The value of friends

This morning I got the rare event of hanging out with two friends.  With 8 kids between us you can imagine the chaos that can occur.  Of course, chaos did happen.  Still, for the three of us, we had what I classify as a first rate pool date in which we moms got to sit in the shade and chat while all our kids played quite well.

Sometimes I forget how much I need these times.  In chatting with my friends, I realized we all are exhausted and burned out and asking what in the world we are going to do with all our kids over the summer.  We shared stories of sibling rivalry that was driving us wild.  We laughed over our failures and encouraged one another in holding on.

While I didn’t leave there with all the secrets of making this week better than the last, I did leave with a lighter heart and a more realistic outlook.  I’m not super mom.  I’m not a perfect mom.  My kids aren’t perfect and it’s wrong for me to expect them to be.  But the biggest thing I left with is the sense that I’m not alone in the fight to raise godly, respectful, happy kids.  A lot of the time I feel that way and am overwhelmed at the challenges I feel are just mine.  Yet they aren’t.  They are the same struggles we all have, but if I’m not making time to be with friends I won’t see that.  Taking time to build and maintain those friendships where iron sharpens iron (Prov 27:17), where failures can be put into perspective (and laughed at) and hope can fuel the next round of sibling rivalry is worth its weight in gold.

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