In pondering good friendships I was thinking about pushy friends but when I say pushy that sounds negative. I mean pushy in a good way. Good friendships inspire you and good friends push you towards the right things. Kind of like positive peer pressure (another ecky term like pushy) only better.
Last year as you all know, I read 50 books. This year I pushed a few of my friends to make similar goals and expanding their literary horizons. Having fabulous, motivated friends like I do, they jumped at the challenge and I'm not enjoying countless texts, e-mails, facebooks, etc from them as they get excited about their reading successes. I'm happy to see them diving into great books and even reading some of the books I've recommended, giving us new material for our conversations.
I like numbers. I like the safety in never having to be the only one doing something. If I have friends to do it with, it lightens the load. So I asked a few of my friends to join me on my Daniel Fast next month (February 1st) and they somewhat pleasantly jumped on that train with me as well. Were all a little terrified of the idea of having no caffeine for 21 days and what they might do to our friendships! ; ] It's nice though to have friends who let me push them into a few things from time to time.
Thanks to a great group of readers, I'm taking their pushes and prompts seriously and meeting goals every month this year (or trying). I've found some true friends through my blogging relationships. People who have invested in me and have let me invest my time and energy into them as well. It's really been a huge blessing for all of us, I hope.
I've been thinking about ways to push my small group girls as I lead them through another study. I'm excited that my push to get more involved and give of their time and talents has really been well received. A few of us are headed to volunteer night at church tonight to continue to catch the vision of our church and to continue to use our gifts to really help grow the church. It takes a village, right?
It's been neat how using this blog to talk about my reading, my health journey, and some of the other challenges I've given myself over the last 13 months has inspired people to push themselves, without my getting involved! I'm always encouraged when I receive a message from a reader saying 'I'm taking you reading challenge' or 'I love your latest post and I've been to the gym the last 5 days'. Several of my readers have start their own weight loss journey and we're able to give each other tips and tricks along the way. Truth is, there's no real trick - it's just about hard work and dedication day in and day out.
One other challenge I've given myself this year is to be even more diligent in my letter writing. I find that I'm ecstatic when I receive snail mail from a friend with encouraging words and an update on their life, even if I talk to them regularly via the phone. So last year I sent 50ish cards. This year, I plan to double that. I want to be committed and faithful this year. I've sent 7 cards in the last 2 weeks and I'm plugging away on who will be next.
It's been encouraging to get responses from the people that I write. I got several sweet texts over the last week about my card making a friends day. Also, a few of my friends are catching the snail mail fever now and returning the favor. I'm loving seeing them embrace writing hand written cards as well.
My challenge this week is think about how you can help, guide, or yes, even push the people you care about to make better, wiser, and more growth-inspiring life choices. Examine your current friendships and really ask yourself the tough questions, are you spending your time with the right people? Do your friends really bring out the best in you or is it time to look at surround yourself with a new crowd? Friendships are tough. They're hard work and they can build you up or tear you down in an instant. Choose the people you invest in wisely and don't shy away from reevaluating where you're at in your relationships from time to time.