the live life together kind

I don’t like being interrupted either- but I interrupt other people.  I often forget that other people’s stories aren’t simply introductions to my own more engaging, more dramatic, more relevant, and better-told tales, but rather ends in themselves, tales I can learn from or repeat and dissect or savor.  Mom, on the other hand, rarely interrupted other people and wasn’t given to topping other people’s tales.  She would listen and then ask questions- and not just the yes-or-no or numerical questions people ask to feign interest.  She used her questions to get people to talk more about how they felt or what they’d learned or who they’d met or what they thought would happen next.

excerpt from the book The End of Your Life Book club 

It’s funny, growing up.  I’ve moved many times and have often grown weary of making new friends.  But this time around, I am energized by it.  I look forward to hanging out with people I barely know- of course, it’s a bit selfish- because I’m looking for potential.  While I love my far-away-friends and have filled my life with them it seems, talking on the phone is one of the things I hate the most and many of my long distance girls are in the same trenches persay; small children are all-consuming.

I came across this excerpt from a book I recently started and after reading the above paragraphs once, I reread them again and again.  I realized I was taking an inner inventory of what kind of friend I am.  So often I find myself just waiting for someone to finish their sentence before launching into mine but I also discovered that I have sat back more often in the last few years and tried not to think about myself at all in those moments.  It’s really how one digs out a person’s heart…who they really are…what they are actually thinking…feeling.  And while it’s so dang hard at times to not interject- mostly due to my raging desire to be known- I try and bite my tongue.  Because I truly do want to know people.

This way of being really hit me at the core because I have been asking the Lord to make me a better friend.  I want to prefer others before myself all the time.  I cringe because I can’t even imagine the all the time part.  I. am. so. selfish.  But awareness is always the beginning.  And thankfully as of late, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to really put this into practice.  I just need to remind myself of the balance- because sometimes I can close down completely and only stick to the questions…and that’s not usually altogether enjoyable either.

I desire new deep friendships in this season- the kind where you can always be yourself- and always know the other person believes you, trusts you, cares for you…and you feel the same for them.  The live life together kind…built over hours of coffee/kid chaos/laughter/tears.

Of course, sometimes I dream about what life would be like if all my closest friends lived in the same neighborhood…a block from the ocean…and then a tear falls down my cheek.

I need His courage, His view, His love.

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