Tag Archive Friendships

ByEmily

Lonely But Not Alone

The older I get, the more I realize that by the world’s standards, I am a lonely person. See, I’ve never been like everyone else my age. Most women my age are graduating college, starting their dream jobs, hitting the club with their besties (of the moment), dating around trying to find the perfect guy, going on spur of the moment road trips, etc. Me? I am a 25 year old stay at home mother of 2, married to our church’s assistant pastor for 7 years now. And I love my life!

 

Lonely But Not Alone - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven - RaisingStickyHands.com

 

When it comes to friends, mine consist of fellow church members. When it comes to outings/events/dates, mine normally consists of grocery shopping and youth rallies. I used to have several people I thought were friends, but I quickly learned that in following the road God had for me, I wasn’t good enough to hang out with. I learned that when the lifestyle you live convicts the lifestyle lived by someone else, they are more than likely going to distance themselves from you.

 

Sometimes when I see other people with “normal” lives hanging out and having fun, going shopping together/having lunch/movie nights or whatever it may be, I find myself feeling a little sad. I’ll feel a small twinge of longing, thinking it would be nice to have a friendship like that. Then I remember one of my favorite quotes-

 

Don’t let comparison steal your joy!

 

I have to remind myself of that quite often. Especially when I remember that God has called me to be set apart. My 25 year old lifestyle is different for a reason. I’ve chosen to follow God’s path and that means He is my best friend! That is not to say that I can’t have friends or do this or do that. It just means that I have to be careful. I can’t act like everyone else or do what everyone else does. It means there are some places I can’t go. It means that I may not have a friend that I can confide every little detail with, except for God. Yet, I can lean on Him. I can depend on Him. I can know that when I choose to stand up for what is right, He’s still going to be there right beside me.

 

There’s another quote that I’ve also found to ring true that goes something like, “When it comes to friends, I’d rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies.” I’ve never been the most popular and to the world, being a Christian isn’t the most popular choice. That’s why I’m thankful that I am in the world, not of it. I know that despite how things are here on earth, I have much more to look forward to. And when I come to the end of my earthly days and see my God face to face, I don’t want to be known for how popular I was or how many friends I had. I want to be known for how many lives I pointed to Jesus.

 

The world sees me as a loser, simply because I am a Christian. The Lord sees me as His royal child, in a foreign land on my journey home. - Raising Sticky Hands To Heaven - Raisingstickyhands.com

 

Yes, there are times that I feel lonely, but that is a trick of the enemy. I am never alone! My God will never leave me nor forsake me. He is always there for me. I’m so glad that regardless of my not so normal 25 year old living, it might seem lonely, but I am never alone.

 

How about you? Do you ever feel lonely in your walk with God? As I said, it is only truly lonely by the world’s standards. Please know that you are never alone as long as you live for God. Not to mention, we at Sticky Hands are here for you, as well!! Can we pray for you in any way? We’d love for you to comment and please feel free to email me at emily@raisingstickyhands.com.

ByKaren

Forced Friendships

As a person who only has a very small handful of close friendships, I feel as if I can write about this subject from an insiders view.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a hard time making friends with people. My lifestyle just doesn’t quit mesh well with others. Growing up, I never got the invites that everyone else did, because I held standards that others did not. Everyone knew that I wasn’t the one to go ahead and do what I wasn’t supposed to do.

1206728_21045799Now, I cringe as I see my children going through the same thing. We raise our children with Godly standards. They know that they can’t do as others do. (Doesn’t mean that they are perfect or won’t try to do wrong, and I know that not all other kids are bad or do wrong.) They don’t get the invites that everyone else does. They struggle with making friends.

Essie recently was invited to a sleepover and it was her first one that did not include family. I was apprehensive at first, because she doesn’t know how to “play” well with others, on a normal level. Because of her ADHD, she can be more selfish than other kids her age. That’s just the way her mind works. I picked her up the next day, asked her how everything went, and she had fun. Of course I asked if she played with any of her classmates from dance, and she said no. I was disheartened at first, then she said, “Momma, there was one girl that played with me a lot.” I asked her what her name was and she didn’t remember, but knew that she had a lot of freckles! I was just glad that she found a new friend out of several that were in attendance!

1159995_79733938It’s hard to make her understand that just because she “knows” several people, doesn’t mean that she will have friendships with all of them. Some people just mesh well with others and are great friends from the first moment they meet. I have to remind her that she MUST be as polite as possible to everyone, whether they treat her the same way or not. She has a hard time with this concept.

My oldest, Josie, has a few friends that are more acquaintances. She eats lunch with them at school and such. However, when it comes to a true friendship, I believe she has 2. Her birthday party was a disappointment. We do not listen to secular music and because we wouldn’t play the junk that is popular today, most of the ones who came left and went to another party where the parents are more lenient. It was a hard lesson for her to learn, but she learned a big one about priorities and who will use you for what reason.

1159993_12104124My boys are pretty much the same way. They don’t really have anyone to claim as friends. It’s heartbreaking to hear your 12 year old son say, “Why don’t I ever get invited anywhere?” He literally has no one. He also has ADHD and had trouble when he was younger developing a friendship. He is not in sports and is more drawn to anything music/instruments related.

The “REAL” world is cruel. People look out for themselves and what they can gain from any given situation, and their children have learned these ways. It makes me glad that my children have honored the values that we have instilled in them. I just wish other parents would teach their children that “social status” and “popularity” is not everything. It often leads to a road of brokenness because you can’t always “Keep up with the Jones'”. I’d rather my children have 1 or 2 close friendships that mean something, than lots of fake friendships that destroy, compete, and tear you down.

If you are a parent, ask yourself “What type of child am I raising? Have I taught them the golden rule of treating others as they would like to be treated?” Or do you teach them, “An Eye for an Eye?”, or to look down on others who are not like them or share your beliefs?

ByKaren

You’ve Got A Friend In Me

There is nothing like a great friend to turn to, for whatever reason.  God has blessed me with a select few.  True friends are few and far between.  Loyalty, trustworthiness, a shoulder to cry on, or to have a good laugh, are just a few qualities that my friends and I share.

Angie is my long distant best friend.  Though she is on the other side of the nation, I know that I can call, text, e-mail, or message her for any reason at any time.  Whether I need to vent, tell her good news, need prayer for something, I know she is there. Angie is is always there for me, though she can’t be ‘here’, our hearts are with each other.

Lynn has been my best friend since childhood.  We don’t have to talk to each other everyday to know that our friendship is true.  We always pick up where we left off.  I am the Batman to her Robin. She is one of the strongest ladies that I have ever met.  She has gone through heart wrenching trials, (her 2 year old passed away suddenly, 6 years ago), and she still has her faith in God and knows that He is the One who carries her life in His hands.

My sister, Emily, is my constant.  We have to agree to disagree agreeably.  We spend the most time together.  I do feel the need to “mother” her at times instead of just standing back and being the “big sister”.  We know each other in and out.  Our likes and dislikes.  We can correct each other and not think anything about it.  I wouldn’t trade her for anything. She’s a keeper.

I am also blessed to have my mom.  I can vent to her and tell her anything that I need to and she will keep it with her.  She will pray about anything that I need prayer for or just listen if I need to talk.

My best friend of all, is my husband, David.  He is always there for me, no matter what.  He spoils me like crazy.  I am so undeserving. God truly blessed me when He gave David to me.

I pray that I can be as good of a friend to them as they are to me.  I also hope to gain close relationships with others and for God to give me the wisdom, loyalty, and words to speak to help others.

ByAngie

The Legend Of The Mug Rug

A little while back, I discovered a fun little blog. Inspiring, easy to relate to, informative, fun, and with a sewing theme! Seams Inspired quickly became one of my favorite blogs. Before long, Larri was here commenting on our posts, and just like that I had made a new friend.

One day, Larri posted a picture of her mug rug. It had little gnomes all over it and was just adorable! I commented on her post that I had never heard of a mug rug and that I loved the fabric… Next thing you know I’m being asked for my address so she could make me one of my own and send it to me.

My Mug Rug & My Favorite Mickey Mug

Now, let me explain to you how God was in this. Because as simple as it all seems to just accept a gift from a new friend this was really a lesson for me.

Recently, I was hurt deeply. I felt as though someone was trying to “buy” my friendship. It got to the point that with every gift I felt more obligated, and trust me the gifts were frequent. I eventually dreaded accepting anything, and the friendship ended for quite a few reasons.

After this, I felt awkward accepting anything from anyone. I felt pressured as though if someone gave me a gift, I owed them something more than a thank you or simple gift in return. Even a birthday gift from my husband made me feel as though I was in an emotional debt.

My new friend didn’t know anything about this. She just wanted to simply bless me with a little something to brighten my mornings. Why should I steal her blessing because of my lame attitude towards gifts that I simply needed to get over?

With prayer, I was able to trust God and email her my address. With even more prayer, I try to not feel indebted every time I see my mug rug. And through grace, I have found forgiveness from the Lord for taking for granted the fact that there are people out there who understand the true meaning of the gift God gives us in friendship, and want nothing more than that. The give and take, the pulling together, the caring, the laughs, and the tears. The good and the bad without criticism or judgement.

Just writing this post was one more step towards healing…

What about you? Have you ever had trouble with something so simple that you felt silly? Did you get past it?

God bless!

 

 

ByAngie

A “Simple” Calling: Breathing

Need help breathing? Turn to scripture...

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 150:6 NKJV

How often do you find yourself breathing? Yeah, that’s what I thought. All the time, right? At least I hope… 😉 But how can breathing be a calling? Well, remember how I’ve mentioned before about being the only Bible some may ever read? I’m talking about your every day actions. The things you do without even realizing it. The words that come out of your mouth. The way you come across to others. Being human…

Sure, we all slip up from time to time. I know I certainly do. But in every action, word, thought, & breath I must remember “I never know who is watching. I would hate to cause someone else to stumble. I must be careful, because I never know… I would rather my existence LEAD someone to the Father than to cause them to run away from him.”

The Bible tells us this:

13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men,  they may see your good works and  your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:13-16 NKJV

I need to be set apart. Different. Unique from the world. I have to take into account that if I act just like those who are not following Jesus, they will not see the appeal in following him. They won’t see that living the straight and narrow can bring on a happy life also… with many rewards. Hate the sin, love the sinner. Do good. Speak well. Be positive. Give all glory to God. These are phrases I tell myself to remind me.

When we start to “blend” and not let His light shine, we are causing harm to not only ourselves, but others. For example, our speech. What does it say about our heart if we are saying all the same things they are in the world?

34 Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.35 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.36But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment.37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Matthew 12:34-37 NKJV

Don't do this!!!

So basically, If I walk around saying the same things that those who do not follow Christ are, how am I any different? If my heart is the same as theirs, what do they see to make them want to follow Jesus? Not much! This is so important, and something that all should take into account. If we talk like them, act like them, think like them… WE ARE THEM. And by doing this, we are not only hurting them, but ourselves… and most importantly, the One who loves us more than anyone. God is not happy when we don’t do as he says. We should never intentionally give anyone any reason to tear us down.

“Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Matthew 7:6

Now, all that being said, we should not judge either. For that, I recommend reading the entire chapter of Matthew 7. SO important. Who wants to be a Christian when they are constantly condemned and preached at? Show LOVE! (And I certainly hope this blog post doesn’t come across as preachy either…)

Just follow your convictions, let your light shine, and do your best. Witness when possible. God will not only bless you, but also someone else!

 

ByAngie

Sticky Hands: Disciplining Mom

DISCIPLINE

2 obsolete:instruction
3: a field of study
4: training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character
5 a: control gained by enforcing obedience or order b: orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior c:self-control
6: a rule or system of rules governing conduct or activity
Yesterday, I took a Facebook survey of my friends to see what was the first word that came to their mind when they heard the word “Discipline“. Jimmy said “Marine“, which I found honorable. Kathleen said “Behaved” which I loved. Kara joked around and mentioned spanking, but said in all seriousness “Teach“. Love that one too! Susie brought up “Consequence“, which is something it seems we all seem to forget about sometimes before we do something, so I really enjoyed this one too. Our very own Emily came back with “Being in order and in line with how you know you’re supposed to be” Wow, huh? When I asked my “Sis” Michele she stated “Inner Strength“. Great one! My buddy Keith said “Focus“, which is so true, isn’t it? Christi said “Correction“, and honestly, I was surprised we got this far down the list without it. Not because it was what I was looking for, but because many associate those to words. Tasha made a good point with “Chaos … I know .. weird, but I guess because if you don’t discipline you have chaos.” She got that one right, didn’t she? Kelli stated “Parents“. Kristianna replied “Consistent“, Dawn “In Order“, and Robin “Biblical“. I love them all! Especially Jessica’s interpretation with “Love“…
What does the above word make you think of? Probably your children, right? We want them to grow up to be wise, well mannered, and well liked so we correct them and mold them all the while praying that God guide us and use us for His good as we raise the next generation.
But what about you, Mom? Who keeps you in line? Who molds you? Who corrects you? Who teaches you? What training has brought you to a place of self control and structure? A Mom without discipline herself would have a very difficult time disciplining her children, would she not? And think about it, how can you be a disciple without discipline?
I know, you want to say “Um, duh Angie. I control myself and with the help of The Lord I do all the others…” Yeah, okay, I know you know this stuff. But I mean I want you to stop and think REALLY hard about this. Read those questions again, one at a time, and ponder them for a moment.
  • Who keeps you in line? Is it you, your pastor, your spouse, and most importantly the Lord? Maybe with a little help from friends & family? If so, good!
  • Now, who molds you? Is it God and God alone? Sure we can be influenced by others, but I am talking about molding you. There was a time that my friends molded me, the ways of celebrities and what I thought I should be instead of what God wanted me to be were how I was molded. Obviously, I had a lot of cracks and was very oddly shaped. (Not claiming to be perfect now, still a few defects there…)
  • Who is correcting and teaching you? A few months ago during the Summer, I woke up one morning and God started dealing with me to change some things in my life. The conviction was so strong that I had to stop doing the morning dishes and just cry, which lead to a lot of prayer. It was as if He had taken a switch to my backside and I instantly realized my wrong doing and WHY it was wrong when I didn’t even see it before. You’d think I’d be angry, but no, I was more in love with my Savior than before. I was so glad that I finally let HIM correct me instead of the world. So refreshing!
  • What training have you received? Well, as Christians we read our Bibles, listen to sermons, and read books penned by anointed hands. All of these used as a combination are a great way to learn to walk the straight and narrow.
Discipline from God is a key part in living in His will. As my husband says, “You shouldn’t have the intestinal fortitude of licorice.” When we stand strong, firm, practicing self-control and willing to accept His correction we find that the path, while straight and narrow, becomes a lot clearer to see.
Now, PLEASE, share your answers if you are willing. Let us all encourage each other and lift one another up!
1 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid.2 A good man obtains favor from the Lord, But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.3 A man is not established by wickedness, But the root of the righteous cannot be moved. Proverbs 12:1-3 NKJV
ByAngie

Living Your Legacy: Walking The Walk And Talking The Talk

It’s really easy to get an idea of what we would LIKE for our legacy to be. Living that legacy, well, that can be another story, right? Just like everything else in parenting, easier said than done.

So how can we set those examples before our children and others?

Well, first of all, we must strive daily to NOT be a “Do as I say, not as I do” parent. Telling our children to live one way while we live another is obviously not the way to achieve a Godly legacy.

Second, if we want our children to grow up and have meaningful relationships we must show them that by our example also. Being a true friend, a loving wife, a good daughter, etc are all ways for them to learn how to interact with others on their own. If we talk trash behind others backs, hold grudges, allow our husbands to put us down or abuse us emotionally or physically, disrespect our husbands, and argue consistently with our families then our children will believe that these actions are acceptable. Plain and simple. When your kids are grown and they shine in their relationships, I guarantee someone is going to say “They must have had a really fantastic mother.” Seriously.

I have to remind myself of these things EVERY day. I am human, and sometimes I have to stop myself and say “Hey! Don’t be a hypocrite! Little eyes are watching you, as are those of others who expect you to be what you say, a Christian. Shape up!”

Thankfully, with diligent prayer and discipline, we can do our best and bring up our children to know the Lord and live his ways… I’m going to try my hardest. Will you?

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

 

ByDiania

If We All Pull Together

How many of you remember that little song with the big meaning from your childhood, the one that only had a few repeated choruses about pulling together and how happy we’d be? I think we learn more from our younger years then we even realize, we take little songs and apply them to simple little things without having thought about that little tune since childhood.

Pulling together is the very importance of Christianity, getting the impossible done when it almost seems impossible, raising funds for children you will never meet, but knowing they will be blessed from something you and a handful of others felt led to do.

Pulling together somehow keeps the joy in your heart, the smile on your face and the skip in your walk. Age holds no barrier to helping, God can and will use any one who applies for the job. You just have to be willing. No paper work or application necessary, and you get full benefits with a vacation package your sure to be happy with when you reach paradise…

Today I watched everyone pull together, the job got done and I thank God for letting me be a part of such a wonderful group of Christians, SO IF WE ALL PULL TOGETHER, TOGETHER, TOGETHER, IF WE ALL PULL TOGETHER THE HAPPIER WE’LL BE……

 

 

ByKaren

Be The Better Person!

Sometimes you can hold your head up for so long before the weight becomes too much to bare. You can put up a strong front and pretend that nothing bothers you. Then, when something happens or is said, that glass comes shattering down around you.

Ever feel like you have one of these in your back? Instead of stabbing them back, show love and pray!

It’s a simple fact that everyone you love is not going to love you back. Some will love you unconditionally, while others down you like a dog. They will put the knife in your back and twist it a few time to make sure it hurts. Then they will come and pour salt into your open wound. When in actuality, they are not happy with themselves or their circumstances, therefore, they will make sure that no one else is happy either. Whether they are jealous over a certain situation, over your family relationship, over your friendship with someone, anything in general, or just want to be the top dog with everyone, we have to continue to love and pray for those who despitefully use us.

So go ahead and love and pray, it will eventually get easier to handle if it doesn’t change. Be the better person and go on with your life. You can’t make someone else enjoy theirs.

ByKaren

Are You An Encourager Or A Murderer?

Just think about it for a minute. A friend comes to you who is down in the dumps. Life has dealt them a bad hand or it could be something minor. How do you react to the situation?

Now, let me give you a different scenario:

You are driving by a mountain cliff, and you see someone standing of the very edge, and if they jumped, it would be a certain death. What would you do or say?

There are some out there who would say, “Jump!” They may even give them the extra push. And then there are those who help to reason things out. Who will speak rationally, to try to change the out come.

The power of Life and Death are in the tongue. How you choose to react and the words that you speak to someone, especially when they are going thru something, can mean life or death to that person. Whether it’s spiritually or physically.

So take thought and pray about what God would have you do or say. Encourage someone today, be a blesser, not a murderer.