Heart Sick

My goal with The Chic Creative is to empower, inspire and educate women in spiritual and personal growth with complete honesty and authenticity.

2019 was an incredible year but it wasn’t without difficulties.  

I battled daily with what I now know are “heart issues.”   

I spent years living with deeply embedded hurt and resentment that consumed me. During this time I suffered with ongoing physical exhaustion, bodily aches and extreme mental fatigue but didn’t know why.  

Although I was exercising regularly, getting plenty of sleep and hydration nothing improved.  I overhauled my diet, consulted my doctor, invested in nutritional supplements and still fought extreme lethargy daily. 

This year I challenged my readers to join me for 52 Weeks of Chic – weekly experiences that would promote spiritual and personal growth. 

In Week 2 I asked them (and myself) to fully and finally forgive – others and ourselves – no matter how difficult it might be.  

And because I believe we cannot ask others to do what we are unwilling to do ourselves, I too had to forgive.  

Over the years I had constructed a wall of anger around my heart that simply wouldn’t budge because I couldn’t forgive. 

I was bitter and couldn’t deny it.  

While writing Week 2 of the 52 Weeks of Chic regarding forgiveness I had to stop mid-way through and finally face my unwillingness and inability to forgive.  

The time, resources and efforts I invested into people whose actions made it clear they held no desire to enjoy a relationship with me left me angry . . . deeply.  

“Forgive them God?  Absolutely not!” as my bitterness spewed forth in a torrent of words, emotions and tears.  Scabs were being ripped away leaving the wounds exposed . . .and it hurt.

No amount of denial would change the fact that I was holding onto resentment  – lots of it. 

But I was determined to press on until forgiveness came.  

I refused to allow unforgivness to steal another day, year or decade.  

I was heart sick and it stifled my creativity, consumed my thoughts, robbed me of peace, left me feeling like a spiritual fraud and I realize now was the cause of my health and emotional issues.

My heart which is the wellspring of life was contaminated and it was literally making me ill, exhausted emotionally, physically and mentally. (Prov 4:23) 

Now I understood why exercise, proper nutrition and rest alone were not working.

I was trying to fix an internal problem externally and I was paying the price of not properly “guarding my heart.”  (Prov 4:23) 

Scripture says “the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Luke 6:45 NLT) 

Words begin as thoughts birthed in the heart and a diseased heart produces poisonous thoughts then toxic words that create a miserable existence.

A horrific case of heartsickness was the cause of my constant fatigue and mental fog.  

The prescription? Forgiveness.

If I wanted to be restored and enjoy excellent health I had to choose to forgive.  Yes forgiveness is a choice.

It was time to forgive and with God’s grace I finally did.

Now my energy levels are increasing daily, my joints and muscles no longer ache, my mental fog has lifted, my relationship with God and myself is improving and I feel better overall.  

No, circumstances haven’t changed.   But I have. 

My once infected, sickly heart is now whole and healthy.    

You may not struggle with unforgiveness.   But if you do, today you get to choose to forgive. 

Let the past go, let the resentment go and then let them go.  

Cry, kick and scream your hurt out if you must.  God isn’t afraid of our pain. He is the healer of it.    

Just forgive.  

Your heart, mind and body will become your greatest asset instead of your worst enemy.  

Unforgiveness is a soul-sucking, energy draining, joy stealing thief that hinders any spiritual growth, abundance or blessings. 

Forgiveness however guarantees freedom, energy, clarity, focus and overall wellness!  

How I wish I had known years ago the root cause of my physical and emotional struggles was my unwillingness to forgive.

If you do nothing else in 2020 – forgive!

Sandra Hubbard

If you haven’t signed up for 52 Weeks of Chic simply subscribe to the blog and you will receive your weekly Chic Experience every Monday morning throughout 2020

Week 3 – We Stop Shrinking

Week 3 of 52 Weeks of Chic – We Stop Shrinking to Make Others Comfortable 

Do you work hard towards a goal yet avoid telling others when you succeed?

Ever remain silent when you want to speak up because you don’t want to upset anyone?  

Do you adjust your personality or downplay your achievements around around certain people? 

This week we finally stop shrinking to make others feel better about themselves. 

Today let’s embrace and express ourselves exactly as we are vowing to never again water down our personality, skills, accomplishments, strengths, gifts, talents or desires for others.

To be anyone other than who God created us to be leaves us feeling frustrated, confused and even fake as we lose our identity in the needs of others. 

An insecure woman’s confidence can and should never come at the expense of yours.  

The wise woman always allows the achievements and confidence of other women to inspire her, not spark envy and jealousy within her. 

A woman’s self-worth is an inside job and it is no one’s (friend, husband, boyfriend etc) responsibility to make her feel valued, beautiful and worthy. Neediness has killed relationships that otherwise could have thrived.

So this week we stop shrinking who we are to make others feel better about themselves!

It’s a fact that we will always be too much for some people and not enough for others.  

The wise woman understands this and focuses on simply being herself and refuses to water herself down so others feel better about themselves.  

Just Be You!

Sandra Hubbard – Christian Speaker/Writer/Teacher/Life Coach 

Word of the Week:  The old life is gone; a new life has begun. 2 Cor 5:17

Strengthening Our Core

January always find gyms crowded with people firmly resolved to get in shape determined to “strengthen the core” (midsection).

A strong physical core requires a daily, disciplined commitment of performing targeted exercises designed to create excellent posture, back strength and overall good health.  

Did you know there is another core that when strengthened can create spiritual growth, inner peace during difficult times and overall happiness?

A strong spiritual core is critical and beneficial to our mental and emotional state providing hope and resilience when needed most.   

The lack of a solid spiritual foundation makes life extremely difficult especially when we are facing storms, tough decisions or discouragement. 

The woman who walks through life’s tribulations in peace is a woman who has built her life on the solid foundation of God’s Word, standing on His promises in faith as she presses on no matter how difficult the circumstances.  

Her life may appear to be falling apart yet there she stands smiling, joyous and at ease.  

What is her secret? 

She possesses a solid spiritual core.  

Developing strong spiritual core requires study of His Word. 

God is a gentleman and will never guilt or shame us into spending time with Him.  

We come voluntarily or not at all.  

But the benefits we receive when we do are priceless as day-by-day our spiritual core grows stronger.  

Creating a firm spiritual core requires listening then doing.

The person who “hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a man who built his house on the rock. The rains came down, the streams rose and the winds blew and beat against that house yet it did not fall because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matt 7:24-25

Instead of falling apart at every life hiccup, we trust His Word we have learned through study and allow the hard times to teach us valuable lessons that grow us spiritually and emotionally.  

This year while we focus on getting into amazing physical shape let’s also commit to getting into fighting spiritual shape devoting time studying His Word and building this next decade on a solid foundation!  

A psalm, scripture or chapter a day nourishes our spiritual core with power, knowledge and truth we need when facing uphill climbs or emotional struggles. 

Storms come.

Having a powerfully strong spiritual core is the key to surviving them.

Sandra Hubbard  

Christian Speaker/Writer/Teacher/Life Coach

Week 2 – We Forgive

Week 2 – 52 Weeks of Chic 

This week we are going to create mental and spiritual space for a fabulous 2020 by practicing the beneficial but sometimes difficult art of forgiveness.

Negative cannot co-exist with positive and the heart filled with bitterness, resentment and anger cannot share space with abundance, joy and freedom.  

Therefore the negative has to go. 

And it goes when we choose to forgive. 

This week we fully and finally forgive everyone who has ever hurt, rejected, betrayed or walked away from us.  

Today we forgive all of who have disappointed us, lied to us, shunned or ignored us and anyone we still secretly harbor anger towards years later.

Today we forgive everyone we still hold a grudge against, whether it is the teacher who labeled us “not smart enough” to the high school girl who conveniently forgot to invite us to her party, the boy who stood us up or the parent who let us down.  

Though it may be painful we fully forgive from past to present everyone – and we mean it – every single hurtful word or action – we forgive.

We forgive ourselves for every mistake, bad decision, sin and failure because unforgiveness keeps us from happiness or peace of mind. 

We can read all the spiritual and self-help books, listen to all the sermons and podcasts and be at church every Sunday but until we forgive others and ourselves nothing will ever change.  

Many a Sunday found me in the pew silently seething with anger, resentment and bitterness wondering why I wasn’t growing spiritually and always feeling weighed down with depression, envy and negativity.

It was because I refused to forgive.

I believed to forgive was approving their hurtful behavior.

I know now that is untrue.

The truth is that forgiveness brings freedom and liberates us from the soul-sucking weight of anger that keeps us from the blessings God intended.  

There is no partial forgiveness as God doesn’t forgive us partially but fully and then HE FORGETS never again reminding us of our sin.

Christ makes it clear that “if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Heavenly Father will not forgive your sins.” Matt 6:14-15 

We cannot ask God to do something for us we are unwilling to do for others.   

It’s simple. Forgive and you will be forgiven.   

This second week of 2020 forgive.

Your year and your life will be forever changed.   

Refusing to forgive results in living a miserable existence year after year, robbed of any happiness whatsoever. Been there and done that.

Forgiveness is a choice and this week I challenge you to fully and finally forgive

Sandra Hubbard – Christian Speaker/Writer/Teacher/Life Coach 

Word of the Week:  “I have heard your prayer and seen your tears.  I will heal you.”  2 Kings 20:5

There is a Grace for That

As we begin 2020 we excitedly set goals and resolutions for our new year. 

Choosing goals, resolutions and intentions are all empowering actions that I practice and promote. 

However, from experience I know most resolutions are abandoned by early February as discouragement and frustration show up in a moment of weakness.  

But what if there was a way we actually could achieve every single resolution?

There is.  

It is called GRACE.

When goals meet grace, amazing things happen. 

Yes. Grace. 

Our lofty ambitions and desires for the new year can actually become reality when we pursue them from a place of grace. 

Often we start strong and committed to losing the weight, ditching the bad habits, organizing our surroundings, getting out of debt or starting the side business only to fall fast, get discouraged, give up and live the new year like the last year. 

But there is a better way and it is the way of grace. 

Grace moves us from operating in our own strength to relying on His.  

Paul understood the source of his strength was Christ testifying that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Phil 4:13 

He also knew that “My grace is sufficient for you, for in my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Cor 12:9

In Paul’s weakness he discovered POWER through God’s sufficient grace.   

When we lose momentum or when temptation wins out as we reach for the second helping of dessert or make an impulse purchase with money we intended to save giving up seems the only option.  

Our resolve dissolves and we return to old habits, disgusted and frustrated as we realize our willpower alone is not enough.   

And we are right. Willpower alone never will be. 

But when we simply ask for grace to assist us in accomplishing that seemingly impossible goal, what once seemed so hard suddenly becomes much easier.  

Just like “there is an app for that” there is also a grace for that. 

There is a grace available to help you accomplish every single resolution you set now matter how many times you have failed in the past. 

How is that possible?

Because grace moves us from operating in our willpower to relying on His power. 

And grace is available to anyone and everyone simply by asking. 

“Ask and you shall receive. . .” Matt 7:7  

Create your intentions, set your goals and list your desires and resolutions for 2020 but before taking the first step simply ask for grace each morning. It’s just that easy.

Grace will strengthen you in moments of weakness, days when you want to give up and times when you want to quit.   

Amazing things will happen when God’s grace meets your goals!

Grace is the game changer!

Grace is amazing and available. Just ask!

Sandra Hubbard – Christian Inspirational Speaker/Writer/Life Coach

Week 1 – 52 Weeks of Chic

Welcome to 2020 and Week 1 of 52 Weeks of Chic!!   

For the next 52 weeks we are going to grow, connect and transform our lives together one week at a time!

2020 is not only a new year but also kicks off a new decade and the excitement is definitely in the air!

Before we set resolutions, establish goals or create vision boards, let’s begin 2020 by making one simple yet powerful choice.

Today we choose one word that will act as our guiding compass throughout the year. 

Selecting a “word of the year” is not a new approach yet it has proven to be incredibly effective.  

Multiple resolutions can be overwhelming but having one word that dictates our thoughts, words, actions and choices is a simple yet powerful way to become who we want to be and achieve what we desire.

Last year my word was “discipline.”  

I didn’t really choose that word as much as it chose me.  

I always associated discipline with deprivation but by December I realized I was wrong.  

Discipline was absolutely the critical component I needed to living the life I desperately wanted.  

Each January would find me pursuing my goals with enthusiasm and energy only to lose interest once temptation, boredom or hardships surfaced. 

Lack of discipline was keeping me in mediocrity and I have yet to meet a woman who wanted to live the mediocre life.  

Discipline was required to reach my health goals, workout when I didn’t feel like it, write when I wasn’t feeling inspired, save when I wanted to spend and so forth. 

Learning the art of discipline radically changed my business, my finances, relationships, health and overall growth.  

It was the word I kept coming back to when I wanted to quit, walk away, give up, make excuses, justify bad choices, eat the second helping, spend what I intended to save, show up when I didn’t feel like it and shut up even though I wanted to respond when upset. 

My word was my phone and computer screensavers and was written in large letters in my journal as a constant reminder and aide in helping me develop the disciplined life. 

If your one word doesn’t suddenly spring to mind that’s ok.  Think on it.  Pray and ponder on it.  Journal about it.  

Then once you have selected your word, ask yourself “How does that woman think, speak and act?”  

How does she dress, eat, and live?  What does a typical day in her life look like?  How does she spend her free time?  

Who does she need in her life and who needs to go?  

What books are on her nightstand?  How does she start her day?  What do her surroundings look like?  

What are her core values?  What is her daily mindset?   

Create a clear picture of that woman who embodies your chosen word and begin each day acting as if you are that woman.  If you journal, write that picture down!

Then each and every day of 2020 align your thoughts, words, actions and choices with this word.

When faced with doubt, fear, insecurity or indecision ask yourself “how would the woman who embodies this word respond?”  

Resolutions are wonderful motivators but adopting one word is simpler and equally if not more effective.  

My 2020 word is “obedience” because I often struggle obeying God when commanded to do hard things He asks of me.   

Again I didn’t choose that word but it chose me.

In times past I have made excuses, procrastinated, whined and complained when God asks me to forgive, get out of my comfort zone, create healthy habits, let go of relationships, speak out and stand up.  

Deep down I know that disobeying God hinders my spiritual growth, keeps me stuck and stagnant, never facing my fears with excuses and reasons why I can’t obey Him. 

In 2020 I want to be a woman of obedience who when called by God simply responds with  “Here am I. Send me!” (Isa 6:8)   No questions asked, no excuses.  Just “Yes.” 

What will your word be?  

Sandra Hubbard – Christian Inspirational Speaker/Writer/Life Coach

Word of the Week: But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. 2 Chronicles 15:7

Merry Christmas!

The gifts are wrapped, stockings are stuffed and Christmas is just around the corner. 

As I sit here in my favorite coffeeshop looking back over 2019 and planning 2020, I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

In January I decided 2019 would be a year of learning, growing and preparing for 2020 and the decade it ushers in.  

From books, podcasts, sermons and online courses I learned. 

But it was you who I learned the most from.

Your shared comments, experiences and stories inspired, challenged and changed me. 

When I initially started The Chic Creative in 2016, my desire was to encourage others but I am the one who has been encouraged.

I have witnessed first hand the incomprehensible strength of a woman, the accumulative power we hold to change our world when we stand together and the deeply embedded desire of each of us to live her own definition of success without criticism, comparison and judgment. 

Thank you all for being an integral part of The Chic Creative community!

I wish you all a joyful, peaceful Christmas and look forward to seeing you in January. 

If you haven’t signed up for 52 Weeks of Chic please don’t hesitate to do so on TCC website as we create our best year yet one week at a time. 

Again, my sincerest thanks to each of you!

Sandra Hubbard

The Joy Stealer

Have you ever started your morning out nicely only to have it fall apart mid-day?  

If so, you have just experienced an attack by the joy stealer aka the enemy aka Satan!

He shows up in the form of difficult circumstances, confusion, discouragement, overwhelm, lethargy, anxiety, hopelessness and frustration.  

It always seems to me he targets those trying to live holy lives.

Why is that?  

Because Satan knows if he can steal your joy he can steal your strength because .. .  “the joy of the Lord is my strength.” Neh 8:10

And if he can rob you of your will to fight, hope, have faith or keep trying to live for God, he has you primely positioned for a spiritual, emotional, mental and even physical takedown.

Often our unhappiness, discouragement, resentment and anger comes from the behavior of others.

But they are not the real enemy.

It took me literally years to finally understand this.

They are merely pawns unknowingly being used to steal our joy.

Paul tells us that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood (other people) but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world (the enemy) and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Eph 6:12

Our fight goes far beyond the catty co-worker, the betrayal of a friend, the ex-spouse/boyfriend’s actions, the rude cashier, the driver who just cut us off or the client who criticized us on social media.  

They are not the true source of our heartaches but simply the means used to steal our joy and zap our strength.  

Have you ever noticed when you are overwhelmed or upset you feel fatigued, confused, unable to focus or make a decision, spiritually dry, weepy or emotionally drained?  

It’s because your joy has been stolen leaving you with no fighting power.

You are essentially tapped out and depleted.

But as long as we have joy we have the strength to continue on.   

Did you know you can fight these spiritual battles and win?  Every. Single. Time. 

By taking “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Eph 6:17 you will take down the enemy every time.

Satan immediately flees when God’s word is proclaimed from our lips because we are speaking words that have authoritative POWER.

Why is that?  

Because “the word of God is LIVING and ACTIVE.  SHARPER than any double-edged sword.” Heb 4:12 

It is the very reason when tempted by Satan, Christ responded with “It is written” followed by scripture.

So what do we do when all hell literally breaks loose in our lives? 

In times past I would use my words to grumble, complain, find fault, plan revenge or whine and nothing ever changed, ever.

Instead of using our very words against ourselves or give up and proclaim the enemy the winner, what if we use our words to win the battle and send him back to the hell he came from?

We boldly remind the enemy that we are overcomers because “greater is He who is in me than he (the enemy) who is in the world.” John 4:4.

We let him know quickly that “we are more than conquerers through Him who loved us.” Rom 8:37

We confidently inform him that God “gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Col 15:57 and the “Lord is faithful and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.”  2 Thess 3:3

He can only steal our joy if or when we refuse to fight back with the Word.

It is our choice.

This is why God repeatedly instructs us to study and plant His word in our hearts because He knows it is our guaranteed means of victory against the joy stealer.  

A quote I read recently said “Satan’s greatest weapon is man’s ignorance of God’s word.”

We simply cannot fight with a weapon we don’t possess leaving us defenseless when the battle is raging and our joy is at stake.

Today if your joy is on the verge of being ripped away from you taking your strength with it, open your mouth, fight back with the Word and win!

You are not Satan’s doormat or his punching bag!

You are a redeemed, forgiven, grace-covered, empowered, bold daughter of the King!

Sandra Hubbard

How to Say Thank You

With Thanksgiving approaching I was thinking this morning of all I had to be grateful for.

In prayer I asked God “How could I ever adequately express my gratitude for all He’s done for me?

His gentle response? “Let your life be your daily expression of thanks.” 

Let me explain.

How do we thank Him for our health?  By taking exquisite care of our bodies nurturing her with life giving foods, hydration, exercise and self care.  

By spending time in prayer and the Word we express our gratitude for our access to education resulting in the ability to read while living in a country that allows us to openly pray and worship without fear of persecution.

By forgiving others we thank Him for all the times He forgives us when we hurt Him, disobey, complain, mouth off, ignore Him, walk away or just outright miss the mark.

When we take excellent care of our homes, cars, clothing and possessions we are showing gratitude for everything He’s entrusted to us wisely remembering we are not owners but merely stewards.

Showing up for those we love during difficult times is our “thank you” for every time He shows up on our behalf never leaving us to struggle alone.

Waking each morning committed to giving our best because we are so appreciative of another opportunity to live, experience, breathe and love.

Extending mercy and grace to others even if we don’t deem them worthy because we are grateful for the new mercies He gives us each morning in our unworthiness. (Lam 3:22-23)

While we designate a special day to celebrate Thanksgiving every day is a day to express gratitude.

Let’s live everyday as an expression of thanks to the One who is worthy, generous, long-suffering, merciful, slow to anger and compassionate. (Ps 145:8)

Sandra Hubbard

52 Weeks of Chic

Introducing 52 WEEKS OF CHIC!

What does it mean to live a Chic Life?  

The Chic Life embodies simplicity, substance and style.  

The Chic Life seeks daily spiritual growth, welcomes personal development opportunities and pursues experiences that energize the spirit and nourish the soul.  

The Chic Life is a life with paths leading away from comfort zones and into beautiful spaces that inspire and excite.  

Each Monday morning in 2020 a WEEK OF CHIC Experience will be shared on The Chic Creative website.

This weekly creative challenge is designed to guide you into a deeper faith, empower you with confidence and encourage growth, gratitude, elegance and joy.

To receive your Week of Chic Experience each Monday morning in 2020 simply subscribe to The Chic Creative blog.

Will you make 2020 your best year yet one week at a time?

A Woman’s Place

What are your talents?  

Every woman has talents.  I have yet to meet a talentless woman though many proclaim they have none.  

What do others compliment you on? Your voice? Your sense of style? Your organizational or domestic skills? Your artistic talent? Your business experience?

Your ability to connect and communicate well with others?

Are you a people person or prefer working solo or behind the scenes? 

Have a green thumb, an entrepreneurial mind, a knack for accounting, a creative eye for fashion and beauty, know how to play an instrument or enjoy cooking, crafting or decorating?

Do you adore babies, love children and young people or have a soft spot for the elderly or homebound?

Are you comfortable leading, teaching or speaking in front of others?   

And why does any of this even matter? 

The answer is found in a destroyed city.   

Jerusalem was a mess, her once protective walls reduced to rubble.  

Nehemiah was heartbroken but determined to repair the walls and he succeeded. 

Deciding to dedicate the completed walls to God, he called two choirs to lead the people in worship and “they took their places in the house of God.” (Neh 12:40)

What does that story have to do with your talents?  Everything actually.

Because just as the singers in Nehemiah’s day had their place in God’s house, we have ours.

My friend’s gift for floral design results in stunning displays of beauty on her church’s altar.  

Another friend’s genuine compassion for others created an opportunity for her to minister to those unable to attend church with a home-cooked meal and a moment of human connection.

One woman’s knowledge of finance has helped many women in her church get out of debt while another entrepreneurial minded lady has assisted others in starting their own businesses.  

A stylish friend helps physically battered women reentering the workforce learn how to dress for success and rebuild their lives with confidence in their appearance.

Another woman uses her writing and speaking skills to inspire other women.

Whether singing in the choir or nursing homes, teaching art to children, starting a book club, baking delicious meals, decorating the church for Christmas, forming a fitness class or walking club, visiting the sick or elderly, leading a small group, bible study or lunch club, greeting Sunday morning church arrivals or helping with a church project- there is a place and a need for your God-given talents in His house.

Taking your place in church requires you to show up with your time and commitment and may ask you to step out of your comfort zone with an attitude of servitude.

Taking our place in God’s house is honoring His place in our lives as serving His children becomes greater than serving ourselves.

There is an indescribable joy that comes when we invest our gifts back into the Gift Giver.  

So how can you begin to serve others with your gifts?

Maybe it’s simply letting a church staff member know you are available.

Maybe it’s forming and leading a small group of those interested in learning your skills and knowledge.

While I don’t know your exact gifts, I do know there’s a place in God’s house for them.  

Never dismiss or discount your abilities.

I assure you somebody in your church is praying for someone with your exact skillset to step forward and share your talents and strengths.

I have yet to meet a woman who regretted saying “Yes” to using her strengths and gifts to God’s glory and the benefit of others.

So I ask you today “will you take your place in the house of God?”

Sandra Hubbard

The Art of Friendship

Lately I’ve noticed a particular topic frequently mentioned in my social circles and it is the subject of friendship or perhaps the lack thereof. 

So many women are desiring yet lacking healthy, meaningful friendships.    

Could it be that while we all want friends we have yet to understand “The Art of Friendship?”

The Art of Friendship consists of four major components: Time, Effort, Trust and Vulnerability.  

It’s easy in today’s fast-paced culture to get so busy that we have little time for friendships.

Friendships get placed on the back burner becoming an option instead of the necessity they are.

We benefit tremendously from quality friendships but sadly few women see the need to dedicate time to maintaining these friendships. 

It’s wonderful to spend time with husbands/boyfriends/family. 

But many women believe they have to choose either family or friendships not realizing both were designed to co-exist with and complement each other.   

Sending a quick text of  “Hey, just wanted to see how you are doing” takes little time but has a positive impact on the friendship.  

Busyness is a part of life but what if we made a commitment to stay in touch with friends even in our busyness?

Some women say they feel the friendship’s existence always rests on them meaning if they didn’t make the effort to keep the friendship alive there would be no friendship.  

Eventually they grow resentful of carrying the weight of the one-sided relationship and walk away.

When a woman says “My friends never ask me to do anything” I ask her “Have you asked them to do anything?” 

If she says “No” I remind her of what I too had to be reminded of and that is the phone lines go both ways.  

A balanced friendship requires both women making equal effort.

At some point we all will go through difficult moments and need our friends to comfort us.

But if we neglect the friendships until a crisis hits, do we have any right to be upset when they aren’t eager to be there for us through the hard times?

No. We do not. 

A friendship that exists only when it is convenient is not a friendship and will eventually dissolve.

Let me add that a friendship also needs  “conversational balance.”

My conversations with friends should include equal parts talking and listening and not simply me talking solely about me never expressing interest in them.  

Dominating any conversation is a quick way to find ourselves with no one to talk to.

Friendships must be a priority.

My closest friends and I schedule a monthly night out, planning each month’s meeting in advance.  

Sometimes the scheduled date isn’t convenient, they would rather stay in, the weather is bad, they had a rough day, aren’t feeling social or are exhausted from work yet they still show up.

Why?

Because our friendship isn’t an option – it is a priority. 

Their actions say they value our friendship and are willing to set aside personal preference for the friendship.

It never goes unnoticed or unappreciated.

Friendships ask us to be vulnerable.

Show me a woman who has been hurt in the past by so-called “friends” and I’ll show you a woman who has few friends.  

Why? Because she has been wounded and her trust has been broken.

Any possibility of new friendships requires her to be vulnerable.

After one too many betrayals by “friends” she no longer seeks friendship and begins building protective emotional walls while convincing herself she is fine being alone.

I have been there.  Have you? 

Refusing to cultivate any new friendships out of fear of being hurt again?

Allowing God to heal those wounds opened the door to wonderful friendships that I would’ve missed out on otherwise.

We are stronger together and we need friendships.

What if we commit today to practicing The Art of Friendship?

What if we reconnect with an old friend or seek out a new one?  

Reach out, send a text, plan a lunch, meet for coffee, get together after work, make the effort, show up for the friendship. 

We don’t have to be friends with everyone because everyone doesn’t need to be our friend.

When a friendship stops being a source of joy it may be time to reconsider the relationship altogether.

It is wise as well to avoid the catty, drama filled, toxic and self-absorbed.

With limited time to spend with friends, choose those that are founded on loyalty and filled with laughter.

After spending time with a friend you feel inspired and reenergized, you have found a good friend indeed.

And this I know for sure.

Be the friend you want and that is the friend you will attract.

Sandra Hubbard

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