A New Year: Thrive 1/5

a-new-year-thriveGod’s Blessing of Friendship

A friend loveth at all times. 

Proverbs 17:17 (KJV)

As 2016 is ending and 2017 beginning, I find myself thinking about friends. With social media so much a part of people’s lives, we sometimes forget to pick up the phone and call someone or even send a note of thanks or thinking of you.

Many of us have lifelong friends since childhood, college friends, and professionals we work with. Furthermore, we have neighbors. In today’s society we sometimes do not even know who lives in our neighborhood. Fortunately when our family moved to Temple, we found a wonderful neighborhood with one very special lady who lived next door to us—Beth Sheffield. She always had a smile for everyone, never met a stranger, and would go out of her way to help others. She exemplified how God wants us to treat one another.

As 2017 approaches, I hope I can be the friend to others as Beth was to me. Thirty-two years filled with precious memories of our times together encourage me to pay friendship forward. I encourage each of you to think about how you can be Christ’s example to others with kindness, love, encouragement, and time. Will you choose to be a Christ-like friend in 2017?

Dianne Arwood

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Mommy/Daughter Journaling

During one of my mommy chats with one of my best friends three years ago, we were discussing how to intentionally keep the communication lines open during the tween transition period. She mentioned she and her then tween son shared a journal. She indicated the journaling between them was proving very helpful to talk through life.

 

So, I began writing to my eldest daughter, then age 7, in our Mommy/Daughter Journal. While we have not been crazy consistent in our entries, I find the journal to be a go-to for difficult seasons. Safety is found in the paper. It allows us both to express ourselves freely and honestly. We can connect when face-to-face conversations are proving difficult. The process of writing allows our thoughts to percolate and words to be chosen carefully.

 

Fast-forward three years and I now have two tween females in the house. At the age of 8 and 10, my girls already have weighty topics pressing on their hearts and minds. In the few short years I have been journaling with my daughters, I have experienced an intimacy with them I can credit to this particular line of communication. As we approach the teenage years, I hope my daughters will look back at this journal and the words will prove my love for them even when they might not feel it. Truth be told, I will also likely visit its pages from time to time to remind myself we are all on the same team.

Let love and faithfulness never leave my children, but bind these twin virtues around their necks and write them on the tablet of their hearts. Proverbs 3:3