Life is about relationships. We earn and keep the right to speak into our children’s lives through a continuing flow of being intentional and present in their lives . . . time over time over time . . .
For all of my children’s young years, I invested in loving them . . . rocking them to sleep at night, reading them bedtime stories, saying their prayers with them.
I had an urgent sense to be intentional in my time with them . . . leaving the dishes in the sink to sit and play with them, going on rain walks in July, swimming on lazy summer days, tickling my son’s back and hearing his thoughts before he fell asleep each night – even when all I wanted to do was lay my weary bones down.
And when they were babies, I realized there were no guarantees in life except a loving heavenly Father, so I . . . memorized scripture with them, told them bible stories, read them present day stories of great God-followers . . . all the while praying that Jesus would become their very best friend.
And yet, a year before my daughter was about to enter middle school, I heard about the “stuff” our kids face today, and froze. I had never faced some of the issues present in our schools, and I’m an adult. I remember where I was standing when I uttered the silent prayer, “God, how do I allow my daughter to live in this world, and yet not be like this world?”
That was when the idea of First Friday Friends was birthed.
I armed myself with my very closest mama friends and shared my heart with them. We came up with things we wanted to share with our girls while they were still open to hearing our hearts and loving time with us. We invited other moms and daughters who would be journeying alongside us during this same season of life. Forty moms and daughters said “yes” to the invitation. There is a hunger to join in community and do life together.
Fun was imperative. So we set up the evening with a game, an engaging story that teaches a lesson, time for chatting, a craft, and of course, a sweet treat to end the evening.
I thought it was about teaching a lesson, and it was, but what I didn’t realize is that it was equally important to build community with other like-minded moms and daughters. It was equally important to keep the communication lines open between me and my daughter. It was equally important for all the girls to see that they were not alone in living life different than what the world says.
My daughter is in college now. We still have regular times for coffee and chats. We still talk on the phone almost every day. When we are together, we still climb in the car just for car talk. We jokingly call these times our “mommy and me” time.
And though she is grown, I am still intentional, and I am still present . . . time over time over time . . . and the cool thing is . . . she is too.
And my son, well, I am his favorite “talk show” commute on the way to work, and I love it! . . . time over time over time.