Category Archives: Relationships

Ingredients for Intentional Relationships

Lately, I’ve been making little lists to help me remember what’s most important.  It came out of a conversation with a friend, where she was challenged to make a list of her treasures…to help her to reprioritize her life around the things that matter most.  I was like, “Wow, what a smart idea.”

It’s kind of ridiculous that life works in a way that we have to make lists to remind us of what’s important, but I respond well to lists.  Based on my observation of families in my work with teenagers, parents end up with lots of regrets about the time they didn’t spend with their kids when they were little.  I’ve also observed retired people voicing regret that they spent so much time worrying about work and forgot to take more vacations.  I’m not a big fan of regret.  I don’t want to look back on my life 20 years from now to realize that I have every episode of Friends memorized or read every link on my Facebook NewsFeed, but I missed the change to invest in something that matters.

Right now, I’m trying not to see the days’ tasks as, “Buy Groceries, File Taxes, Vacuum, Pay Rent, Collapse in front of TV from exhaustion” but instead see, “Spend time in prayer, help Husband feel loved today, Tell someone I love them and I believe in them.”  Already on today, Good Friday, I’ve completed two of three of the things on my list, and life feels rich.

One of the top things on my list of treasures is my Sunday Night Girls’ ReaLife Group.  It’s a simple, small thing you can do too really: find another adult, invite some people to share life with you.  Here’s a snapshot of the ingredients to sharing life with them…to creating deep relationships from scratch…

1) Invite someone to meet with you.  Intentional relationships don’t happen from mass appeals or waiting for the other person to say they want to spend time with you.  Life-changing relationships happen because you are vulnerable enough to ask a person you care about to spend time with you.  So pick up the phone and pick a date/time and get started.   Call them.  Do it!

2) Share dessert.

This one is courtesy of our TeenBakingProdigy, a peanut butter pie from Paula Deen.  TeenBakingProdigy approaches me many a Sunday morning after worship to say, “Tonight, we will have _______.”  Several hours later, she shows up with her baked creation, much to our delight.  Last week, when TeenBakingProdigy was late to group, we called her to see where she was, because we were craving the peanut butter pie she’d promised.  She responded, “I’m almost there.  I’m walking to church really slowly…in the rain.  I can only go so fast because the pie hasn’t set yet.”  You cannot buy this kind of commitment to good dessert, but it is certainly a blessing…so was the pie.

3) Drink a hot beverage.

Because nothing breaks the ice for good conversation like a steamy cup of warm beverage.

4) Do something silly together.

In this particular case, TeenBakingProdigy read aloud to us about Arizona’s, “The Thing.”  Nothing insights laughter and bonding like THE THING.  Definitely seek to laugh as much as possible.

5) Read God’s word together and try to learn something new.  Be honest in the process.
Even if all you learn is something small, and even if it doesn’t make sense.

This morning, one of my gals and I went to breakfast together.  We followed the basic steps: something sweet to eat, some warm beverages, and simple conversations about life and God.

Intentionality sure feels good on the other side…Jesus himself chose a few people to share life with, and they changed the world…it’s Good Friday…I strongly recommend pursuing some intentional relationship time today.