Last weekend I attended our church ladies retreat. It was the first one I've been able to go to and I was really looking forward to not only the time away from the routine but a chance to get to know some of the women in my church a little better. I am not sure when it happened, but at some point along the way I sort of forgot how to make new friends. It isn't that I haven't wanted to...I just felt...frozen.
I know some of the difficulty in maintaining friendships and developing new ones just comes with the territory of being a grown up and having a family. What very little free time you have as a wife and mother is often spent passed out on the couch or catching up on the 12 episodes of Parenthood on the DVR.
It's kind of funny because I used to really shine in social situations.
Now not everyone in that lovely little house on the hill was a stranger. Some I have known and loved since I was a child and some I have grown to know and love over the past few years, but several were completely new faces or ladies I had wanted to get to know better but hadn't been able to step over that wall.
An amazing thing can happen in a setting like this. No tv, no laundry, phones off, no shopping lists calling your name. When you have free time....
REAL FREE TIME
with nothing else do do but sit down with one or a group of ladies and chat. You get to hear so much about who they are and where they come from and what is on their hearts. And when you stay up till nearly 3am just being silly...I mean laughing from you gut, eyes watering because you are too sleepy to filter and everyone is saying whatever pops into thier head silly...you tend to bond. It has been WAY too long since I've laughed that hard. It was a time of growth for me. A much needed reminder that I need girlfriends, I need FREE TIME, and every so often I need to stay up past my bedtime and be so silly my sides hurt.