Lisa Leonard Designs

nurturing friendship, nurturing my soul {time with sarah}

May 8th | adventures, blog friends

Sarah and I met up in Santa Barbara for an overnighter. We get to see each other a few times a year at conferences, our families meet up at the zoo or we grab dinner. But an overnight getaway with just the two of us–that is a rare treat. The timing was perfect. I needed some downtime and I needed someone who completely ‘gets’ me and loves me unconditionally.

My friendships have changed as I’ve gotten older and as I’ve entered new life stages. When I was young, friendship was convenient. I played with the kids at school or the kids in the neighborhood–I didn’t need to coordinate or plan friendship, it just happened.
In college, I started to nurture deeper friendships. As I married, friendships became more complicated–did our husbands get along? Of course when kids entered the picture life becomes busier and there are more personalities at play.
The truth is, I work quite a bit, I have kids {one with special needs}, and it takes time to make dinners, do the dishes and wash the clothes. Friendships, although important to me, often take a backseat–other things demand my attention.
So how do we make time to nurture friendship {which in turn nurtures our souls}? I try to make time for weekly coffee dates with my local girlfriends. I chat on the phone with my twin sister almost every morning. I text my friends here and there to say I love them and I’m thinking of them. Most of all, I rely on patient friends, who are willing to pick up where we left off, and forgive me when I don’t return their phone calls quickly.
And when I get to sneak away for an overnighter, I soak up every single minute of it!

In the busyness of life, how do you make time to nurture friendships?

18 Responses

  1. Melissa says:

    My bff lives in the same town as I do, but we don’t always get to see each other or talk. But we both know the other loves them, thinks of them often and when we both have a day off from work(thank you govt holidays), we try to do breakfast and coffee. My other bff lives 2hrs away and actually we just got to see each other for the first time in 9yrs at my surprise 40th bday party! It was like no time had gone by. She loves me for who I am and nothing changed in that 9yrs! I am lucky to have two very good bff’s who came into my life at different times. I cherish them always! They are the sisters I never had. Glad you had your away time w/your friend! Mommies need that!! :)

  2. penny says:

    Obviously I don’t. I love how you said it- “I rely on patient friends”… How about that cup of coffee, patient friend? :-)

    • Lisa Leonard says:

      I was totally thinking about you when I was writing this post–and how much I love you but how little time we get together. It’s certainly no reflection of how much I care about you! Yes, coffee is a must! xo

  3. Laura says:

    I love this Lisa. I have spent the last 3 years nurturing my first post-college friends, and as my husband and I get ready to move again this summer, I am nervous about starting over again! We are expecting our first baby in October, and during a time when you long to have close friends close, I’m afraid of being in a new place with a new baby by myself (with hubby of course!). Thanks for sharing this special friendship and how you find time to help them grow!

  4. Susan says:

    Really make it a priority, that’s what I have to do. But I have no problem making time for friends, it’s usually me running after them until we can make a date. :) But that’s okay, they’re worth it! Sometimes you just have to wait until the kids are a little older and sometimes you have to say, ‘to hell with the laundry and clean house’- which is really hard for me(!), I grew up with a mom who made us clean the house religiously once a week! :) Old habits die hard. I certainly don’t clean that often (at all), but it bugs me to have a dusty home. I find a weekly coffee is easier than dinner b/c the coffee can just become one of your weekly ‘to dos’. I guess we should do that with dinners out- bimonthly, or monthly, etc… The picture of you and your friend is beautiful!

  5. Hi Lisa,
    Hurray for time with girlfriends.
    I can totally agree/relate to not feeling like I have enough time to really nurture my friendships. I’m blessed with a group of gals in my life who have known me for over 20 years. I suppose that makes it easier to just pick up where we leave off. Plus we’re all in similar seasons and get how hard it is. However, we do several things to make sure we don’t loose touch and make sure we’re still loving on each other. We have an annual ‘craft weekend’ which gives us 2+ days of uninterrupted conversation and fun. We have monthly Bunko nights and then 3-4 times a year try to plan some other ‘mama’s night out’ type event. In fact … we’re getting ready to plan our first ‘Favorite Things Night’ thanks to Miss Julie ;).

    Happy Tuesday! XOXO!!

  6. Linda says:

    I have a son with cystic fibrosis who is 14. I find myself with really no girl friends for about 14 years now. Pretty sad, but my life is so consumed with doing breathing treatments, sterilizing, medications, trips to Stanford every three months if all is well. Then I take care of two sweet little boys 3 to 4 days a week 11 hour days most days. I hope some day there will be time for girl friends and for me. But for now it is all about my family and trying hard to stay well.

    • Sarah says:

      I am in a similar position. My son has a different disease, but my life is based around meds, breathing treatments, avoiding germs, and plenty of hospital visits in between. I have no local girlfriends at all. I do have a couple male friends – they are much more patient and understanding. I also have friends online. I can always get an email out… even if I could never go out for coffee. It’s rough, but I know I’ll look back and not give a thought to movies I missed, or trips I couldn’t take. :)

  7. Diane Aubuchon says:


    You are amazing, Lisa! I adore the fact that you’re so real! In this day and age, everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives, that it’s refreshing to have even a handful of true friends, not just acquaintances. The older I get, the more I appreciate spending time with our loved ones and nurturing the gaps of quality time together with quick texts to let them know we’re thinking about them.

  8. Lyn says:

    Patient friend are definitely the best. It’s so comforting to know that when life gets too crazy to hang out with my friend Sarah, she will always be there when things slow down (unless her life is too crazy). But if something urgent comes up I know she will be here in a heartbeat, and vice versa.

  9. Kristin S says:

    Sweet, sweet reminder. Lately I’ve been convicted about living in community and allowing my besties IN to my junk. It doesn’t burden them, it blesses them to as I allow them in.


    On a different note, dish on those two toned sunglasses. I’m a redhead and I’d love those!

  10. tiffany day says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I completely agree with how you described friendships and how they change as we get older!

    I do similar things to you to nurture those friendships I have and that are special and improtant to me. Being patience, understanding and giving the benefit of the doubt when you dont hear back is key!

    I have also learned, for me, some friendships I just cant maintain – they are a drain on me rather than food to my soul and a positive influence sometimes we have to be ok that we can’t be all things to all people. And I don’t say that to be harsh or calus

    What we need are heart friends who undertand us, love us and support us!!


  11. Lauren says:

    Such an encouraging post!
    It has always been a struggle for me to stay connected with many of my friends, and it is always nice to hear how others make it work. One way my friends and I have found to make it work is by writing letters. It is like we are pen pals and we get to catch each other up on life in every letter. We cherish the letters we receive and the time that we take to write them in.

  12. LOVD says:

    Yes, this is so true, especially when kids come into the picture. Stealing moments, lunches, coffees, during the day is when I find the time to catch up with friends. So the laundry doesn’t get done that week, who cares! It is true, though, about having friends that can pick up right where we left off without missing a beat, even if it’s been several months since we last spoke.

  13. Kelli says:

    So nice to see I am not the only one who has to sort of squeeze in time for friends! My best friend since college and I try to meet for dinner or lunch every six weeks or so, and once a year we get an overnighter. We don’t have time to chat in between, so we really look forward to these dates! My local girlfriends and I really have to send a zillion emails back and forth before we find a time to get together, but it’s so worth it. And I love suggesting a dinner and movie girls’ night now and then and inviting all the ladies I know, whether they know one another or not. You never know where a new friendship may blossom!

    Mostly, though, I love to leave mementos and notes on my girlfriends’ porches. It’s kind of my thing.

  14. Being a military wife I’ve learned that good friends are hard to find and “keep” as moving ever 3-4 years is a part of life. I have about 4 friends in my life that have stayed true. We can go weeks without a chat but when we do, it’s as if time has never passed. Those are the true friendships that I cherish. Those are the ones that will be my friend until I’m old and wrinkly.

  15. maria says:

    Oh I struggle with this! I have kids, homeschool, a home to run and take care of a bedridden elderly mom! I have limited time but try to call friends as much as possible but one of my long time friends that is single can’t understand why she can’t access me and will call back within 15 minutes, at times has called back and hung up 6 x’s in a row. She gets annoyed if I can’t offer more than 2 hrs. for a get together (she has to pay tolls) and turned my offer down recently! She rubs my husband the wrong way. She is quite hurt though I tried to explain. I don’t want to lose the friendship but what can I do!

  16. Kathy C. says:

    How timely! My college roomates and I are FINALLY all getting together for the first time in over 13 years in June for a weekend! One of the roommate’s had a heart episode last Fall that almost killed her and we’ve decided we can’t afford to wait anymore!! These are the girls that decipled me and nurtured me and encouraged me in my brand new faith in college (and dragged me to RUF the first couple times)! I may just have to see if I can scrounge up some extra funds to get them each a little something from your shop to mark the occasion!

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