The days are getting longer, warmer, and the kids are getting out of school – summer must be here! And if you’re making goals and plans for this summer, why not make plans to strengthen your relationships? Our relationships with the people we love don’t just happen, they need to be cultivated and maintained. So how can we do that this summer?
Catholic author Emily Jaminet stopped by Morning Air® recently to offer some simple, practical ways that you can strengthen your relationships with family and friends in the coming months – and throughout the year.
“No matter if you have a small family, a large family, a booming career, or you’re in the state of retirement, you need to have authentic relationships in your life,” Jaminet said. “I really hope that as you set goals you put relationships at the very top of your priorities.”
Begin with Prayer
Before we focus on our friends and our relationships, we need to always begin our day in prayer. We need to develop a prayer life and return to prayer, because our Lord is constantly wanting to bring us dear friends, authentic relationships, healing in our hearts from people that have hurt us. So if we’re not focusing on prayer then we can’t move forward.
The idea is focusing on friendships just one day a week. What better day than Friday to say, ‘Am I praying for my friends? Am I serving my friends? Am I even continuing to build that relationship?’
With Friendship Friday, start with sending texts to people who have fallen off your radar, and schedule something on the calendar with people, especially in your faith community. Friendship Friday really gets it on your mind to think, ‘It’s Friendship Friday, who should I reach out to?’
Patio Party and Prayer
Open your home. A really important thing we can do is open our homes to other people and provide some hospitality. I think because of Pinterest, people are very intimidated to let people see how you live. This weekend I had a graduation party of about 100 people and that took a lot of humility to say, ‘This is how we live, this is who we are.’ And it was a wonderful time.
You can do potluck style, bring a dish to share, gather around, and share a prayer. Conclude the night with a decade of the Rosary and dedicate the evening to the Blessed Mother and all of her intentions. Offer a decade of the Rosary, a Chaplet of Divine Mercy – have something embedded in that prayer and you’re going to find that those relationships are going to be so much more rewarding. They will blossom and continue to grow into spiritual friendships.
Quality Not Quantity
A lot of times we can think we have to be there for every minute, but if you have children who are melting down, or you’re exhausted, or you’ve just talked enough to fill the day – think of quality, not quantity. Really feel good about the time you did spend, and when it’s time to go, feel good about that too.
For more tips, listen to the full conversation below: