,

The Foundation of Friendship

Foundation of Friendship

Having a strong group of friends is a deep need that we all have. We all need friends in our lives that help us, encourage us, listen to us, enjoy life with us, laugh with us, cry with us and etc. We need those kind of friends.

The question is: How do we get those kind of friends? How do we put ourselves in a position to have the close group of friends that we want?

The answer is by BEING the type of person that those around you would want to be your friend. Being a person that others find admirable, respectable and worthy of friendship is the first place to start. You will not always get along with everyone you know the same way, but being a person that interests and attracts others to you is a great place to start.

Your friendships and friends will have a lot of different characteristics and aspects. Friends/friendships are like a good house. You need a lot of different things to make a great house-windows, nice doors, closet space, spacious rooms, nice kitchen etc. But if your house has all these things but it doesn’t have a solid foundation then you have a flawed house. It is the same way with friends and friendships. You may have a lot of things but if certain things are non-existent there is only so far you can go in your friendship.

What is that one thing that each friend and friendship should have?

This one aspect of friendship that every friend should possess is the capacity and the desire to sacrifice for the other person. Being someone that is willing to sacrifice for you is invaluable and vital to any close friendship. Everyone wants a friend that will give something up to be there for us when we need them. Everyone wants a friend that is willing to help us out even if there is nothing in it for them. That is a true friend.

If that is a friend that you want, doesn’t it make sense to be that kind of person for others? If you want that sacrificial friend, we would suggest that you aspire to be that for the people in your life. If there are certain people that you want to grow closer to, then do something for them that means something to them. Be there when they need somebody, even when it is inconvenient or causes you to miss out on something.

Be sacrificial.

When you begin to do that for others you will attract people that want that and in so doing you will create friendships based on personal sacrifice.

Think about someone in your life that you consider a great friend, and reflect on how much they have sacrificed for you? (time, money, babysitting, helping you with projects) If there is someone you want to grow in your friendship with, ask yourself: in what ways can I sacrifice for them?

This will open the door to true and enduring friendships.

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The Value of Friendships: Types of Friends

The Value of Friendships: Types of Friends

The-Value-of-Friendships

Friends. It is a classic TV sitcom about a group of friends trying to make their way through their 20’s in New York City. American enjoyed watching them for 10 seasons! Why was Friends such a hit? One of the reasons it was such a hit was because it reminded all of us, who watched, that our friendships mean so much to us.  It reminded us that one of the key aspects of our lives is our friendships.

CHANNEL 4 PICTURE PUBLICITY 124 Horseferry Road London SW1P 2TX 020 7306 8685 FRIENDS: The One with the Late Thanksgiving Friends Year 10 Episode 8 "THE ONE WITH THE LATE THANKSGIVING" Medium shot of Matt LeBlanc as Joey, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel, David Schwimmer as Ross, Matthew Perry as Chandler and Courteney Cox as Monica. Tx:26/03/2004 This picture may be used solely for Channel 4 programme publicity purposes in connection with the current broadcast of the programme(s) featured in the national and local press and listings. Not to be reproduced or redistributed for any use or in any medium not set out above (including the internet or other electronic form) without the prior written consent of Channel 4 Picture Publicity 020 7306 8685

Another reason that Friends made such a big impact on America is because most of us don’t have the friendships that Friends seemed to make us want.

The friendship seen on Friends were the kind we all we wanted to some degree. They were authentic. They accepted each other for who they were. They laughed a lot together. They always head each other’s backs. They played jokes on each other. They knew exactly what bothered each other and how to annoy one another in fun. They had difficult conversations together. They endured hardship together. They ate meals together regularly. They had fun all the time it seemed! Friends showed us what we all wanted.

The problem is that you have a busy and full life. Your family is your #1 responsibility and it takes up a lot of your time. After dealing with all that you need to take care of you are exhausted and don’t want to do anything else but sit and relax. The idea of adding something to your life is daunting, but you need to think about it.

As we have written about before, you must plan and prioritize anything you want or need to get done. You need friendships. You may not need as many as someone else but you need them. Which means you will need to plan some part of your weekly or monthly schedule around making this happen.

For anyone trying to reinvest themselves in friendships or if you have moved recently and have no friends where you live, we want to be able to provide you with some advice.

In this post we want to provide you with some categories and labels for different friends you may have so that you can figure out where your friendships are or what friends you should try to have. These are only to be taken as a general guide and it needs to be understood that this list is not exhaustive. This list is intended to help you understand your own friendships.

 

Friends

The Low-Key Friend
This friend is the one that you don’t have to be doing anything and can just spend time together. Often this type of friendship is a starting point for any close friendship you may have. If you can just sit and talk and have a great time, or if you really enjoy them being around while you’re doing chores or housework then you have a really stable friend and one worth keeping. This friend tends to hear your heart when difficult things are going on but they also hear about your blessings as well. These are often the best kind of friend!

 

The Exciting or Event-Driven Friend
This friend is the opposite of the friend above. This is the friend that either you only encounter at events or activities or this friend always wants to go DO something while spending time together. This isn’t a bad thing, in fact this can be a really healthy friendship for you if you don’t get out much! Either they want to go to a restaurant, go shopping, show you something new they have, meet at a dinner party, go see a movie etc.  This friend is less stable but always knows how to make you smile.

 

The Helpful Friend
This friend is always up for helping you out. If you are painting a room, they are there to help. If you need some help with chores because you are way behind, they love to help. This friend shows their friendship and care for you through helpful actions. That means they also enjoy having you help them out with projects or to-do lists that they need done. This kind of friendship is also another element of many close friendships.

 

The Mutual-Interests Friend
This friend is the person that enjoys talking about the same things as you. If you have a hobby, they probably love it too. The reason you get along so well is because you share the same interests. If you go shopping together, there is never a need to compromise or scheme on where to go in a specific store because you want to see the same things! Your clothes are similar, you love all the same movies, your hobbies are similar and you understand each other!

Those are a few of the major categories. Our friends often overlap into a few different categories or even one friend can make up all these categories but like most people you have at least a few friends that cover these categories. What friends do you have that fit into these categories? Do you have a lot of one kind of friend or many friends that fit into specific categories?

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The Value of Friendship

The-Value-of-Friendships

Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together. – Woodrow T. Wilson

Friendship is something we understand and value. It is something most of us desire in our own lives.  Growing up as a kid, friendship is what your life was centered upon.  The friendships you had drove the heartbeat of your life.

If we went through hard times, family trauma, breakups or betrayals-friends were often the ones to pick up the pieces.

You and I understand that there is value in friendship.  The problem is not that we do not value friendship.  The problem is that we do not value friendship enough.  As adults we have responsibilities, kids of our own, bills to pay, jobs to go to, and errands to run.  The more we have to do, the less time we carve out for the friends.

The struggle of the busy parent in this aspect of their lives is something that needs to be addressed.  There is a reason that as children we lived for our friends.  And even if you were less social and cared more about having a lot of books to read and not about how many friends you have, you still had those close few friends that you shared everything with.

As a busy, stressed, responsible, and burdened adult your friendships are as important as ever.  You need good friends and good friendships. You need them so that you can live a healthy and joy-filled life.

Next time we are going to define the types of friendships you can have and then describe the ones that you need to be striving for in your life. Until then ask yourself about who you consider a friend, why, and how intentional are you in spending time with them?

The Right Mindset to Be Productive: Part Three

Right Mindset

The Right Mindset Part 3

The last two days we have given you advice on how to accomplish what you have to for your family to function.  We have also given you advice on how to accomplish everything else that needs to happen in your life.  All the essential tasks that need to happen for your family to be healthy in all areas of life.

Today we are discussing any unique venture that someone in your family desires to do.  These activities can be difficult to incorporate into your life. These may include:

  • Hobbies
  • Family Vacations
  • Family Get-Togethers
  • Community Events
  • Sporting Events
  • Special Classes

These aspects of your life are like the frosting to a cake.  If you do not have any of these you seem to be missing something but at the same time they are not considered essential.

To have even one or two of these things in your life requires a lot of sacrifice on your part.  If you have multiple children this sacrifice is multiplied even more!  You and your spouse have to decide if there is anything that you would want your children to be able to do.
After that, you and your spouse need to ask yourselves if there were any personal interests you wanted to pursue.  Most parents think it is selfish to even ask the question, but you do need time to invest in your own interests in talents.

How do you plan for such events?  These are difficult to plan for and even to fit into your schedule no matter what.  The best advice we can give is to give yourself as much time.  Here are some different ways to ensure you have enough time to plan for these activities and opportunities.

  • Any sporting events or leagues usually have signups months in advance.  Have a family meeting about what commitments you can make as a family.
  • Stay connected with family through email, social media, phone calls, and even visits.  Try to be an active participate in the planning and communicating of family get-togethers.
  • For any community events local city and county websites keep up to date information.  Again, the key advice here is to plan with your spouse what community events to try to be a part of.
  • Good tools to stay on top of things is Google Calendar.  You can access and coordinate emails as a husband and wife making planning a little easier.

Finally, no matter what you do to stay on top of these opportunities make sure you are on the same page with your spouse.  Being committed and united on what you want to do as a family will be the biggest help to your success.  Working as a team will be the most effective way to do all that you want to do as a family.

Join us tomorrow to be receive more encouragment!

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The Right Mindset to Be Productive: Part Two

Right-Mindset.jpg

 

Having the right mindset and focus is key to having a productive week.  If you want to accomplish your goals you need to have a plan and focus on achieving said plan.  Yesterday we divided our priorities or goals into three categories.  Today we will give tips on how to successfully balance the three categories and how you can best be successful in accomplishing your week’s goals.

Necessities – The aspects or our week that must be done for our families to function at all.

These task are the kind of tasks that get accomplished without much planning because we always have to get them done.  The issue is that if we don’t actively plan for these then our other goals and task will suffer because we will have inefficiently accomplished the necessities.

These tasks are sometimes unique but would comprise at least some of these:

  • Preparing Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Managing Children’s Hygiene
  • Laundry
  • Doctor’s Appointments
  • Sports/Activity Commitments

Tips for Management & Planning

  • Prepare a laundry schedule and even have your older children help out.
  • Pick a couple of days where you do your grocery shopping.  Keeping it as consistent as possible will help you plan other things around it.
  • Meal planning can be very difficult to start.  But it has a lot of long-term benefits.  It saves you money and if you plan a meal ahead of time it will save you time during the week when you prepare and clean up the meal.
  • Older children can help manage the younger children’s hygiene and morning routine. This does take practice and mentoring but it will have long-term benefits for you if done well.

Essential Tasks – These tasks are necessary to provide the family life that you want.

These are the tasks that have to be managed around the ones stated above.  These suffer if you are inefficient in planning for the necessities.  The essentials would include:

  • Household Chores. Bathrooms, living rooms, bedrooms etc.
  • Organizational Projects
  • Family Time. This could be game night, family devotions, backyard fun.
  • Date night for you and your spouse!  This is very important for the health of your family and for you!
  • Church and other volunteerism.

These activities are very important to the mental and emotional health of the family.  These are not as necessary to “keeping your family afloat” but they are necessary to seeing your family flourish.

These activities are also part of creating a “family culture.”  A family culture is very important to WinterPromise.  Every family has one.  It is the rhythm of your family life.  It is your traditions, how you have fun together, how you learn together, when you create memories, how you interact.  Every family is unique which means every family culture is unique to that family.

We want our materials to be a vital part of creating and enjoying your family culture.  The list above are all aspects that contribute in a central way to your family culture.

Here are some tips to help you plan and prioritize these things!

  • Take initiative in creating family traditions. Find the time during the week that is most free and make something happen!
  • Plan a consistent night each month for you and your spouse.  Date Night can get lost in the priorities of life, if you plan for it and fight for it in your schedule then you will have a much higher rate of success.
  • Don’t plan to organize more than once or twice a week.  Sometimes you need to do some “crisis management” when it comes to organizing but try to keep your time spent doing an organizational project to an appropriate number.  You could organize all the time if you wanted because there is always something that needs it.  Don’t lose other important things because you want to organize.

The closeness of your family matters most.  Prioritize things that grow your family together and closer rather than activities that pull you apart.  You cannot do everything as a family, nor would you want to.  But making sure your family works together and interacts often is key to creating a family culture.

Tomorrow we will touch on your families “Unique Ventures” and see how those can be best incorporated into your priority list. 

The Right Mindset to Be Productive

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Choosing the Right Mindset to Accomplish Your Goals

A person that aims at nothing, is sure to hit it.

This famous piece of advice is often not followed.  What usually happens is either we have too many goals or we never focus on the goals that must accomplished. We have a tendency to not make a specific plan for a specific goal, and because we don’t have a plan we fail to accomplish much of what we set out to do! These ways of thinking usually lead to a week where you wish you had accomplished more.

One way in which this type of thinking fails is because of the insurmountable number of goals. You can become overwhelmed and struggle to focus your energy because you feel the pressure of so many responsibilities.  Another way our faulty thinking fails is because we don’t have a clear plan that will lead us to accomplishing any of our goals.  An illustration of this would be having more than one recipe planned for dinner, or having nothing planned for dinner.  That kind of thinking will not get dinner cooked! Dinner would be a mixture of half-finished recipes or it would be a pizza night. (You children may say that is one benefit of a failed plan!)

Too often we pattern our thinking after one of the examples above.  We either burden ourselves with too many goals or we are too tired to plan for anything.  It is not something we try to do but something that happens when we don’t take initiative in our lives.  We don’t try to do it but it is something that happens when we don’t try!  We do not go into our week choosing to not have a plan or focusing on too much.  This happens because we have busy lives and we get tired.

These posts is not meant to be a manual for “how to accomplish your goals from start to finish” but a kick starter to put yourself in the right mindset and thinking pattern.  If you think correctly and plan accordingly, your success can be very high!  We are going to break down your goals into three categories.

(1) Necessities – The aspects or our week that must be done for our families to function at all.

(2) Essential Tasks – These are not necessary to keep “the ship afloat” but they do need to get done.

(3) Unique Ventures – These things could be anything from a hobby.

You must plan but you must also prioritize.  Next time we will look at some tips on how to prioritize these three categories to have a productive week.

Inspiration to Conquer the Day

Inspiration to Conquer the Day

Inspiration to Conquer the Day

There are few things in life better than a great cup of coffee, a beautiful morning and a word of encouragement.  Something that will put you into a great mood, and empower you to conquer the day and all of its challenges.  What is the challenge you are facing today?

 

Do you have a big appointment or meeting?  Do you have to do a big cleaning day?  Are you anxious about your weekly budget talk?  Are you running out of ideas to keep your kids busy and happy?  Are you just worried and anxious in general?  Did you not have a good night’s rest and feel unprepared for the day?

 

The mindset you have will make the biggest difference.  Don’t be mentally passive in life.  Take life on directly by changing your mindset and that can have the biggest impact on your day, week and year. Here are some wise words to start your day off right.

 

“When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another.” – Helen Keller

 

Try your best. That is all you can and need to do.

 

“Any woman who understands the problems of running a home will be nearer to understanding the problems of running a country.” – Margaret Thatcher

 

After being a successful Mom, go be the President!

 

“The best protection any woman can have … is courage.” – Elizabeth Cody Stanton

 

“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” – Maya Angelou

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

                         and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,

                         and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6

 

You have one of the toughest jobs in the world.  Make sure you are taking a mentally active role in your days.  Things will go right and some things will go wrong.  Don’t let the negatives ruin a day where you are growing as a family.

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Free Yourself from the Burden of Expectations

Morning's With WinterPromise

Free Yourself from the Burden of Expectations

Thursday 8/13/2015

 

It happens every year.  You are almost done with your summer break and it has been anything but a break. You are exhausted from all the summer travels, family get-togethers, beach days, and your kids bored more often than not.

 

At this point you are ready for the school year to begin. Finally your children will have a structured time and direction doing something productive!  School can be a huge relief for a lot of Homeschool Moms.

 

It isn’t all roses though.  You may be excited about the relief from the busyness of summer, but you are nervous about the challenges and responsibilities of teaching your children.  That can feel like a huge burden! There are so many questions to answer and things to do, where do you even begin!? Questions like these need to be answered:

 

  •  What curriculum will I use?
  •  Will all my kids learn and grow together and still have their needs met?
  •  How much can I spend this year?
  •  Do I have all that my children need to meet state standards?

 

These are questions that need to be answered, and that isn’t even counting the burden you put on yourself to be “Super Mom” while you homeschool!  Super Mom needs to be able to…

 

  • Be more organized this year!
  • Meal plan like everyone else does on Pinterest!
  • Save the family money wherever possible!
  • Not make a mistake when I correct my children.
  • Manage household chores, always smiling!
  • Get up every morning 30 minutes early to spend time with God
  • Be more involved at church and in the community!
  • Teach my high schooler to drive!
  • Clean out the closets more regularly!

 

And the list goes on!  The anxieties never stop it seems.  The burdens we put on ourselves never end.

 

We cannot answer all these worries and burdens in one article but we would like to speak a word of encouragement to our Moms.

 

Joy is not found at the end of the journey, but in the path taken.

 

We too often put the weight of success in our homeschooling upon ourselves.  We strive too often for “Pinterest Perfect” and lose focus on what really matters.  We all understand homeschooling is not a cookie-cutter endeavor, but we don’t seem to apply that principle to our definition of success.  You will not find true joy in seeing your children, or yourself, meet a certain checklist.

 

True joy is found in growing with your children as they grow.  Encouraging them and gently pushing them to learn, stretch themselves, and experience new things.  Where are you supposed to end up when all is said and done? Only you know that!  Every year this is going to be different for every family, and you are the one that knows your family best.

 

You will not get everything done that you want to.

 

Shocking, right? This is not power-positive thinking.  No, but it is a reality check that you need.  This year you have so many goals for you, your family and your homeschooling.  Probably some were mentioned in the lists above.  But you need to be ok with the possibility, and even the probability that you will not get it all done.

 

This is not an indictment against you or your ability to homeschool.  This is an encouragement to focus on the things that matter most.  The rest will work itself out, and you will not want to have all your “lists checked” at the end of the next school year but miss out on slowing down and journeying with your children.  Strive to roll with the punches, manage the potholes, and get support from your family through it all.

 

You got this Mom. Not because you will get this perfectly, but because your Mom.