The Friendship Project: The Plan

Day Two of my Friendship Pr0ject.

I was going to write on the Benedictine Vows and how they inspired this series, but when I got home from work today to finish editing that post- it was gone.  Poof.  I have no idea where it went.  I did have my guidelines for the series ready for y’all so….here we go.

These are the “rules’ of my project, if you will.  I’ve intentionally chosen them because they will stretch me, point me to Jesus, and help me build true friendships here in SoCal.

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Guidelines For The Friendship Project:

At least seven original social outings.

Today, I had lunch with a woman from church who I literally walked up to and said, “hi!  I like you…would you want to do something sometime?” True story.  Yeah, one could say my approach was just this side of creepy, but I’ve got 31 days, y’all.  31 days to combat my loneliness, create a new narrative about friendships in SoCal, and let the women in my life in.  Ain’t nobody got time for coyness.   She said, “yes” (obvs) and it was fantastic.  Stay tuned for a post next week on vulnerability and bravery.  Brene Brown would be so proud.  But, this also means that for the rest of October. I can’t count “lunch with a girlfriend” as one of my social outings. Oh I can go to lunches, but they won’t count as an effort to make new friends.  You see, coffee and lunch dates are my sweet spot.  I’m so good at the woo over a plate of spring rolls and Thai iced coffee, y’all.  You wouldn’t believe it!  But there are so many other places and ways  friendships can grow- on a hike, at yoga class, on my couch during a Gilmore Girl marathon. This whole project is intended to push and humble and open me up to new people in this new place. So, seven ORIGINAL outings….hmmm….this should be fun.

 

I can only host 3 friend gatherings at my house this month.

I know, three sounds like a lot, but I planted a church, y’all- I had people in my space all the time. And I loved it, but  here’s the genius with  being the host- I can hide behind the work and cooking and all the trappings of hostessing.  I can ask someone to tell me her story then get up from the table to wash the dishes-  and it’ll seem like I’m  this super woman multi-tasker, but in all honesty, I’m letting my work validate me in that relationship.  I’m not allowing myself to be enough in my own space. I think this is the curse of being an extrovert- I’m so good at gathering people and making sure they can connect that I’m often the one on the fringes.  One time I organized a huge women’s weekend for our church where we planned a fun after party for the about 100 women.  While they were getting to know their small groups downstairs in the conference room, I was upstairs preparing the suite with food, decor, and get-to-know you icebreakers.  The irony was not lost on me that I spent months organizing this beautiful weekend for these women to connect and I was all alone.  No more fringes and hiding for me. This month, I refuse to be the hostess more than three times- even then, I have to send this guideline to a trusted friend and ask her to keep me accountable that I was actually present in the hostessing.  That includes supper parties (like IF: Table) movie marathons, and Noonday trunk shows.

If someone asks me out for coffee (Smoothies, Pinkberry, Sonic…whatever), I will be my most authentic self.

So here’s the deal: I’m not doing this 31 Days because there hasn’t been opportunities to meet other women.  Actually, the women of New City have welcomed me LIKE A BOSS. So have my MOPS group and my neighbors.  I just haven’t gone into those meetings willing to bear my heart as a potential friend, I’ve had the “I’m a pastor’s wife” hat on, hoping they’ll like me or be amazed at my spiritual maturity. I was so desperate to earn their respect, that I think I lost myself in there a bit.  But, I’m going to pull a Julia Roberts and say:

I’m just a girl who wants to find authentic connection in her church community.  

It’s humbling to admit it, but it’s the truth.  I’m so new to this pastor’s wife thing.   I mean, yeah, I was a church planter’s wife, but that’s different. This month, baring a pastoral care issue (later on, this month we’ll talk about friendship and pastor’s wives…just you wait), if I’m out with a New City woman, I’m with her to befriend her. To let her in as a potential friend.  I’m also  new to this building friends in a new city thing. The last time I did this, I had babies to buffer the meet and greets. Which leads me to my next guideline…

Play-dates are a must.  I just have to get over myself.

Y’all.  I have kids.  I get paid to play with kids.  I don’t always want to have a house full of them.  But, if my babies are going to make friends than I should probable let them over, right?  Right.  (Jesus take the wheel) I’m not putting a goal of how many of these we’ll have because the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak and the kids are legalistic.  I’ll just trust  the Holy Spirit that if a mom ambles up to me at pick up and says, “So… Apple wants to have a playdate with Trinity” He’ll give me the courage and patience say “yes” to her.

(because…P.S.  who wouldn’t want to have a playdate with Gwenyth Paltrow?  Real Talk PPS: The only celebrity I’ve seen was the quirky dad from “Diary of A Wimpy Kid” true story. )

Every-time I leave a friend meeting, I will pray for her.

I’m putting down roots, y’all.  I want good things and to see God move in the lives of the women I know in mighty ways.  Prayer keeps this whole project centered on God’s will for my friendships and his heart for the women in my community. Prayer shifts my perspective and keeps me humble.  Prayer give me courage, insight, and guidance.  The only prayer hasn’t done for me is give me wings.  Which is a good thing.  Red Bull is of the devil.

If a Friend calls, I’ll pick up.  If she asks for a date, I’ll show up.

In all my research for this series, there was one universal truth, in order to have friends, you have to be a friend.  So, all next month, unless I’m bleeding, or tending to a sick family member, if I’m invited out, I’m there.  Unless I’m driving or sleeping- I’ll answer the phone.  Remember what I said about hiding behind busyness- yep that applies here.  For this month, I’m never too busy for my friends.

Ok.. so what do you think?  Anything else I can add?  Anything seem unrealistic?  If you were planning a Friendship Project which guideline would be hardest for you to adhere to?

Shalom Friends,

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3 thoughts on “The Friendship Project: The Plan

  1. Recently I have been concerned about and studying the Emergent Church. As I have a tendency to go to the sources of problems when investigating them, I signed up for a Benedictine weekly meditation from a source that had received much criticism from evangelical apologists. The following link illustrates why we should be concerned over the mystical and contemplative practices currently being introduced to the Church from certain Roman Catholic sources. https://dub111.mail.live.com/?tid=cmD_t0gBVk5RGKRgAjfeRhUg2&fid=flinbox

  2. I’m following along with interest, because I need this. I’m a total introvert, and transplanting to a new city was HARD. (It’s been 11 years. I still know no one outside of my church.) Last year my best friend/pastor’s wife had the audacity to move hundreds of miles away just because God called them. I’ve been a bit at loose ends since then, and while I have a handful of other friends it has made me realize how much I need to focus on friendships, and how much I need to find a way to move out of my circle of church friends and connect in the community.

    What would be hardest for me? I think the 7 original social outings. I have no idea how I’d even begin to do that. Well, and the play dates because generally when your kids are 10 and 13 they frown on you hanging around and arranging play dates.

    Anyhow, I am inspired to adapt this list for my introverted self!

  3. I wanna be your friend! So glad to meet you through #write31days. I am reading your words with expectation and I’m cheering you on from Missouri! Your voice on the screen is powerful and makes me smile. My fav line: “…the spirit is willing, the flesh is weak and the kids are legalistic…” Love it!

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