#GirlGang

Struggle & Strength: Cultivating Intentional Friendships

Super VULNERABLE post: In this season of planting a church and pastoring. My friendships got caught in the current….and maybe my heart did too. Coming from a long line of ministry families, you see, hear, experience and feel the cost of leading at the expense of relationships. I saw people who loved my family, walk away when things got tough, or when we they experienced the “humanity” of their leaders or who decided another church was a better fit for them. None of it was wrong, but neither was it easy. Watching other leaders (who are further ahead in life), I see some who are very quiet about their life outside of the Sunday in attempt to maintain some privacy or perhaps have experienced the sting of “why them and not me” moments with their sphere. Others hide nothing including the raw and real moments of parenting, failures, laughter, marriage, etc. I’ve respected them all and their choice of how they live their life before the Lord and others. In the struggle to use wisdom in all things with relationships (no joke, I ask for it from God everyday!), my prayer has been that I’m always found to BE a good friend before ever saying I HAVE good friends. It’s refreshing others, long before we stop and ask  “Am I being refreshed”! I’ve also realized I haven’t always been found to be a good friend and that our current landscape of women struggle to find their footing with other females. It’s what set my heart and feet on course to launch #GirlGang and the “Love them” portion of our mission statement. How do we love others properly when we don’t feel like we are loved? How do we refresh others when our soul feels dry and empty. Another tough, but good question! 

Because of this honoring and sobering season of ministry, #GirlGang will always be birthed out of the heart conversations I have with God, and truth be told, I’ve talked a lot with Him recently about friendships; mine and others who have lost their footing or who can celebrate them well. From those conversations, our new focus for our Fall season is timely titled, “Struggle & Strength: Cultivating Intentional Friendships”. Why? Because making friends is hard; cultivating them is even harder. How do we live authentically and then manage the hurt when it comes? How do we give generously and yet have healthy expectations in friendships? This season is exciting and scary all at the same time, but we are about to embark down a road that is filled with tears, joy, laughter, love and forgiveness TOGETHER! The road might mean saying “I’m sorry, I need to do better” and also saying, “Let’s start over”. It’s also about accepting love, but also learning how to give love to those with no strings attached.

Lovelies, we can do this, and I’m with you every step of the way. 

With all my heart,

J-Huff

PS  – Want to know more about #GirlGang and join our online community? Email: Hello@GirlGang.live

4 Things Women Should Quit!

I’ve never been known to be a quitter. I’ve failed and gotten back up over and over, but not necessarily quit. Maybe it’s a learned behavior or a personality trait, but I have learned to hang on. That trait also bled into areas that I should quit – ones that were damaging my future and harming those I love. In my short years lived I’ve seen the same traits also hurt other women, so I have set out to be an excellent quitter and encourage my fellow women to do so as well.

 

Quit…

 

Chasing

We chase after money, our to-do lists, kids, men, the spotlight, honor, respect, and on and on… That chase is endless. It keeps our hustle on point and our calendar full to achieve a mystical ideal called perfection. We all have our now version of “perfection” and society’s information overload constantly supports this standard of living. No one is ever promised perfection, but we can always guarantee progress. Progress happens day by day, little by little, tending to the things we have now, within our realm of stewardship and influence. Give up the chase… It’s overrated, and an under-promised lifestyle of chasing a better tomorrow when we’ve got the best today.

 

Quit…

 

Comparing 

We compare ourselves to others. Let’s set down the lens of filtering women between the wide gap of “less or more.” Filtering our life to “she has more,” which spotlights our insecurity, and “she has less,” which equates entitlement, is a dangerous line to walk. We lose either way; one negates the cultivation process of growing what we have into something wonderful, and the other believes that in order to feel big we have to keep others small. Comparing robs us of our joy of “enough.” It magnifies a gap that is not meant to be closed. Everyone walks a different journey and it’s our job to stay in our lane cheering someone else on in theirs, so halt the comparison thief that steals your joy and leaves you stagnant.

 

Quit…

 

Controlling

Let it go…Those words ring true for kids everywhere, but even more for women struggling with control. I’m neither speaking of responsibility or faithfulness in areas that you’ve made commitments too, but rather the belief that everything will be a success IF you can lead it, organize it, change it or even clean it up. When control bleeds into relationships, life becomes a blur thinking that the success and failure of people is dependent upon you. This is especially true if their success/failure directly affects your identity or well-being (wife and mom, I’m referring to you). The only thing we should ever become experts in is controlling ourselves. By taking personal responsibility for our own actions, we begin to see ourselves with compassion and love which overflows onto others. Seek freedom for yourself first and control will release it’s grip.

 

Quit…

 

Crushing

Her win is not your loss. Her approval is not your denial. Her success IS NOT your failure. Let me state is another way for you as well; your goals coming to fruition do not take you crushing any one else’s, PERIOD! Give yourself permission to celebrate other’s success and accomplishments including yourself and release the need to reduce, bash, tear down, destroy, or even inwardly despise those around you who are doing well or possibly better than you. It does not define you; you define you. When we feel the tug to reduce others to enlarge our value, we actually do the opposite. We destroy ourselves and those relationships little by little until all that is left is an insecure, paranoid, judgmental mess to clean up. Rejoice with others. Celebrate them and their accomplishments. Tell them that they inspire you to be better even in the moments where you feel less. Practice makes progress, so in the little moments you’ll replace that insecurity with true happiness for others.

 

With all my heart,

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