FRIENDS - Part 1
I love Thanksgiving!
I will always remember our first Thanksgiving in 2006. We had just moved from Sydney, Australia to Newport, California, and everything was very new, including grocery shopping. I had just filled two carts full of groceries and loaded everything into the back of our SUV. I then jumped in the driver’s seat only to realize, it wasn’t my vehicle! I had loaded two carts full of groceries into someone else’s SUV! I had actually parked just behind so I quickly began transferring the bags, before anyone could notice. I’m not entirely sure why my keys unlocked someone else’s vehicle, but I was certainly relieved to be finally on my way!
Thanksgiving that year was a memorable day for many different reasons. I was still trying to work out the oven. I wasn’t aware it was also a big football day. Oh, and I didn’t know it would be really helpful to have lots of appetizers available so people could graze and enjoy the whole day. The afternoon was becoming long as I realized I had not set the oven correctly and the turkey was still not cooked. I am so grateful for friends who weren’t mad or sad about what went wrong. In fact, they helped me see the funny side of having no clue about what I was doing.
The lovely thing about that day was the people who came. We didn’t have any family so the friends who joined us that day, became just like family to us. Many years later, some of the same friends still join us for Thanksgiving. I figured out by the following year how to have the turkey cooked in time, and to have the football on. Oh, and yes, I always have lots of appetizers ready for an all-day graze.
The truth is, we can’t choose our family. We love them, but we don’t always like all of them. I’m just saying what I know you might be thinking! The wonderful thing about good friends is that they become like family of choice.
Over the next few weeks, I am going to share some thoughts about relationships and how to develop healthy circles on connection.
The most important relationship we can have is with God. I remember learning at Sunday school when I was five years old, that Jesus was my best friend. He still is! Thank goodness I learned that early in life, as once my school years progressed, it became increasingly more evident that not every friend stays a friend.
Some friends are in our lives for a season, and some are there forever. The good news is that we can always look forward to some of the best relationships in the future. Even if friendship is painful in one season, you can be sure it has the possibility of being wonderful in the next.
Boundary circles are very important to establish, if we want to develop healthy relationships. My husband, Jonathan and I have used these circles to help our kids navigate their relationships with family and friends. When you think about your relationships, you might have five circles, or ten circles. It’s your life, so you go ahead and draw your circles.
Ours look like this…
- God [at the very center]
- Me and my spouse
- My kids
- My closest family & closest friends
- My family & friends
- My associates
- My enemies
Yes! The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that we have a place to put our enemies. They are usually taking up head and heart space, so we might as well place them somewhere that is Biblical and makes sense. Jesus said we should love our enemies. He said we should pray for them and do good to them. Easier said than done, right? Why would Jesus ask us to do something so difficult? I believe it is because it provides us with a perfect opportunity, each and every time, to become like Him. And, isn’t that the goal? Yes, it is.