07-05-2016

Fine Art and Kids: 3 Tips for Taking Kids to an Art Museum

{Recently I was able to attend a media day for the re-opening of the Gibbes Museum of Art following their 2 year renovation. I was lucky to meet the very talented Merideth Garrigen of A Spot in Time photography. Unless otherwise noted, all photographs in this post are kindly provided by her. Thank you Merideth!}

I know you’re probably thinking…

Fine Art + Kids = NOT A GOOD IDEA

But I promise…
Fine Art at the Gibbes + Kids of any age = A great way to cool off in this summer heat

Whether a Monet or a homemade kid portrait, I love art.

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{
source for these 3 photos: The Local Goodness}

There’s just something therapeutic when you pick up a paint brush and express yourself on a blank slate of canvas.
It’s equally cathartic to walk through an art museum and ponder what the artist was hoping to convey.

But the thought of taking my kids to an art museum can easily send on heart palpitations.
Grimy hand-prints, a kid’s inside voice that closely resembles yelling, feet running down corridors of art…
Enough to make any brave mama pause for a moment to consider her sanity.

But passing on a love of fine art to our kids doesn’t have to be something complicated or evoke fear.

It’s simply being brave enough to expose them to it.

I’ve broken down our local art museum into what kids of different ages would appreciate. While these 3 tips/age ranges are focused on the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, I think they can be applied to most art museums in the country.

Take as few kids as you can, pick one exhibit to focus on, and don’t feel bad if you simply enter, enjoy some free AC, and then be on your merry way.

And parents, one note of advice: You may want to only take one kid at a time. 
{I for one can handle one loud talking, hands everywhere, feet running 8 year old. Add a feisty six year old into the mix and it’s simply too much for me on my own. Plus, kids love getting one on one attention from a parent.}

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PreSchooler Age: First Floor
Admission to the first floor of Gibbes is free! Don’t feel bad if you only enter to take advantage of the cooling air conditioning. We recently walked Duval Street in Key West and stopped in at numerous art galleries simply to get a break from the oppressive heat.

On this floor, youngsters can watch artist in residence at work, take part in kid classes, or grab a bite to eat and take out to the garden in the back.

The artist in residence program is really neat because your kids can watch artist create masterpieces and give you an opportunity to ask questions to the artists.
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Elementary Age: Second Floor

You and your kids will be entranced as you walk up marble ensconced steps to the breathtaking rotunda that was previously carpeted. Intricate details on the window trim, previously hidden under coats of paint, has now been exposed with the original walnut stain. {I could go on and on about the renovation changes – it really is amazing that the beauty of the building was there all along – it just happened to be covered up with paint & carpet for decades.}

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The second floor holds a miniature portrait exhibit – the selfies of the 1700 & 1800’s. It’s thought provoking to think before photography was widespread, miniature portraits were how family and friends were held close. In this day of Instagram feeds, realizing the time it would take for a portrait to be painted and then that portrait was your one keepsake of someone – how priceless.

This exhibit left me feeling nostalgic but also blessed to be able to take photograph after photograph of my kids.

Further into the second floor is The Mary Jackson gallery of sweet grass baskets, including a huge piece that took Jackson 3 years to make specifically for the Museum. It is her largest basket ever made. Make sure to ask the Gibbes how they hung the basket using magnets.

Teenagers: Third Floor
This new gallery space is perfect for teenagers and those wanting to reflect on deep intellectual thoughts while viewing special exhibits.

An unraveled Confederate flag. Burnt artwork. Monuments being torn down.

All things to consider as you view The Things We Carry, a contemporary art exhibit focusing on the troubled history of race relations in the American South.

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Words cannot describe this exhibit.
Allot plenty of time to process and reflect on the meaning found in these masterpieces.

We were lucky to have the Museum curator guide us through this exhibit and explain in detail each piece of art. If a tour guide is available for this part of the museum, I highly recommend it.

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So let’s go inspire our kids to be artists!

Be brave, take the kids one at a time if you can {that’s what I’ll be doing}, and check out your local art museum.

Find some AC this week & Stay Cool!
jessica

 

{A huge thanks to the Gibbes Museum of Art for inviting me to their media day. The renovations are stunning and I can’t wait to show their fine art to my children.}

 

05-26-2016

Event Calendar: Summer 2016 in Charleston

I’m one of those mamas who doesn’t believe in the last week of school, so tomorrow’s the last day before summer break for my kids.

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And right about now, I’m feeling pretty good about our summer plans.
Which primarily involves the beach, the library, and the sprinkler out back.

You see, all our summer activities hover around one common denominator: that word being FREE.

So every year about this time, I’m thinking – Okay, this is gonna be the year that I am FINALLY organized with our summer calendar. I’m going to make a master spreadsheet of all the going ons in our town and any time I feel like we are on the verge of insanity (which, in our house, normally happens a few times every day) – we can voila – look at the calendar and find something fun and different to do.

But reality looks a bit more like this…

By June 14th, only two weeks into summer break, I’ll be skirting the edges of a mental breakdown from 24 hours a day with my kids and my house will have turned into pure chaos with no hope of finding out what activites are offered that day.

So this year I finally did it!

I created a master schedule of all the free or minimal cost events for kids in Charleston!

This calendar isn’t about camps, events that require pre-registration or cost a lot of money.

Instead, this is the perfect resource for those…
“I just need to find something happening in one hour or the kids are going to drive me to bedlam” moments.

There is now a link on my homepage called Charleston Events, so you can go directly there to find it.

Please keep in mind the library has hundreds of activities all by itself if you count all their locations. So don’t throw away your Charleston County Library Summer Reading Program Calendar! There are also at least 7 places in the lowcountry that offer movies for kids & families in the summer. I’ve tried adding all the June movies for 3 of the locations and will continue to add the remaining June movies in the next week.

I hope ya’ll enjoy this and it helps you out a little this summer when you just don’t know how to entertain the kids one more day!

jessica

03-29-2016

4 Easy & Fun Spring Break Crafts

Falling asleep last night, I asked my husband if we could homeschool.  You see, it’s Spring Break in our neck of the woods and that means lazy mornings, pajama clad bottoms, and outdoor excursions of who can jump the highest on the trampoline.

It’s sublime.

That’s exactly what home-schooling is like, right?

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Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) Jared isn’t a fan of me being the kids’ sole educator so back to school in a week they will go.

To be realistic, I’ve heard when you homeschool, you actually have to get stuff done! That’s where I’d have a problem…follow through isn’t my #1 skill.

I like the overall concept of homeschooling {especially the not rushing out the door in the morning} but I’d also be EXTREMELY happy if they’d just shorten the hours for public school. 7 hour work days + almost 1 hour of getting there and back {afternoon carpool lines are LONG in this town of mine} = almost 8 hours a day for kids who should be out exploring the great outdoors longer than the time they spend indoors every day.

I wish legislature would introduce a bill making school only 4-5 hours long. I promise you, you really can cover everything a kid needs to learn in less than 5 hours. But I have zero hope any legislature would ever introduce or sign that bill into being. Not only are there numerous parents reasons that would stand against it, but when the presidential race is as disheartening and low-class as it is this year, there is little confidence I have in government at the moment.

In other news, I’ve begun freelance writing!

I never set out to be a writer. Freshman English was a major battle with victory being anything other than a failing F. Redlined papers were the norm and constantly switching between present and past tense verbs seems to be something I am exceptional at.

But I’ve felt a calling on my heart to write more and when I say calling – I mean – I’ve tried to do anything other than write but yet I can never escape the voice in my head telling me to write. So I write my blog, do occasional freelance writing, and my newest goal is to write for 30 minutes every single day. Not with the purpose of publishing – but simply writing every. single. day.

So to the point of this post…I recently wrote Get Crafty This Spring: Easy projects to try with your crew for Lowcountry Parent. Activities for all age ranges are provided and the activities are not hard. I hope you’ll enjoy some quality time with your kids this spring break (or this summer) as you put together rafts and sailboats, create a zippered pouch perfect for holding treasures like rocks and seashells, or build a zipline for Goldie the Engineer.

{A huge thanks to the local businesses that dreamed up these activities and provided instructions. Huck Finn School. Five Eighth Seams. Camp Perri. Education Station.}

Today’s spring break agenda for us includes taking a nature walk to find the ‘perfect’ sticks for building this raft.

Enjoy your spring break being crafty and making messes with the kids!

jessica

02-22-2016

The Downside of Everyday Access to God

To say that I put Ann Voskamp on a pedestal is putting it lightly.

Her words are balm to a battered soul and the poetic words found in One Thousand Gifts drastically altered how I view the good & the bad in my life.

So journey with me into my pretend world of make believe where I am spending tomorrow with author extraordinaire, Ann Voskamp. (Just keep reading – I promise I do have a point!)

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The night prior to my big day with Ann I can barely fall asleep, filled with excitement and elation at what the morrow holds. I’ve spent all day planning my wardrobe – most important, the boots I should wear because I’ve heard Ann loves boots (can you tell I obsess about her just a little?).

Bright and early the alarm rings and I feel the same as my five year old daughter on Christmas morn. The best gift ever is just around the corner and I’m on pins and needles as I wait for her to show up.

What will we talk about? Will we have anything in common? Will she be all that I imagine her to be?

Most of all I am filled with awe and wonder when I think about meeting her.

IMG_7660But when I wake from my pretend daydream I can’t shake the question…

Do I approach God’s throne with that same awe and wonder?

Has this personal relationship with Christ led me to humanize the Lord to where He is equal to common man? Is He simply my life coach and I expect Him to answer my every whim with a YES and then grumble incessantly when prayers aren’t answered the way I desire?

Do I begin the day with songs of praise and worship the grandeur that is His alone? Or do my prayers sound more like “God, if you could just…”.

Having constant {every.single.second of the day} access allows us to dumb down God and make Him far too common to humanity. As a result, I, base my perceptions of God on what He’s doing this personal moment for me instead of perceiving Him with awe & wonder that only the God of the universe is worthy of.

Whether it is a favorite musician, a famous actress, or an incredibly talented and creative chef, we put people on pedestals, viewing them through rose covered glasses. We do this so frequently, yet, we never realize how guilty we are of rarely {if ever} doing that with our God, the one who created the farthermost reaches of the cosmos down to the tiniest of microorganisms.

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God deserves our highest praise. He created a beautiful natural world when He could have chosen to make everything ugly. He condescends himself every day to have a relationship with man; knowing we can never bridge the gap and ascend out of our own efforts.

He comforts, He heals, He restores.

He is God. We are man. And He loves us.

What more reason do you need?

Praise God in his sanctuary; 
praise him in his mighty heavens!

Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

jessica

 

01-22-2016

Resolutions: Two Easy Steps to Help You Stop Overthinking and Analyzing Every.Single.Decision

If 2015 was the year of Be Still This Brain of Mine, I failed miserably.

When I began last year, all I wanted was to hush the analyzing chatter in my brain that is never more than a whisper’s breath away at any given moment.

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Last week, after a year of attempting to get outside my head, a light bulb moment occurred. I realized I simply need to stop thinking. Wow, I’m sure you are really impressed with my aahha moment, aren’t you?

But really, if you think about it, in order to stop analyzing – you have to be intentional in stopping your mind from constantly over thinking. It’s up to me whether I choose quietness or settle for over processing.

When I think about things constantly, there is no white space in my mind for blankness.
No time to be aware of all the goodness around me.

I desperately need white space so I can live presently in the moment I am in.

And that’s when I realized.
This constant over analyzing robs me of living presently in the moment.

And this present living is a gift.

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When I spend all my time fretting over the future or replaying frustrating moments in the past, I am not living in the moment. I’m not enjoying time with my children, I’m not engaged with my husband, and I’m not doing the job God’s given me to the best of my ability.

Sometimes that job might sound fun like playing on the floor with my kids but most often it’s the mundane that He wants me to be in the present moment of…the washing of dishes or when I’m wiping pee up off a bathroom floor.

When I stop analyzing about being a freelance writer while washing dishes and instead simply wash dishes, and look out at my surroundings – I see a beautiful cloud formation with beams of sunlight streaming through.

When I stop pondering how I’ll be able to accomplish my to-do list today, and instead focus on the task in front of me, I have infinite more patience to bend down and tie a shoe lace.

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I want to experience the joy of the present. And I want my kids to remember a mom who lived in the moment.

My friend Lindsay lost her mom recently and she says she misses most simply not having her mom around. It’s not the loss of words she spoke {though that’d be nice to have} or not having a mom around to help with kids. It’s simply the loss of not having her mom right here with her {whether in person or through a phone line} that makes her heart ache the most.

Isn’t it true that the greatest gift anyone can give you is the gift of their presence?
The gift of their living in the present moment with you.

But I can’t do that when I am stuck in this head of mine.

My resolution is nothing earth shattering and seems so simple on the outside. But if you’re anything like me, it will take constant awareness and intent to live in the current moment.

To start with, I’m trying to simply tackle the to-do list in front of me. Staying focused on the immediate not the future. {Step #1}

To not begin worrying and fretting over every concern I can create in this brain of mine. I’m tossing out the …”what should I be doing with my life” and trading it in for “focus on what is right in front of you”. I’m gonna stop obsessing over “which school to send my kid to in 5 years” and instead “focus on the homework and spelling words they need my help with at this very moment”.

To help ease my mind into this new approach, I am giving myself permission to worry and fret all I want from 8-9am every morning. {Step #2} If it isn’t that time of day, I simply remind myself that I can analyze over it the next morning. But after that allotted hour, I bank my concerns until the next day, and move on with what I truly need to be doing.

I learned this technique a few years ago during therapy and it saved me from the crazy thoughts going through my head at the time. Did you know, it is common, after losing someone to suicide that you begin to worry that you might commit suicide? Not because you want to – but because so many people say perhaps it was just an accident and you read that mental illness can suddenly become onset –  and you then wonder if one day you’ll wake up with mental illness and accidentally commit suicide too.

I couldn’t stop myself from worrying over this happening to me to. My therapist recommended that I compartmentalize my thoughts and for me, it really worked.

So I set aside time every day to worry. But more often than not, when 8am rolls around I’m busy getting my day started and I don’t even have the desire to fret and analyze.

So my hope for this year is to live presently in this moment, not worrying about the big picture.

When we live in the present we gift ourselves with the beauty found in our circumstances and the people right in front of us.  

jessica

 

 

 

Loving my kids at this moment.

01-11-2016

Why you should NEVER attempt a new recipe at Christmas

I hope that you & yours had a sweet celebration of Christmas and New Year’s.

Even though I enjoy the season of Christmas I always find myself gleeful come January, when it’s time to put away all those Christmas trappings. I’m a bit of a minimalist and limit how much decor we put up each December, but it still seems to take over the house. I am secretly thrilled when everything is boxed back up for another 11 months.

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This Christmas & New Year’s season I learned a vital lesson, that I’m really hoping I will remember in future years…

Don’t attempt a recipe for the first time at Christmas {or Thanksgiving or New Year’s}

Why is it, that we put all this pressure on ourselves {or maybe you are smarter than me and don’t do this to yourself!} to have an immaculately decorated house, perfectly selected gifts, and oh yes, amazing meals each time you find yourself at the table between December 24 & 25.

I could go on & on about my food failures over the last 4 weeks.

It all started when my husband came in from hunting the morning of Christmas Eve, took one look at my face and said “Did one of your recipes not work out?”

I lied.
I said, no, it’s all good.

In reality, the yet another failed attempt at gluten free cinnamon buns were already in the trash.
I should just give up trying to make them.
Every year I tell myself This Is The Year.
But really, I don’t think GOOD GF cinnamon buns exist.

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Then there were the gluten free pigs n’ a blanket I was planning for Christmas Eve.
I had already talked myself into being okay with barely edible gluten free crescent rolls.
I just needed GF lil’ sausages.
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until Christmas Eve that only Wal-Mart carries them.
At least I made the wise decision to not go to Wal-Mart the day before Christmas.

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Then there were the the scalloped potatoes my husband requested for our Christmas lunch.
That couldn’t be too difficult, could it??
Well, when you don’t read the whole recipe until 30 minutes before Christmas lunch, you realize too late it will take an hour and a half to get them on the table.
And at that point, you are simply done. Mashed potatoes will do just fine.

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But the real cooking failure was…

The Christmas Ham literally tasted like mush.

Serious.
I’m actually not being dramatic at all!

And if I had just read the recipe well beforehand, I would have realized one major hiccup.

The recipe was for an UNCOOKED ham.
Uncooked requires quite a different recipe than a Cooked Ham.
Mostly, that an already cooked ham only needs heated up.
Nope, not thinking here on my part.

So what did I do??? Followed that recipe to the T!

Marinated that COOKED ham for 8 hours in pineapple juice {which breaks down the fibers in UNCOOKED ham} then I preceded to cook the COOKED ham for 2 hours.

Once again, it literally tasted like MUSH!

It was so bad, that my father in law drove back to their house to get their Christmas Eve ham leftovers.

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And yes, I know I may tend a bit towards the dramatic.
No one else cares that they didn’t have homemade cinnamon buns or had to eat mashed potatoes or eat leftover ham. But me, I care.

So next year, I’m going to go the route my friends suggests….
doughnuts {not homemade!!} and coffee for Christmas breakfast and a grocery store catered dinner.

But if you happen to have a cinnamon bun recipe that is GF, I’d love to have it.
Because as much as I’d like to say I won’t ever attempt them again, I’m simply a gluten for punishment.

I hope your cooking adventures fared much better than mine!

Happy New Year’s,

jessica

11-26-2015

Giving Thanks

When Ann Voskamp wrote One Thousand Gifts | A Dare To Live Fully Right Where You Are, she had no idea how well the timing of that book would intersect with the tragedy I was engulfed in.

Five years ago we lost a family member, a best friend, a brother to suicide.
Nothing could have prepared me for the intense grief that follows losing someone to suicide.
Nothing.

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Mired down in sadness while somehow trying to raise a baby and a toddling two year old, I’ll never forget the day my friend Lindsey suggested I read this new book she’d just finished…”Jessica, I really think this would help you process everything you’re going through.”

I am beyond thankful she gave me that suggestion, because that one book forever altered how I view life.
It altered why I give thanks in the first place.
It altered my relationship with God.

It goes deep, it challenges you.
From the first paragraph, Ann’s words grip you and forces you to question…

Do you only give thanks for the easy?
Do you solely thank God when goodness abounds and life looks perfect?

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I still wrestle with the giving thanks for tragedy. I thank God for the friends that never left our side during that period of our lives. It’s easy to thank God for getting you through a time of tough finances. But thank him for job loss? Thank him a pregnancy ended? Thank him a brother died?

Yeah, not easy, right??

But reading Ann’s prose on how God doesn’t say that every gift is wrapped up magically tight with a beautiful red ribbon..it pushes me to the boundaries of my faith and as a result my relationship with Christ grows to greater depth.

I don’t understand why God answers some prayers
but other prayers I’m left in silence
with only the call of a Whippoorwill to keep me company.

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But I do believe he’s called me to find things, IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE, to give him thanks for.

Hence, this morning I journaled #4,163 in my every growing list of things to be thankful for.

Giving thanks, every day, multiple times a day…keeping a list of gratitude…choosing to find the positive instead of getting caught up in the negative….these are the things that change your life…these are the day to day actions that pull you out of the muck & mire…

Giving thanks is a choice you make every. single. moment.
Every. Single. Day.
What will you choose?

jessica

11-03-2015

When You Don’t Want to Venture Out in the Rain to Vote

The rain pitter patters and then with gusto works its way up to a torrential downpour.

There’s dust on the ceiling fan and tomorrow when I wake, the fine matter of tiny particles will still exist in the same fashion they form today.

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The call of not leaving the comforts of a warm dry home.
The procrastinating pull of housework.
Dressing children just so they can run ramshackle through the lines of election.

All valid reasons why voting isn’t always your {or my} first priority.

But if you ever complain, even just one iota about the politicians in your town, in your state, in your nation….
then perhaps you should take it upon yourself to go vote today.

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For many of us, the matters which hit closest to home are those decisions determined by local leaders, town council members, and mayors. It’s not just the presidential election that is important.

So go vote. Share your voice. Select candidates who champion the causes you believe in.

jessica

 

10-26-2015

14 Tips to Strengthen The Friendships in Your Life: Part 2

Here’s my remaining 7 tips on building solid friendships with the women in your lives…

{Yesterday’s Tips are found here, or begin with Having A Servant’s Heart in Friendship.}

#8.Offer an abundance of grace

The subject of grace within Christianity goes like this…when I don’t deserve love, God still gives it to me.

And the same goes in friendships, in marriages, in parenting. When we give grace and continue to love even if a friend isn’t calling us as much as we wish they would. Or they are being a ‘stinkerboo’ as I call my daughter at times, they still need to know we’ve got their back and are always there for them.

#9.Be the bigger person

This goes right along with offering grace. Sometimes us ladies can resort to acting like our 16 year old selves. Or maybe that’s just me! But we all benefit when our friends can turn the other cheek and just give us some space when we aren’t perfect.

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#10. Be your friend’s biggest cheerleader {you know…when they get something you’ve always wanted and you’re still waiting for prayers to be answered}

I’ve always been of the philosophy that it’s the tough times that prove who your best friends are. Because, in my mind, relationships show their true foundation when your world is falling apart.

But on the flip side, incredible is the friend who can be excited for you {or at least put on a brave face} when you are unexpectedly pregnant and she’s still waiting for those double lines to appear, or you get the job promotion and she just got laid off.

I’m not talking about not being authentic. Because being authentic is extremely important {see #13}. But when we can be real in our own feelings as well as be happy for our friend’s good news, then we are living out “that it’s not all about us”.

#11. Be an exceptional listener

This is one area I struggle with. One of my ‘best’ friends is an amazing listener. She leans close to hear what I have to say, she asks pressing questions in response rather than just commiserate about a similar situation in her own life. She’s ok not having all the answers I may need and she’s fully present in our conversation.

#12. Challenge one another

The friends who challenge us are ultimately our biggest cheerleaders. They believe in our greatest potential, even when we ourselves are afraid to dream boldly. She pushes you to new heights, dares you to live big, and whispers constant encouragement that YOU CAN DO THIS!

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#13. Be Authentic

If there is one thing I hope to be remembered for, it would be my authenticity. If you can’t be real with your closest friends, then who are you going to be genuine with?

Wearing a facade and pretending your world is picture perfect leaves you fatigued and feeling less than. God loves you just the way you are, messy chaos and all. We all have areas in our lives we’d like to sweep under the rug. But when we open up and share our heartaches with one another, we become relatable.

#14. Never Be Afraid to Begin New Friendships

Since not all friendships last a lifetime, it’s always important to be building new ones. Taking a walk around the block with a new neighbor. Having coffee with an acquaintance. All important steps to flourish the friendships in your life.

jessica

 

{Day 26!!! of the #write31days challenge. I can barely believe I only have 5 more days left!!!}

10-25-2015

14 Tips To Strengthen the Friendships in Your Life: Part 1

As I wrote about on Friday, women need relationships with one another.
But friendships don’t just magically happen.

Here’s my list of 14 “How To’s” for building and maintaining deep substantial friendships.

{To break this post into a manageable reading chunk, I’m sharing 7 of the tips today with 7 more tomorrow.}

#1. Don’t Expect One Person to Meet All Your Needs

Just as a bicycle tire would have no strength with only one spoke on the wheel, the same goes for your friendships.

Having a smattering of friend’s to call on rather than depending upon just one person, will help all your friendships be healthier. Take me for example… there’s the friend I call when I need wisdom & clarity, the foodie friend who ‘gets’ my food issues, or the one who is always the cheerleader in my back corner.

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#2. It’s about quality not quantity

While our social media presence can tout that we have 432 ‘friends’ and our latest instagram photo reached 76 ‘likes’, those are usually not the friendships that are going to ‘fill our buckets’.

We need friendships that are rooted in rich fertile soil. Whether we live cross country or just down the block, these are the relationships that have stood the test of time, through the good and the bad. It doesn’t matter if that number totals 3, those are the relationships to concentrate your time on.

#3. Make friendships a priority

Friendships were a lot easier before getting married! Back then, I had all the time in the world. But when you throw a spouse plus a handful of kids into life, friendships easily take the back seat. One day your girlfriends are throwing you a baby shower and the next day you realize you haven’t truly caught up with those same girlfriends for months.

Making friendships a priority takes the sacrifice of your time; but is a sacrifice well worth it. In order to build those deep quality relationships you want, you have to step away from the screen and step into face to face communion with one another.

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#4. Reach out in unexpected ways

I’ll never forget a few years ago when our whole family was sick {at both ends} for more than a week. Then the “stomach bug” as we politely call it, stopped up the toilet!! You know you have a friend for life when she brings you a new plunger!

Whether it’s a meal, a hug, or a plunger….always be willing to go out of your way to help a friend in need.

#5. The world doesn’t revolve around you

I was once lamenting about an extremely trivial situation to my older sister and she shared very wise advice {that I’m embarrassed to admit I really needed to hear}…Jessica, the world does not revolve around you!

But gosh, don’t we act like it? At least I do. It is easy to feel slighted when you see a FB photo of girlfriends that doesn’t include you or when someone hasn’t returned a phone call. But sometimes, your friend has real junk going on in their lives and they simply need you to… be the bigger person, reach out to them or just give them some grace.

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#6. Say Thank You

All relationships {marriages included} can benefit from a sincere “thanks for all you do”. Just as our spouses need to be appreciated, our friends need the same.

7. Some friendships are only in your life for a season

It can be a sad reality, but not all friendships are meant to last a lifetime.

Some friendships are toxic and just aren’t healthy. Then there are some friendships that diminish in closeness due to a change in locations or simply due to becoming different people as you go through life, and that is ok!
With that said, every friendship changes as time passes. Even lifelong friendships go through periods when you aren’t as close and that is normal.

Click here to read tips #8-#14 on building strong friendships.
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{These friendship tips are all part of my 31 Days to A Servant’s Heart writing challenge.}