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In front of you, behind, and on either side

As you start this week, as you look to the left and the right of you to find friends, don’t forget to look in front and behind you as well.

It’s not a stretch to make friends with people in your life stage—fellow moms in the trenches, the coworker in the desk down the hall, the other students in your dorm hall. Making friends isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but we do tend to naturally gravitate towards those people most like us.

But be challenged this week to look for those people walking in front of you— older men or women in need of someone they can mentor, or who also might just need a friend, too. And look behind you as well, to those a bit younger, who might love a friend who’s a bit older, and who can teach you a thing or two as well.

I was reminded of this last night, sitting in a friend’s living room with a group of people of all sorts—older, younger, single, married, different colors and backgrounds and stories. An older woman piped up and said, “I love how you young people are so open to being vulnerable with each other and are willing to get wisdom where you can find it.” (Apparently we were the young ones here.) I loved hearing from someone older, and I realized how much I’ve missed that in my life. I need it, in fact. She spoke simple wisdom, and my bones softened sitting near her.

Seek out community in unexpected places this week. Be brave and seek out older and younger friends—they just might surprise you.

Psst… Starting this Tuesday, I’ll be writing daily over at my personal site, participating in my friend Myquillyn’s annual 31 Days series. I’m approaching it with fear and trembling, because I’ve never posted daily in my life. But I’m really excited about my topic, so if you want to follow along, head on over there!

Reading Time:

2 minutes





  1. Amanda Espinoza

    Yes! This Summer I asked an older lady at my church if she would mentor me. I’m going through a lot of transition right now and needed someone praying for me and someone with wisdom that I could ask questions. I asked her to read Holley Gerth’s God’s Sized Dreams book with me. Turns out she has always wanted to know how to mentor someone. We meet every other week and I love it. I am so glad I took the risk of being rejected, because now we have a cool friendship.

  2. Sarah M

    We recently relocated from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest and have found a church a few blocks away from our home that is a fantastic mix (but small number) of all ages and stories. I love it. I had been missing that, too.
    I’m really excited you’ll be posting over there daily. I’ve been following your personal blog also since you first linked to it and I really love reading it! We’re also homeschoolers so I geek out over book lists and the like. 🙂
    Sarah M

  3. Jessica

    I love how friendship can span the ages. My husband and I are in our 20’s and friends with a couple in their 50’s who also attend our church. My brother-in-law was recently trying to work out why we met up with them, ‘Are you in the same community group? Are they your mentors?’ etc, etc. He seemed surprised when I simply said they were just our friends, had lots in common and got on well! Age should never be a barrier to friendship!

    • Tsh

      That’s awesome, Jessica.

  4. Bek {Just For Daisy}

    Beautiful sentiment here x Just found your blog via a friend but have added you to my feed 🙂

  5. Betsy

    Yes! My closest friends are those younger or older, friendships with a mentoring element, either receiving or giving. But I love this reminder to me to keep looking for a new friend.

    Blessings on your daily posting. I’m sure you’re up to the challenge.

  6. Tina

    I had the pleasure of time spent with a woman in her 90’s this week! I’m 45, and i have to tell you, it was awesome! Such a privilege, looking at o.l.d. Photographs. Talking about our families. Enjoying each other’s company. And we just met, too. She welcomed me into her home, excited! Fresh fruit beautifully arranged on the table. She joked and reminisced, and I felt like her friend…. I’m so thankful. And inspired! That’s the second time I’ve chatted with a woman in her 90’s and thought, ” I want to be like that! I want to encourage women in their 40’s when I’m in my 90’s!” As I’ve heard,…”90’s not all that bad!” *big,big smile *

    • Tsh

      Very cool, Tina. 🙂

  7. Caroline Starr Rose

    I spent the weekend on a writing retreat where I was the youngest by a good 15-20 years. It was a beautiful experience!

  8. Kate

    Hmm, yes.

    I crave the company of those more seasoned than myself. We moved across the country a little under a year ago – and we are now a part of a newer church plant….where most of the congregants are young-ish families like ourselves. It can be hard finding wisdom filled, more experienced ladies to come under. I’m seeking!

    In the meantime….I’ve been reading a lot of books this year by older women – mostly on the topic of home and motherhood….and while ‘face to face’, ‘doing-life-together’ learning is best….I have certainly been mentored through page over the last several months. And it’s good 🙂

    Great post. A needed one.

    Kate 🙂

  9. Naomi

    Love the analogy … I wrote recently about being intentional about the friendships I seek out (a bit different after the over-abundance of available friendships while living overseas) and as I still strive for that, it’s interesting to see it coming to fruition.

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