Maple Alps

friendship

An Evening on Mt Rubidoux Trail

TravelAmanda Walter | Maple Alps2 Comments

Ending the month of May in California with friends was a great idea. It was so nice and refreshing to be with long-time friends who are fun and understand you. Celebrating one of them was a perfect occasion to get together. 

Just thought I'd share a few glimpses of an evening walking Mount Rubidoux Trail on Saturday night. Not sure what made me happier: the spectacular views or the fun cacti gardens!

An Evening on Mt Rubidoux Trail | www.maplealps.com
An Evening on Mt. Rubidoux Trail | www.maplealps.com
An Evening on Mt Rubidoux Trail | www.maplealps.com
An Evening on Mt Rubidoux Trail | www.maplealps.com
An Evening on Mt Rubidoux Trail | www.maplealps.com
An Evening on Mt Rubidoux Trail | www.maplealps.com
An Evening on Mt Rubidoux Trail | www.maplealps.com
 

10 Ways To Love This Valentine's Day and Every Day

RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

A lot of people (including me) like to refer to the commercialized Valentine's Day as, "Singles Awareness Day (SAD)". Of course, society has emphasized romantic relationships on February 14 every year, but who says only those in romantic relationships are the only ones who love? I know many people who are single, yet love with great fierceness. Part of this is that they ultimately love the Lord, and because of that love in them, it flows out to everyone. 

I recently came across some notes I had scratched on the topic, and I thought I would share them today in honor of Valentine's Day. It's hard to love others sometimes, but as we grow and become more like Jesus, it becomes natural. Here is some of the ways the Bible tells us to love.

10 Ways To Love This Valentine's Day and Every Day | www.maplealps.com

1. Listen without Interrupting

 Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
    he breaks out against all sound judgment.
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
    but only in expressing his opinion.
When wickedness comes, contempt comes also,
    and with dishonor comes disgrace.
The words of a man's mouth are deep waters;
    the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
It is not good to be partial to[
a] the wicked
    or to deprive the righteous of justice.
A fool's lips walk into a fight,
    and his mouth invites a beating.
A fool's mouth is his ruin,
    and his lips are a snare to his soul.
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
    they go down into the inner parts of the body.
Whoever is slack in his work
    is a brother to him who destroys.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
    the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
A rich man's wealth is his strong city,
    and like a high wall in his imagination.
Before destruction a man's heart is haughty,
    but humility comes before honor.
If one gives an answer before he hears,
    it is his folly and shame.
A man's spirit will endure sickness,
    but a crushed spirit who can bear?
An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
    and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
A man's gift makes room for him
    and brings him before the great.
The one who states his case first seems right, 
    until the other comes and examines him.
The lot puts an end to quarrels
    and decides between powerful contenders.
A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city,
    and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
From the fruit of a man's mouth his stomach is satisfied;
    he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
    and those who love it will eat its fruits.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing
    and obtains favor from the Lord.
The poor use entreaties,
    but the rich answer roughly.
A man of many companions may come to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (
Proverbs 18, ESV)

2. Speak without Accusing

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; (James 1:19, ESV)

3. Answer without Arguing

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
    but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. (
Proverbs 15:18, ESV)

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29, ESV)


4. Promise without Forgetting

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life. (
Proverbs 13:12, ESV)

5. Trust without Wavering

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4: 18, ESV)

The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain. (
Proverbs 31:11, ESV)

10 Ways To Love This Valentine's Day and Every Day | www.maplealps.com

6. Forgive without Punishing

Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. (Colossians 3:13, ESV)

7. Give without Sparing

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7, ESV)

The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
   is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death (
Proverbs 21:6, ESV)

8. Share without Pretending

Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. (Romans 12:9, ESV)

Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, (Ephesians 4:15, ESV)

9. Enjoy without Complaining

Do all things without grumbling or disputing, (Philippians 2:14, ESV)

10. Pray without Ceasing

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, (Colossians 1:9, ESV)

Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV)

 
bible promises www.maplealps.com
 

Of course, you should love others every day, not just Valentine's Day, but today is a great day to start!


 

Adult Friendships: The Art of Keeping Friends

RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps14 Comments

Friendships are sometimes harder as an adult. In school, you are automatically with most of your friends every day. You study together, you eat together, maybe you even meet up once school is over, or on the weekends. Sometimes you even live with your friends. But life moves on, and in this globalized world, you likely are finding yourself in a completely new place with completely new people.

This is a reality for many of the people I come across. Making friends is not the easiest, but it's not impossible. We talked about making friends, but now what?

You've made a new friend, or you've moved away from friends you already had. What now?

Adult Friendships Made Easy: Maintaining Friendships (+ Free Printable!) | www.maplealps.com

 

Check in once in awhile

There is no way to maintain or cultivate a friendship (especially a new one) if there is no communication at all. I know there are those friends where you can live your own lives for long periods of time, but when coming together again, it is like no time has elapsed. But seriously, check in once in a while. Both parties will come away feeling refreshed.

 

Be intentional about making time in your schedule

There are few true cases of not having enough time. Prioritizing your friendships is important. Make time in your schedule to meet up with friends, or if they are too far away, to FaceTime or Skype.

 

Related: Adult Friendships Made Easy: Making Friends

 

Send cards. Not an e-card or a text. A card in the mail.

Nothing quite shows that you are thinking of others like a card in the mail. Mark down birthdays and other special dates, or send cards "just because." It doesn't have to be extravagant or long-winded. I've never received a card I was not happy with.

 

Ask good questions, and really listen to the answer

Practice the art of communication. Ask good questions, but also listen and remember details. When people feel known, they feel loved. 

 

Pray 

Pray for and with your friends!

 

Just be yourself

Be yourself. As an adult, you have no more time to waste by pretending to be someone you're not (and don't waste the time of others!). On that note, though, continue to grow in excellence, making yourself the best version of you through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 
 

Adult Friendships Made Easy: Making Friends

RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps6 Comments

The last few years have been a little tough when it comes to friendships. Being in school, you are automatically with most of your friends every day - or at least with peers who could become potential friends. You study together, you eat together, you might live together, and maybe you even meet up once school is over, or on the weekends.

I have found that, for me, being an adult (a married adult even more so!) has done something to my friendships. Everyone goes their separate ways in separate places and making friends also takes a lot more intentional effort. In this age of cellphones and internet, staying connected may be easier, but it is not always ideal for cultivating true friendships. This is not to say that making or maintaining friends as an adult is impossible. Quite the contrary! It is possible but does require some extra effort.

makefriendspin.png

 

Be intentional about starting conversations

Do not wait for others to approach you wanting to be friends. While this may happen, if you truly wish to start a friendship, take action! Make the first move! The worst that could happen is that it doesn't work out. Do not, I repeat, do not, sit around feeling sorry for yourself because no one will talk to you!

 

Do not limit yourself to those in the same stage of life as you

People from all walks of life have things to offer you. I personally have friends who are much younger than me and friends who are older than me as well. I also have friends who are single, those who are married, some with kids, and even empty nesters. I learn from those who have gone before me and share my knowledge who come after. 

 

Find others with similar passions

Befriending those with similar passions creates an automatic topic for discussion! Make friends at your workplace, or those at the craft store you frequent. Talk to the people who share your pew each week at church. Meet friends in the dog park or the laundromat (everyone does laundry, right?)

 

Just be yourself

Be yourself. As an adult, you have no more time to waste by pretending to be someone you're not. On that note, though, continue to grow in excellence, making yourself the best version of you through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Accept that long-term friendships take time to cultivate

The friend you made last Tuesday is not going to have the same connection with you as the friend you have had since the 5th grade. Deep friendships take time to cultivate

 


Do you find it easy to make friends as an adult? Why or why not?


 

How to make Every Day Valentine’s Day

RelationshipsAmanda Walter | Maple Alps11 Comments

With Valentine’s Day over and boxed heart candy at 75% off, I have caught myself giving a little sigh. You see, I just love Valentine’s Day (VD). It’s something about the pink and hearts everywhere that makes it impossible for me to be mad at anyone, reminds me of how much I am loved (and love!) and allows me to embrace my inner “girl.” Though I’ve never done anything extra special on February 14, I have always thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere it provides.

When my husband and I first started dating, he made some remark about every day being Valentine’s Day with him. While he was saying it somewhat lightly, there was definitely truth to his statement. Why should a day (regardless of the history and background of it) predominantly celebrating love, be the only day we think about sharing with those we care about how much we love them? It just doesn’t seem right.

If you, like me, are feeling a little sad that the holiday has passed us by already, you can hold your chin up a little higher. Some of my blogging friends have helped me out with a fun project to share with all of you some great ideas to keep the VD feelings all year long!
 

How to make Every Day Valentine’s Day + Free Printable | www.maplealps.com

We can make every day "Valentine's Day" by performing little acts of kindness for the people around us that we love: our spouses, friends, neighbours, and families. We can serve them, meet their needs, and show them just how much we love them!
- Abbey of Small Town Soul

We can make every day Valentine's Day by remembering why we love in the first place and being intentional! I love Jim Elliot's quote - "Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt every situation you believe to be the will of God." So in daily life, whether I'm spending time with someone or doing something, I strive to focus on them (instead of checking my phone, wondering what to say in response, going for efficiency over caring) and love them to the best of my ability, depending on God's grace to help me best love and serve them/perform the task at hand!
- Jessica of Duly Noted Ink

Have a quiet moment together like seeing the sunrise or sunset, viewing the ocean, sitting on a hill and embracing earth's natural beauty together or even sitting in front of a fireplace with some hot chocolate. Just being around each other is something wonderful.
- Martika of Coffee Time With Him

How to make Every Day Valentine’s Day | www.maplealps.com

When our girls were 4 and 6 we started a new tradition for Valentine's Day. I set out 4 boxes, one for each family member. I had paper, pens, pink and white doilies, and lots of stickers available. Each person got to write out qualities they liked in each family member, things they appreciated, and favourite memories. It was to be a secret. On Valentine's we took turns reading them out loud. Because of their ages, they needed lots of coaching, memory jogging, and help writing/typing. They are 27 and 25 and we still do this, though sometimes it's through cards or texts throughout the day. It's really a skill I wanted to encourage--to find things we love about each other and what makes the other person feel loved.
- Terri from Terri Fullerton

I make every day Valentines Day by learning my hubby's love language and making sure I'm using it!
-Susannah from Simple Moments Stick

I'm such a weirdo but, I don't care much about Valentine's Day. It's sorta man-made and regimented. For years, I've told my husband to love me throughout the year and he can just go "light" on Valentine's Day. My love language is gifts so he sends flowers often, buys me things, surprises me with gifts all year. So I kinda feel like every day is Valentine's Day. Should he ever slack, then I might put more emphasis on that one day in February. 
- Teri of Godsy Girl

It's not something I do all the time, but every now and then I will make dinner for my kids (before an early bedtime) and then make dinner for my husband and myself after the kids go to bed. I'm also known for making treats and snacks for after the kids go to bed. Truffles anyone?
- Erin from Momma's Living Room

How to make Every Day Valentine’s Day | www.maplealps.com

By writing little "love notes" filled with words of appreciation for our loved ones on a regular basis. You never know how much a kind note might mean to someone.
- Rachel from The Random Writings

We need to know how we are loved. I like to leave notes for my family that tell them I love you because . . . . your are brave, kind, considerate etc and then tell them how I saw that in them.
- Kim from Day to Day Adventures

My boyfriend texts me every morning "Good Morning Beautiful!" which puts a smile on my face and starts my day off right. 
- Pamela from Bible Geek Lifestyle

We can make every day Valentine's Day by constantly pushing ourselves to serve our spouse. Valentine's Day is great because we all seem to want to make our significant other happier. What if they had a hard day at work and it wasn't Valentine's Day? The probably need our love and support more at that time.
- Courtney from Happy Little Shopping Secret

I would say to make everyday Valentine's day we could ask ourselves, "How can I make today a little bit brighter or easier for my spouse?" It could be by doing something simple or leaving them a little note or just taking an extra minute to tell them how much you love and appreciate them.
- Kaitlyn from Lily and Mama

How to make Every Day Valentine’s Day | www.maplealps.com

We can make every day Valentine's day by having quick morning cuddles before starting the day! I love resting on my husband's chest and kissing him on the cheek with his arm around me! It's sweet and simple. Just a little way to say "I just woke up, and you're on my mind!"
- Elizabeth  from Wanderlust + Heart

From a relationship standpoint, I think making a conscious effort to do something nice for or compliment someone you care about can make each day Valentine's Day for you and that other person. From a personal standpoint, taking a few minutes each day to reflect on your life and give yourself a nice little pamper session, pep talk, or general treat can make each day Valentine's Day for you.
- Jessi from Roses in Ink

It might seem over simple ... But ... To make every day like Valentines, touch your spouse. A loving caress - a neck rub, a hand placed gently on a forearm, "footsie" under the table, a kiss on the cheek, etc. As husband and wife, we can be together all day and never touch. It happens all too easily - especially if we have children to nurture.
- Lori from Encourage Your Spouse

Meet your spouse's love language
- Audrey of Life with Little People

 

How would you make every day Valentine's Day? Let me know in the comments below!