Saturday, October 8, 2011

When Life Comes Full Circle, Part 2

That wonderful neighbor who showed up was Allison. (My neighbor, Lee, also brought me a meal....she was my hilariously funny neighbor who treated my kids like her grandkids)

Allison invited me to her MOPS group. To make a long story short (unlike the start of this post....LOL), Allison continued to invite me to events. One day, she invited me to swim at Melissa's house (who also was a part of MOPS but I did not know her well). I immediately clicked with both of them. A couple of years later, our husbands all bought us plane tickets to Chicago for a girls trip for Mothers Day....and that is where Dana came into the picture. That is the short version of how we all became friends.

Before meeting these girls, I truly did not know how to be a good friend. I have always had friends, but I did not really know how to be a good friend.
To look at my life now, this makes me laugh....but I remember one New Years Eve, Allison told me my goal for the year should be to host a playdate at my house (in context, it was not rude). Being a young mom, with a limited budget and zero ability to cook, I was nervous....I had the youngest child of the group, so I had no fun toys for older kids. Allison had such cool toys that we always ended up at her house. She just has the fun house, in general...she is just a fun mom and has such a great set up for kids!

Melissa would invite me over about once a week. We would joke that we would solve all of the worlds problems in an afternoon. She makes the only delicious latte I've ever had. And what always impressed me about her was she kept toys and baby gear that her girls had outgrown....just for other people. So my baby at any given time could get a nap while at her house. That was a small thing that was hugely helpful to me! Mel always dresses her girls so adorable.....and what a blessing she was to me to give me all of the clothes her girls had outgrown.

Dana works as a L&D nurse, so most of my time spent with her was at girls nights...and on the phone asking every annoying pregnancy question possible. Dana is such a generous person. She gave me about $1000+ worth of maternity clothes when I got pregnant with Luke. You cannot imagine how much of a blessing it is to get stylish, brand name maternity clothes for your third baby.

I could go on and on about how much I love these friends of mine! These girls truthfully taught me how to be a friend. They reached out to me, befriended me, and invited me into their lives. Looking back, it was a pretty one-sided relationship. They gave and gave to me. I did not intend to be such a "taker", but that is really what I needed in that season of life.

I have now entered a new season of life. I no longer need to be the taker. I can be the giver. I, now, am the one with older children. I may not have all the cool toys, but I have enough. My cooking skills have improved. And my confidence level is drastically higher because I have seen the difference it makes in the life of someone to just be a good friend. Each time they'd invite me into their lives, I would observe areas I was weak grow and become more confident. It really helped and eventually I developed my own style.

It is not always easy to approach a mom at the park or at the library, but I can honestly say that it is so worth it. You never know the difference an invitation can make. As a struggling new mom, these friendships literally changed my life.

I love having moms over to my house. I enjoy reaching out to someone who looks like they're new and inviting them into my circle. I love meeting new friends and seeing new perspectives on life.

Had Allison, Mel, and Dana not been a part of my life, I don't know that I would be so bold in approaching new friends. I am so so so thankful for the mark they've made on my life.

I cannot wait to talk non-stop for 48 hours next weekend!!!!!!!!!!!

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