Simple Sisters Series: Circles of Trust and Interests

In life, we are not called to be passive recipients of friendship, but actively engaged with each other in meaningful relationships. We were created for community living. No, it doesn't mean you're out here looking for a whole herd of new friends....all the Introverts can breathe again! I know!!! I am one. We don't need a whole bunch of people in the inner circle of our hearts...but we need some, where 2 or 3 are gathered, including Jesus. So, at least one human! 

I believe isolation is a trap of the enemy. We were created as parts of a whole...we need community. Within that community, there will be heart-shaped circles. There can be circles of interest and circles of trust.

Proverbs 27:17 says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." God invites us to explore the transformative potential of authentic Christian friendships. Imagine two swords being sharpened against each other. The process isn't always smooth or comfortable, but it's necessary for both to become more effective. We glean from rubbing up against one another, edifying the heart, mind and soul of the person in order to grow, allowing God to chisel, refine, love the other, with His love, through us as His trusted instrument. Cuz really, we are not growing to grow our own Kingdom...we are going to grow His Kingdom come!

Let's talk How To Create circles....

Wisdom and discernment are two ways we create healthy boundaries for circles to be created, and properly cared for. 

Circles of interest:
Things we have in common, such a Mom Life, Work or Ministry Life, Hobbies, Community Groups, etc. These circles can be any size. 

Circles of trust: 
Over the years, wisdom helped me create and cultivate inner circles for trust...the deeper the trust, the closer into the deeper part of my heart they could enter in to where the space is smaller, smaller because it needs greater care, energy, vulnerability, and trust. 

How many?!?
There's not an approved number of how many people can be in our closest space. I believe everyone will be different and every season will be different. Ultimately, it is the Lord who brings hearts together, so He will lead us to those Divinely led relationships in His timing, according to His perfect will for them, nd for us.

Real Christian friendships involve mutual growth. It is not selfish or self-seeking.So, how do we nurture these iron-sharpening friendships?

  1. Cultivate Vulnerability: Open your heart to trusted friends. Share your struggles, doubts, and victories. This vulnerability creates space for genuine connection and growth.
  2. Practice Active Listening: Really hear your friends. Listen not just to respond, but to understand. This deepens empathy and strengthens bonds.
  3. Offer Graceful Truth: When you see a friend straying from God's path, speak truth in love. It might be uncomfortable, but it's an act of genuine care.
  4. Encourage Spiritual Disciplines: Pray together, study Scripture together, serve together. These shared experiences deepen your friendship and your faith.
  5. Celebrate Growth: Rejoice in each other's spiritual victories, no matter how small. This fosters a positive environment for continued growth.
  6. Extend Grace: Remember, we're all works in progress. Be quick to forgive and slow to judge.
  7. Commit to Consistency: Deep friendships aren't built overnight. Regular, intentional time together is crucial.
Remember, the goal isn't perfection, but progress. As you sharpen each other, as His Instruments, you both become more effective tools in God's hands. It's also important to recognize that different friendships may serve different purposes in our lives. Some friends might challenge us intellectually, others emotionally or spiritually. Every person is an appointment in our life and the assignment will become clearer the more you walk together.

As you navigate these friendships, it goes without saying, keep Christ at the center. He is the One who allowed them for such a time as this. He is the ultimate example of a perfect friend – loving unconditionally, speaking truth in love, gentle, kind, hope-filled, faithful, guarding, self-controlled, wise and intentional. This is the kind of friend I want to be too. I am not perfect, no one is, but in prayer nd petition and ll the grace in the world, we are invited to create heart shaped circles in our life! 

In cultivating these iron-sharpening, heart-softening friendships, we not only enrich our own lives but also strengthen the body of Christ. As we grow together, we shine God's light in the world around us s one of His Lights to lead and show The Way.

Let's pray: Lord, thank you for the gift of friendship nd ultimately, Yours. Lord, we seek Sisters to do life with. Help us to be friends who sharpen and encourage one another in faith. Guide our words and actions to reflect Your love. May we be a sweet aroma to You as we stir one another's heats in Your Name. Because of Your Sweetest of Love, Amen.

If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or meet me over
 in my Facebook Sisterhood Community! Feel free to share this blog with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!

Heart Hugs and Blessings,

Simple Sisters Series: The Garden of Friends

“Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.””
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:33‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The company we keep is crucial on the path we walk in life. The apostle Paul's words in 1 Corinthians 15:33 ring true today: "Do not be deceived: 'Bad company ruins good morals.'" This wisdom invites us to reflect on the influences in our lives and how they shape our walk with God.Imagine your life as a garden. Each relationship you nurture is a plant in this garden. 

Some relationships are like vibrant flowers, bringing beauty and joy into the view of our days. Others might be like sturdy trees, offering support and shelter. However – some can be weeds, threatening to choke out the good growth. 

So how do we cultivate a garden that glorifies God? We must be intentional about the relationships we nurture, being careful of not cultivating a garden of weeds. Every plant has it's own planned purpose, producing blooms or fruits. As we grow in years, our ability to identify weeds from blossoms become more clear. We no longer tolerate the mess of weeds because we know how quickly they spread and choke out all that is good. We understand the blossom of a weed is not the same as the blossom of a flowering plant of produce. 

Ask yourself: 
Do my friends draw me closer to Christ or pull me away? 
Do they encourage my faith or challenge it negatively? 
The answer to these questions can help you discern which relationships to invest in deeply.

Remember, not everyone who enters your life is meant to stay forever. Some are seasonal, bringing specific lessons or experiences. Others are perennial, growing alongside you through various seasons of life. 

Pray for discernment to recognize the role each person plays in your spiritual journey. As you evaluate your relationships, don't be discouraged if you find some that don't align with your faith goals. Instead, see it as an opportunity for growth as you establish boundaries that create health borders around your "flower beds" of relationships. Perhaps God is calling you to be a blossom in someone's life, or maybe He's prompting you to seek out new, uplifting friendships to invite into your own garden. 

Cultivating godly friendships as an adult isn't always easy, but it's worth the effort. Wisdom and discernment are two foundational ways we create new connections with others. Praying, asking God to show us who He has planned for us to connect with, doing our part to be authentically ourself in order to create other authentic connections. It's so important we show up as we are in order for others to see us for who we are, not who we wish to be or used to be.  

These relationships can be a source of encouragement, accountability, and spiritual growth. They can challenge you to dive deeper into God's Word, pray more fervently, and live out your faith more boldly.

As you tend to your garden of relationships, remember that Jesus is the master gardener. He knows exactly what your soul needs to flourish. Trust Him to guide you, prune what's necessary, and help new, life-giving relationships bloom.

Let's pray: Lord, grant us wisdom in our friendships. Help us cultivate relationships that draw us closer to You and reflect Your love to others. Give us Your eyes to see who You have brought into our Garden. Help us grow in our authentic blooms so we can share from a pure heart and mind, that others may see the awesomeness of You are our Creator, Healer and King. You are the Master Gardner and we trust Your pruning and planting. In Your Son's Amazing Name, Amen.

If today's encouragement hugged your HEART today, let me know in the comments or meet me over
 in my Facebook Sisterhood Community! Feel free to share this blog with a friend who needs a heart hug too!
This is how YOU get to hug my HEART back!

Heart Hugs and Blessings,