Monday, May 12, 2014

Why Can't We Be Friends? #GuestPost {Mindful Mothering Mondays}

{Good morning, everyone! Once again it's Monday and over here the sun is shining and my baby actually slept all night in her own bed! But maybe where you are, it's raining and the kids woke up early and grumpy. I've been there and am saluting you with my coffee cup. Today, I'm opening up Mindful Mothering Mondays to welcome Mel, one of my dearest friends in the world, to talk to us about friendship. Oh, it's a good one. I'd love to hear from you, too, whether or not you have a blog. Every single Mama I've ever met has had something special and important to share. If you'd like to share with us on a Monday, shoot me an email at lydia j will at gmail dot com (no spaces). I'm so excited to hear from you! Have a lovely Monday and remember that no matter what it looks like from where you stand? We're all of us held, each moment, in His grace-filled hands. Without further ado, here's Mel!}

I remember when I was in high school and starting college I didn't think I'd be able to get together with all my friends at the same time. As a homeschooler I didn't have a clique that I belonged to or a large group of friends that all hung out together. Therefore, my friends were a smorgasbord of people. From the long haired, trench coat wearing guy I'd met while taking drivers education to my two preppy best friends that I spent most of my time with. From my converse wearing, 'Doors' fan girl friends, to my hilarious, fun loving  'Backstreet Boys' obsessed friend from church. None of my friends seemed to fit together. It didn't really matter at the time. Not being a huge "group" person and preferring more to spend time with people one-on-one, it worked well.

Shortly after my son was born I joined a local mom's group. A couple years in I was asked to be on the board. I nervously accepted. One of the things required of being a board member was to host one meeting during your year long term. When I found this out, I was mortified. There were 12 members on the board and I was the only one with a small house. At the time my husband and I had a rinky dink little trailer in a mobile home park. All these women had beautiful large homes with gorgeous kitchens, plush couches to sit on, and manicured lawns. I had couches that had been left in the home when we bought it, 1979 original carpet, and my single wide trailer. I ended up "hosting" at someone else's home in order to avoid the embarrassment I felt about the size and quality of our home. 

I started to feel like I couldn't be friends with these women. I felt like my life was a contradiction of all of theirs. I assumed that they probably looked down on me for living in a single wide. I so badly wanted to fit in, but there was no way we were going to be able to buy a house any time soon. 

Becoming a mom rocked my world as far as defining who I was. I suddenly became a lot of things I hadn't ever thought of before. I became a breastfeeder, a clother diaperer, an attachment parent, and a baby wearer. I wore these titles proudly around my neck and talked about them often because it made me feel really good to espouse my new baby oriented interests. "Here I am world! Look at all my awesome mom talents!"  

When I was talking to other moms I would instantly perk up if someone shared one of my mommy interests. On the flip side, if I realized that our views were vastly different on any number of topics it would either deter me or quickly turn me off completely. 

Somewhere along the line I had stopped accepting people who were different than me. If someone expressed an opinion that clashed with my convictions I figured we couldn't be good friends, or for that matter friends at all.

It got even worse than that. I started judging people based on what sorts of clothes they wore. If they dressed better than me, in my insecurity I told myself that they were superficial and cared too much about their appearance. If they dressed in clothes that I thought were trashy, I felt embarrassed to spend time with them. This is a really ugly thing to admit, but if I'm going to be honest it's true. 

That is when situations started cropping up where I found myself in smaller groups of people who were not exactly what I considered "friend material".  Uncomfortable conversations would come up, questions would be asked, opinions were expressed. I often felt like I didn't fit in. I felt like I was doing the wrong thing to devote time to these relationships. There were many times that I felt like quitting so that I didn't have to invest any more time in friendships that I didn't believe were going anywhere. That is when without warning I started to care about these people. When issues crept up and I needed someone to talk to, these friends that I didn't give proper credit to were some of the first people to support me. They were the ones who checked on me regularly to make sure that everything was ok. They were the ones to tell me it was ok when I'd had a hard day with my kids. They were the women who wrote me letters, called me, and brought me meals after having a baby. 

In the midst of my judgement these women were loving on me regardless of our differences. They were being the hands and feet of Jesus while I was casting stones.  

Being friends with someone doesn't have anything to do with how big their house is, what kind of car they drive, or whether they send their kids to public school, or homeschool their children. It doesn't matter if someone is introverted or boisterous, if they have one child or twelve, if they're liberal or conservative. It doesn't matter if they're a crunchy mom or if they never recycle one single thing their entire life. Some of my very best friends are people who I initially didn't think I had anything in common with; women I didn't want to give the time of day.

It is incredible how when you start to open up and allow people who are different in views and personality into your life how much you are taught. I've come to realize (and I'm certainly still learning), that the women who are the most different from me are the ones who stretch me the most. That is a very good thing. The tense feeling of stretching is not always comfortable, but the results of stretching on a regular basis are that you gain flexibility.

I am very blessed that I not only have friendships with women who do things similarly to me, but that I also have friendships with women who are extremely different from me. There has been a lot growth and maturing that has taken place as an adult and I'm sure it's not done yet. I look forward to God's refinement and stretching over and above what I used to think was possible. ​


Mel is a homeschooling Mama to 4 beautiful kids. When she's not taking walks (and lots of pictures!) with her beautiful blond brood, she's blogging over at Growing Roots.

For more excellent thoughts from Mel, check out
The Hard Truth
Don't Believe the Lies
A Neon Sign


{It's Mindful Mothering Mondays, a day to take a deep breath and write out your mothering journey, whatever form it takes. A day to link up for encouragement from others who are in this same phase of life. A day of writing out the trials and triumphs and what you're learning right where you are, right now.

You might post recent struggles or thoughts. Maybe just a picture or a quote. Or maybe you'll just come here and read the links that others post. Whatever form your participation takes, this is a day for you.
We are all in this, together. Together, we can encourage and build one another up, be honest with our shortcomings and strengthened by community to keep fighting the good fight.

I chose Mondays because what Mama doesn't need a little encouragement on a Monday? As such, I'll have the link up ready to go on Sunday night for you to begin submitting your links.

I hope you'll meet with me each Monday! Here's what to do ~

Link up your post below. Remember to put the link to the exact post you want to link, and not just your blog url. Include in your post a link back here so others who want to join in can find us! And visit some other Mamas who have linked up.

Post the community graphic within your post, so people who are reading your Mindful Mothering post can come back here and find the rest of us!

Invite the writers of your favorite blogs to join in!

Share this meme with others on facebook and twitter. This community is for all moms, and the more that participate, the more we will be able to enjoy!!}

Grab the graphic here:


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