How to Find & Make Good Friends (#WorldKindnessDay: Celebrating Friendship)

I

know there are names you used to scrawl across Christmas cards — that don’t get written down on cards anymore.

Names of friends whose number you once knew by heart, whose laugh you’d still know anywhere, whose presence in a room made you feel known — but somehow, life, or you, or them, or something, moved and moved on — and there’s this always wishing the story had unfolded another way and a story you wish you could get back — or change.

I know because I miss faces and names and friends whose now only come to meet me down bittersweet long lanes of memories.

Sometimes you think a friend will walk with you till you reach forever — but they were only meant to walk with you till you reached the end of a season that’s grown you both into different people.

And you look in the mirror at the person you’ve now become — and you’ve grown into a person that’s committed to make space for people to come. Because you realize: We imitate the habits of the five people we are most intimate with.

Because you know it now more than ever: The fragility of friendships begs that we handle time together with care.

That we make time for friends because time and life together is a fragile thing.

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Celebrate with friends! It’s the way that we make our home a place of kindness and friendship and grace that will matter when we see the face of God: The #FAIRTRADE Grace Case. Pictured: wooden lazy susan and cheese knives
This quarter’s Grace Case, themed “CELEBRATE WITH FRIENDS!”,  features the beautiful work of: Itza Wood in Guatemala, a social venture handcrafting quality furnishing and wood wares out of sustainable and locally sourced tropical woods. Each piece is a unique expression of the Guatemalan jungle and a testament to the beauty and biodiversity of Peten.

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You know it now, especially this time of year, and it really means something to you:

Women with ten or more friends are four times more likely to weather a serious diagnosis than those without friends.

Lacking friends is as bad for the heart as smoking is. Loneliness causes you to live eight years less.

Friendship literally helps you breathe. More friends, less stress.  What keeps us strong is the strength of our bonds. The best, proven supplement is supplementing everything with friendship.

And sure, you can always count on death and taxes —-  but where are the people you can count on? Who are your people who will show up when everything’s going downhill?

The Japanese call it the Moai — a collective of five friends who make a commitment for life to be there for each other.

You need your 5 ride or die, your Moai — your people who gather for safety and support, advocacy and accountability, courage and connection.

Life has enough traps of its own; everyone needs friends who are a safety net.

It’s never too late to have your own Moai — it’s never too late to pull out some cheese boards, lay out some slices of fresh goodness and invite some people over and create a circle of safe.

Lay out the table and invite your people and celebrate!  Join us in the #FAIRTRADE subscription Grace Case story.

Cheese and jelly knives from: from The #FAIRTRADE subscription box, The Grace Case

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This quarter’s Grace Case features the artistic woodwork of Arol España who started at the Itza Wood workshop helping out every once and a while with sanding jobs but as a quick learner he was rapidly integrated into the full time team. Early this year because of his full time employment, he was able to qualify for Habitat for Humanity’s low-interest morgage, and this month he finished building his house! A dream come true! 

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Look at the global family and friends who made our latest Grace Case! “Caring always for the environment and the lives of those involved, Itza Wood aims to break the cycle of poverty and usher healthy development for the remote communities of Peten through job creation and education. “”ITZA” is the name of the lake our town sits on and also the name of the last mayan ethnic group to live in the area, and that is what Itza Wood is all about – the poeple and the place”. Itza’s commitment to protect the jungle drives the company to actively reforest and purchase FSC certified woods, respecting the natural resources their beauty. Itza Wood is partnered with San Andres schools and supports local education. In total 33 global family and friends, both women and men worked on this Grace Case order!

It’s the prayers and grace we weave into our friendships, that survives fire: The #FAIRTRADE subscription box, The Grace Case. Pictured: Cheese knives
You have to meet our Grace Case Artisan: Mohd Alam. “Working with Noah’s Ark has enabled me to build my own workshop, and send our children to school and provide employment opportunities in my village.”
You can hold wares in your hand that you know are changing the world! Wares that you know the name of the person who made it — and you can be part of a grace story! Join us in the #FAIRTRADE subscription Grace Case story. Pictured: cheese knives

These bowls in our latest Grace Case! Your home can be filled with not only FINE things — but FAIR, WORLD-CHANGING things — that you know the PERSON and STORY behind! 
Meet Grace Case Artisan: Dil Bahadur Prajapati was born in a traditional potter’s home and he learned pottery from his father. Since childhood, he used to work with his father on clay and wheels. They made mostly household products of terracotta. We introduced him to the stoneware clay as well as glazing technique and set up an electrical firing kiln for him so that now he is able to make stoneware products. Dil is married and has two sons. His wife helps him glaze and finish the products. His elder son helps him with accounting and bookkeeping. He has also been able to create work opportunity for 5 additional people in his workshop.
Look at Dil Bahadur Prajapat gorgeous craftsmanship — artwork — in this Grace Case! Your home can be filled with not only FINE things — but FAIR, WORLD-CHANGING things — that you know the PERSON and STORY behind! Join the Grace Case!

The stunning #FAIRTrade artwork of our artisan’s in this Grace Case: a set of white bowls  & food markers for all the CELEBRATING!
Meet our artisan in this quarter’s Grace Case: Dilshad Hussain’s speciality is stainless steel cutlery items in India. Due to fair trade principles, he was able to establish his workshop (Noah’s Ark) as a model fair trade workshop maintaining all the records and safety measures.  The impact has been tremendous on the family and they have shifted from village to the town and have about 2000sq ft workshop and live on the upper floor. They give fair wages and all their artisans and are looking forward to starting a free school for the children in their village!

Celebrate at every feast! Food markers: from The #FAIRTRADE subscription box, The Grace Case

Whatever the story you tell yourself in your head about friendship — it’s never too late to rewrite the story you tell yourself in your head, about you and friendship.

How to Rewrite the Story of Your Friendships

“I am not good at friendships” —-> I am committed to daily practicing the art of friendship

“I can’t find friends” —-> I can find interests that let me show interest in people, and I can find ways every single day to show up for just one person

“I don’t have time for friends” —-> When I make time for friends, I get more time to live, more time to enjoy my life

“I don’t trust anyone to be a friend” —-> I can always have boundaries, and I can always find ways to be safe

“I have been hurt by friends” —> I have been hurt deeply because I have loved deeply. Only hard hearts never hurt. Only what’s buried never breaks.

The only way to never hurt is to never share your heart. Keeping your heart guarded, keeps your joy imprisoned. The risk of hurt is worth the reward of friendship.

“No one understands me enough to be a good friend” —-> No one person can understand everything, but when enough different friends together stand with you, you you feel understood.

“I’m too broken for friendships” —-> I am not alone in my brokenness and vulnerability is the key to intimacy.

“I don’t belong at the table of friends” —-> I always belong at some table — I just need the courage to build that table.

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Build a table & invite people to come belong at your table — His table of amazing grace! Join The Grace Case!

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Make time for friendship and celebration and passing on the grace: Join The Grace Case!

I tell that tentative face staring back at me in the mirror what I really want her to know about friendship, even now:

Like they say: Friendship doesn’t mean you have to be interesting enough, you simply have to be interested enough.

“Curious people discover friendships everywhere. Ask thoughtful questions and life will answer you with thoughtful friendships.” 

Curious people discover friendships everywhere. Ask thoughtful questions and life will answer you with thoughtful friendships. 

Friendship is less about having a lot in common, and more about having a commitment to care about someone’s common, every day life.

People committed to growth  — grow friendships. 

And time is the dialect of all friendship.

And there is still time, especially now, to begin again, reach again, make space again.

Connection is its own kind of cure.

So let the snow fall.  Let the holidays begin!

And let it, even now, be the best of times, the celebrating and cherishing our people, the laying out the table with bowls and boards and all the piled high goodness, and this gift of  jotting down names that mean the world to us, and names of people to begin new friend stories with — your very own ride or die Moai of 5 — names and faces to invite into your world, to find a way of simply saying:

I will be your friend,
A Lifter of your chin,
A believer of your dreams,
A Circle of safe for your soul.
I will be your kind —
always deeply kind,
always a porch light on,
always a place to call home.

 

It’s not too late to join (and it makes the perfect gift!):

THE (Best!) SURPRISING SUBSCRIPTION BOX:

THE GRACE CASE

BECAUSE WE’RE WOMEN WHO SUBSCRIBE TO GRACE…


THERE ARE A FEW OPENINGS RIGHT NOW —

BE PART OF WORLD-CHANGING GRACE STORY

Embrace The Grace Case — and become part of a movement of Grace all around the world.

– Limited edition fair-trade heirlooms… Gorgeous high end items in quarterly themed boxes- blankets, shoes, lanterns, pillows, fine jewelry…makes the perfect gift to give (or keep!)  and changes the world for the most precious women.  Limited memberships available at thegracecase.com

– Curated by the Voskamp family — with a new editions in every one of your boxes of the story booklet, ‘The Case for Grace’, written by Ann

– Empower and employ sister-artisans all around the world

– Absolutely 100% of profits fund the Mercy House’s Transition Home

– Get a new box of varying themes, 4 times a year. Be surprised by grace on your doorstep!

Say yes to embracing The Grace Case and join your GenEsther family in making a case for grace around the world. Jump in with us… & literally help change the world.

You can be part of the movement…

this chance to link hands with our sister-artisans around the world

creating grace, giving grace, and living grace.

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