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Jennie Allen: Doing Life Together

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
August 9, 2022 10:00 pm

Jennie Allen: Doing Life Together

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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August 9, 2022 10:00 pm

Having little kids can mean a season of profound loneliness for young moms. Author Jennie Allen explores how to find community by doing life together.

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Tell me a time when you felt really lonely going through succession after 30 years leave the church after lonely dad felt like I was walking down a tunnel alone. It was dark. You and my family is with me and I was alone there were your friends. It was interesting. It didn't feel like they were there. I mean my closest friends. You know the couples that we do life with.

We done for 30+ years. They were with me.

Everybody else was on the outside not understanding how hard it was. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue relationships that matter most. I'm in Wilson and I'm Dave Wilson and you can find us if we live today.com or on our family life, family life today.

I always said the greatest gift in my life behind Jesus in you is the couples we done life with. For 30 years raise her kids together. I think I did all their kids wedding you officiated.

It was hard work that is the best gifts to many guys over time that today about find your people and we sit here going while we found our people that day so nobody don't all having in their lonely sometimes we really don't even know your lonely till you hit something that as you're saying you've gone to something that you feel devastated and you don't even know how to get out you don't have people yes and genealogist back again at them like today to talk about. Find your people Jenny welcome back felt good to be here smiling because you found your people and you will talk to says this is how God made us half the finer people, but we suffered couple days now. It's really hard. Well any asking Jenny Karen author your speaker, your mom, your wife, what has been the loneliest time for you was the moment I mean. We moved our whole family. We had a senior in high school at the time there was a lot of reasons for this move, and it was hard but he was on board. We had a sophomore in high school and then we had a middle school or and in elementary school age Son moving all of them into a new school district and it was just completely overwhelming. We had to start from scratch.

I remember just driving around and thinking okay am I can ever have friends in the whole year.

Basically, we never asked to do anything. We were all six together all the time like it was just it was great for our family. We all vary by.

I was very isolated.

In turn, donot it was before that we did make friends a fork of that what you just said is really true for women.

What we do. This is what I do. At least I'm so concerned with my kid that I'll make sure they're all doing okay now put myself aside and then one day realize like me.

I'm praying for their friends yet. I really haven't connected with very many people yet that whole first year really revolved around getting them set up and settled and I was just a weird year and I was meeting people, but you know you don't feel known and your friend dating right people and we been part of a church plant in Austin until we had friends for 12 years there that we had done a lot of life with NUS really well so it was just starting over, and it was scary and hard and we we had to do all the awkward things you have to do to make friends.

I feel like as I talk to women.

There's two phases to that can be really difficult.

One is when you have young children and whether you're you're working and you come home and just pouring into your kids or maybe you're a stay-at-home mom and your friends are complaining because your husband is not helping enough exactly your marriage is struggling because that's a really hard time in your life.

Another heart stated I'm talking to women my age there empty-nesters and whereas before their kids were in school so they had all these people there, friends, parents, sporting events, all these different things are meeting people. Now they're not meeting as many people they've moved into a new community and they don't know any people. So let's hit those two things a little less talk to young moms because I know for me that was really really hard. I felt like I was dying anyway. I was failing at every part of parenting and my marriage was struggling. Yeah, I know that was a hard years for sure I'm not the reason time I felt alone in those years where my husband was a youth pastor's got a lot of nights and a lot of days I was home with two toddlers and it was very very isolating and I felt a lot of pressure to do that season well and I didn't have a lot of people help me one thing I talk about the book a lot is that the idea of the village should be more than your 2 to 5 best friends should actually be whole group of people that are helping you live life and raise kids and do all the seasons together that village should not be your daily friends but they can be in your life a Sunday school teachers, it's, it's friends that your kids play sports with its neighbors right.

It is all of these people that that are just in our life anyway and might be different ages and lifestages and all of that but provide hopefully wet village living has provided for people for generations, which is help right and I think we all need it.

And so to the mom that feels really isolated. I would say first of all, make friends with people that don't have kids so singles. Those are some of my best friends in that time, they would come over after I put my kids down. My husband was gone and we get to hang out and they were flexible enough to be able to drop by when the kids are napping or when they were asleep and then I would say make friends with people that are older than you. That will come over and like say hey let me tell you and give you perspective that this season is not the end-all be-all like this is what can happen and here's how I handled this, and here's what I did and this is those people are necessary or life we call mentors or disciple makers. Sometimes that whatever you call them you just need people that have done this lifestage before you, and then I would say get creative with your friends. The one thing I did with my friends when we again Kansas every Sunday we would cook for each other and we would take deliver meals and see each other when we would deliver our meals asleep every Sunday we would put together again. Actually, because our kids are now getting older and we don't have as many sixes can eat a lot of people.

It's hard to cook for other families. Yeah, but when your kids are little and toddlers is a great thing to do together where you make the meals for the week and you cook one big meal for all the families and then they took one big meal for all the families. It was so fun and so creative.

Another thing I've seen people do is meet at Costco meet at target somewhere there's a playground go to park together like pusher strollers also want to say for those people that are just on your life. Do not be like Monica and Chandler on friends where they have their twins and they move out to the suburbs like if you are having babies in your thinking we need a yard me all the way to perfect house on. Be sure you're not leaving the communal system that you actually need to raise your kids like that. I would say be careful to take a job that pays more, and leave your family. Be careful not season make choices that maybe bring you conveniences that take you away from people. I hope and believe people will know, certainly not everyone can go move because they read this book, but I do hope it brings into context. You know what I mean, neighbors, and I need people that know it's going on and I can borrow things from and take walks with and be in each other's life which is so contrary because many times we make that move because of money.

We have a better job status, kinda climbing the ladder like of course working to do it long gum you literally set with men who are my advice on a job change, often no city change date and this what you just said Jenny is way down on the priority right has always been totally what you are one not that important if you ask if I only came to say that the number one priority of your life should be the relationships in your life. There's nothing last forever. If God and his people.

This is going to go into eternity with us and there's not a better investment of your life and you needed to live. We are just so arrogant in America that we think we can live without connection and offered double the our salary. Valerie, you know, in a neighborhood with with five friends that have left me name it they can afford like choices around this. This should be guiding force of our life because it's the richest part of life.

It's the most meaningful part of life. The most essential part of what you've got that community. You never leaving out a lot of military families write the principles in this book help you create where you go had to redo it right and you and Allison in our move was to move closer to family.

So it certainly left a lot of good friends and had to start over, but you can't build it anywhere you go. Certainly I think it should be at the top of the list of the choices were making and why were making sure take a better job that you better get busy right when you get there and for military families.

What I say is you can do all this like the vulnerable find accountable like you can do all the things I say to do in the book but you Scott do faster than other people because you're gonna be off to the next place and and then you gotta take the friends that you keep with you and Vince on a different show that I have a great group of friends and approximate to me. They are the ones that pull me out of bed when I'm really really down they know I need to go out and like they will come over and let me get dressed and let's get on so I have those friends I can get in my face and Mike are my day-to-day friends that other group serves a purpose to and they are deep rich friends to, and none of them.

Let's one of them was in Dallas and most of them don't.

And so we are doing practicing debt, long distance, you can do that. Praise God now through technology that's not enough.

You also need someone that's in your date today business in your life. I tell you what one of our best friends that lived two blocks from us. They literally lived the about 20 miles away. They moved to be near us and we raise our kids together. That was amazing that they did radical everyone listening is like. That's crazy crazy wasn't the best.

It was incredibly my friend. We walked probably four days away and this is a good thing to like.

We ended up praying and fasting. One day a week for each other's kids and so like we would walk. We go to this was, we believe these rocks family built an altar for kids begging God on their behalf. We became sisters that was worth it. That he was my brother and me would know Joe decades and I'm not getting about 56 years ago and was we get a text are our guys group a and I want our snowblower like why, oh we will move your move and you tell us by asking who want your snowball. We all were crazy like you are so bad to be near their daughters, which is awesome yeah I should be there with their grandkids and we headed out a little bit.

They also say you guys on all the time now. Yeah, you are kind of brokerage suffered both daughters of the hallway, but to listen right now.

Rob Michelle literally because I listen all that there was so hard because it's everything you're saying are people in and everybody probably listening is heard this before but it's got to be the center of your relational activity or you're going to be a real drain on your friends is very important and is important thing not to miss that principal because ultimately people will die. People will move like our hope is ultimately in people. All I need now and they will certainly be transient. I'm just suggesting what you all just sandwiches that was a radical thing that should be back we should make choices like that all the time in the church to be making choices like that all the time that we choose to be near family. We choose to be near good friends. We we make that a priority in our lives. Will you be able to hang on to him forever now and will there be a sense that they won't ever meet all your needs. Absolutely. And that's what so precious about having godly friendships where you're all going. You know what my needs are getting that with God and I out of obedience want this to be part of my life in following him and so we can do that together but were not asking each other to be each other's end-all be-all because we have a God that is the best of friends right is the best of friends, and so we get to walk with him and have a relationship attending a nap bleed into our relation to the same time even though there Alanna. Now we just have to work harder using like or don't you gotta to go see you.

It's gonna be where we resume it's harder work there not a couple blocks away. But you still have to do because your people or your people. What I've realized her being gone with Michelle being gone is my therapy person yeah you know you're talking your sharing your kind of doing life with somebody and you're working out things that you're talking and I realize like I'm not doing that as much anymore with someone and I need that because it helps me when I could say Davis really bugging my proximity is the first thing that you don't have to have it man did not make a special friendship because you are walking four times so everybody listen. It feels only look at your neighbors. Like maybe you have them, but maybe don't. And maybe you do need to make a shift comes radical and crazy, but people mover crazy reasons. Let's just say that this is a priority and so I think finding is people that it's easy to see in the years that your kids are young and I tell my daughter the other day they're talking about their life and what they can look like I said listen, take a street like if you are going to be the first ones had kids and then basically make friends all your neighbors and you start getting everybody's phone numbers because be the person that creates writing so maybe that your site maybe say exactly where you are but you start like getting people's phone numbers and have you ever move to talk to me first and sell it to a friend like there's ways you can do this without moving, but I do think proximity does not or will you know crawl out of a pandemic where you dug about loneliness and isolation was built into it soon. It was only there because of pandemic but heighten that because we have the pole and there are little homes. We interviewed a pastor from Missouri.

Don Everts talked about chronic loneliness and he had an interesting perspective. We love to play this clip unjustly respond to someone what you think of what Don would say in our research came out this recorder people United States a little by themselves.

A number of people say that no one comes over their house ever so in the medical field, brothers, chronic loneliness, sweeping the country and the interesting thing is in the medical literature. They prefer to call it depression, but the doctors like it's chronic lung work you you have no one in your life and humans are meant to live so just to knock on someone's just to say hi in our current context does not take much to be well yet. I'm so glad for people like Don that are doing research I interviewed. I guided probably have a similar focus on loneliness right now was actually depressing because this is the disease of our day that were not able to really quantify or talk about it because we haven't made it an acceptable thing to struggle with and I think people feel that shame, depression, that's kind of you know more of that sneaky control, but loneliness feels like something you could and so there's a lot of shame around it.

They also its praise God something that we can change right is something that I'm I believe right now my job is to trump additional church right to the church and say hey I don't think we been doing this as well as we could, and I think we could do better and then they start to go.

You live differently and start to know my neighbors on start to have people over for dinner.

I noticed that single person that I've never noticed that's across the street that I don't even see very often if I can over one of my good friends. She got a note the single person across the street that is in his 80s and he's very cranky in the street really is like and he's always complaining up things she would like you and he's got a minute left him & she takes in flowers all the time. Take some food all the time. Invite them over for his birthday and said bring any of your friends you want. He brought one friend and the two of them sat there and told stories for a long time and he complained the whole time about things and the friend was hitting him and saying like stop cleaning like this is so lovely. I can't believe you got invited over here like you and yet she is determined to make that man, but the family and then hopefully phone the right and we just got to be people that notice we have the answers. We have a relationship with God and we have hopefully local churches where there is some sense of connection, even if not a village like existence. We have those connections that potential and so how do we invite people into it. How do we pursue it and prioritize in such a way that that we look different because contagious Christianity begins with contagious community. When you see people letting each other well and she said that my words. That's it.

He said they will know you by your love for one another.

That's how everybody would know you that you know but I think we can get better and I think were all craving and I hope what the pandemic has done has given us a distaste for that isolation. In the middle of this research, I pulled aside when my friend that was moving from a group with roommates to the apartment by herself and I with tears that I do not know that the best idea, and I know some people listening live alone and some people can't. That is just their lot right now but I would challenge every presupposition to that because I believe it is not good for me to be alone and so what does it look like to maybe take anyone my friends what she did as a single.

She still wanted to live alone, but she moved into a little complex with other people that she knew, so she has a townhome and she got snow all her neighbors and they have cookouts at night and they all spent time in their little courtyard together.

She made a choice about where she would live alone, that she would be alone.

I just think we got to make choices that that we have to realize there is nothing worse for health and science has proven it. I can show you the statistics is in the but that smoking, over eating, lack of exercise, none of that is more dangerous than loneliness. Loneliness is the worst thing for health as of you just do it because it's not good for you that matters.

You said that I have part of a book from John Norberg years ago they wrote see this.

He said the people is a study done justly so people have bad health habits, smoking, poor eating, obesity alcohol, but strong social ties live significantly longer than people who had great open habits for or isolated realities government. In other words is better to eat Twinkies with good friends and to eat broccoli alone.

Another study in the Journal of American Medical Association, 276 volunteers were infected with a virus that produces the common cold. The study found that people with strong emotional connections did four times better fighting off illness than those who were more isolated.

These people are less susceptible colds had less virus produce significantly less mucus than relationally isolated subjects. He said I'm not making this up. They produce less mucus that means is literally true unfriendly people are snotty years than friendly people so other work.

Just QA say. But here's what I'm hearing you know as you listen to themes that God brings into the church and are in the Christian community start to notice.

You know, a few years ago my clock every worship song that I love is about identity. Right now we are in Christ, which was beautiful and you notice another one.

Another one sermons as I was preaching. I think this is something I hope ran into me. Now I hope we needed.

We were all where we need. We all did quarantine together didn't go well right like man I want to go okay. Some introverts like I want to go back to most of us are not actually thinking that that would be good for us to do were pretty aware like – that was not my healthiest moment in life and I think were ready for this one of the things he said Jenny was you and your friends assist kinda beginning to get to know each other. You did your I call it a timeline told your life story about 20 minutes.

That's something that we've been doing to you and it's a great way to start. I did that with my friend Michelle.

We just got to dinner and we take, tell me your story and there's something about revealing who you are and what you've gone through that makes you really see the person and not like we've done that recently with the new group of friends where they just told their story and as we listened.

This is kind of a small group of couples and as we listened then what we did was we spoke life into them after they shared it and even empathize with their hard points and in that timeline like 20 minutes to share your highs but your sharing your lows and so to say. Like how I can how hard that was for you to experience that. And thanks for going deep and revealing kind of those pains and struggles and hurts in your life. It was amazing what they think. I said to but a scary love people like: I going to, that's David and Wilson with Jenny Allen on family life today will hear about what it is we really want from other people.

Whether we know it or not the person in such a connected world.

Life can feel isolating right what we do about it. Jenny Allen was on a mission to search for that same answer and wrote all her insights and a new book called find your people when you give today at family life will send you a copy of Jenny's book as our thanks your gift helps others pursue the relationships that matter most. You can give online@familylifetoday.com or by calling 800-358-6329 that's one 800 F peasant family L is in life and in the word today.

Right now, back to Dave and Anne's conversation with Jenny Allen and what we actually want from other people. The science says it what we want from people we actually don't want answers, we don't. He thinks that is not what we want right.

We want to be seen suited and safe, and that right there is excellent marriage advice if you're listening and you like.

We apartment if you just make yourself still seen suited and safe that goes so far.

Most people think what they want and what they want to get his answers and we want six people we want to. When someone says in the hardware like but that is that you were immediately getting the positive and I've learned from counseling someone sharing something with me, not because they need me to fix it but they're probably sharing it with me because they don't want to be alone and so when we can be with people and difficulty is why the Bible says mourn with those who mourn right there's a gift in and just being with someone that is in their struggles and in their disappointments. Any one of the best piece of advice I've ever gotten, and will give tie-dye is when someone shares something with you to do what you're friended to listen to say what you hear back into census.

Amen. Just listening right now because I've blown that some way.today I try to fix I want done Jenny with those that this reform we pray want to get this on the on the broadcast for long-term growth. Give a really short she was. Your kids were little shared with me how hard it was had a bad day by literally go up when I have to tell Jenny's timesharing on that day goes. I'll be right back goes upstairs comes down to little piece of paper she wrote me a letter thankful yes share all the lies already know and so it's numbered 1 to 10 thinking 10 reasons why I'm a good mom and so I pick it up and let him like you and I think every outlet number one look at him get more organized.

Oh why is your time more I read it because I prayed about this from Satan, but I know it was again four years ago. What'd I ask your Mike that's not what you want.

She told me just what you said. I will be seeing Sue was asserting say they use those words possess exactly the Mike Lee was set look like. I think we missed that before. This is called get out of your head and I did all this, which is really great.

I think I did all his research on the brain in our brains by God were built this way. We actually were built not to meet information we were built meeting connection was why this was the next book that I had to write when I did all the work on the brain, I realized this is the greatest healing tool behalf. This is the greatest gift we have on earth right is God first, but on earth God through people and so I think that is the way he built is was to require each other to belong to each other.

That is how he built that is actually built into our brains guys that need some science behind it. I know you're thinking, how does that help your brain compresses all the little pathways open reopen. When you feel understood and seen and known. And there's something in your brain begins to heal and that's why for trauma you go to therapy because not so that you can get fixed in here advice but so that you can process that story and feels in a safe environment and feel suited and seen and understood. That is why therapy works is that it's a relationship where you get to talk about the hurt so it's worth the guys that are out there diminishing this plan, you been listening to David and Wilson with Jenny Allen on family life to ever wonder about where that line is between what's constructive criticism.

And what's actually tearing others down and Wilson's words feels so relatable to me.

She says how many times have I use my words to tear Dave down and destroy him. Thinking I was helping him and doing good.

When all the time I had this power of influence to be able to speak life into him.

"Could your relationship. Use a shift towards using words to respect and cherish each other well.

Check out our marriage studies@familylifetoa.com and use the code 25 offsets 250 FF save today and beef up your communication so your marriage becomes more life-giving to both of you now. Tomorrow, David and Wilson will be joined in the studio we show baraka and his wife Patrice to talk about dealing with children who have unexpected special needs on behalf of David and Wilson. I'm Shelby Abbott will see you back next time for another edition of family life. Family life is a production of family life accrued ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most


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