Loyal, deep friendships are hard to find.
But especially in the new mom season.
Simple conversations are a struggle as you meet the needs of a baby (maybe a baby and a toddler) and suffer from sleep-deprived-brain-mush. Then you throw in the insecurities of this new role. . .and you want to give up all together.
Awhile back, Libby (young mom to two under the age of two) emailed me. She vulnerably shared her friendship struggles. Then she boldly accepted my invitation to come on the podcast.
In this episode she shares her frustration with being the “inviter” and longing to be invited. She also asks for truth to help fight insecurities and negative self-talk. We also discuss the topic of how to develop meaningful friendships when you are caring for lots of little ones. Lastly we focus on practical ways to show hospitality to our neighbors. . . without worrying about what they think of us.
I also invited my four-boy-mom mentor, Leslie Johnson (SurseeGal) on the show. This is Leslie’s 3rd time as a guest (listen to her here and here).
Leslie has an amazing way of welcoming others into her life and home. In fact, it was a simple invite to her MomHeart group that began our friendship.
Since I’ve admired how Leslie fosters and develops friendships, she seemed the perfect mentor to answer Libby’s questions.
Like the last “That’s Me . . .” episode, the two interviews are spliced and edited together so that you hear Libby’s question then Leslie’s answer.
Praying Leslie’s wisdom will inspire you to be brave, “cast your net” (as she says) and grow friendships in 2016. I pray God will speak His Truth over you, whispering how valuable you are and how He longs for you to be in community with others.
Connect with Leslie Johnson:
Site :: Facebook :: Twitter :: Instagram :: Pinterest
What we chat about:
- What if you always reach out to others, but you need someone to invite you?
- What Scripture or help do you have when social insecurities creep up?
- Being a mom with two under two, how can I develop meaningful relationships?
- What is the best way to reach out to neighbors? How do I turn off the negative self-talk after taking the risk?
- Be honest with God. Cry out about your need and your desires.
- God can give you life-giving friendships. Have faith in that.
- We all need to spend time with the Lord (be creative in how)–God’s Word will tell you who you are.
- A great idea for keeping Scripture ready for when you need to hear Truth.
- Have your spouse or mentor remind you of truth.
- Invite people into what you’re already doing.
- The fabulous idea of hosting a regular creative night.
- In connecting with neighbors, look for opportunities and be available.
- Easy ideas for gathering neighbors together and inspiration to be brave.
Other topics we cover:
- God’s desire for us to live connected to Him and to others.
- How Jesus modeled life around the table and living with others.
- True friendship is built on regular communication (“popping in to someone’s life”).
- “Cast your net out” to see what new friendships God brings you.
- Balancing out your time between life-giving and life-taking friends.
- Find a mentor who will encourage and direct you and give life to you.
- Seeking God and asking Him to tell you who you are, where your worth comes from.
- “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13
- “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10
- “No Other God” study by Kelly Mitner
- Scripture for battling negative self-talk:
- Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
How to listen to the podcast:
1.Listen on the blog. Click through to GodCenteredMom.com and click the play button at the beginning of this post.
2. Listen on your smartphone, iPad or iPod Touch – There are a lot of great podcasting apps. Apple has a free one (that I mentioned) in the app store, there is also one called Downcast. It allows you to search for shows, subscribe to them and even speed up the audio. If you don’t have an iDevice, you can listen via Stitcher.
Libby thanks so much for being vulnerable and speaking on this podcast. I have two under two in a small military town (Hanford) and my husband works a lot too. I have the same negative self talk. This was so helpful to hear. Thank you!
Thank you for encouraging Libby. Will be praying for you as well. That His truth will fill your mind and guide you to some sweet, godly friendships.
This was such a timely podcast for me! I could relate to Libby and Leslie both. Specifically, negative self talk and struggling with being the one who always invites, rather than being the one invited. I look forward to making opportunities for new relationships and “casting my net out” in NEW areas.
yes! so thankful it spoke to you. and excited to hear about your “casting net out” stories!
Are you willing to share where Libby lives? If it’s in the Dallas area I am very much in need of a Godly, deep friend as well so please share my information with her!
you are sweet Kristin! I have let Libby know about all these comments. I don’t think she’s in the Dallas area. But will be in prayer for God to bring you godly, deep friends.
I identify so much with Libby. I crave authentic friendships. I have lived in the same area and have gone to the same church for 16 years. But my friendships have changed a lot because I was single, then married, then stay at home mom, now 2 kids and homeschool. When my kids were little I was in MOPS and I was a leader at the table and I made the best friends, but it was mostly in playdates. Then everyone’s kids started going to school and I chose to homeschool. Back to square one. I started going to a co-op, I joined the moms group at church that met during Awana and eventually I’ve had coffee dates on the off nights during that time to get to know friends one on one. This has been a process. And last summer I started a summer park group where we met at a different park every week. I have one friend that I do Bible study with and we made our own group on Facebook and we get together every quarter for dinner or walking. It takes time, effort and availability. I still feel lonely and I miss the days of college where I was around friends all the time, but I know God has me in this season and recently I met a younger mom who I’ve started to get to know and it’s been fun. Anyway, that’s my story. You are not the only one who feels this way!
thanks for encouraging Libby, Shonda. Appreciate you and your story!!!
I have to tell you that I have been listening a while, but this is my first comment! This episode hit me hard. We moved to Chattanooga about 6 years ago. I had a 14-month-old and almost immediately got pregnant with my second – knowing practically no one in the city. We just didn’t click with the people in our age group at church. I was throwing all the invitations out and constantly had no one respond. It was hurtful. And I was just SO exhausted during that time, it was hard to pursue friendships. It was hard to do anything except survive!
Libby, here is my lived-through advice.
1. From several dear bloggers, don’t do anything if it makes you yell or feel frantic. If that means you feel like you never leave the house, it’s OK. I am a stir-crazy person so I have to get out a good bit, but rushing around to leave always ends in us all being grumpy. So leave tons of time. Give yourself a whole lotta grace with two wee babies!
2. Join groups that plan playdates. I started with a Moms Club group when we first moved. They planned something almost every day of the week. I wasn’t expected to go to everything, but when I did, it was already planned for me and not at our house! I ended up in MOPS, which was wonderful – we met every other week with childcare, so that gave me a break, plus there were planned playdates and mom’s night outs.
3. Find a mentor who has been through it. God gave me an amazing mentor for about a year. When I needed it the most. And she PRAYED for me and another woman to connect and befriend one another. That woman she was praying for became my best friend. You pray, ask people to pray, and know that there is such power in prayer. I will pray for you!
4. Just keep putting yourself out there for friendship. Eventually, when I NEVER thought it would happen, some new people joined our church, which was going through a crazy time. A lot of people left, and so we were left with a whole new group of young parents. And these people I connected with. After almost five years here, I finally had friends to call on. It’s not been an easy journey, but totally worth the wait!
I hope the best for you and pray that you will feel peace and be able to call on some local women.
(My daughter’s name is also Libbie; maybe that’s what I felt so endeared to you!)
Thank you Jessie!!! What treasured advice!!! I have let Libby know you left this comment. God bless you!
I just recently discovered your podcast. I have listened to several of your podcasts and am hooked. I was listening to this one today when something really important caught my attention. I know this was 6 months ago but maybe it’s still worth noting – Libby said she lives in a community full of military families. I’m a military wife. My family literally stretches from the West Coast to the East Coast (where we currently live). We move often. We start over each time.
A little piece of insight into the military community. We desperately need friends but we’re used to people not wanting to be friends with us because we come and go. Not everyone wants to invest in friendships with us. Others don’t want to let new friends in once they have a safe circle because we’re used to the pain that comes from frequent good-byes. Our protective walls are not typical for civilians. Also, if I remember correctly, Libby said she recently left her family for the first time. We’re used to it. We understand it but some of us are slightly calloused and struggle to listen to frequent laments from others who have not had the experience of moving so often. Not an excuse but it’s a coping method. Bringing it back around, we WANT to be friends but it takes a little longer. You would think there would be a sense of urgency because our time is short but it’s not…for most of us anyways. Some women are quick to make friends everywhere. They’re rare. The rest of us are busy settling their families (quickly because time is short), working through their kids’ anxieties, busy in routines we have adapted to adjust to always being new and for many of us, we’re doing it withOUT our husbands home. I can’t tell you how often our husbands are sent off to training, deployments or other trips immediately following a move. It’s a bit daunting. For example, we have been at our current duty station 1 year and already prepping for our next (& maybe final move) that’s still 1.5 yrs. Since retirement (pt. 1) come after (or sooner depending on God), we’re also planning that season of life…with 2 littles under 5. Our reality is surreal to the average civilian looking in.
Please keep reaching out. Don’t stop. We need people like you in our lives. We’re not trying to be “slow” friends. I promise. It’s cultural. Not personal. We like you. We need you. We understand. We completely understand. In fact, we can be the best kind of friends you’re craving. We just need a little patience. In time, you’ll have a friend for life. We don’t let friends go easily…even after we have moved to the next duty station. I hope you have developed some new meaningful friendships in the past 6 months. If not, please find a military wife and don’t give up on her. Ask God how you can best serve her or connect with her in a way that shows her you are sincere in wanting to get to know her so you can “do” life with her for whatever amount of time she has near you.