friends

Show Some Friendliness

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Friends…aren’t they a blessing?!  As in the picture above, friends greet one another.  They’re happy to be together and they brighten the countenance and the day of their friend.

But what about that person who just entered your presence and isn’t your friend?  They’re just near you.  They are an outsider.  You don’t know their name, or maybe you met them once but you don’t remember their name.  You feel awkward, so you busy yourself with your head in the bottomless pit of your purse and pretend they aren’t there.  We’ve all felt the need to reach out, and probably also the aversion to it.

Let’s put oursevles in the shoes of the other peson.  She’s new to the situation – maybe at church, Bible study, or a socal gathering, and has “put herself out there” to attend, even though she doesn’t know many that will be there.  She’s trying to act comfortable, looking up at the surroundings, pretending she’s engrossed in her thoughts while people and conversation buzz around her.  She will either leave this gathering happy that she’s gained a new friend, or she will be glad for the safety of her car where she can retreat to the comfort of the familiar, even though it’s also a solitary place.

Proverbs 18:24 – A man that has friends must show himself friendly

We read this command in Proverbs and we may consider ourselves friendly because we conjure up the memories of laughter and constant chatter we had with our current friends just recently.  But I believe that if we’re going to say we’re obeying this verse, we need to realize that this is a constant state of reaching out to others – others whom we bump into in the grocery store, at the ballgame, in our small group or the pew behind us at church.  People need you and me to show friendliness from our heart. How can we do that even if we’re introverts who would rather not be noticed (because this admonition isn’t just for extroverts!)?

  • Look up.  Self-focused people keep their heads down so they can avoid looking at people.  Look in their eyes.  Make eye contact.
  • Smile. A smile is the universal language that says, “I see you.  I’m glad you’re here.”
  • Use words. Get a statement that you can genuinely say when you greet someone you don’t know.  “Hi!  I’m Denise.  Have you visited before?” Or, “Hi!  I’m Denise, and you are? I’m so happy to meet you!”  Get a conversation started by showing interest in them.  You don’t have to grill them, but pull them in.  Talk about how cute her hair cut is, or how adorable her children are, or that you see she’s got a Dunkin donuts coffee cup and you love coffee, too!

    This past Sunday my husband and I were visiting a church in New Hampshire.  A sweet reader of my blog attends that church (unbeknownst to me).  She walked up to us and welcomed us to their church and then told me she reads my blog.  What a sweet way to make a connection!  I didn’t feel as much like a stranger after meeting her (Thank you, Janet!).  That’s the kind of connection we can make even to people we don’t know!

We all like having friends, but we need to stop and really consider if we’re good at being friendly. Reach outside your circle and pull others in and then enjoy the growth of your friendship community!  You will have made someone else sigh because they didn’t have to experience the awkwardness of being on the outside.

Can you relate to the awkwardness of being on the outside?  What do you do to make others feel welcome into your life?

Denise Signature 150 px

 

Traveling · Vacation tips

May I Suggest?

Hello from New England! I’ve had the blessing of being up here since last Wednesday. So instead of sharing a recipe today, I thought I’d share a couple great restaurants that we’ve enjoyed while in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. Put these on your bucket list if you’re making a trip east in the future!

We flew into Manchester, New Hampshire, so our host took us to dinner there. We went to a seafood restaurant called, The Puritan. It was packed…on a Wednesday night and quickly found out why! The clam and oyster platter we shared was the BEST we’ve ever had anywhere! I’m not normally a fan of clams, but theirs were really good. The clams were tender and the breading had a slightly sweet taste.

We had the joy of going to the coast of Maine on a beautiful, sunny day. Wow, it was worth the two hour drive just to see the coastal views!

We went to Kennebunkport for the afternoon and evening. With sights like these, we were in awe of our Creator!

We stopped for supper at a cute and very busy place that was right on the Main Street. The Lobster Claw has all kinds of different options to get your craving for lobster satisfied. We shared a plate with stuffed lobster. It was filled with shrimp, scallops, bacon and stuffing. It was delicious!

Lastly, we had the fun of going to Vermont to King Arthur Flour. Loving to bake as I do, I so enjoyed seeing their kitchens, watching a couple demonstrations, and then visiting their store that is filled with all the necessary tools for successful baking.

Of course we had to sample their foods at the cafe and bakery! We shared a sandwich and a couple treats. The Chocolate croissant was my favorite!! Yum! It was also as big as my face!

Did you notice the word “share” in each food description? That means we ate half the amount, which is half the calories and half the guilt! It’s the only way to go!

We both pray about our days – where to go and when to stop. We’ve watched God direct us every day. The Lord is so kind to allow us the blessing of serving Him here and also getting to have a little vacation time. We are abundantly blessed!

We always appreciate good recommendations and I thought you might, too! If you get the chance to visit any of these places I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed!

With love from the beautiful east coast,

Denise

children · Motherhood · Parenting

Why Talking Isn’t Enough In Child Training

Imagine yourself walking along with your child in a grassy field.  As you walk across the deep growth, you hear a noise.  You look a few feet in front of you and see the source of the sound – a rattle snake shaking its tail, ready to strike a venomous blow.

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You stop your child, point towards the reptile and say,

That is a rattlesnake!  Rattlesnakes are poisonous.  They can hurt or kill you.

Then you proceed forward with your planned walk, leaving your child and yourself open to true danger.

You’re shaking your head right now because you know you would hever do that.  You know that on sight of the poisonous snake, you would REMOVE both your child AND yourself from its presence just as quickly as possible.  Even if your child didn’t understand what was happening and didn’t want to leave, you would drag him off, knowing you were saving him from sure disaster.

Now let me ask you – if you would do that with a snake, why won’t you do that with your child’s sin?  What is keeping you from doing whatever is necessary to get them away from their sinful/deadly behaviour?

So often I see parents look at their child after they’ve disobeyed, spoken disrespectfully or been defiant and say something that sounds like the parent describing the poisonous snake –

That is not nice.

Those are ugly words!

You are not obeying!

Then they continue to walk towards “the snake.”  No action is taken to stop the forward movement – the continuation of their sin!

Proverbs 29:15 reminds us how to train a child to “run away from the snake.”

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame.

You can use words to teach, but it needs another element added to it to get the lesson across – it’s a rod, a paddle.  Loving, firm discipline connnected with teaching them what God’s Word says about their sin is the only way to get them to understand the danger of going their own way.  Words alone will not get the job done because children are foolish.

Proverbs 22:15 – Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

This is what God tells us! He made our children and He knows their sinful hearts.   Why do we think we can try to discipline another way – a way that eliminates a spanking?  No one enjoys having to spank their child, but the end result is rest (v. 17).

After the rod AND reproof are given, your child will be on the lookout for snakes himself because he doesnt’ want to “get bitten” again.

To really love your child, you must care enough to not only point out their sinful behaviour, but punish them when it shows itself.  Don’t leave that child on their own.  God gave them a parent to teach and train them…and that blessed person is YOU.  Be on the lookout for the poisonous snakes in their path!

With love,

Christian growth · Refreshment

Overflowing With Refreshment

I’ve recently shared on my blog that my church hosts a Ladies’ “retreat” of sorts every other year.  I called it a “Refresher” because that’s what I was praying it would be in our lives. Just last weekend we enjoyed that great refreshment in so many ways!  I thought you might enjoy getting a peek into our time together!

Continue reading “Overflowing With Refreshment”

snack

No-Bake Granola Bars

I try to keep granola bars in my pantry for a quick go-to snack.  When my blood sugar drops and I need a little something to keep me going in the mid-morning, I enjoy a small granola bar.  However, I find the ones from the grocery store are often way too sweet.

In my recent issue of Southern Living Magazine, I found a recipe for No-Bake Granola Bars that sounded like the perfect substitute for the purchased variety! These were so delicious and so inexpensive to make.  I found items at Aldi that were helpful in that department! Continue reading “No-Bake Granola Bars”