The image is of 2 hanging basket we have on our front porch, initially in the spring the one basket was all pink and white flowers. Then just recently I noticed that basket now also has a few purple flowers. The hanging basket next to it has purple, red and yellow flowers. We also have a rose of Sharon bush in our front yard, that use to be all white flowers but now we have a few pink flowers in it. Which are the same color of the flowers on a rose of Sharon bush that is also on that side of our yard. I don’t understand all the birds and bees of what takes place but I’ve noticed flowers hanging out together sometimes takes on similar traits.
Several years ago, I had gotten to be close friends with a lady that I met at work. We then ended up becoming neighbors. She was younger than me but we were both in our 30’s. When we became neighbors my husband and I had been married around 17 years. Like most marriages we had already had some ups and downs. Our oldest son that had been born blind was now 15 years old and our youngest son that has Asperger’s syndrome was now 9. We had survived his terrible, 2’s, 3’s 4’s, 5’s and 6’s! My friend and her husband had a strong and affectionate marriage. I would sometimes be at her house when her husband would either be leaving or just getting home. Either way, they always greeted each other with a kiss. I remember standing there one day and realizing my husband and I use to do that but at some point, we had lost that. I couldn’t put my finger on when but slowly we had both stopped making that a priority. At this point we were in a really good place in our marriage, we were just out of the habit of greeting each other in that way. The more I was around this friend and her husband the more I realized how much I missed that. One evening after my husband had gotten home I just abruptly brought it up, I was very matter of fact about it. I said, “I don’t know exactly when we stopped, but I miss us not greeting each other with a kiss when we get home or when we leave. I want us to start doing that again.” My husband just gave me a smirk and said, “well ok”, I think he got a kick out of how matter of fact I was. Thankfully he took me seriously, from that day on it’s been back a part of our marriage. As I continued to spend time with that friend, there were a couple other things that I picked up that strengthen my marriage.
That same friend filled out one of those fun questioners you see on Facebook now, but we use to get them emailed to us. How did we meet, what do you remember first about me, what’s your favorite color, what’s your favorite ice cream and so on. Usually the answers are short and sweet but I remember when it ask what she remembered first about me, she told a story about something that had happened at work. Another agent had done something unethical to me and when her and another agent told me about it, she was positively impacted by the way I had handled it in the office. Later after we were neighbors and our kids had become friends, our families would do things together. Their family tended to be a little late to things, usually rushing out the door the last minute. Our family tended to be early to most places. One day she told me, “I use to think if I was on time I was doing great. Now because of the influence of your family my kids make me feel like we are late if we walk in just as something is starting.”
See who we spend time with, has influence on us. They can improve our quality of life or they can bring it down. I had another friend years ago that was very negative. I would try so hard when we were together to bring her up, but then I would come home and throw up all over my husband. I had to back off that relationship for my mental health as well as for my husband’s! 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
As a young adult, I wasn’t a reader and most of my friends weren’t either. Over the years I’ve built relationships with wonderful friends that are readers and over time I’ve learned to enjoy reading. I have friends that are more health conscious, that helps me make better choices in my eating and staying more active.
This maybe be good news for some and scary for others, but John Rohn (author and motivational speaker) says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Who you hang with matters! Pick your friends wisely and when you find someone that challenges you to be better and encourages you along your journey, do everything you can to keep them in your life! Let them know you value them!