Connecting with Others

How do you connect with the next generation?

Friendship With a 5-Year-Old

On Sunday mornings a cute little 5-year-old boy, Nathan, sits with our family because his daddy is the pastor and his mother sings in the choir. I look forward to the conversations we have before the service and * shhh* sometimes during. He says the neatest things and I love hearing how he thinks about the world. Our friendship started because his parents had a need but it grew because we intentionally talk to each other at church and other places. We’re friends.

Mother & Daughter Fun

I’m moving to San Antonio in a few weeks and I just spent the day with a lovely realtor named Natalie. When I met her in March she told me how she loves to bake cupcakes. She said that she and her 12-year-old daughter, Avery, love making them just for the fun of it and then they share them with friends and family. Today she told me that since March people have started asking to buy their treats for weddings and other parties. Avery is starting a blog about this adventure. When she gets it up and going I’ll tell you how to find her. I think it’s neat that their baking is turning into a small business but what excites me more are the connections being formed between Avery and her mother. Spending time together makes lasting memories.

Conclusion:

Relationships don’t grow by osmosis. Connections are intentional. A friend has a need and asks for help with her son. Listening to his stories builds a connection worth a million dollars to me. A mother enjoys baking cupcakes and invites her daughter to join her. They have fun and make memories. Invitations and listening are intentional ways to show others you love them. Lasting connections are forged in this process.

How do you intentionally connect with others?

How do you make connections with other generations?

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Comments

  1. What a sweet story about your realtor, Ali. I love that they are building a small business together.

    Intentionally connect? Hmm. . . probably through conversations. Questions – real questions – about what's going on in their lives and my full attention. My attention is often divided so giving someone my full focus takes concentration on my part. Certainly with other generations it takes my full attention since those older than I am are sensitive to 21st century multi-tasking and take the slights personally. Those in a younger generation simply won't allow distracted attention without taking advantage of you! 🙂

    • You are so thoughtful. I had not considered how older generations take multi-taksing personally or the younger ones taking advantage. I continually learn from you my friend:)

  2. Ahh! That is so sweet! I love reading your posts and especially one about my brother! 😀 I feel so special! I am very glad to be able to read your blog and will continually do so! Thank you for all of the things you have done for me and my family.

  3. I think those kinds of friendships, the kinds you don't expect to happen, are awesome. I don't really have friends outside my generation. I have an inferiority complex–as in anyone older than me is my superior, whether by age or experience. I act too respectful and reserved to invite close relationships.

    As for intentionally making connections, I try to pick out details people talk about to commit to memory so I can ask them about it later.

  4. Once when I was a teenager, riding my horse in a remote bush area, I came across a cottage in the woods where a little old lady, Valda, lived. Valda leaned over her fence and we chatted while my horse grazed. We became friends. She was very poor, no electricity, lived alone, and refused to accept an invitation to visit my house, because she was too ashamed of her own to ever return the favour. But I would bake cakes for her and ride over to her place to deliver them. And she would write me long letters in beautiful cursive. For many years, until Valda died, we were pen-pals, exchanging letters via my visits on horseback, often with little handmade gifts for one another. I would have been about 15, she was at least 90. We were great friends.

    It must be almost 20 years since Valda died, and a long time since I've thought of her. Thank you for bringing back this beautiful memory of my friend.

    • Your story is beautiful! Sounds like the thing novels are made of. Just think of how much of this lady's friendship within you extends to everyone you meet. It's like an unbroken chain of love.

  5. great post! reminds me of a number of older women i've known over the years: ruth heck-had a great sense of humor. i knew i wanted to be like that when i was older. "mitch"-a lovely southern lady i knew in miami. she was very gracious…also had a great sense of humor. of course here i've known rosemary, dot, anna jo and many others who have influenced me by there steady lives, friendliness and encouragement over the years.

    now i have the opportunity to encourage other women. sometimes i meet them for lunch or "coffee" so i'm not distracted by my house. I'm even known to meet people for breakfast if they are really busy:) i have a younger woman i meet regularly. great friendship!

    the advantage of these friendships? the mutuality of them. they are never one-way! i learn all the time! It's great. The added perspective will broaden your life as it has mine!

    • You are a wonderful influence on me Martha. I've grown in my awareness to look for others in another generation because of our conversations. Knowing and learning from you is a rich part of my life. I'm praying about how to keep it fresh when I move 5.5 hours away. Ideas?

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