Check Your Surroundings

Being the baby and an only child has its advantages (if that’s not a confusing statement, I don’t know what is; my dad’s baby; my mom’s only child). It also has its disadvantages if you take the whole birth order psyche into account. I’m a my-way-or-the-highway kind of gal. Or, I was (for more confusion, read: I sometimes still am; I’m working very hard at making it permanently past tense). 

You see, if I’m going to lay down my cross and follow Him, I can’t be sitting in the corner pouting when things don’t go my way. If I’m going to strive to be a wife through the model of the Proverbs 31 Woman, I can’t blow a gasket every time Mr. Gray and I don’t see eye to eye. If I want to be a role model for Baby Gray, I can’t be a grown woman acting like the baby and the only child.

While chatting with some old friends at the wedding this weekend, one of the other AGR wives asked me how I kept my cool with things. I was blown away! I kept my cool? Really? Me? On a regular basis? I took a moment to do some self-reflection before I answered. Of course, my primary goal is to be an example of someone who lives a Christian lifestyle. Christ didn’t walk around losing his cool. So I threw that out there.

photo(13)

photo(12)

The more I thought, though, the more I realized that my friends have absolutely held me to a standard of that. We are all striving to be Christ-like in the way we treat our husbands, children, and the people around us. My friends absolutely hold me to that. If I walked in talking trash about Mr. Gray for any reason, I would immediately be called out for not honoring my husband–and for that I am forever grateful. God has truly blessed me with some amazing women. If I lost it with Baby Gray for being an 18 month-old, same thing. These women have helped mold me from the baby-only-child-monster into a woman of Christ. 

Am I perfect? Absolutely not. Do I have it all together all the time? Don’t bet on it. Do I try my best? I do. Do I need these women to keep me in check? You bet.

Think back to the Show Me Your Friends, and I’ll Show You Your Future poster that was plastered all over your middle school classrooms. Yep, that’s what I’m talking about here. Who you surround yourself with matters. I try to make sure I’m not always drawing from the friendship ATM, though. I want to pour in as much–or more–as I take out. I want to be the kind of friend that helps shape lives.

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