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,

What Perfectionism Looks Like as a Christian Introvert and How to Break Free

I used to believe I had to be perfect….especially when I stepped into Church Leadership. 

We believe that in order to be “really” used by God spiritually helping people that we have to be perfect & qualified. 

I worked my tail off striving to be perfect…the perfect Wife, Mom, Friend, Neighbor, Member. 
That perfection looked like: 

- not sharing bad days with others

- keeping my questions and opinions to myself in fear of being wrong, rejected or seen as unqualified

- stuffing “negative” feelings- anything less than happy, so my fears, hurts, anxiety, questions, etc)

- saying yes to everything even if I didn’t want to

- quadruple checking and questioning things I created or decided

- avoiding stepping into new things

- constantly checking myself against The Greats in Women’s Ministry left to be equally motivated/inspired AND not enough/no place for me vs seeking validation and confirmation from God in the place He currently had me while learning from and appreciating the examples He gave me to move my soul to lead

- staying in the back, on the bench, called to Coach but sitting in the stands clapping to feel a part of the role even if it wasn’t me

- constant focus on outward appearance (body/mind/spirit) to have best/perfect foot forward

- living a life of expectations vs authentic excellence- being the best I was, as I was, a sinner saved by grace 

- grace for others…period.

Here’s how I broke perfectionism:

- Surrendering self and living according to His power, truth, grace, strength, purpose, knowing He will equip you as you go! 

- Recognize and admit ALL have sinned and are saved by GRACE, Not BY WORKS should anyone boast…we are all THE SAME!!! No one is perfect!!!! 

- Let those who inspire you, move and mentor you. Do not allow the enemy to take what God meant for good and use it to harm you and destroy you by accepting its lie. Titus 2 is gleaning from one another to edify and build up His Glory in us and through us! Let’s sharpen each others iron with fire!!! 

- saying No to the things not for me 

- Love! Perfect love cast out fear! Stop fearing what “man” may say and ask what does God have to say?!?

- Fight with His armor and not your bare hands

- Pray, worship, serve and live from His heart pouring out thru yours and understand you will make mistakes and it’s okay!!!!!! It’s oohhkkaaayyy!! There’s gonna be trials, pruning and refining. It’s how we grow in grace!!

- Be YOU!!! Pray and ask for a Sister Squad that is safe for you to share your life with - good, bad, ugly and trust them with your heart knowing these gifts are from God.

Perfectly Imperfect!!! You may think you’re living a life of freedom trying your best be perfect but you are not! Your anxiety and exhaustion are calling it out!! Let it go!!! 

If you were perfect….
You wouldn’t need Jesus.

There’s that!! ♥️🙌🏻
Was this is helpful to you?!? Now….GO BE FREEEEEE as you are created to be!!🔥✅🙌🏻♥️

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,