To Have A Friend...

Yesterday I had lunch with my in-laws, and I enjoyed it! Yes, you read that right. I had fun and would love to do it again (I'm sure there's some embittered person who hates their in-laws cursing me right now.) I met my two sisters-in-law and my mother-in-law at Red Robin, a hamburger restaurant, for lunch. It was so nice to see my two nephews and see how they have grown and changed. One of them is two (I am determined to be his favorite aunt!), and the other one is almost one year old (I am determined to squeeze those chubby, little cheeks at my first opportunity!). I like getting together with friends and being able to spend time catching up with one another, talking about our lives and our kids, and I'm glad I can include them as friends.

It's interesting how we choose our friends, though. It's much easier to be friends with people who share your same values and morals, who are at the same stage of life you are, who think like you do. Those relationships seem to flow easily; there's always something to talk about; and you can delve into many aspects of each others' lives because there's a certain amount of trust inherent in that friendship. These types of friendships lead to "best friends"--those people who know your struggles and willingly walk alongside you to support you. And they do it knowing that, when they need that same support, you'll be the first one to help them carry their burdens.

But relationships with people who don't think like you or who aren't at the same place in life as you are harder; they require more work because it's tougher to build the trust that's needed to share areas of your life and thoughts that aren't simple or on the surface. And they require tons of work by both people, because both of you have to be willing to make concessions to maintain the friendship. Sometimes, these people turn into best friends as the friendship matures, but sometimes you drift apart, because you're both not sharing the load equally.

To have a friend, you have to be a friend. And that's something I still have to work on...but I can't be the only one to work on it. We all have to make the effort.