Hello. I grew up traveling the world as a military brat. I ultimately felt God's pull to Oklahoma Christian University where I met my husband. We now have 3 beautiful children and have settled in Mustang, Oklahoma.I am a homeschooling mom and with 3 kiddos it is a full time job! I am daily encouraged by God's great patience and grace in my life. In my free time I enjoy reading and crafting.
Have you ever noticed how we search for common ground when we’re talking to people? A mother at the park engages you in a conversation about your child because they too have a daredevil. An elderly gentleman in the grocery store chuckles as you juggle three children and reminisces about his last visit with his grandchildren. A neighbor strikes up a conversation about the neighborhood park. We are comfortable with others when we can find something shared.
Making & Maintaining Friendships
Obviously, shared experiences are important to a friendship. I’d even venture to say that shared experiences are a base for which many friendships are built upon. So why is it that we as mothers sometimes struggle to find or maintain friendships? With approximately 85.4 million other mothers in the United States alone, how could it be that maintaining a good solid friendship is so hard?
I’ll break down some of the obvious answers:
You’re constantly chasing after smaller, sometimes faster little people.
You had time for a shower sometime in the last 4 days, but not much else.
You’re trying to make time for the baby’s checkup, your 6 year old’s request for a game of battleship and the fact that your poor middle child still can’t count to 20 properly.
You’re taking up a lot of brain space trying to sort out the essential oil wars and the vaccine debate and so many other qualifications that might label you as a “good” mother.
You can’t quite remember why you started this list so you’ll put it on the once organized cork board with your 50 other lists.
It becomes apparent that as mothers we have a lot going on!
How much easier is it to log onto Facebook and take a quick cruise through your news feed to see what everyone is up to than it is to actually send a text or make a call? I’ll tell you one thing that I see; Facebook doesn’t mind interruptions. Did the baby have a super explosion that requires a full change of clothing, bed sheets and a bath? Did you spot your son in the backyard tossing a chicken in the air to see if it could fly? Is your 4 year old yelling “Can someone come wipe me?!?” at the top of her lungs? Facebook. Doesn’t. Care. Facebook will wait while you change the baby and start the laundry. Facebook will wait while you have a heart to heart about treating God’s creatures with respect. Facebook will wait while you scour a tiny bottom.
You want to know something else I’ve learned through my long journey of struggling to be a good friend?
A good friend doesn’t care.
A good friend will stay on the line and laugh with you as you change and bathe a poo covered baby.
A good friend will agree to a return call when you need to have a heart to heart.
A good friend won’t mind being set on a counter listening to bathroom noises.
The Do’s & Don’ts of Maintaining Friendships
One thing we have to stop doing as mothers is we have to stop telling ourselves that we are too busy to do something that is good for us.
We DO have 20 minutes for a quick chat with a friend. Our kids need to learn patience and respect anyway.
We DO have 30 seconds to shoot off a “how is your week going” text to a friend. Do it while the oatmeal is cooking.
We DO have time to grab a coffee sometime in the next two weeks. It’s only $4 and an hour or two. Daddy, Grandma or a teen from church can handle the munchkins.
Mommas, we have to quit denying ourselves the friendships that can help strengthen us as women and mothers.
We have to quit denying old friends of our time.
Log off of Facebook and make that call.
Make the baby’s appointment and then send a quick text.
If nothing else, write down the people you’re thinking of throughout the day and then send an email or a private Facebook message when you finally get around to it at 11:30 at night.
There are never too many times to let someone know you care.
God knows the longings of our hearts. It doesn’t matter if you’re the type of person who loves to have a huge group of friends or if you prefer a handful of close friends. God knows. He has placed these people in your life for a reason. He wants you to foster a deep and loving connection with other children of God.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Do you find that you struggle to keep up with friends since becoming a mother?
How do you keep up a strong bond with friends during the busy seasons of motherhood?
Toni was born and raised in a small town in Oklahoma.She graduated from East Central University with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics.After college, she returned to her hometown to marry her best friend, Charles.Toni is a stay at home mom to their three teens, two boys and a girl, whom God led them to homeschool.Her goal is to raise her children to love and serve the Lord.They live on a farm where they grow produce to sell at several farmers markets.She also plays the piano at church and teaches piano.
BLACK FRIDAY! Those two words either bring fear or joy to your heart. You are either one of them or one of them. Everyone has a strong opinion on it one way or the other. There is no in-between.
I love Black Friday! Some of you may think I’m crazy. I may be, but I love it. There is just something about getting out early and braving the weather and the lines to get that incredible deal. I am a bargain shopper! I also love the rush of getting in the crowds and trying to get that last box of Legos for $10.00 or that new digital camera for $50.00. Several years ago, I got up at 3:00 a.m. to drive 30 miles to stand in line to get a dual portable DVD player for our van. (Yes, I know I’m showing my age because nobody buys those things anymore.) Three in the morning is nothing now. We get going at midnight!
Well, we actually get started before midnight. This exciting event now takes place at my sister-in-law’s house. Thanksgiving is spent there in Tulsa, almost three hours away from where we live. We awaken early Thanksgiving morning and travel to their house. As all of our families have grown, it has been wonderful to have to add so many tables. I know that is the true meaning of this holiday: to be thankful for what God has given us and to be with loved ones–but we all love Black Friday!
After our incredible meal, the “girls” all sit around the table with the newspaper. This is a sight to behold. I am not going to give away all of our secrets, but I will share an overview of what transpires. Needless to say, we are very organized. We start with the first ad, circle what we want with bright markers and initial it, then pass it around the table. When everyone has finished, we go through and put them in order of store opening times. Then we check for duplicate items and find the best prices and make our list. We then make sure we have our shirts ready or make our new ones. Yes, we print up matching shirts for all of us! We don’t make new ones every year. We’ve even had strangers stop us and even take pictures with us in our shirts.
Most recent T-shirts
Back side of T-shirt
We try to take a nap! This does not always happen–most of the time it doesn’t. Okay, that may be wishful thinking. But, we do try to get things ready. There have always been four of us. This consists of my sister-in-law, niece, niece’s husband, and me. The niece’s husband is a 300+ pound former college football linebacker (you should see him in a bright pink shirt) so he is there for “protection” – and comedy relief. The last couple of years, we have started adding to our group. My sister-in-law’s granddaughter (She is not my great-niece because I am not that old. Only old people are “great” whatevers.) was allowed to go because she had turned sixteen. And now my daughter is counting down the years until she can go.
We all have our respective jobs! I am the “Bargain Hunter”. I search out the the items that we did not find quickly. I also pick up things for a friend who hates Black Friday shopping but wants some of the bargains. She even calls to check in with me to see how things are going. I will admit that Black Friday shopping is much easier with the invention of the cell phone. I often wonder what the increase in usage of cell phones is on that day.
We have a great time! We go from store to store. We also make several pit stops. I do not know if you have a Quik Trip where you live (I don’t), but I believe that it is the best place while Black Friday shopping. They have giant drinks, the best hot snacks (regular or breakfast), and of course clean restrooms (women’s and men’s, and women do go to the men’s when no one is around). I also get very “punchy” when I get tired. Around two or three in the morning, I start laughing at everything. This is where the nephew-in-law comes in. He starts with all the dumb jokes to see how much he can get me laughing. My favorite is still, “Two men walked into a bar; the third one ducked.” Think about that one. I also learned about YouTube from him. My favorite is “Dumb Ways To Die”. Apparently, this is an actual public service announcement from Australia. That makes it even funnier.
Sometimes we take a nap in the car! This we actually do. If there is a store that only one person needs something from, two go in and the rest of us take our nap. Somehow, we make it through the night and finish up by no later than 10:00 a.m. We then go home, take a nap, then go out for pizza. This is as good as Thanksgiving dinner. We go to a buffet. Yes, Thanksgiving dinner one day followed by pizza buffet the next day!
I missed this event last year. Our van broke down one hour from our house. By the time we got towed back home it was late. Our other vehicle had bad tires so it could not make the trip. My son’s car only seated four and we are a family of five. We were stuck at home with nothing but the desserts. Have you ever cooked a Thanksgiving dinner in two hours? I did, and it was actually good and completely gluten-free (my husband has a true gluten allergy).
I did take my kids shopping around 9:00 a.m. when my friend called to see how it was going. Of course, I got a lecture of why I did not call and tell her we were broke down and didn’t make it to Tulsa. They would have towed us home and we could have come over for dinner, etc. I had several of those offers and that overwhelmed me. My niece even called and said that it was not as much fun without me. My sister-in-law told me that they even discussed meeting me in Oklahoma City to do our shopping. Our nephew offered to come and try to fix our van. For Christmas, my niece gave me one of the gifts that we would always go to the mall for. She had picked up an extra one for me. We were truly missed! Of course, we did learn a lesson: when you miss Thanksgiving, they plot against you. That is another story for another post. I will get even with at least our nephew.
Our traditions have evolved over the years, but last year reminded me just how great my family and friends are. We get out in all the craziness, but we enjoy being together and being there for each other. I would not trade that part of our family for anything.
Do you have a Black Friday story to share?
What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving traditions?
FREE "Gifts from God" 5 Minute Devotional Ebook
It contains 10 devotionals with thoughts & prayer pages, Bible Journaling pages & Memory Verse Cards.
You have Successfully subscribed! Check your email for your encouraging Ebook.
You will be signed up to Creating a Great Day. We promise not to spam or sell your email. It's all about encouraging you!