#squadgoals

Three beautiful young boho chic stylish girls walking in park.

 

Your squad is an important part of your life. Some people think it’s important to have lots and lots of friends. I disagree. The quality of your friendships is wayyyyyy more important that the quantity (or number) of friends you have. It’s important to make wise decisions about those you let into your life.

 
I think the first step in evaluating your squad, is to understand there are different categories or levels of friendships:

 
First, you have your inner circle, or your BFF’s (we at glitter, like to call these friends our “Home Slices.”) These are the friends you trust the most and you talk with most frequently. Usually these friends are the ones who share your interests and activities and you spend LOTS of time with. You need to choose these friends VERY carefully. Your BFF’s will have a huge impact on you as a person, your reputation and even your future. These friends are the ones you actually make an effort to “invest” in. Ask yourself these questions when deciding who to let into your “inner circle.”

 
1. Do they share your belief system or the way you view the world? This is HUGE, girls. You can’t truly be close to someone who doesn’t share your principles. Oxford Dictionary defines a “principle” as “A fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior. A rule or belief governing one’s behavior.” You see, your beliefs drive your life. They dictate how you make decisions, how you act, what you value in life, how you treat others, what you want in your future, etc. Don’t you think your closest friends should have your same belief system?

 

2. Can they be trusted? We all need someone we can confide in, but you better choose those listening ears carefully! If you’re going to share your weaknesses, fears, and deepest, darkest secrets with a friend, they need to be trustworthy. Trust is earned. You need to know a friend for a long time and you need to observe them in action. Do they share secrets about their other friends or their family members? That is a red flag! If they aren’t trustworthy, you need to think twice about getting too close.

 

3. What are their character traits and strengths? If you had to describe a particular friend in 3 words, what would those words be, and are these character traits those you admire and value? If you find yourself admiring traits about your friend and you see how they can help YOU be better person, then you’ve found someone who is worthy to be called a “BFF.”

 

4. Do you get along? This one may seem obvious, but did you know there are all kinds of personality types? Some personalities just get along better together. That’s OK. You must think about this when choosing your closest relationships. Think about how you deal with conflict or disagreements with your friend. Think about how you feel with this friend after you’ve spent TOO much time together. Your best friends will be willing to work out disagreements and continue to love you afterward. You and your best friends might begin to get on each other’s nerves a bit, but you will continue to love each other despite your flaws.

 

I would say the next category is your close friends. They are very much like your inner circle, but maybe you don’t get the opportunity to see these friends as much as you’d like. Your life just isn’t as intertwined as it is with your BFF’s. You still share similar beliefs and way of life. You probably consider them trustworthy, but they aren’t necessarily the people you share your deepest issues with. You value and admire them, but their character traits won’t have quite the same impact on you since you just don’t spend as much time with them. And because you don’t spend as much time together, you probably won’t find yourself having to work out too many conflicts either. You truly love and value these close friends, but you just can’t invest quite as much as you do with your inner circle.

 

The next category would be friendly acquaintances. You come across these friends frequently and you’re nice and friendly with each other, but you just simply don’t know them at a deeper level. Maybe you’ve only had one or two conversations. You probably know ABOUT them, but you don’t exactly KNOW them. I would caution you not to get too deep with them too quickly. You want to make sure you have plenty of opportunities to ask those important questions before you begin to draw close.

 

So, you see? You should TOTALLY have #squadgoals! Your relationships can make or break you. Be wise!

Who Is Writing Your Story?

 

Girl reading a book in the city

 

Let me ask you a very important question. Who is writing your story?

 

Think about what makes a great book or movie. To have a good story, you need interesting characters, an intriguing plot, lots of ups and downs, an antagonist (that’s the bad guy), a little suspense, a bit of romance, and a nice ending never hurts.

 
Your life is like a long, amazing story. You have ups and downs. You have important people in your life (good and bad). You have moments of uncertainty. One day you’ll experience romance. You will have times of grief. You will have accomplishments and celebrations. But will your story have a happy ending? Do you know? Can you know?
Let’s say you’re in a slump. Maybe you’re having a hard time at school. Maybe there are mean girls you must deal with. Maybe your family is going through a difficult time. Maybe you weren’t picked to be on the team you wanted.

 
What do these hard times mean in the big story? I’m not going to tell you that you should just get over it and move on. No. Hard times hurt. It’s ok to have feelings. But what if you knew the ending was going to be a happy one? Wouldn’t that help you keep your chin up? What if you knew you would win in the end? Wouldn’t that help you keep trying? What if you knew true beauty lasts forever? Wouldn’t that help you be kind to your enemies?

 
Well, I bet you can guess what I’m leading up to, can’t you? Yes! As a daughter of the King, you win because HE has won. If Jesus is your Lord, you’ve put your faith in Him, and you’re living for Him, then HE IS WRITING YOUR STORY!
My sweet friends, He is writing a GOOD story! He loves you. He has amazing things planned for you. Jesus came to give you abundant life. He has created you to sparkle. The more and more you live for Him, slowly, but surely, you begin to shine.
Warning! This does not mean that life will always be easy! The Lord will use hard times in your life to make you even better. I know you might be tempted to wonder why God would allow you to suffer. I know you might wonder if He’s there with you. I promise you He IS WITH YOU. Remember, you can’t always see the happy ending in a movie or a book when the plot is thickening. The bad times are just a tiny piece of the big story. They are just a fleeting moment.

 
I bet you know the story of Joseph. Remember? His brothers were jealous of him, so they sold him as a slave. Joseph ended up in a country far from his home. But, he proved to be hard-working and capable, so he was given an important job. Then someone told a lie about him that landed him in jail. He was in jail for years. While in jail, he continued to live with wisdom and integrity, so he was even put in charge in the prison! He helped a friend in the jail who quickly forgot about him. But eventually the King needed his help. Joseph saved the day and was promoted by the king as second in command. Joseph made wise choices for the kingdom and eventually ended up saving the lives of his brothers! Yes! The brothers who sold him into slavery! This act of mercy on Joseph’s part ultimately led to the salvation of God’s Holy family – the Hebrews. Whew! That was a quick recap of the story of Joseph, but did you notice all the ups and downs? Don’t you think Joseph was tempted to question God’s hand in his life while he was sitting in prison for years? He couldn’t possibly know the plan God had for him. God used Joseph to save His chosen people, the Israelites. Wow.

 
I’ll take the idea of hardship one step further. To follow Jesus, you must be prepared to live the way he did. He was not always loved. In fact, he was most often rejected. People tried to kill Him. Mobs chased Him. “Important” people framed Him. Ultimately He willingly gave Himself up to be crucified. But guess what? When Jesus gave up his physical life, he took on all our sin. He took our punishment so that we could be made in right relationship with God again. You see…Jesus defeated eternal (forever) death. When we put our faith in Him, we can live with Him in eternity after our physical bodies die. We don’t get eternal punishment. We get eternal joy. Jesus beat death. Jesus beat Satan. And because HE won, you win.

 
Trust the one who made you. Trust that He has a plan for you. Trust He loves you with a never-ending love. He is there with you, even in the pain. One day, you’ll see how He will use that pain to make you sparkle.