The Friendship Project, Day 9: Update and Shalom Steps

So, funny story.  Since my laptop broke last week  I haven’t been able to write during the day. Everyday, I have to wait for my husband to get home so I can use his laptop and last night when he came home I was DEAD ON MY FEET.  So he got home around 7, and I went to bed but set my alarm so it could wake me up at 10pm so that I could write yesterday’s post in time to count for the challenge.  I guess my body wasn’t having it because I just woke up at 5am and realized 1: I really needed a full night’s sleep and 2: I missed a day. (ugh!!!)  But that’s ok, yesterday’s post was all about grace so I’m going to extend it to myself.

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Here’s the Past Week of Friendship Project posts in case you missed out:

Day 1: Introduction

Day 2: The Plan

Day 3: The Vow of Stability Part. 1

Day 4: Shalom Steps from My Sick Bed

Day 5: The Vow of Stability Part. 2

Day 6: Books guiding the series

Day 7: GRACE for making new friends

Day 8: (uhhhhhh…let’s call that day, practing GRACE, since I didn’t right. m’kay?)

Fridays I want to do a weekly update of my Friendship Progress and share one Shalom Step I’m making to help me stay open, say yes, and make new friends in this new city.

Number of Original Social Outings:

Since this is my first full week of the project I can get away with counting the old standbys: lunch and coffee.  So here’s how I did last week:

coffee date: 1
brunch: 1
lunch:1
(and yes, I counted  brunch and lunch as two separate outings…time of day, y’all, it’s all contingent on time of day!)
PTA meeting: 1 (not specifically a one on one situation, but I was there. I spoke to women.  I ate their their Musketeers.  We’re on the road to best friendship, for sure.)

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On the deck for outings this week:
Nadia Bolz Weber’s Book Signing in L.A.
Sunday Dinner (we’re making red beans and rice together, which is totally different than having it made for you)
Thrift Store Shopping
Road Trip to A Conference (!!!!)

I think I’m going to slay this goal of seven, I might need to up it to 15, which would leave 8 more to plan.  

Book additions to help guide the series:

“Women are Scary” by Melanie Dale

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“Accidental Saints” by Nadia Bolz- Weber (I’ve read this and like I said, I’m going to Nadia’s book signing here in LA this Saturday with a friend- but initially I didn’t count it as a book on friendships, but going back and re-listening to it, it ABSOLUTELY falls under the “how to love people well” umbrella”)

ACcover

Current Friend-Targeting

(These are stories of women who I met in the last week that I want to get to know better. Names will be changed to protect their identity so I can target away!!! Oh there’s just so much I love about that last sentence!)

Yesterday, there was a knock at my door. When I answered my son, a little boy, and his mom met me.
The boy introduced himself.  They are a new family to my complex- just under a week and they moved in RIGHT NEXT DOOR to us.  Like, we literally share a wall.  I knew the apartment next door was under renovation, but I didn’t expect someone to move in so soon.

My son vouched for him,  “Yeah, mom, he’s really cool!  He’s allergic to cats so we can’t let Broadway touch him, but I want to show him my room, can I?”

“Sure! I guess, if that’s ok with his mom?”  I said awkwardly.

His mom nodded and they rushed in. From the hallway, I could hear my son say, “Sorry, my room’s a mess!” (which is an UNDERSTATEMENT, but I’ll let it go, 9 year old boys have a terrible standard for room cleanliness).

But this is the best part, the little boy said, “Then why don’t we clean it together?”

I nearly asked the mom if we could trade kids. I decided to settle for best friend, who comes over to play Wii and occasionally teaches my son the finer points of housekeeping.  Then they can go off to college together and their dorm room will be the pride of the residence hall!  I’ll get emails from the RA and President of the school and lovely college  girls who are falling for our boys, all congratulating me for raising such a  clean and upstanding young man. I’ll pull a fake humble like Jackie Florrick and all will be right in my world.

So, the new mom comes in and I’m like, “Sorry, I moped today but I totally neglected my kitchen”.  She was so sweet and ignored the piles of dishes in my sink.  She curled up in our recliner and told me all about their move and her life.  It helped the awkwardness that I have a standard list of small talk openers like, “What do you love about your job?  We chatted for about 40 minutes and then she realized she needed to get to work- she’s a nurse.
So, all in all, I would say a very successful first friendship encounter.

Shalom Step:

Use them babies like a boss!

Kids are the great mediator for moms. They are easy conversation starters and if things every get awkward you can blame them for a quick get-a-way.  Kidding (not, really)!

Seriously, some of my best friends I’ve made though mom’s group.  Like my dear friend, Jen.

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She and I were in a mom’s bible study together.  In fact, one of her first visits was when our leader announced that I had my daughter and would love some meals.  Since she lived literally five minutes away from me, she offered to bring me something.  The next week I met her at group even though I was supposed to stay home for two weeks after having Trinity.

Sidebar: y’all, I needed OUT OF THAT APARTMENT!  I decided that Jesus would fully support me ignoring Dr. Spock, to go to small group.

So, rebellious and desperate, I met Jen at moms group when our little boys started playing together so perfectly and we looked up, saw each other new mom hovering and said, “Hi!  I’m this guy’s mom”.

We navigated small children mothering together- making dinner together, meeting up at Dunkin’ Donuts for a much needed afternoon break and then letting the kids run off all that sugar at the park down the street.  We’ve prayed through pregnancy hardships, helped each other pack for big moves, and laughed almost every single day. Best friends are the ones you remember by inside jokes and giggles.

So, my Shalom Step is to let my kids lead the way. Play-dates, PTA meetings, and impromptu coffee dates while the kiddos clean- I’ll stay open to them during the Friendship Project.  And if it doesn’t work out, we can always fake and allergic reaction and rush home.

Seeking Shalom with my Kiddos,

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