present too. When I text people, I usually try to use words that keep them aware that I’m thankful for them.  And she was kind. Kindness is big.

Honestly, especially if your dealing with an extrovert, if you are kind to them, I really do think they will see it as a hand held out in friendship.   People don’t like feeling like they are being an inconvenience.  In particular, extroverts can become accustomed to being the one who’s “too friendly.”  This can end up meaning they try to tone it down, or pretend like they aren’t really interested in other people, as a means of self preservation.  It gets tiring always seeming like a stalker.  “OMG, You’re so cool, lets totally be friends,” the extrovert may say, and the introvert perhaps answers, “whoa, back up, Creepy. You’re way to friendly.”  I’ll try not to talk to much extrovert/introvert stuff here, but HONESTLY, this is how being an extrovert can feel.  It’s kinda exhausting. A bit of kindness, and knowing that people aren’t annoyed that you are texting them or wanting to hang out can really go a long ways here people.  It’s the little stuff that sometimes can make big differences.

To finish my story, we ended up seeing each other at a small birthday party, then we ended up at a large birthday party together, I ended up being with a friend who was dropping some stuff off at her house. Proximity, Unplanned Interactions, Kindness.  We actually started to feel a bit like real live friends.  Recently we met up for lunch.  It was nice.  I’m happy to be building friendship.  It’s something that takes time and effort but is also somehow fun and effortless. In other words, its a journey.

Now, I couldn’t tell you what year she graduated high school, or what her favorite color is.  (My guess is blue or green.) But I’m not looking for a second grader type of BFF to make matching necklaces with.  I’m looking for a grown up version of friendship.  I’m looking for someone who is going to walk together with me in life.  It doesn’t get more real than that.   Someone I can text when I need encouragement.  Someone who I can take a meal to when they get pregnant.  Someone who will make me laugh.

Friends are those who walk together on the path of life. How does one find these people? It happens accidentally sometimes.  But it also takes audacity and perseverance if you want the friendship to really stick.  At least, thats what I have found.  It’s accidental, and it’s definitely on purpose.

 

 

What is your idea of grown up friendship?

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~ Friendship Series ~ http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/04/friendship-series/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2017/04/friendship-series/#respond Wed, 19 Apr 2017 02:33:52 +0000 http://bunchamomsense.com/?p=2084 A blog series on friendship... This all started with me seeing an old college friend over the weekend. Wow. If that doesn't make me sound old. Anyways. I'm kinda totally lying. It didn't start with that at all. Yeah, I saw an old friend.  But if I'm honest, I ALWAYS think about blogging on

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A blog series on friendship…

This all started with me seeing an old college friend over the weekend. Wow. If that doesn’t make me sound old. Anyways. I’m kinda totally lying.

It didn’t start with that at all. Yeah, I saw an old friend.  But if I’m honest, I ALWAYS think about blogging on friendship.  It would seem to me that adults aren’t generally very good at making friends, and adults aren’t always very good at teaching kids good friendship skills.  Then those kids with poor friendship skills grow up to be adults with poor friendship skills, and the circle goes on.

And yet, friendship is extremely valuable.  People with a good group, or “clan” are said to live longer, have better statistics of making it through serious sicknesses, and are said to find more happiness in life.  Studies done on areas in the world where larger amounts of the population live to be 100+ years old… guess what they found out?  People who live to be super old are have this in common: They are genereally people who have relationships with people who are consistent in their lives. People who know them well and see them often, sometimes even daily.  Its part of the answer to increasing longevity. (Also, eating beans. In case you wanted to know.) So we see that friendship is not a little thing.

With friendship being always forefront in my mind, a few things happened in my week to compel me to actually write about friendship and to really take this on as a conversation. First off, I got some time with my Matron of Honor.  We don’t often spend time together, just for the heck of it.  I don’t really text her and say, “Hey, let’s hang out and watch 90’s movies and eat pizza together this weekend.”  You know?  But I have been thinking of her and wanted to see her.  You know, not because I need to “meet” with her since she is a leader in the church, not to “hash out life details” with her.  Not because all her kids are older than mine and I need to figure out what the heck I’m doing in this whole “parenting” thing.  I wanted to see her JUST to HANG OUT.  Because I love her.   So I texted her about hanging out for the heck of it.  So we did, and it was… LOVELY.  Sometimes, you just need to text a friend and hold out a hand of friendship.  You know?

Next, I saw that college friend of mine over the weekend.  By some miracle of God, spending time with him and his wife (and now their beautiful baby!) was just as great now as it has ever been.  Twelve years, five kids (four for me, one for him), and it felt like nothing in the world had changed.  Except now instead of having one friend, I have two! Caz he married that wonderful chic he was in love with. (An extra friend for no extra charge!  This how I win at life without even trying. HA!)

Spending time with old friends got my brain spinning about how we build friendships.  How friendship changes us as people.  How people, as they open their lives up to others, find themselves infused with courage.

I am extremely grateful for the people who have come into my life.  It is a beautiful mystery to have people who like you and want to be in your life.  Friendship, honestly, just never gets old.   But I don’t want to stop at, “Oh, I’m happy I have people in my life.” I want to excel at being a friend.  So I’m going to take a few weeks to think about friendship, pray about friendship, and to even go so far as to pick the brains of some outstanding people I know who are winning at being friendly.  I have so much I’m thinking through.  I hope you’ll hang around and be a part of this conversation.

 

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Kindness, together http://bunchamomsense.com/2016/06/kindness-together/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2016/06/kindness-together/#respond Fri, 03 Jun 2016 04:36:15 +0000 http://bunchamomsense.com/?p=1444 Kindness, together As simple as it sounds, I love kindness. Kindness in the words chosen, kindness in the tone of voice. Even in adults. Especially in adults.  The adults, as far as I can see, are supposed to be the ones setting the example of "communicational kindness." So As you can imagine, I don't feel great

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Kindness, together

As simple as it sounds, I love kindness. Kindness in the words chosen, kindness in the tone of voice. Even in adults. Especially in adults.  The adults, as far as I can see, are supposed to be the ones setting the example of “communicational kindness.” So As you can imagine, I don’t feel great about rudeness.  Kid to adult rudeness, not ok.  And then there’s also adult to kid rudeness.  This also annoys me, makes me feel a bit… uncomfortable.  Its because I’m a sensitive soul, I suppose. I prefer kindness.

 

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At any rate, we have been attempting to break a bad habit developed by  little miss “Jaguar.”  (Her code name was set to be butterfly, but she kindly asked if we would change it to Jaguar instead. ) Miss Jaguar, when called, has developed the habit of always answering with an annoyed sounding, “WHAT?”  What is going on? My first grader acting like a moody tween.  Not good.

 

We started working overtime trying to get this girl to quit yelling “WHAAAAT?”  but despite our best efforts and our constant calling for her just so she’ll get good practice answering with a nice little, “Yes?” or “Coming!” we are seeing minimal results.

 

Then about a week ago my Hubs says to me, “Soooo,… This morning… When Miss Jaguar called you as you guys where rushing off to school, you answered with a big annoyed, “What?”  I think maybe that’s where she learned this from.

 

Oh.

My.

Word.

MAAAAAN!

 

I was so happy he said something, because I DON’T want to ever be rude, even to my kids.  Especially to my kids.  It happens.  For sure. But I don’t want it to be a normal pattern.  Something that I am used to and ok with.  I want to have the habit of kind speech. It’s funny; I was totally unaware.  I’ve been working really hard at thanking my kids when they do as I’ve asked them.  Working really hard to say “Por Favor” at the end of the directions I give them.  “Put your shoes on.  Por Favor.”  Trying to round out the rough edges that could become habits of treating them like dumb kids instead of like little humans.  I’m convinced that kids deserve basic respect, even if they also have to be told a hundred time to not hit/scream/eat their boogers… Eww.

 

And yet.  Here I am yelling, “WHAT?!?!” to answer my kid, and chewing her out for yelling, “What?” to answer me.  Hello, blind spot.

 

I’m convinced that kids learn from us.  You know?  “Caught not taught.”  So I guess  Miss Jaguar and I both have some learning to do in the responding kindly area.  People say that if you’re going to start working out,  eating healthy or speaking another language, you should do it with a friend, so that you can maximize your learning potential.  Learn it stronger for longer. So I’m hoping that if we learn to respond with kindness as a group project…

Maybe it’ll work better and last longer.

 

We’re learning this together.

 

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Gracious words are a honeycomb,
    sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Let’s be parents who speak words that are sweet and healing.

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Worries http://bunchamomsense.com/2016/04/worries/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2016/04/worries/#comments Fri, 29 Apr 2016 04:47:00 +0000 Racial tension. Transgender people needing to feel safe in bathrooms. Mothers of young children needing to feel safe in bathrooms. Donald Trump. Hilary Clinton. Artificial intelligence. Global warming. Refugees. My budget. Teething. Too many things for me to worry about. I can't say I was born a worrier. But I was definately raised as one.

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Racial tension.
Transgender people needing to feel safe in bathrooms.
Mothers of young children needing to feel safe in bathrooms.
Donald Trump. Hilary Clinton.
Artificial intelligence.
Global warming.
Refugees.

My budget.
Teething.
Too many things for me to worry about.

I can’t say I was born a worrier. But I was definately raised as one. It’s not really my parents fault. I come from a long line of worriers. Both my beautiful grandmas, bless them, were top of the line worriers. They lived through  some pretty crazy times in history, to be sure. On the other hand, lucky for them, that was before all this “news at the tip of your fingers in one instant” crap. The Internet, as far as news is concerned, has really outdone itself. Take a chill pill, World Wide Web.

I’ve been thinking lately how important it is, amidst the madness, to be grounded.
Grounded like, it doesn’t throw you that your friends have very definite opinions and make strong statements. Grounded like, you’re not destroyed by the things that bother you about the world today.
I want to be bold enough that I influence the world. But calm enough that I don’t ruin my brain and my heart doing it. Not that being an influence in the world won’t cost something, it will. Surely it will. I just don’t want to pay interest on what it costs me. You know? And I don’t want to be so ruined by my worries at this step that I have to sit the next three or four steps out caz I’m trying to recover from having gone to crazy land. Because I think that crazy land is the next stop, right after Worry Blvd. Am I right?

We need to care for ourselves, care for our hearts. To be bold enough to watch out for our beautiful hearts. And even more if we are entrusted with little ones to love, we must care for our own hearts so that we are truly available to them.

I was thinking about the things that make me feel grounded: grass under my bare feet, (actually, literally called “grounding”!), sunshine, wind on my face. A big beautiful glass of water.
And coffee comes to mind. And exercise. And since I’m being honest, chocolate.

And friends. Not just any friends. Friends who are honest. Who care. Who are insightful, but without the addition of pride. Friends who encourage, with genuine encouragement. Who laugh and who cry.  Who ooze kindness, without getting stuck in the trap of being “nice.”

Things to worry about, they ain’t going nowhere. But, I’m not going anywhere either. I’m gonna be right here in my corner of the world, with my bare feet on the ground and my coffee mug in hand. And I pray to be brave, to be strong, to be kind.

And I wonder. How’d I write a whole list of worries and leave out potty training and grocery shopping?
I think it’s gonna be a two cup of coffee kind of a day. Oh well. No worries.

 

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Terrible twos got nothin on three. http://bunchamomsense.com/2016/02/terrible-twos-got-nothin-on-three/ http://bunchamomsense.com/2016/02/terrible-twos-got-nothin-on-three/#respond Thu, 11 Feb 2016 19:14:00 +0000 Terrible 2s. People always say that. As if they've never met a three year old in their life. Walker #3, aka Boo, will be three in less than a week, and it's already started. I've done three's twice before, but I'm not ready for this. Screaming, crying, throwing himself on the floor. Because I

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Terrible 2s. People always say that. As if they’ve never met a three year old in their life.

Walker #3, aka Boo, will be three in less than a week, and it’s already started. I’ve done three’s twice before, but I’m not ready for this. Screaming, crying, throwing himself on the floor. Because I won’t let him have milk right now. I carry Boo out to the couch and gently drop him there. I continue cooking, knowing this will happen four more times at least. “Terrible twos” hath no furry like a three year old who can’t have a glass of milk. Right. Now.  If I’ve learned anything from my former three year olds, it’s this: don’t encourage it. (My favorite LOTR quote, “don’t encourage it, Merry.”)  Boy needs sleep. Rest. And consistency. He needs to know he can have an opinion, but not a sassy attitude. He needs to know I’ll always love him, but that whining won’t get him any where fast. Except the couch to calm down, maybe.

If you have a three year old, or for that matter, a thirteen year old, love them. Love them endlessly. And tell them “no,” calmly, when you need to. Which may also seem to be endlessly. You’re not crazy. You’re supposed to sound like an eight track. Repeat. Repeat. Calmly, repeatedly, teach them. One doesn’t learn to be kind, patient, or polite in one day. Yeah. So good luck with that. No, seriously. Good luck. keep saying no

Because, three year olds are like drunk, bipolar, irrational babies who can run faster than a cheetas, who might possibly be stronger than mom, despite being 1/3 your size. So good luck. Keep loving.

In case you wondered how the milk delema ended, Boo has fallen asleep on the couch. Maybe he’ll have some milk when he wakes up. But if he *can have* milk, best bet is, he’ll want water. Here’s to three year olds.
Milk but now three wants water

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