Building relationships takes time. We all know that. Maintaining relationships takes time. We know that, too. But it seems like in this digital age, we let social media be good enough. I can read your tweets, you can follow my Instagram feed, and we’re good.

We fool ourselves into thinking we can be involved in each other’s lives without ever changing out of our pajamas and leaving the couch. I can read all of your Facebook posts on my laptop, my smart phone, and even my television.

But the truth is, when I don’t actually meet you for lunch, leave you a quick voicemail, or stop in the aisle at WalMart for a chat, I won’t really know you. I can know all about you from social media, but I won’t know what makes you tick.

We won’t really be friends.

Last week, a group of younger women spent the evening at our house. We made chicken fajitas, guacamole, mocha brownies, and hot fudge sauce. It was loud, it was messy, and it took some advance preparation (TIME).

But it was great fun (and great food!). I got to hear all that is going on in their lives. This year is bringing some major transitions for some of them – a new baby, two weddings, and international missions. I don’t know when they will all be in my house at one time again, and I can’t imagine all the changes that life will bring for them over the next few months.

But I do know this – I wouldn’t trade those hours for anything. I loved hearing about their hopes and dreams. I loved sharing some recipes with them.

As I thought about the evening, I came back to my word for this year – intention. The only way to connect with others is by being intentional. Like it or not, our world is busy, noisy, digital, and filled with distractions. That’s not going to change, so I have to adjust if I am going to be able to build relationships with others in 2014.

I have a mental list of friendships I would like to continue to develop this year. Some are only in the beginning stages, and some are a little further along. What about you? Can you think of one person today you can reach out to in an intentional way? How will you do it?

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