I am not a perfect mom, wife or even human being. Far from it. I’m humble enough to admit it and to share my failings and admit that I’m a hot mess. How does a hot mess mom survive? By having hot mess friends. I love my friends even more because they are hot messes. They are not perfect, they have problems, their kids misbehave, their houses are also messy. And we own it. We don’t hide our hot messes from each other. How did I get these awesome friends?
1. I prayed. I spent several years being a lonely hot mess. I had a few friends that I hung out with occasionally but I felt like I was doing all the work to remain friends. I was the one texting or asking to get together. I spent much time in prayer asking God to bring me friends that would grow me in all areas and would also encourage my walk.
2. I was vulnerable. It is a lot easier to live on a superficial level with people. Not that I spilled my guts to everyone but I felt like if I was real, then others would feel more comfortable being real as well. The more I hung out with my friends, whom we endearingly call “my people” the more I let them know the true me. To be known is one of the greatest gifts each of us can receive. My friends know me and they love me inspite of my hot mess.
3. Find friends in the same life stage. I’m married with kids. My friends are married with kids. We also all homeschool. Not that it was a requirement for me but having these things in common has improved the depth of our relationship.
4. Make calendar space. I can sometimes be a homebody or introvert, however, we make a special point to get together weekly with each other. We also text each other daily. Whether this was to ask for prayer or share silly pictures. Daily we share our gratitudes. I know these ladies because I spend time cultivating our friendship. My friends have dropped everything to drive 30 minutes just to bring me a smile and a coffee. I canceled school for a week to pull wallpaper off a friends wall. We volunteer to watch each other’s children. My husband is doing some amazing work and was invited to a conference in Las Vegas. I wanted to be there for him but with 5 kids it almost feels impossible. My friends were immediate to open their homes to them. I couldn’t do life without my people.
5. Be specific. I was wanting friends who were married whom my husband could spend time with as well. We are a friend group now because while the ladies are friends, so our our husbands and so are our kids. I could’ve pursued friends with a single lady or a gal who’s husband wasn’t Shawn’s friend. I wanted to be able to have my fiends and have play dates but I also wanted to be able to hang out as families.
6. I remember to give grace so I can receive grace. And I keep a sense of humor. I went to a conference with a set of our good friends. We were both pregnant (those babies are now 2 and were born 2 weeks apart) and spent several dinners together. She doesn’t even remember that I was there. I could be totally offended by this but we just laugh about it so hard. Stop being offended by people. My friends are always so gracious when I’m running on “Tawnda time” (which is how I tell them I’m running late). I am almost always running on Tawnda time and they are so sweet not to be uptight.
Maybe you are where I was several years ago. Desperate for friends and lonely. Keep being you. Keep reaching out to those you think you would like as a friend. Do the inviting. Be a good friend. Don’t take, take and take. Give.