October 23, 2011

Friendship


Friends are Forever



I can't count the numerous times, I've been told I am someones dear friend to only think---I hardly know that person. I don't know how they spend their time, when their birthday is, what their favorite color is, how their family dynamics work, or anything else of value. I don't know their wants, desires, or who they really are. I'm sure they really do think of me in a friendly way, but real friendships take more than a bit of friendliness here and there.  


In our culture true friendships seem far and few between.  We mistakenly confuse the superficial friendliness as we smile and say hello to the various people in the blur of our lives as true friendship.    


Sad as that is, we can make the effort to change the depth of our friendships enriching our lives and those around us in the process.   


Joseph Smith said, " I would esteem it one of the greatest blessings, if I am to be afflicted in this world, to have my lot cast where I can find brothers and friends all around me."   


How can we bring this blessing into our lives?

Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer.  
Ed Cunningham

Have you had someone ask you how you are doing only to be cut off when you try to give an honest answer?    Asking questions and then taking the time to listen to the answers is key to getting to know people.   How wonderful it is when someone wants to listen to what you have to say whether it be about something funny, a hurt, or a joy in your life.  I have a wonderful friend who lives on the other side of the country.  I don't see her often, and it isn't unusual for us to go several years between visits.   But I know she is always willing to listen to me when I call to talk even when I call several times a week. We talk about our beliefs, our families, our dreams, our frustrations, our successes, as well as everyday things like how we got the dog pee out of the couch cushions, the best way to can those tomatoes that are on the verge of rotting,  and how we haven't managed to get dressed beyond sweats that day.  Friendship requires an investment of listening. 


Make use of your friends by being of use to them. 
 Benjamin Franklin


A true friend finds ways to serve friends.   At a local nursery I once ran into someone I knew only by name.   She was picking out a tomato plant and asked if I could help her plant it.   By my willingness to preform that small service, I grew to know this sweet friend who is now a surrogate grandmother to my children.   My entire family has been blessed in countless ways by this friendship.  Such a small act of helping in a garden, brought many blessings of friendship not only to myself but also to my entire family.  


Find common ground.  To make it easier to find common ground, you should enlarge your ground.  Donald Latunahina


Recently I had a friend of a different faith come to me asking about the Latter Day Saint practice of prayer not because she was interested in our faith, but because she has a friend who is LDS that she wanted to help.   She wanted to ask us to pray for her friend, so her friend could feel some comfort in a difficult time.   What an example of enlarging her ground for a friendship! 


At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more more verdict, or not closing one more deal.  You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.  
  Barbara Bush


Let's get real.  True friendship takes an investment of time.  How are we as Latter Day Saint homeschooling moms suppose to fit that investment of time into our already busy lives?   The same way we fit anything else of value into our lives--prioritize.  We manage to get the house sparkling for the day we've invited the missionaries over for dinner.  We manage to make sure our children's church clothes are perfectly ironed for the primary program.  We manage to put on make-up and do our hair for date night.   Let's manage to fit time into our lives for friendships.   


A friend is someone who is there for you when he'd rather be anywhere else.
  Len Wein


Sometimes life is hard, and one doesn't know what to say. Or a friend might make choices you don't agree with.   Those are the times most of us need a friend the most.  We need to hear, " I'm sorry or Life isn't fair or You are still loved."  How much better would those dark times in our lives be, if we had a friend who could do that for us?  Let's have the courage to be that friend!  


Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.
Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.
Walk beside me and be my friend.
 Albert Camus (also attributed to Maimonidies)


What are some ways you have found to have true friendship in your life?


Emily Tan blogs as MissMOE at Homeschooling While Living the Life of Easier while trying to also be a good friend to those that come into her life.  


  

5 comments - Add a comment below -:

Audrey said...

You know, this reminds me of something from a few months back. A dear friend of mine and her family had to move very quickly (for military reasons) and didn't have time to get the home they had been renting in our neighborhood cleaned before they left so I offered to clean it for them. They paid me for the time and effort I would be taking to do it. When I went into the rental office to pick up some touch up paint for the walls the rental manager said something to me to the effect of "everyone could sure use a friend like you". I didn't say much at the time, but after I left I was thinking and realized that I should have said that everyone needs to be that kind of friend and then everyone would have that kind of friend. It's that simple, to have good friends who will be there for you when you need them, you need to be a good friend who will be there for others when they need you.

JRoberts said...

That was beautifully said. Thank you so much.

It is a true blessing to have friendships and to be a friend.

Dana ♥ said...

This was just the refreshing thought I needed. Friendships are so important both to the kids and to the parents. We NEED them. Thanks for your thoughts and quotes on friendship.

Deila said...

I like your quotes. Great thoughts and it made me think.

Karina said...

This has been on my mind a lot recently as I've been longing for a bff.

Two things I decided to do:
1. Be the type of friend of I'm looking for.
2. Serve. Just look for ways to serve. That's it. The friendships will follow when I lose my self in service; I know it!