My husband Kyle and I like to save money. Not crazy amounts, but my dad told us once to “save something of everything we earn”. We might not always be perfect at it, but I would say, 9 times out of 10, when we get a paycheck, we put some money aside into savings. We have what we call an “emergency fund”, because we know that life sometimes throws curveballs (a.k.a. needing a new hot water tank the week we moved into our home). And with an emergency fund, we are prepared to handle times when we need to make an unexpected withdrawal. I promise this has to do with relationships….Just bear with me.
The same goes for relationships. It is all about deposits and withdrawals, or as I like to call it…Investing into Relationships. There are moments when Kyle makes deposits into our relationship. Small deposits like when he brings me a cup of coffee before I am out of bed in the morning. Or large deposits when he surprises me with a clean house and dinner on the table after I get home from a late photo shoot. I try and do the same for him.
The same goes for friendships. Text messages, phone calls, a card sent in the mail, coffee dates, dinner dates, little gifts. Those can all be deposits in a relationship. They are showing the other person. You MATTER to me. You matter to me so much, that I want to give you something. Whether it is words, time, material things, helping someone move or painting their walls. Deposits into a relationship are INTENTIONAL.
Why make deposits? Because life is full of times where we make withdrawals.
There are moments with my best friends when I NEED them to just come over, sit on my couch, and tell me its all gonna be okay. I maybe have overcommitted with my schedule and am feeling stretched thin or am dealing with insecurity, change, or any other emotion. Those are the moments when I need my friends to be there for me. I have nothing to give, but I am in need of some love or encouragement.
My dad told Kyle and I that in the hard moments of life, we are going to need to make withdrawals. People will give grace to us in our ugly moments, because they have seen us in our pretty moments. They have felt loved and because of that, will be able to give it freely.
Think about it in practical terms. With a real bank account, the only time you can make withdrawals is when you have been putting $$ INTO the account. Same with friendships. It’s pretty hard to expect people to be there for you when you haven’t been investing in your relationships.
You see, friendships are a delicate balance. The world is full of 2 kinds of people. Givers and takers. Let’s just be honest. We all have met both kinds of people. But I can be honest when I say that I am both. There are days when I am a giver, and there are days when I am a taker. I am grateful for the days when my husband, parents, & friends are there even when I am not lovable.
TRUE : “The easiest way to have a friend, is to be one.”
I have found that sitting at home complaining “I have no friends” doesn’t ever result in them. What results in deep, fulfilling friendships is when I make deposits. When I am intentional with my time and my love. When I take time and energy to do something to SHOW someone I am thinking about them, I am grateful for them, and I need them in my life.
FALSE : “I am too busy to invest time into my friendships.”
I understand that there are seasons of busy-ness in everyones life. I probably understand it more than most. You see, as a Wedding Photographer in Seattle, most weddings are planned in a 2-4 month period. The summer is called “Wedding SEASON” for a reason. August and September are the months when most people are taking vacations, but that is when Kyle and I are shooting double header wedding weekends. I don’t mind it at all! I LOVE shooting outdoors, but I have come to realize that my summer is a time where my weekends will be full.
But I still try to be intentional. Having people over on weeknights, meeting in the mornings before work for coffee, calling a friend when I have a few extra minutes. When life gets busy, it’s easy to make excuses. And I would be lying if I said that when someone tells me “I can’t, I’m just too busy”, I am able to brush it off easily.
I will sacrifice a perfectly clean home and an empty to-do list for some quality time with people I love. Because life is all about relationships. With our family, our spouses, and our friends. We need other people. As much as sometimes I wish I could do it all by myself, I can’t. We were not created to live alone on islands. We are created to be involved in each others lives. To sit on our couch next to someone and make deposits on our good days, and take withdrawals on our hard days. To show people they are loved and needed, because they have shown us the same thing.
So I want to encourage you, to continue to invest into your friendships even during busy moments. Because relationships make life full and good, and let’s be honest. YOU NEED THEM. We all do.
Friends, thank you. Thank you for being givers even in the hard moments. I am blessed by you daily.