I’m an Imperfect Friend (and a Giveaway!)

February 4, 2013 in books,Give away,Hearts at Home,Perfectionism

This is the week where weJill Savage's books all go and buy a copy of Jill Savage’s book No More Perfect Moms. Buy it this week and get $100 in bonuses when you send in your receipt to NMPM (I’ll tell you how tomorrow). This week we join forces and get the book on the bestseller list and we tell the world we are sick of pin-perfect lives, of comparing our insides to others’ outsides and where we embrace our weaknesses because we know that is how God shines ( I got the book for free to be part of this launch team, but I believe in it enough to buy and give one-you can’t have mine!- to you, my favorite readers. Rafflecopter at the end of the post.)

I am excited about this week in theory. See, I promised myself that this week I would post more imperfect posts. Posts about real life. And even though, I desperately want you to be real and content with who you are, I worry that exposing my weaknesses will bring disdain and judgement. But I know how Satan uses fear to immobilize us and how until a deed is done fear and bravery must battle within. Now picture me up on a high dive, jumping and diving in….

We moved to Michigan 5 1/2 years ago. And I have struggled every day with friendship in this state. Michigan is a state of families. Everyone has a cabin up north or a family member with one. They have long traditions of attending the Cherry festival or camping in the UP 4 times a summer. They never travel more then 3 hours to visit family and they attend multiple family events each month. And they are so busy they rarely have time to get together. At least, this is how it feels. (We don’t have time either so this is all a pity party-logic doesn’t apply.)

Despite joining Bible Studies, starting moms groups, going to MOPS, I feel bad for myself because my phone rarely rings. Our families live fair away and visits are rare. Michigan has been a lonely place.

And I am a hard friend to have. If I call two times and you never call me back, I assume you don’t like me. If I connect with a mom, I dream about about just stopping by to say “hi” but convince myself I would be a nuisance. If a friend is a neat freak, I feel inadequate inviting her to my house, so I just don’t–no matter how gracious she is. I assume she won’t enjoy my picked-up but cluttered home. I struggle with rapid judging, where I assume too much based on looks or only partial knowledge of a situation. God is gracious, I should stop assuming friends won’t be. I should stop expecting perfection from them.

We all need friends. And a friend will never be exactly like us. Our husband can’t meet all our needs and he certainly won’t relate to all our emotions. Having friends means we are not alone and Satan can’t convince us otherwise. But friends will never be perfect. They will forget to call, cancel at the last minute, have bad manners, speak harshly because they are human. Like our other relationships, friendship requires grace, patience and effort. Not every person we meet will be a good friend. Some will be bad friends and some will stay forever in the acquaintance list no matter how often you see her.Β  But those bad friends can’t stop us from pursuing more friends.

I’ve grown weary of friend searching. But the truth is I’ve made a few good ones here–most who are completely different from me but still sweet. My pity is a failure to recognize what God has given me and invest in those relationships more. And my struggles, well, they are stopping me from making new friends and from going deeper with the ones I have.

 

I am tired of replaying the “Michigan is a lonely place”reel. In Jill’s book, she quotes Dear Abby and says there are two kinds of people: ones who walkΒ  into a room of strangers, and think, “Here I am.Come talk to me. Come make me feel comfortable.” And others whoΒ  walk into a room of strangers and look around and say, “There you are! You look interesting to get to know. Tell me about yourself.” I am praying to become the second. Will you join me?

Below is giveaway for Jill’s book. It ends on Thursday morning at 6am because if you don’t win, you need time to buy the book and get your extras.Β  Keep coming back this week for more imperfect posts.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Misty February 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Oh yes, being real is a bit scary. I truly believe it is the ONLY way we can change this world for Christ though! Praying for you as you dive deep! Love ya sis! (((hugs)))

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pruningprincesses February 6, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Thank you, Misty. ((Hug)) right back.

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Jamie February 4, 2013 at 1:14 pm

Beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing your heart! I often feel those same things and I so appreciate your encouragement to become that second person. God bless your journey!

(I came over from NMPM so I’m not entering your giveaway.) πŸ˜‰

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pruningprincesses February 6, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Thank you, Jamie. These NMPM reflections are challenging!

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April February 4, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Somehow you captured my exact feeling and thoughts! When I first moved to Saginaw, I longed for my friends from home. S L O W L Y, I became more involved in church, bible studies, and moms groups. Just when I was really starting to feel like I had those realtionships that I so desired (the ones based on a relationship with Jesus Christ) we moved. Now, I’m right back where I was 10 years ago. Even though I still have those friends, I feel now it’s like “out of sight, out of mind.” I’m once again longing for female relationships, because like you said, our husbands can’t meet all our needs.
Thank you once again for being real.
I might have mentioned that I’m reading another book right now (Hope For The Weary Mom) and once I am done with that book, I will be reading “No More Perfect Moms”. I plan on purchasing a copy, so if I happen to win your giveaway, I’ll be passing it on to another mom πŸ™‚

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Pam February 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm

What a wonderful post, Laura. I’m so glad you dove in. And, as always with such heart.

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Julie Moore February 4, 2013 at 4:31 pm

That book sounds so very good! I totally agree with her philosophy, too – let go of perfect…because it is not His idea of it, but ours. So freeing! πŸ™‚

I’m from Michigan, too, and a small town, no less, so I can totally understand how you feel. We can be very “to ourselves” and not want to let “outsiders” in…but it’s not because we don’t want to…it’s because we don’t know how. New things can be scary, and that includes people. πŸ™‚

When we moved here when I was a little girl (Yes, I grew up, went to college and then came back to my home town after living down state for awhile after we first got married), it took time to adjust and get into the group. It also took time for my hubby to make this place home after we moved North. It is a wonderful place to live, so beautiful and friendly…but you have to go after it in part. That’s hard for me, too (I’m a lot like you).

I really felt out of place when we lived down state until I realized, I’m a small town girl but I am not all that different. Everyone wants to be loved and accepted, and I just needed to show them me. Who I was was good enough…and if they didn’t agree, then I didn’t need them as a friend. Harsh maybe, but true. πŸ™‚ You know what, though? I made friends that mattered and anyone else, it was ok that we just tolerated each other. πŸ˜€ I think you know what I mean!

Have a great week!

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pruningprincesses February 6, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Julie, I had no idea we were almost neighbors! Are you the way up in the UP? I completely understand your friendship philosophy. We have to take risks in getting to know people, but not everyone will be a good friend. And sometimes we have to walk away from negative relationships. Thank you for connecting with me. Funny how a blog can make you feel less alone.

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Julie Moore February 6, 2013 at 1:29 pm

I know exactly what you mean! πŸ™‚ Blogs can be amazing that way!

I am not in the UP, but I’m about an hour and a 1/2 from the Bridge. I’m in the Northern Lower Pennisula – one of the most gorgeous parts of Michigan, I think. πŸ™‚ I didn’t know you were from Michigan either until reading this post. Crazy, right? πŸ™‚ You are the 2nd blogger I’ve met recently who lives in Michigan or grew up there and visits often! I think that’s just awesome.

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Alexa February 4, 2013 at 6:56 pm

I think that I expect so much from my friends – phone calls, cards, help with my kids when I’m feeling overwhelmed, whatever… yet, am I doing those things for them most of the time? NO. Cause we all get busy, yet why is it that I continue to think they should take time out for me? I too would like to be the second type of person. The book sounds great!

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pruningprincesses February 5, 2013 at 3:08 am

Hi Alexa, so nice to “meet” you. Friendships are hard and there are certainly seasons of life when I literally can only be a half friend, especially when the kiddos are little. Hold on to those friends and time will come when you can send cards, make phone calls. I too mourn the perfect friend (especially since I had one once, she was single, I had babies, she loved to serve me…it was too perfect!). But I am ready to start investing in others and not wait for them to invest in me first!

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Jenny February 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I would love to read this book!

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Christine February 4, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Wow, just found your site and am an instant fan. I have 3 girls 6 and under.

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pruningprincesses February 4, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Hi Christine, so glad to “meet” you. You have a busy life, full of giggles, screaming, hair accessories and fun. I love raising girls and if I can pray for you or answer any, “What did you do when…” questions, just let me know! How did you find my blog?

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Christine February 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm

It’s nice to “meet you too”. I found your blog through a friend on Facebook. Life is busy but I know God gave me a great job in these little ladies.

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Sarah February 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm

Thanks for having the courage to jump off the high dive and share from your heart. I love the contrast you shared from the book – the two different responses we can have when we walk into a room full of strangers. I too am soooo tired of replaying my “Norway is so lonely” reel (which my poor husband has to hear, complete with lots of tears, over and over again). πŸ™‚ And you know, I’ve found that the times when I’ve taken that second approach in a roomful of strangers (taking a deep breath and plunging into conversation with total strangers and showing interest in them despite halting language and feeling so out of place and beyond my comfort zone) are always so much more positive than when I take the first approach and wait for someone to come to me. It probably has a lot to do with taking the focus off of myself and reaching out to others who, regardless of whether they are a foreigner like me or born and bred and raised here, most likely are feeling just as insecure and longing to be seen as I am. Really good and challenging stuff! Can’t wait to start “No More Perfect Moms,” which I just bought on my kindle because I don’t want to wait for it to come in the mail! πŸ™‚ If I win the giveaway, I know just the friend that I will pass it on to. πŸ™‚

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pruningprincesses February 6, 2013 at 12:02 pm

Oh Sarah, you deserve an extra badge of courage for dealing with these issues in a foreign culture and language. My insecurities sometimes make it hard for me to take my eyes off myself. Let me know which chapter of the book you like the best (some of the chapters were not a challenge to me…yea! I think it’s because I don’t really struggle in that area!) I recently learned that you can loan books to people if they have Kindle’s too so maybe if you don’t win you can loan. Make sure you send the receipt to Moody to get the $100 of Bonus material (info in post for 2/5).

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joanna February 5, 2013 at 3:58 pm

I struggle too with all you ‘ve mentioned. Sometimes I wish I didn’t need others quite so much. Blessings to you.

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Kathy February 5, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Such a good post, Laura! I totally relate! What a great reminder of the grace needed in all relationships.

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pruningprincesses February 6, 2013 at 11:58 am

Hi Kathy, So nice to hear from you. Honestly, I am surprised you relate. I always imagine all my friends in Des Moines never feel lonely! Here I go again, making assumptions. Blessings to you and your family.

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Amber February 5, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Sounds like a great book…and one I need to read!! πŸ™‚

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Amy L. Sullivan February 6, 2013 at 2:32 am

Me? I struggle with feeling as if all balls must be kept in the air…

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pruningprincesses February 6, 2013 at 11:56 am

Maybe that is why your blog break will be a blessing! Hope you are enjoying the extra time.

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amanda February 6, 2013 at 11:50 pm

I’m not perfect and I never will be. That is until that wonderful day when I meet God face to face! I am so happy he has not given up on me!

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pruningprincesses February 7, 2013 at 12:09 pm

I’m not perfect and never will be either. So happy you haven’t given up on me! Love you dear.

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