Is Your Marriage Feeling Empty?

When Jeff and I were first married, we would race home to each other every day. We’re best friends! It will be so fun! All we need is each other! In reality, we ate dinner together for about 3 minutes, talked about our day for 15 minutes, and then watched Heroes for 4 hours. As the months passed, we started to give each other the side eye – why did this just kinda suck? In hindsight, we were just really, honestly, super bored.

I don’t think we’re alone in this. Anyone else slogging through their day, looking forward to being with your partner, pinning all your hopes on them to make the day worthwhile? The problem is – that person you’re waiting all day for? They’re also just a person who had a regular day. If neither of you has much else going on, there might not be all much to say. And gazing into each other’s eyes or having sex for hours every day just doesn’t seem very likely to me. If that works for you – you just keep on doing what you do – but for the rest of us – you need something to do. Something that lights you up, sets your passions on fire, and gives you something to talk about.

At this point in our marriage, we’ve found that we HAVE to have things that fill us up – and these things are often separate from each other. In fact, we only spend about two nights a week doing “Netflix and chill” and the rest we are workin’ on our own stuff.

Here’s some of the things that have worked well for us:

1.       We’re ruthless about figuring out what makes us feel alive.

Kids forced this out of us. We were exhausted, pissed off, wrung out, and just sick of everything. Finding things that light us up and make us excited became a matter of life or death – and that’s not a crazy exaggeration. Our “things” often change, but we both always need to have a “thing.” My husband is really into wood working currently and takes some intro martial arts classes, and I have an Etsy shop and Craft A Community. Have people over. Try a class. Sign up for a sport. Go to church. Join a Bible study. Start something big. You just gotta do it.

2.       We honor each other’s passions and make room for them.

We haven’t parked in the garage for the past two years because of the previously mentioned wood working. But for me, the inconvenience is well worth the incredible joy that Jeff gets out of using it as his workshop. Before either of us commits to something for our “thing,” we talk about how it will affect the family and how we can make it work.

3.       We assess every day what the evening/weekend will look like.

We usually send a text during the day or else talk during dinner about how each of us would like to use the evening after the kids are in bed. Unspoken expectations are poison to relationships, so we like to get it right out there. “I had planned on finishing this project,” or “I’d like to just cuddle with you tonight” or some more X-rated version of that last one. We’re always honest about what we want, and work to compromise.

The idea that one person will be able to contribute financially, co-parent well, hold your values, share all your interests, sense of humor, intuit your feelings, be sexually attractive, be romantic, be your best friend, fulfill your dreams, help run the household, and also ENTERTAIN you every evening and weekend is just…remarkable. Why do we think we have to find everything we need in a person – and just ONE person at that? Is it surprising that marriage feels incredibly disappointing to so many people? What if we recognized that our partner meets certain needs – but that we’re ultimately responsible for our own fulfillment? I would argue that this might change everything.

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Ready to find your "thing"? If you're interested in building community, want to be creative, and love to connect with women, purchase a kit and gather to make friends on purpose!

SAHM Seeks Friends

A writer that I love wrote a piece called “Are You Lonely, Mama?” and it went crazy viral. It’s not surprising. The path for stay at home moms (SAHM’s if you haven’t heard it before) can be a dark one in our culture. Friends without kids often assume you’re busy and stop calling. It’s likely that you have a partner who works a lot to compensate for a one-income family. In days of yore, when women washed their clothes in the river, I imagine everyone nursing babies, wiping butts, and corralling whiny toddlers together, but in our hyper-independent society, you’re now only supposed to emerge from the house if you’ve got it totally together. And heaven help you if your kid has a melt down because you forgot the fruit snacks, or your baby has a blowout.

So everyone stays in their house, crying into their coffee and yelling at their kids to eat their peas and feeling like the last woman on earth - basically starving for some solid mama friendship. But what if I told you that it’s likely that most of the SAHM's around you feel the exact same way? Because you know what? THEY DO.

Are you ready to make a change? Here’s a super simple, no-nonsense action plan that you can start TODAY to start creating your village and making some friends to wipe butts with.

1.       Pick something and do it at a regular time and place every week – or more.

This is so important! In order to establish relationships, you need to see people a LOT! As a SAHM, you have so many options here! It may be hard to get yourself and your kids out of the house, and you may feel too tired to think about potentially meeting new people, but the reward is worth it - you can do this. If you think of your SAHM life as a job, picture these outings as your morning assignment. Write it down on your calendar and do as many as you can handle.

  • Library storytime
  • MOPS or moms group
  • Toddler gym time
  • Church
  • Chick Fil A play area
  • Park

2.       Small talk with the women around you.

Though many of the events you attend may appear to be for the kids, they’re actually more for you! By showing up to these places, you are guaranteeing that you will see women who live near you, who have kids the same age, and are also looking to get out of the house and meet people – the winning combo! Don’t be shy to talk!

3.       Extend the event.

After you’ve seen and chatted with another mom at least two or three times, it’s time to make a bold move! Ask to extend the event and involve food to keep the kids happy – go for lunch afterwards, bring a picnic with you, grab free Chick Fil A breakfast before the library, etc. This is a great way to start connecting outside of the “events” but still keep it comfortable. This is a good time to exchange phone numbers, as well.

4.       Friend her on social media and give her posts some love.

In the Facebook age, this is an important step! Friending or following someone is a signal that you are interested in building a friendship with them. Liking or commenting on their post shows that you’re supportive, that you’re interested, and that you’re working to build something with her.

5.       Invite her over.

Bringing someone into your home is a HUGE step in the friend building phase! Don’t worry if your house is messy – concentrate on making her and her kids feel loved and welcome. Include lunch to make things even more warm and intimate – and even make that the focus! Having a project like making your own PBJ shapes or personal pizzas is adventurous but can have a huge payoff. Or – if you have a few acquaintances that you’d like to get closer with – try a Craft Kit. Gathering a small group of women together to deepen friendships and making something with their hands is a FANTASTIC way to start creating a community that loves, supports, and sometimes even does each other’s laundry.  

Look for the Lonely Ones

My mom had a story. She said that when she was in fourth grade, her friends suddenly dumped her. She didn’t know why or what happened, but they stopped talking to her. She felt so alone and embarrassed at lunch time that she would take her sandwich into the bathroom and eat it in the stall. 

I heard this story many, many times growing up, and it always ended the same way. Every time, my mom looked straight into my eyes and said, “You always look for the lonely ones. You include them. You talk to them. Always.” 

I had a really unusual childhood - I was homeschooled until I was 16. Homeschooling at that time was different than it is now - I was much more sheltered. At the same time, it was a fantastic childhood, full of innocence and silly fun with my siblings. When I started public high school my sophomore year, everything was very different, and very, very hard. Everyone was kind, but dismissive. No one was mean to me, but I was sweepingly ignored. And I found myself, for the first time, doing what my mom taught me. I was lonely, so I looked for the other lonely ones.  

People are lonely in high school for lots of reasons, but it’s often for the same reason I was - they don’t quite get it. They haven’t mastered the rules, the cues, they don’t know how to dress or stand or talk. I knew I didn’t have much to offer - just the chance to be friends with someone who was willing to overlook those kinds of things. 

I followed this rule all through high school, through college, and beyond - offering what I had, even though it wasn’t all that spectacular. I was intense, literal, a homebody, awkward, laughed at the wrong things, missed all the cultural references - but I could be a friend, and that’s what I offered. 

It’s kind of like a kid making a picture for her grandma when she’s sick, or a mom drawing a picture of flowers for her kid because she asked - the art is pretty terrible, but it means so much more to that person. If you’ve ever sung your baby a lullaby and you can’t carry a tune, or cobbled together a Pinterest fail for your best friend’s birthday - you know that it’s not your talent that makes them happy. 

Sometimes we create, not because we’re good at it, but because someone else needs what we make. Sometimes we introduce ourselves, make the first move - not because we’re good at it, but because someone needs the human connection as much as we do.  

I hear women talk, so often, about that poverty of loneliness. I know exactly how that feels. What’s so important, when you’re in that place, is to look around. Sometimes when you’re so focused on your own shortcomings, inability, confusion, you can completely miss people that are right in front of you, that want exactly what you have to offer.  Don’t miss them. Look for the lonely ones.     

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If you'd like to take a step toward gathering women for friendship on purpose, you've come to the right place! Try a craft kit - it's the perfect reason!

Trouble Finding Friends? Make Them.

Have you ever wished you could find an amazing tribe? A sisterhood of women who will envelope you, welcome you with open arms, and you’ll fit right into their rhythm without missing a beat? It’s a beautiful idea.

Here’s the problem – that’s not really a thing. Instead, we need to change the words we use when we talk about community. I believe that the best, the deepest, the longest lasting, the most “ride or die” friendships are made, not found.

What’s the difference? Finding means that you stumble upon something – maybe by accident - that someone else has created. Making means that you are part of the creative process yourself.

Though making is currently a hip term used to describe artsy craftsy things, it doesn’t just apply to art. The truth is, even if you’re not an artsy person, you are a maker too. We make our families, our careers, our dinners, and our relationships. Making means that you have your hands in every stage of the project. It means that you experience each step of the process, and you take the time to do it properly. It means you get to witness each high point and each low moment.

So what does it mean to make a friendship? How is relationship building like the creative process?

1.       Making is starting from scratch

In friendship, the making process starts with handshakes and small talk – and it can feel pretty bare. When you’re at the very beginning of the friend-making process, remember that it’s meant to feel this way at first. “Scratch” is a great word to describe the sometimes awkward first stages of a relationship. It often starts this way.

2.       Making is time consuming

Of course it’s quicker to go pick up burgers than to make them. Of course it’s a grind to move through all the stages of baby, toddler, gradeschool, and teen years. Of course it’s faster to buy a scarf than to knit one. Making things can take a long, long time, but the time you put in is what makes the pay off so worthwhile. Can you imagine how bizarre it would feel if someone presented you with an 18 year old and said, “Hey, we did the hard work for you! Now enjoy your family without the drag of parenting!” The same is true for your girlfriends!

3.       Making is sometimes frustrating

If you’ve ever had a “Pinterest fail” or a crafting catastrophe, you can picture just how devastating it can be when things don’t go as they’re meant to. When you’re creating anything – from a quilt to a friendship – you’ll hit some roadblocks. You’ll run into unexpected snags. Often, we think that really good friends will never have fights, will never say the wrong thing, or never let each other down. Nothing could be further from the truth.

4.       Making is incredibly fulfilling, and it’s what we were designed to do.

I believe in a creator God who designed us to come alive when we make something new out of raw materials. He loves to make – even Jesus was a carpenter – and He’s put that drive in us, too. At times, we try to forget this fact in favor of convenience, but in the end, getting a ready-made life can be profoundly depressing.

Meal prep companies have started popping up because I think we’ve started to realize there’s something important missing from take-out. Upcycling, restoration, and DIY is now incredibly chic instead of a sign that you’re short on cash. Etsy – the handmade site that was fairly unknown just a few years ago – has exploded with people offering something for people who want something unique, not mass produced. The same is true with our sisterhood. Once we buy into the idea of making our tribe, the sooner we can started!

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If you are ready to take a risk - to step out - and take action to start making real, vibrant friendships, try a craft kit! It's the perfect reason to gather and make friends on purpose!

I'm Not An Artist - Why Labels Don't Always Fit

You’re an artist.”  

The woman who said this to me had silvery gray hair cropped in a short pixie style, and square rimmed glasses on her face. She was busy setting up her table next to mine at a vendor fair - busy unrolling her banner, her tablecloth, her items, all her branded merchandise. She was looking at my clay cake toppers, arranged haphazardly on my table on a white linen cloth. I paused because I didn’t know how to answer her.  

“Oh! Thank you! I...don’t know about that,” was all I could think of. I was surprised at how much I recoiled at the term. I’m not an artist, is what I wanted to say. Not at all. I don’t even know if I want to be an artist. Artists have vision, and they’re visited by the muse, and they make lots of abstract things. I’m much more practical - I feel like I found something that people want to buy, and also found out that I can make it, and now I sell them for money.  

When I first got the idea for the Craft A Community group, I hesitated can I teach people about painting? About sewing? About pottery? I’m not a real artist. 

I hear this a lot around the introvert/extrovert terminology, too. “I can’t _____ because I’m an introvert,” “It’s easy for her to make friends because she’s an extrovert.” The minute you find yourself saying, “I can’t do that because I’m _________”, it’s time to take pause. Labels (even when they come from super helpful personality tests and tools) are only helpful as long as they illuminate our tendencies and motivations, our proclivities and pitfalls. They’re designed to be used as tools to help us continue to grow, not fences to limit us.  

Honestly, I don’t know how much of an extrovert or introvert I am. I know that meeting people and making small talk used to make me physically nauseous, and after practicing for the past 15 years, it doesn’t - and I finally enjoy it a lot of the time. I also know that after I’ve been with too many people, or been in a crowded space, or mingled too much, I feel this weird strain in my chest, and a pain behind my face, and I know it’s time to duck out. I don’t really know if I’m an artist or not, but I have been playing with clay since I was a kid and I’ve gotten really good at it. 

Everyone has things that come more easily, and things that take a bit more work. I spent many years only focusing on the things that I did well, and it didn’t work out that great. Labels and terms can be good for helping you determine your path - maybe if something is really challenging for you, you’ll take one step when someone else takes three. But you keep moving. That’s the most important thing. 

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If you are ready to take a risk - to step out - and take action to start making real, vibrant friendships, try a craft kit! It's the perfect reason to gather and make friends on purpose!

Rory and Paris: What the What?

So, I know I am late to the Gilmore Girls party. Like, really quite late. But, thanks to Netflix, I can now fill in all the episodes I didn't see on ABC Family while babysitting in 2004. And my biggest draw to the show this time around – besides Rory's three absolutely adorable guys (seriously this casting director was ON IT) - is the Rory and Paris dynamic.

Poor Paris. She is so, so unpleasant. She has a gift for putting people off. She offends people when she means to and also when she doesn't. But as I watch through the seasons, I see Rory – who is sweet and kind and has super perky Lane as a friend model – move to spend most of her time with Paris. How does this happen? Why on earth would Paris ever become, arguably, Rory's best friend?

Here's what I think we can learn from this highly unlikely pair, and why Paris ends the series as one of Rory's top people.

1.       Paris was there.

Paris is literally in Rory's world. They face the same pressures, expectations, and challenges. Unlike Lane, who fades away quite a bit from Rory's everyday space, Paris understands what it's like to be in a super elite prep school. She's doing the crazy college admissions process too. She is also starting at an Ivy League university. When someone is in your circle, they get you in a way that others don't. There's an intimacy there that matters. You need people who are in your world, even if you might not have chosen them as friends otherwise. Don't miss them.

2.       Paris was there.

I saw a movie once where a character said we need someone to "bear witness to our lives." Paris is a friend for a lifetime. When someone puts in the time for the long haul, they become a key piece of our lives...even if they are challenging, and prickly, and abrasive. Think of how many hours Rory and Paris log over the course of the show. This is priceless. Having someone who asks how the date went, or what grade you got on the test – someone who knows what you usually eat for breakfast and could name all the pairs of shoes you normally wear – that is valuable. Don't discount it.

3.       Paris was there.

Paris cares about Rory. I love the scene where she covers for Rory when Dean shows up and Jess is there. Also the scene where she tries to kick Logan out when Rory's upset. She freaks out when Rory drops out of Yale. She is present in pivotal moments and does her best to help her friend. That is something rare. She doesn't get it right a lot of the time, but she really tries, and in the end, she's the only friend who consistently tries.

This relationship is so important to remember when we find ourselves pulling away from people because we "don't click" with them. Sometimes the most beautiful and interesting friendships come because you don't "click." I think the better question is "do we make each other's lives better?" In the end, if seven seasons and tons of fans are any judge, that's what will count.

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If you are ready to take a risk - to step out - and take action to start making real, vibrant friendships, try a craft kit - designed to help you gather women and make friends on purpose! 

Have a Project

I have two stories for you. Both happened when Jeff and I were new in a strange city, recently married, and looking to make new friends.  

The first couple asked us over for dinner, and we were elated. When we arrived, dinner was in the oven, the house was impeccably clean, the table was set, and we sat on the couch across from them, hands folded, waiting for the casserole to cook, and ran out of conversation in about 15 minutes. 

The second couple asked us over to barbeque one Sunday afternoon. When we got there, the guy had an entire grill’s worth of parts spread out on the grass in front of their patio. “I just bought this,” he told my husband. “You wanna help me start putting it together?” Jeff is an engineer and makes great conversation, but it’s a huge effort for him with new people, and I saw the delight spread visibly across his face at this idea. I went into the house with the wife and asked, “What can I help you get started?” She had salad stuff ready and asked if I would cut it up.  With our hands busy, we found lots to chat about, and occasional silence seemed natural. By the time dinner was ready we knew this was the beginning of a very real friendship. 

When you clean every crumb and dust molecule from your house before someone comes over, when you have every vegetable cut and every dish laid, it feels like, “You are a guest!” When someone asks you to help prep dinner, or find a good song to play, or check if the chicken looks done, it feels like, “You’re a friend.”  

I think women hesitate to invite each other into their homes because they think there’s a standard that’s supposed to be met – a level of clean, a level of cooking – you’re “entertaining.” But the weird truth is that the more perfect the house and the lunch, the more awkward it often is. When you throw some bread and cold cuts on the counter, when there are some dirty dishes in the sink and some toys scattered around, your new friend can breathe a sigh of relief. No one is expecting perfection from anyone, here – we’re just hanging out and eating sandwiches. 

If having people over is hard for you, try this. Leave some of the chopping or dinner assembly, and when your new friends offer to help, let them. Here’s a secret – people don’t usually ask this because they feel obligated – they usually ask because they’re desperate to do something with their hands. Takes the pressure off. Get some frozen dough and jarred sauce and a bunch of toppings and let people make their own pizzas. Get some fun cocktail items and everyone look up recipes for mojitos together.  

Think outside the box, and get creative. Find something that feels like a good first step. It definitely doesn’t have to be assembling a grill.

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If you need more inspiration for having friends over and using an activity to break the ice, learn more about making a craft together is the perfect fit!

But I Can't Dooooooooo It!

“But Mom! I can’t dooooooooooo it!!” My four year old’s cheeks were already flushed with frustration and tears were rolling down onto her nose. She had tried to paint a house on the construction paper in front of her, and it looked…like poop. She’s old enough now to know the difference between random paint strokes and an actual image, and she couldn’t make it work. She threw the brush across the table and the paint spattered everywhere. 

I took a long slow breath, and this time at least, channeled a patient and loving parent instead of the white hot volcano of rage that had been building since that morning. “Bubble,” I told her, “You’re not going to get it perfect right away. You have to practice.” She wailed and threw herself off her chair, then shrieked at the pain in her elbow that slammed into the floor.  

This was not what she wanted to hear. She wanted to make something pretty. Her paper was not pretty. She wanted to hang up a lovely picture of a house on the refrigerator, and being told that this wouldn’t likely happen in the next 3.5 minutes was just absolutely unacceptable. 

Kids have to be told to practice, to work at something, to get better little by little. It’s not really a fun message. To be honest, as adults we don’t really like to hear it either, but we’ve grown to accept that school and work, parenting and marriage, can be a lot of grind, but worthwhile in the end.  

So why do we so often expect friendship to be breezy and effortless? Deep, real, vibrant relationships are built on a foundation of everyday slog. So many forgotten texts to forgive. So many dud playdates where the kids just fight and fall down and cry the whole time. So many times you don’t have much to talk about and end up rehashing the excruciating details of what house updates everyone’s doing this summer for the hundredth time. So many times where one bails on the other in the middle of a crappy week because all they can handle is turning on Netflix and going to bed at 7:30. 

But if you stick it out, if you push past the awkward, the dull, the mundane and keep showing up for each other, if you keep picking up the text thread and keeping meeting up for coffee and keep asking how her week is, how her marriage is, how her job is, keep sharing and keep talking – eventually you will create something gorgeous. You’ll make a friend who understands when you run your mouth about your mother-in-law, who doesn’t judge when you vent about your kids, the first person you call when you get the positive pregnancy test or the positive diagnosis.   

When we take a risk and make plans with a new friend, only for it to be kind of awkward and a little boring, it’s very tempting to throw ourselves to the ground and wail, “But I can’t DOOOOOOO it.” It’s easy to write it off, “I’m just different – I can’t find my people,” or “If I just lived somewhere else, I’d find people I click with.”  

But you can. It takes time. Beautiful things take patience and practice. And it’s worth it. I promise.

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If you're ready for the next step and want an easy way to hang out with some new faces, take a look at Craft Kits designed to give you a reason to hang out and make friends on purpose! 

The REAL Reason She Didn't Text Back

See if you can relate to this story. You’re waiting for your 3rd grader to get done with gymnastics when you recognize the woman standing near you – she’s also been in your spin class a few times. You’ve decided that this year is the one where you’ll step out and make friends, so you gather your courage and smile big at her. You introduce yourself, and to your delight, she smiles even bigger. You have lots in common – went to the same college, have kids in the same school, go to the same spin class. It’s a love fest, and you end up exchanging numbers. The next day, you take a risk again and text her asking if she’d like to try the yoga in the park this Saturday. You smile to yourself when you picture your future together – heads thrown back in laughter over lattes, pedicures, spa getaways. Except…she never texts back.

You’re devastated. “It’s me,” you think. “I texted too soon. I laughed too loud. I asked too many questions. I’m too fat. My pants are too dorky. My breath must be bad. She thinks I’m too needy. Too desperate. Too annoying.” And you believe these things. And you never text again, and stuff everything inside under the heading “Reasons Why I’m Lonely.”

I’m about to drop some truth bombs on you – right here, right now. 98% of the time, in these situations, it has NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU AT ALL. You want to know why she didn’t text back? I have some very good guesses, informed by a LOT of personal research.

1.       She had a rough day.

For so many reasons, she could have looked at your text and then promptly gotten distracted. Kids, husband, house, dinner, maybe someone threw up on the way home, maybe a teenager broke curfew, maybe a toddler played in their poop. Then, when she finally looked again, a few days had passed, and looking at your hopeful smiley face emojis just made her feel even more terrible that she forgot. Which leads us to number 2 -

2.       She’s worried that you’ll judge her.

Yep, you read that right. You were the one who reached out to her, remember, so she may assume you are “outgoing” and an “extrovert” and have a ton of friends. Friends that she can’t compete with. Maybe she worries that she was too eager, too needy, that her daughter sassed her on the way out, and that you’ll regret trying to be her friend. She may worry that you’ll find out that she has a messy house, that you’ll discover that she and her husband aren’t doing well. She’s afraid to respond to you because she has a “Reasons Why I’m Lonely” list too.

So, she doesn’t text back and you think, “Ugh, I messed it up again – this is why I can’t have friends.” And then you don’t try again, and then she thinks, “Ugh, I messed it up again – this is why I can’t have friends.” It’s a sad, ugly cycle.

Stop the cycle. Text again. Choose to ignore your old story. Give her the gift of empathy, the benefit of the doubt, or the Jesus-y way to say it – give her grace. Try a few times. Flip the focus from you to her, and you’ll be amazed at how differently things turn out. I promise!

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If you are ready to take a risk - to step out - and take action to start making real, vibrant friendships, try a craft kit! It's the perfect reason to gather and make friends on purpose. 

Don't Clean Your House - 3 Reasons Why a Messy Home Helps You Make Friends

Picture this. Your brand new neighbor is knocking at your door, smiling and holding the Swiffer you lent her the day before. She’s very nice – warm and fun and you have your fingers crossed that you will become BFF’s. SO – do you open the door and invite her in???

GASP – but she might see your house! The one you live in, but haven’t had a chance to “prep for guests.” You know, the “Battle stations everyone! Vacuums out! Dusters at the ready! Throw all the toys away!” kind of prep?

I’m here to tell you to open that door wide and let that new friend in – laundry mountain be damned. Actually, a messy house can be a key tool in helping you make an awesome new connection. And, to be clear, I’m not advising you LET your house get dirtier on purpose. Rather – whatever level of clean is good for your family is fine for friends too!

Here are three things you are saying (without words) to a potential new friend when you leave those corner cobwebs untouched:

1.       “I’m not judging you.”

When I talk with women about their biggest fear in making new friends, it’s always this: “I am afraid she will judge me.” I get it. As women, we are hounded on all sides by requirements on how we must look, how we must act, what we must eat. When you leave some dirty dishes in the sink and some toothpaste spots on the bathroom mirror, you’re saying to your new friend, “Hey, I’m not expecting perfection, from you or me.” It’s a bold move, and you’ll see women sense it and relax when they walk into your house.

2.       “I care about you.”

Hey, you could have spent this time cleaning your house. You could have rescheduled until a “better time” – aka after the cleaning lady comes. You could have made a date on the calendar three months from now when you had time to “get more organized” – but you didn’t do any of those things. You welcomed someone into your home…today, right now. You gave this woman priority. Your new friend will sense this, and appreciate it.

3.       “I want you to know the real me, and I want to know the real you.”

Inviting someone into your messy house is like skipping three “friend dates” ahead. You are invested and interested in a real, authentic friendship instead of a phony acquaintance. Being vulnerable enough to open your door to a new friend who can actually see the crumbs on the floor is a loud and clear declaration that you’re looking for the real thing. She’ll sense it and respond in kind.

It takes guts to let someone in – both to your heart and to your home. Start with opening your door to your imperfect house, and it will give you courage to open the door to your imperfect heart. Be the first to take a stand against stupid expectations and put people first. You can do it!

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If you're ready to take a risk and begin to build a friendship, try a Craft Kit - it's the perfect reason to gather women to make art and make friends on purpose!