Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Three Word Wednesday :: Friends for Life

Cate was making her 8th birthday party plans, including a list of who she wanted to invite. This was after I talked her out of having a second consecutive Frozen-themed party. Really, I like Anna and Elsa as much as the next momma who knows the whole soundtrack by heart, but, been there, done that. Let’s let it go …

Anyway, I was reading the list of her school friends and our church friends and the friends she’s known her whole little life because their mommas and I are friends and then paused. “Who's Alex?" I asked, genuinely having no idea how this little girl made it on my daughter’s party list.

“You know, my friend from preschool?" She said, seemingly baffled why I didn’t know that.

Um, yeah, the one we have seen once in the past three years. “Oh, I think we better stick with the friends we see regularly.”

And then I realized she’s just like me when it comes to friendships.

When I make a friend, I want to be friends for life. {Tweet that.}

I’ve learned the hard way that’s not always true. People move and change and get busy. We celebrate our birthdays with co-workers and then move onto different jobs. We have playdates with friends from preschool and then each family enrolls in different schools for kindergarten.

We date and break up and go to college and play sports and get married and start careers and plant churches and move again and have babies and take care of our homes and go on vacations and start businesses and mother our kids and help our closest friends through hard days and pursue dreams.

Sometimes friendships change simply because of circumstances.

Some friendships have surprise endings that break our hearts.

Some friendships weather the seasons of life and change with us.

Of course, there are times friendships are unhealthy and people need to part ways.

Some friendships can pick up where they left off – even with many days, months or even years between visits.

Sometimes friendships change because of logistics but we still miss what used to be.

My daughter, who is nearing the end of second grade, wanted to invite her preschool friends with whom we haven’t stayed in contact to her birthday party. I get that. I want to gather all my people from different times in my life together in one place.

That’s why my wedding reception will always be one of my favorite places. Of course, I’ve made friends since Greg and I tied the knot more than 12 years ago. So, I like Facebook because most everyone I’ve ever known is right there, sharing their dinner choices and their days. Like a virtual reception. My high school friends reminisce about how we’re old. My kids’ friends’ parents and I make connections. My church friends share needs. My college friends talk about how we wish we saw more of each other. My writing friends and I can brainstorm together and encourage one another regardless of where we live.

Just recently an old friend who was instrumental in me knowing Jesus sent me a Facebook message out of the blue. We haven’t spoken in years – probably more like a decade – but it was good to hear a brief update from him. “Just reflecting on my wonderful childhood and high school years. So glad to have formed a friendship with you! … Christ is still my center, even in the industry I work in. Funny how God puts us in unique environments to serve His purpose.”

That speaks so much to friendship, which exists in the present but encompasses so much of the past. And like my friend’s perspective on his job, God puts friends in our lives to serve his purpose. Sometimes that means the timing isn’t what we would prefer, but we can reminisce knowing good was done. Friends are part of the stories of our lives. {Tweet that.}

I recently read a couple posts by writing friends that prompted me to think about friendships in my lives. Read what Holley Gerth had to say about three different kinds of friends and how Mary Carver reflects on how not all friends are forever.

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."


  1. Sarah Knepper4/01/2015 6:06 AM

    So very true Kristin! All of your points about different friends and time are similar to my experiences. That is why social media ca be used for good!

  2. Isn't it funny how they remember the significant details at a time when we as parents don't? I teach Philosophy to my Freshman class at our Homeschool CC Program and one of the first things that we discuss focuses on why adults lose the art of wonder and children seem to be more able to adapt themselves to things that maybe just 'aren't the way it should be done', unlike perhaps.. me. :)
    I have had those same discussions about who we should invite or call, based on whether we have anything in common, have seen them, or unfortunately, past experience. I am like you, Kristin, if you are my friend then ... well... you are stuck for life with that title and I have never understood the distance thing, till now.
    I still don't like it.
    However, what I do know, is that God is good, good, good, and He makes a way for us to function in our limited understanding of all of this and He also redeems the years of the locusts in our lives. These stories, you are right, are a part of who we are and the people in them are a part of who we have become becasue if we are following Christ, we are trusting He is filtering our life and those people who are in it for a season or for the long-haul, they are also of His handiwork. :)

    I hope her party was a blast!

  3. I have moved a few times in my life and sadly lost touch with many friends. Facebook has been wonderful about reconnecting and catching up with so many people I would probably never get to talk to again. I really is "like a virtual reception." Love that :)!

  4. KristinHillTaylor4/01/2015 7:40 AM

    Social media for the win! I'm glad blogging made us friends, Candace!

  5. KristinHillTaylor4/01/2015 7:43 AM

    Oh, well, the rest of the story is her birthday is still a month away. My girl is a planner like me. :) And I love your family does CC. My kids go to a small, classical Christian school but I have some homeschooling CC friends. Thank you for your comment, Dawn, and for reminding me we're all God's handiwork.

  6. KristinHillTaylor4/01/2015 7:44 AM

    I'm glad you get it, Sarah! Thanks for being here!

  7. This is so good, Kristin. I think you may have me reflecting now on the different friendships I've had in my life. Really, really enjoyed this. Love U. xoxo

  8. Jennifer Jackson Linck4/01/2015 9:37 AM

    I love this! I am SO much like you. I hate when a friendship ends, especially if I'm not sure why. But I am so thankful that I fall into this group "My writing friends and I can brainstorm together and encourage one another regardless of where we live."
    I can't wait to meet in real life come August. Great post today!

  9. Your opening paragraph made me chuckle.:) What a gift friendships are- thankful for yours!

  10. I'm a keeper, too. And nothing would make me happier (in theory) than to gather up all my favorite people and put them in one room at the same time. Mark and I were just talking about this over the weekend. I ran into someone I had considered a true friend...who clearly just thought of me as a co-worker she was friendly with while we worked together. It hurts, no matter how much I know it's just part of life. But I'm working on appreciating seasons...slowly. :)

  11. KristinHillTaylor4/01/2015 1:46 PM

    Yeah, it's taken me a long time to begin to accept seasons ... and I'm still working on the appreciating, even though I know it's absolutely true. Glad to see you here, Mary, especially after you inspired me to think about this. :)

  12. KristinHillTaylor4/01/2015 1:48 PM

    I mean, Frozen is up there on my favorite Disney movies, but I was glad I could sweet talk my girl into another party idea. :) Oh, and, I didn't even reveal what we came up with - The Boxcar Children. It's different, but she has a ton of ideas, so we're going with it. And, hello, a book-themed party! I'm grateful for you too, Katie!

  13. KristinHillTaylor4/01/2015 1:49 PM

    So grateful to call you a friend and I'm also looking forward to that weekend in August! Glad you're here, Jennifer!

  14. KristinHillTaylor4/01/2015 1:49 PM

    Thanks, Beth! I'm glad you're my friend. Love you back. xoxo

  15. Ginger Harrington4/01/2015 8:31 PM

    I can so relate to this post. Our Christmas card list is HUGE because I can't seem to let go of friends I haven't seen in 25 years... Friendship is one of God's sweet, sweet blessings!

  16. Oh, I can relate to this so heavily right now. As a kid, I had an easy time of walking away from a friendship when things seemed off kilter. If we didn't see eye to eye or they didn't treat me nicely. But now...I've endured a lot with my friendships. I invest heavily and I want to keep those friends. Doing life together keeps me focused on being a better wife, a better mother, a better follower of Christ...and without those friends I'm not sure what I'd do.

    However, these past two years have taught me a lot about friendships. My expectations have been relatively high for some of those friends. Their idea of friendship and mine definitely didn't line up and there was some serious hurt involved.

    I am learning that boundaries are necessary for me. I cling tightly to my true friends and I treat them exactly the way I want to be treated. But if I find that our ideas just aren't the same, I make sure that I construct a little bit of a barrier so we can shake hands at arms length rather than embracing for the long haul.

    Does that make sense?

    Friends truly are part of the stories of our lives. They help us grow into who we are meant to become. Whether that be through the joy or through the teaching opportunity of an expectation gone wrong. Regardless, I am grateful for friends.

    Thank you for sharing, Kristin. I hope I conveyed what I meant to say. For some reason I'm just not sure I did. ;)

  17. KristinHillTaylor4/02/2015 7:39 AM

    I certainly understand have high (often too high) expectations for friends. Sometimes I depend on them too much to fill me up and then am disappointed when they don't. I'm the kind of person that makes plans and initiates much conversation, so sometimes I find myself wishing others would take the lead. God has shown me, though, that we're all made differently and don't always have the same desires for a shared relationship. Even rooted in truth, that's hard some times. But. you're right, I wouldn't be where I am without friendships of all degrees of intimacy, so praise God for these people. Thanks for sharing your heart here, Jennifer! xoxo

  18. KristinHillTaylor4/02/2015 7:40 AM

    Oh, yes, The Christmas List. Mine too. I never want to take anyone off of it. I finally did a few years ago, and it seemed really, really strange. Sweet blessings, indeed. I'm glad you're here, Ginger!

  19. KristinHillTaylor4/06/2015 11:02 AM

    I've been there too, Tiffany. It's a hard place to be, for sure. I'm so glad you feel welcomed here and show up faithfully. Grateful for your words today. xoxo