Strong Relationships: Home Team

Have you heard of Jen Hatmaker? She’s an author, podcast host, speaker, and blah blah blah. I’m a hardcore fan girl of hers. Here we are being best friends (my sister and Nichole Nordeman round out our fab 4).

She’s been married to her husband for 25-some years and was recently blindsided by something (she has kept private) that is resulting in their divorce. I’m not sure why but it feels oddly personal to me and I’m grieving with her. All of our marriages are doomed if this one has failed. Polish off your Christian Singles account. JK…I’m going with Farmers Only.

In the midst of this devastation, her people have SHOWED UP. Extravagantly. It’s been amazing to watch. She put the time and work into her relationships, and she is reaping richly from them right now. It’s incredible.

Man, I want that. And I know I have that too – I saw it after my births and everything with my dad. But I equally want to be that for my people too. I haven’t been great at this. Have you? The thing is, it takes intentionality to have rich relationships. Some people are naturals at it, like my aunt Deanna. Some others, like myself, have a harder time at it. Perhaps because of the season of littles I’m in. Or I just suck. We don’t know dis.

Either way, whether its natural or not, I truly believe great relationships are rooted in intention. Intentionally showing up, checking in, having fun, having meaningful conversations, breaking bread together.

But there’s only so much time, and we have to choose wisely who we invest deeply into. Have you heard of the home team concept? I don’t know who to credit this with, but I heard it from author’s Bob Merritt and Shauna Niequest. It’s the idea that we have a finite amount of time, and if we want deep relationships, we have to limit the number of people we pour into the most. It’s the people that know us best and still love us. The people we’d call in the middle of the night in a crisis. The people you feel your best around. But it can’t be everyone. That doesn’t mean you cut off everyone else, but you spend your best relational time and energy on your home team.

One of my semi-unfulfilled priorities this year was my home team. Now that I don’t have a formal job, I thought I would kill it at this relationship thing.

To be honest, between having littles, being a stay at homer, and this pandemic, I'm a little lost in my relationship maintenance. Texts get away from me. Days get away from me. Having a phone conversation is darn near impossible unless its nap & quiet times, but then I'm working on Sprouted Planner. 

I doubt I’m alone in this. This is exactly why I included “People” into the Sprouted Planner. There’s a section explaining this concept and space to write down your home team. Every monthly view has a small checklist to keep in mind as your planning or referencing your schedule. One of those checklist items are People.

In the spirit of being intentional, I’ve written down my home team and my best but realistic intentions of how often I want to be in touch. I now have a list of 19 people and how I’d like to maintain my relationship with them.

A few notes:

  • Some of my male in-laws (via marriage/relationships with my home teamers) didn't get listed. I still consider them part of my home team but they aren't relationships I nurture with regular texts and phones calls because that would be kind of weird. Like my 3 brother-in-laws. 

  • I’ll say it again, this doesn’t mean I’m cutting out everyone else. I have beloved cousins, former co-workers, etc. that I love keeping in touch with. It just means I’m more selective in my time and commitments outside my home team.

  • This list isn't until death do you part. Some of your home team may be seasonal due to a job (special co-workers) or because of your kids. Some relationships naturally shift with time and circumstances. 

Do you know your home team? It’s greatly helpful to write them down and how often you’d like to be in touch/get together. I’m also curious how many people your home team consists of? There’s no right or wrong number here.