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.



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


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.


#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.

{These friendship tips are all part of my 31 Days to A Servant’s Heart writing challenge.}


A Servant’s Heart in Friendship

A wise sage friend once told me, true lasting friendship consists of an ebb and flow.
Sometimes you give more than you get.
Sometimes you are in the seat of taking more than you can provide.
But in the tidal flow of life, it all equals out.

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A servant’s heart in friendship doesn’t keep track of whose called whom the most.
Instead, we savor the blessing of this thing we share.
This friendship that is our ‘walking diary’, our support system when the rest of the world fails us.

For women, our friendships are what keep us sane. What keep us whole.

My Grandma lost her husband when she was 37.  She never remarried, raising 4 young kids and running a dairy farm solo. As I watched her spend countless hours on the phone with Mrs. Bristol, one of her closest friends, I wondered if perhaps women’s friendships aren’t one of the most important building blocks in a woman’s life?

Whether from divorce or widowhood, marriage isn’t necessarily the longest relationship you will have in life.

If that’s the case, shouldn’t we all strive to strengthen and deepen the friendships we share ‘woman to woman’?

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In the days following my brother in law’s suicide, I’m not sure what I would have done without my closest girl friends. From dropping everything going on in their lives to be with me, giving me advice as the estate dragged on for forever, bringing me meal after meal, answering my phone calls even though they had to know I was going to have an endless pity party of what my life looked like.

Friends are what get you through the roughest days. Friends are what keep you rationale and help you process the muddled understandings in your brain. Friends are your biggest cheerleaders with never ending whispers of encouragement…

Want to read more on this topic…read my 14 Tips To Building Strong Friendships.



{Today’s post is day 23 of the #write31days challenge! Click here to view all my post in the series titled 31 Days to A Servant’s Heart.}