Whew! I am tired already!
I am loving writing these posts in this 31 Days of My People series. There’s nothing I enjoy more than sharing our quirks, our fun and somewhat alarming stories (sorry, Sally!) and the history I have and am still making with My People. I told you… They’re just the best.
Like I mentioned in my Intro to this 31 Days, throughout this series I will not only be highlighting stories of My People and sharing them with all of you to love, but I’ll be offering tips to start, build, and grow your relationships with Your People.
So each Tuesday this month, you’ll see a post entitled Tuesday People Tips, and you’ll get some ideas to seek out and strengthen relationships so you can best love Your People and enjoy many memories together.
Here’s your first installment of Tuesday People Tips:
It’s not lost on me that not everyone has wonderful people in their life. Some folks are simply born into difficult families or aren’t surrounded by very many positive influences. I get that we don’t get to choose every single person we have to be around. But Our People are entirely up to us. We get choose who we spend the moments of our lives with.
But what if the space of life you’re in has you still looking around for Your People? Maybe you’re feeling downright lonely and wondering if you’ll ever have People. Well then, friend…first you’ve got to believe that there’s always someone out there who is Your People. Then you’ve got to do something to start building community. Here are some suggestions:
Can you make a hamburger? How about a pot of chili? Take a couple of minutes to watch this video by Jen Hatmaker. She says it better than I ever could.
You can see that what Jen is getting at here is that it doesn’t have to be a big deal to start with. Maybe you take some leftover chili a coworker sometime. Then the next time you make it, invite them over to share it with you. Or maybe you and your spouse can talk to the neighbors over the fence while you’re sprucing up the lawn, then throw some extra burgers (or in my case, zucchini) on the grill and invite them over to help you eat them.
Keep it simple. A table or a front porch are often fantastic, easy places to start. Food isn’t always necessary, but let’s be real…a big jar of sweet tea can cover a multitude of weirdness. So can a pot of coffee. Or some Yuengling. Whatever. It helps to have something to bond over and frankly, something to do with your hands while you navigate the new conversation.
No big pressure. Just get started. I am betting the first few conversations won’t wade too far into deep waters, but that’s okay. You’re just starting out. And if this person is meant to be Your People, you’ll be able to connect on a deeper level soon enough. But you’ve gotta start somewhere.
What’s Your Deal, Man?
When you’re having these get-to-know-you conversations over dinner or drinks or the fence, a great way to foster open conversation is by simply asking about your new friend. Sure, you’ll be sharing about yourself too, but ask some questions that will help them open up, then zip it and genuinely listen to their answers. These conversations will help you know if this person could potentially be Your People.
Do you know how I start off with people I’m just getting to know? I say, “So, what’s your story?” and then I sit back and listen. I love hearing people’s stories. I love knowing how a couple met and fell in love. I love listening to why someone moved across country (or to a new country altogether.) I love hearing what makes them tick, and why they are into poetry/Zimbabwe/literature/running/Indian food/boating/horseback riding/sustainable stuff. Whatever their deal is, I want to know about it. Whatever their story, asking and listening will get the ball rolling, and you’ll both be able to open up and start connecting.
Pray for Your People
God cares about every single thing in your life. Literally ALL THE THINGS. You don’t think He would care enough to send some People your way? Just ask Him, then get ready. I have a feeling they’ve always been there, around you. Pray for Him to help open your eyes to the People that might already be in your life and how you can connect with them.
Reach out. Open up. Offer your table or porch. You may be surprised at how you connect with Your People.
Do you have some other tips that will help folks get started on their journey to finding Their People? I’d love to hear them! Leave a comment with how you started a conversations that led to a great relationship with Your People.
See you tomorrow for more of 31 Days of My People!