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(in)courage is a virtual living room where we build community, celebrate diversity, and become women of courage.

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  1. Yes!
    When my kids were younger, there was plenty of structured togetherness with other mums because we got our kids together to play (or later to “hang out.”) Now that my kids and their friends are driving their own vehicles, I don’t see their mums nearly as much, and I miss that time. So . . . I need to make a concerted effort to connect with my mum friends in some way. Thanks for putting your finger on this, Dawn. It’s an issue that’s been on the back burner long enough.

    • Yes, Michele! Sometimes we reach a stage in life (or in our kids’ lives) where this takes more work—it doesn’t just automatically happen—and sometimes we have to be the ones to make it happen.

  2. Dawn,
    Like Michele, I am not in a season where it’s as “easy” or “convenient” to connect with friends. Some of the natural forces that pull people together – like small children – are gone. I work from home and so I need to make more of an effort to keep the fires of friendship burning. It’s so easy to let that slide, but I don’t know where I would have been without my friends who have seen me through thick and thin. They are worthy of me continuing to make the effort to meet up and do life together. Thanks for the subtle nudge!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Bev, I hope you’re able to make this happen. I talked about this with a couple of moms at church this weekend and mentioned how fun it would be to get together and watch Moms’ Night Out. I was surprised by how excited they were at the idea! I hope you can work out some friend time soon!

  3. I can say I tend to keep to myself much but recently have thought I don’t have any one to call a close friend. Someone to call and have a long chat with. Working long hours and dealing with little kids’ attention daily have not helped. Glad for your message, I will make concious effort and I know God will bring the right persons my way.
    Ope

    • Ope,

      I pray God will send you a great friend! Might I suggest you try making friends with one person from church. Another suggestion is to join an organization & volunteer. You will meet wonderful people.

      (((((Hugs)))))

  4. Ouch! As I am on the back end of raising my kids, one 21 and one 13, my friendship level is low. It’s something I miss. It’s something I’ve tried to hold together. It’s something I am not sure will ever exist again. I push forward leaving my voice in the world every chance I get making small moment friendships.

    • Ashley, I know those small moment friendships are a blessing to you and to others. I hope you can make new friends based on shared interests now that your kids are getting older.

  5. Recently, one of my friends became upset with me because of a miscommunication. I have tried and tried to say I am sorry and that sometimes misunderstandings happen. Unfortunately, she has not let go and the friendship is broken. I pray for her and her family. Maybe one day we will be able to chat again and move past the hurt. Yes, friendship is special and worth the fight.

    • Melissa, I’m sorry for this misunderstanding and the friendship it’s cost you. I pray you and your friend can be reconciled.

  6. A couple of years ago my fellow artist, disciples, big sister and friend passed away. I miss her dearly. Reading this today felt like I was visiting with her over a cup of tea and we were having a discussion. Thank you for your timely reminder to fight for a friendship. I might just become her discipler.

    • Leslie, I’m sorry for the loss of your friend and pray you can reach out and begin a new friendship that blesses you in that way.

  7. A couple of years ago my fellow artist, discipler, big sister and friend passed away. I miss her dearly. Reading this today felt like I was visiting with her over a cup of tea and we were having a discussion. Thank you for your timely reminder to fight for a friendship. I might just become my new friend’s discipler.

    • Saying a prayer for you… that the happy memories will help carry you through the hard moments. He knows your pain and will hold you close… may you hear His heart beat…

  8. I love this – and it’s a great reminder for me in this season of being in a new phase of life … in a new location too. My long-distance friendships have been worth working for through every move, and whatever (WHOever!) God brings next in my friendship circle will be perfect, in HIS timing. Until then I’ll paint walls inside and walk and discover outside, and grow closer to Him!

  9. I remember when friendships were built around toddlers in the nursery, but that was a long time ago. After living in Houston, Texas for 25 years and then moving to Dallas as an empty nester several years ago, building friendships was literally a building process unlike high school, college and early parenting years. But it is so worth it. Friends are such a gift from God. I am still in that building process and enjoying the new people in my life!

  10. I think you should have friends but i do believe you will more often than not have only a couple of very close ones. I consider the ladies I pray for, do Pinterest with, and my blog followers friends, but we only know each other a little, and God knows us all very well, that’s why there will be friends and a few kindred spirits. Wouldn’t it be nice though for everyone to exercise their measure of faith walk in it, all in one accord?.

  11. Reading through many of these comments, I see myself in them. Friendship was something not really encouraged in my family of origin; I guess my parents were kind of insular people. But, now that my kids are older, I cherish my (very few, good) friends and want to feed and cherish these friendships.

    Thank you for this encouraging post today.

  12. Dearest Miss Dawn,

    I am in a season of my life (at 21 years of age) where I am realizing some friendships truly aren’t forever. Learning that people grow and head down different paths and having good discernment with who choose to spend your time with is so important… the word “friend” is so meaningful. I am also in a season of boundary setting along with nurturing and growing pre-existing relationships. (While making new acquaintances is always fun!) Thank you for such an encouraging post; I can definitely say that true friendships are worth fighting for. I pray your day, every day, is blessed.

    This side of Heaven,
    Summer Rae

    • Summer Rae, thank you for your comment! As I’ve told my children, you’ll find friends who share your faith make the strongest friendships. Your conversations can go deeper, less superficial, if you take them there. Friends can strongly influence our choices and behaviors, so you’re wise to use discernment in who you choose to spend time with. Blessings to you!

  13. Where do I begin… My heart is broken because a friend has walked away from me, completely ignoring me, really without explanation. She was a woman I went to Bible Study with, we took long walks to talk and went out for lunch often. She always said she would be there, would never get tired of me telling her about my childhood memories, no matter how many time I had to say it. I told her I was very afraid that one day “the ball would drop” and I feared that day. It has happened. We have not communicated for 3 weeks now (she doesn’t answer my calls or texts), she has not show up to Bible Study and now she has made up an irrational story about what happened and why we can’t be friends. I am heartbroken. I never opened up to anyone, never trusted anyone, never loved another woman…the way i trusted, cared about and loved her. This has opened up a gaping wound of abandonment from childhood memories. I really am having a hard time functioning in daily life over this whole situation. I started the book club, but, I must admit, due to anger, I put the book down.
    I know I need to learn to love myself and rely completely on God’s pure love. God will never fail me. But, right now, saying those words are so much easier than living them.
    Any advice appreciated…

    • I’m so sorry for you, Suzanne Stevens. My heart breaks with yours. I know your fear and it hurts if your fear comes true. Don’t give up dear. Ask God for good, true, pure friends. Where you can share your heart with and pray. Jesus doesn’t want you te be alone. He finds joy in relationships. Take heart and go further, step by step. You can do it!

      And I know you know, Jesus is the best friend you can have. 😉

      With love and blessings for you!
      Melanie

    • Oh, Suzanne, I am so sorry. I pray you feel Jesus’ presence and know that you are not alone, and that you and your friend will be reconciled.

  14. Some Friends I have had, I have tried to reach out to them, but no response! Neighbors we had when we lived in Hesperia CA only half hour away, they quit talking to us, I have reached out to them, no response! So When Is It We Stop Trying To Reach Out?

    • Glee, I am so sorry for these friends who don’t respond to you. Both you and they know that you tried to reach out to them; maybe they will come around. It sounds like you’ve moved to a new area; I pray you make new friends, both neighbors and others who share your interests.

  15. Thanks for sharing this,
    ……….Will you make the effort to maintain a friendship? To actively pursue it? It might be as simple as a timely text, a card in the mail, a phone call while running errands. Be the one to initiate a girls night out. Just don’t fail to express the simple but powerful message: I’m thinking of you.

    Some of you may be in a season where friendships seem scarce. Maybe you’re new to your area, tangled in toddlers, or working long hours outside the home. Maybe you’re self-sufficient and tend to keep to yourself. Even the most independent — and certainly the most isolated — among us need community.

    We worship a relational God who calls us to serve one another. He endows us with gifts — encouragement, hospitality, giving, wisdom — which can be expressed fully within the bonds of friendship.

    ……I will reach out intentionally.

  16. Dawn,

    Great encouraging post! I am one of those encouraging people. Love sending cards, texts, making meals, etc. I agree some friendships take extra work to keep in tact. I have a group of 5 ex-coworkers (women). We call ourselves the “final five” and meet once a month to keep in touch. There are times some can’t meet, but we do our best. We keep in touch via email, or texts and let each know what we’re going through!

    I am blessed to have a couple good friends who are there for me no matter what. When things went “haywire” with my aging dad could call one person and we would lament. She was also going through aging parent stuff. We prayed for each other. Such a blessing from God!

    Blessings 🙂