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Our weekly newsletter filled with news, updates, and inspiring stories of how God is working in the Bay Area.

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Working late, working hard, working on your phone … such is the life of a Bay Area professional! When life moves quickly and you can’t remember the last time you were off at 5, taking time to relax with friends can get more and more difficult. Still, relationships are essential to our quality of life. Take a minute to read below to find some ideas to help you slow down and connect with the ones you care about:

Where there’s a will, there’s a way

 This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing.

 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.

Ecclesiastes 4:8-9

From Facebook to GroupMe to plain old email, our lives are filled with quick ways to connect. But all the apps in the world won’t help us connect with other people unless we really decide we want to, no matter how busy we are.

I’m an overachieving perfectionist and I usually see relationships as a nice addition to my life, but not as important as doing my best in school or at my job.  What I’ve found, and what this scripture teaches, is that living for achievements will eventually feel meaningless and depressing, because no achievement can fulfill our need for meaningful friendships.

Decide to invest time this week in a relationship – it can be as simple as calling a friend to say hello on your way home from work. Making a little effort each week to value your friendships can go a long way.

Quality, not quantity

But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

1 John 1:7

A friend of mine just started a new job. When a few of us asked her how she was feeling about the long hours and steep learning curve, at first the only feeling she could think of was tired.

Then she began to let down about everything else she had thought and felt that day – her fears, worries, and even desires and goals.

During that conversation her whole demeanor changed – she went from exhausted and drained to relaxed and refreshed in about 10 minutes. She showed me that the scripture above is true -good relationships are not necessarily determined by the amount of time we spend together but rather by how honest and open we are about our thoughts, feelings, sins and desires.

Don’t let time be a barrier to having close friends – decide to have quality conversations and make the most of the opportunities you have to connect with people around you!

 Share your life

We loved you so much that we shared with you not only God’s Good News but our own lives, too.

 1 Thessalonians 2:8

No matter how busy you are, everyone needs to run errands, do laundry, go to the gym, or go to the grocery store. So…bring someone with you!

Part of connecting with people around you is letting them be part of your life, like the scripture says. My natural instinct is often to “put my best foot forward” and not let anyone see me messy. But I’m learning that real friends like to know the real me, and feel endeared when they can shop with me, cook with me, and be part of my life. Plus, you can do it even when you don’t have a lot of time.

Start inviting friends into an area of your life. Have someone over to learn a new recipe from Pinterest, or go for a run together after work, or make a regular trip to Trader Joe’s together. These are quick and easy ways to connect with a friend and make life more enjoyable at the same time.

Written by

Amy Query

Amy Query is an editor of BACC Inspire and avid reader. She studied psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and has over a decade of experience in mentoring, counseling and community organizing.