Friday, July 13, 2012

Have a Little Help from Your Friends

According to Madonna Behen, secret # 5 in this series on lasting love is to have friendships other friendships. This secret reminds me of a portion from a chapter of Proverbs through the Generations, a book my grandfather, dad, and I wrote (coming this month to Though it was written during my pregnancy with now-nine-month-old Jonas, I’d like to share it here.

“Sometimes we are a little overwhelmed with the idea of how blessed we are to be a part of this group. You are an answer to prayers we didn't even know we were making.”

This is something I wrote today as an online posting to a small group of Christian friends we meet with every Friday and many holidays. I also wrote online that I was “looking around myself and realizing that God has been building up a strong defense in our lives to make us better equipped to handle this coming baby. It still may be like being thrown into a deep pool, but at least there are multiple life rafts to swim to.” I acknowledge that I mixed my metaphors in that latter quote, but both are strong images I keep seeing lately.

When we had Jack, we didn’t have the most solid support system. We were surrounded by young, single friends and couples who didn’t have children, and we both struggled to keep these friendships alive. Don’t get me wrong; several of these friends would have done anything we could have ever asked for—but we honestly didn’t know what we needed enough to ask. Friendships crumbled. We crumbled. If it wasn’t for my parents and their help, I don’t know what I would have done. But, as valuable as parents are, they are not the same as having friends who are in a similar situation in life.

The other image is of drowning, which I continually thought of during those first several months of motherhood. Since I had let most of my friendships fall away, I sunk deeper and deeper. Fear of a similar outcome kept me worried about ever having a second child, but my planning came to nothing: God had other plans.

I’m almost in the third trimester, awaiting the birth of our second son, and I have finally noticed that God’s plans didn’t mean He was giving us a child and walking away. He’s been preparing our family’s growth for the past year as we have developed new friendships and as some of our old friends have started having babies of their own.

I remember watching other new moms and wondering how they had the strength to spend time with their friends with all that motherhood takes out of you; I now see that the friendships are the strength.

Solid friendships are an extension of family, a blessing from God, a defense against the hardships of the world, a life raft when the waves threaten to cover us, and a source of strength and solace when we are in need.

 the entire series (with written posts linked)
Secret #2 Sweat the Small Stuff 
Secret #7 Spend Time Apart

 our small group on the 4th of July 2012

Below is a collection of some of the photographs I was able to take of a few of the children that day. 

 Behen, Madonna. “The Seven Secrets of Lasting Love.” USA Weekend 27-29 April 2012. Print. 

this post is linked up with
Beholding Glory


  1. Hi! Just stopping in from making the rounds on Home Sanctuary's blog hop. I've heard it said that chatting with a neighbor over the fence, or while hanging out the clothes or while canning or making a quilt together was, in the old days, a great way for women to get more fulfillment in their lives. That interaction with one another helped to fill up their emotional needs rather than expecting it all from their husband. Whether that is true or not, friends ARE a very important way to encourage one another and be encouraged. May you continue to be blessed with many good friends!

  2. What a wonderful post....I'm excited that you linked up today and hope that you'll return again...a new linky party, but hoping to develop it over time with heartfelt mothers supporting each others...not just for the views! :)
    I know what you mean about friendships changing during times as we become parents...and it can be so hard. However, it seems those who truly, truly love us so deeply are always there for us, even if life has changed. It's also been so meaningful to develop new friendships, as we needed to meet other parents who have been through parneting....and loving it.
    Congrats on your book coming it an e-book? I'll try to check out the link...if you are willing to provide a copy of it, I'm always open to reading & reviewing on my blog if it fits--my readers are mostly Christian mothers :). (I'd never post a negative review, by the way...if it's a fit, I focus on the positive!) Please feel free to contact me if you'd like (fb or contact me button on my page has email)!

  3. Stopping by from Company Girl Coffee

    That is just awesome! I love hearing about how God is working in the midst of everything even when we don't see it, and then you realize what He had been doing all along. That's great!

  4. Keeping friendships is so important. When you are crazy in the midst of raising children I find my friends have helped me stay sane.

  5. I struggled as well when my daughter was born. I had one friend with a child. She became one of my lifelines and still is. When we are going through things, we need to reach out of our comfort zones and reach out. I've learnt this since my sons have been diagnosed with autism. I struggled and felt like I was drowning, until I reached out to a special needs mom group. I may still be struggling but I feel like I've been lifted into the lifeboats. Friendships sometimes have an ebb and flow. The real test of friendships is who stays in the storms of life.