A few years ago a friend and I had a long, thoughtful conversation about maintaining relationships. Well, more so, about how difficult it is to maintain relationships; especially once you’re married and have children.
Often, while I sweep those Cheerios, I think about a handful of dear friends – I wonder what chores they’re tackling, I wish their children restful naps and I send them vibes for productive days at work. But that handful? There is a limit to them. I can only mentally and emotionally invest in so many people. Only so many birthdays I can remember; only so many phone calls/texts I can manage. That’s where our conversation led … how many friends, outside of immediate family, can one person adequately keep up with?
We came up with the number twelve. And it made a lot of sense.
Jesus had twelve disciples, there are twelve months in a year and approximately twelve daylight hours each day. Twelve is one of those marker numbers to help us better manage the busyness that can so easily set in. For the last year, I’ve been focusing on my twelve. I’ve not been striving for new friends, rather, I’ve been attempting to invest deeper in the friendships I do have. My twelve don’t all know each other, we don’t run in a pack, but they are all women who are important to me. Some are relatively new, relationships I’ve grown since becoming a mom four years ago. Some are darn near as old as I am. They’re each unique; each important.
It hasn’t been easy. Even with a wittled down number like twelve. I still feel like I fail some of these women in encouragement and prayer. I want to give them more – more support, more confidence and most of all, more gusto to continue fighting, striving and willing themselves to follow their passions, serve their families and embrace their days no matter how simple they may seem.
Do you have a “friendship plan”? A way to be more intentional? What do you think about the number twelve?