Tag Archives: Community

There I was sitting on my pity potty….


Oh friends, I hope you are all having a good weekend.  Yesterday I found myself in a bit of a rut. I reeeeeaaaaalllly don’t do this laying low and resting thing well. By Thursday I was boring myself. It is ridiculous I know. Friday it was cold and rainy, the perfect curl up on the couch in a cozy sweater kind of day. And while I was doing just that I found myself frustrated and angry that I couldn’t do more.

Apparently, I don’t do recovery well.

My pain level was still pretty high on Thursday so I was taking 1 pain pill as needed every four hours. The lovely side effect of said pain pill is that it pretty much dries everything up on the inside, so going to the bathroom is all but impossible.

Too much information? I know, it probably is but here’s the thing…I said I was going to be open about this process and so here I am being open. So while I haven’t had much of an appetite, I also have not gone the the bathroom since Monday. For me that is a long time and I think Dominic best described it when he said you start to feel like you are full of concrete.

On top of all that loveliness, I am still really swollen from the surgery. I feel I look about 3 months pregnant and basically none of my regular pants fit. So I was wearing leggings as pants, which for me is a strict no, but I really had no other choice.

Thursday night I decided that I would stop taking the pain pills to see if that would help get things moving again. Friday morning when I got up I spent about an hour walking laps around our home trying to help “wake up” my intestines. {It didn’t work} Neither has any of the other recommended over the counter “products” that are supposed to help alleviate said problem.

So I was bloated, uncomfortable, full of “concrete” and feeling a bit sorry for myself.

I called and voxed my best friend and cried “I’m bored and miserable and sitting on my pity potty.” Then I realized what I had said when I meant to say pity pot and we both laughed over that one!

I told Dominic that I just wanted to go to Walmart to get a few things, I couldn’t stand being in the house any longer. He said he only wished he could just sit and hang out in the house and relax. Why is it so hard to just be still?

I knew that I needed to remember this time, appreciate it because very soon everything would be back to normal and I would be crazy busy and probably stressed.

Then I got a message from my most favorite friends here in Marshall. They were headed to the church to set up for the ladies night event that is happening later today and asked if I wanted to come along and watch. I wasn’t allowed to help at all, but could sit and visit with them while they worked.

And it was just what I needed. We talked and laughed, and I was able to just relax in a different setting for a few hours. Nothing about my situation had really changed…I still was dealing with pain and being uncomfortable but by getting off of my “pity potty” I was able to change my perspective.

How quickly I forget.

Instead of continuing to celebrate the fact that the news after my surgery was better than I had hoped, I was caught up in how slow the recovery seemed to be going. I should be focused on the fact that there won’t be any additional treatments, surgeries etc. after this! I have so much to be grateful for!

It was a reminder to me again how quickly I can get sucked into the negative. It isn’t ever a good place for me to be. I am so grateful for the few hours away last night that helped me gain a better perspective. There is always beauty to be found. Goodness can happen when we allow ourselves rest, and joy comes from time with friends.

If you are stuck on your pity potty today, try something different for a few hours. Seek to change your perspective and count your blessings. I am sure there are many to be found!! Have a happy Saturday friends!!

 

Photo Credit: d’s2nd

The day before, the rock, the flowers, community and more…

So as I write this it is the day before the big day. It has been a long week of waiting. I have been ready but the time has passed slowly. It hasn’t helped that I haven’t felt great for several days. For multiple days I have said I feel like I am pregnant. Tired, nauseous and a little out of sorts. Of course there is no physical way I could be pregnant…so these week-long symptoms have been irritating. I am hopeful that after my recovery period I will be back to myself again.

I had good intentions of getting so much done this weekend before I am bed-ridden for a few days but the majority of it just didn’t happen. It’s ok though, overall we had a good weekend. On Sunday after church I had a chance to visit with several of my friends and a few of them prayed over me. It was such a beautiful gift. A few of my other friends were conspiring with Dominic about something behind me too while the praying was happening…I am pretty lucky to have such an amazing church family!

Then later that afternoon another friend from church texted me and asked if she could put me on the “meal train” list. I have to admit it is reaaaalllly hard for me to say yes to help. I am good at trying to manage it all on my own (even if I am not doing a great job as evidenced by something I will share later) but one of the girls that prayed over me specifically prayed that I would have a heart willing to rest and receive. So I thanked her for arranging the meal train and know that my family will be blessed by it.

Today I had BIG plans. Like get all the work done I possibly can in the office kind of plans. Except it didn’t quite turn out like I had expected. At about 12:30pm I got a call from our elementary school. It was the nurses office. They had Karlena there and somehow she had a rock stuck way down deep in her ear. She was crying and the nurse said that we needed to take her to the Dr. to get it out. {Of course}

So off to the school we go to pick her up. When she gets in the car she initially tries to tell us that a “mean boy” from her class put the rock in her ear. Why would you let someone do that we wonder out loud? And then through sobs she admits that she did it. So awesome, it was her fault and she was lying to us. Parenting win #1 for the day. Wait for it #2 is coming!!

The Dr. couldn’t see her for a few hours so we had lunch and went back to the office where I got the most beautiful flowers delivered. Ahhh, sweet blessings in a day that was going down the drain. My best friend wanted me to have something pretty to look at all week and had them sent to our office today. They are so perfect. I rarely get flowers and I have gotten them twice this week! What?!

While we were waiting for the Dr’s appointment my calendar alarm pops up. It is a reminder for Gabe’s ortho appointment in 10 minutes. The one I had COMPLETELY forgotten about. The one that was supposed to be extra long today so they could do a bunch of replacing of wires and things. The kind you don’t want to have to cancel, but I had no choice. I called the office and apologized profusely, telling the receptionist that I have a surgery tomorrow and I had completely forgotten the appointment and there was no way for me to get a hold of Gabe to get him there. Parenting win #2.

Thankfully they were so grace-filled with me and we were able to reschedule for a better time next week. This time I will NOT forget!

Besides all of this, I was impatiently waiting for a call from the pre-op nurse to give me the lowdown on what not to do and what to do before the surgery. {Finally they called!!} Like I get to shower tonight AND tomorrow morning. I will be clean! Ha! And I thought I might get to have food up to 8 hours before the surgery…so I was planning on having a protein shake at around 3:30am. But apparently I can’t eat after midnight. Boo. I am going to be one hungry mama come noon tomorrow.  Somehow I am sure I will survive.

Through all of this though I have been reflecting on this amazing community of people that I have surrounding me. In person, in prayer, with meals and flowers, encouragement and laughter. All of it is such a gift. I don’t take it for granted, I really don’t.

So thank you. I will do my best to provide an update when I am able. But know that your prayers and encouragement have been felt and are so very appreciated!

When Hospitality Looks Like A Late Night Cupcake Tasting

Cupcake TastingI think I need to start this post with an admission…or an apology. But it is highly likely that if you call our house, I will not answer the phone. Oh I may be there…but I am not going to answer an actual call. I know it is silly…I pretty much hate making or taking phone calls. It is something in my introverted self that feels intimidated by the potential for the “awkward silence.” So I screen and call back when necessary.

Last night I had already changed into my “don’t go out of the house lounge clothes.” Dominic was outside getting the garbages out and I was on the couch when the phone rang. I honestly figured it was the school with a graduation related announcement…so I let it go.

Then I heard the voice on the machine…was that Amy saying something about cupcakes and Dominic’s birthday? Sure enough, my friend Amy from church was calling asking if we were still up…she was making cupcakes and wanted to know if they could bring us some for Dominic’s birthday!

Can you even believe that?! Seriously I was blown away!!

So Dominic came inside and I played the message…he was surprised too. He said we could go over and pick up a few cupcakes… 😉 As a side story Amy and her husband Greg bought a house that we had looked at online several times before we moved here. It is a beautiful, older brick home with a ton of character…we had always wanted to see it in person.

So I called her back. It was 9:30 at night, I was in clothes I wouldn’t ever wear outside of the house…and we asked if we could come over instead. She said yes and we headed over.

Sometimes outrageous hospitality looks like a late night cupcake party! (<====Click to Tweet)

The heavenly smell that came out of their kitchen when they opened the door to us was AMAZING. Amy was making cupcakes for her kids to take to school on one of their last days. Lots and lots of cupcakes and all sorts of wonderful flavors.

Cupcakes with oreos on the bottoms and others with strawberries in the center. She was trying a few new recipes out, new creations, and wanted us to try a little bit of everything so we could tell her if it was a recipe she should use again.

She and her family gave us a tour of their home. She said don’t judge…it’s lived in. But all I could see was a space filled with love. Yep there may have been messes in the kids rooms and clothes in piles (just like my own)…but it didn’t matter. When you open your home, as it is, and invite people in…the condition of the space is the last thing that will be seen. What is seen is love.

We were showered with love last night.

The fact that she called and offered to share some cupcakes with us because she saw it was Dominic’s birthday was one thing. The fact that they opened their home, made us feel welcome and shared laughter and stories and cupcakes until probably way too late on a school night…that is hospitality.

She has a gift, not only in baking, but in making people feel like family. 

We went home last night full and with a few extra cupcakes to share. But more importantly we felt a covering of God’s love in a way we haven’t in awhile. All she did was pick up the phone and make a call.

Is it really that simple?!

Honestly I forget sometimes how easy community can be if we are willing to step out and make a simple call. What a reminder that was for me last night. What a blessing to be remembered.

Amy, what a blessing you were to us last night. Thank you for simply picking up the phone and making that call…for inviting us in and stuffing us full of your amazing creations. 😉 I pray that God pours our a special measure of blessings on you today!

When Community Looks Like a Rally Cry – A God-sized Dreams Post

Community-Stronger

Community has been on my heart since I attended Allume in October. I have always had a longing to build community, but I hadn’t yet felt the calling to really implement it in my own home town. It is scary and exciting all at the same time. We are introducing some really fun things at our church here in MN and I wait in eager anticipation to see what God will do with and through all of it.

I thought that was what I was going to write about this month, until I experienced community in a completely overwhelming and different way recently. It was unexpected and born out of a trial, but sometimes community looks like a rally cry. And through this I have learned that we are stronger together.

I felt desperate.

But even with the people that I am most comfortable with, I want there to be the appearance of having it all together. (<====Click to Tweet)

Especially as the “leader” of this fine group of women, if I shared my reality…what would they all think?

But God has been showing me all year that I must have full dependence on Him, and sometimes it means that I need to be willing to ask for help.

So I sucked up my pride and sent a message to the women on this team here at GSD’s.

Honestly, I just got chills again as I think about what happened next…..

I am sharing the rest of this story over at God-sized Dreams today. Will you join me there?!

Can You Relate?

Relate-Womens-Ministry-1

I want to share something that I am SO excited to be a part of. Recently I was at a baby shower with a few women from my church. We spent the entire time talking and laughing and sharing stories. It was a wonderful time connecting with some of the women that I know, but didn’t know well.

A couple of us started talking later about how we needed to try and do things like that more often. I have said before that community is so important to me and being surrounded by other women (in person) was such a gift. How could we foster that type of community in our local church?

My friend Steph has had a heart for seeing some sort of Women’s Ministry at our church form and even had the perfect name for it…Relate! A place that we could gather together as one and find all those common ways that we can relate to one another.

So we are taking a leap of faith and moving forward and Relate Women’s Ministry was born!

God gave me some words to try and express our heart behind this ministry and I wanted to share those here. Friends if you are in the Marshall MN area and want to join me for our first “event” – please let me know!! I would love to have you join us!

________________________________________

I don’t know about any of you…but Sunday mornings can be pretty stressful around our house. Heck any morning can be pretty stressful. Getting everyone out the door on time, without fighting can be a challenge can’t it?

So let me just say congratulations on even being here today!

But can I be honest for a minute? I am pretty intimidated by all of you. I desperately want for you to believe that I have it all together, as though that belief would make you like me more…but the reality is that there are some Sunday mornings that I am screaming in the car on the way to church.

Can anyone relate?

Maybe you are a mom to small children and it feels like you have changed 1000 diapers too many and you just want to have an adult conversation for 5 minutes.

Maybe all of your children are grown and out of the house and you are wondering what your purpose is now?

Maybe you are single and you wonder if you will ever get married?

Or you are struggling in your marriage and you feel like you are the only one who isn’t seeing life through rose colored glasses…

Can anyone relate?

God is pretty clear about how He feels about community. He created us to be in community together, to support one another and to lift each other up.

Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

A few of us have been talking about how we can create a community for the women of Swan Lake. A safe place where we can meet and find laughter, encouragement, and lift one another up. A place where there is no judgement or comparisons but instead a time where we can share stories and just relate to one another. Find that common ground that IS there between all of us!

A place for all women. For the mothers and the singles, the empty nesters and the retirees. If you are a women (sorry guys) we extend an invitation for you to join us. Because this is new we don’t have everything figured out yet…but if you have a heart for this type of ministry we encourage you to join us and bring your ideas.

We are hoping to gather together once a month, on a Friday night or Saturday morning for a few hours. We will have an activity and a devotion and a time of fellowship. I know that there are several women here that I don’t know well and I am guessing the same could be said for many of you. We want to change that and are hoping that this is the place to start!

So for our first “event” we will be showing the movie “Mom’s Night Out” here at the church on Friday May 1st. It is a funny movie and one that all women, regardless of where they are in life, can relate to. Come ready to laugh and eat some popcorn and enjoy some fellowship with other women!

Feel free to bring a friend too! All women are welcome!

A Neighborhood Valentine’s Party

Valentine's Party

This past Saturday I stepped out of my comfort zone and hosted a Valentine’s Party for all the kids in my neighborhood.

Yes I am feeling alright! 😉

As many of you know I have been exploring this idea of how hospitality looks in a practical sense in my own community and since it is too cold outside for the Turquoise Table, I knew that I had to get brave and open my home if I wanted to start before Spring.

So a few weeks ago I sent a message out on our private neighborhood FB group asking if anyone’s kids would even be around and interested in coming if I had a party and to my surprise almost everyone said they wanted to come!!

We have LOTS of kids in our neighborhood. Ranging from ages 1 1/2 to 18! Our final number was 14 kids total which included my 3 youngest! Isn’t that awesome?!

I wanted to keep things fairly simple…I had a few pre-planned activities, but I knew that if I spent all this time planning stations or things to do, that the kids would rather just play…so I went onto Pinterest (The holder of all knowledge of party planning fun) and printed out coloring pages, word finds, word scrambles and Valentines Bingo cards!

The kids colored for a time but then decided to explore the house and play. I knew this was a possibility and was totally fine with it. Depending on your space this may not work for you, but I determined that I wasn’t going to stress about messes made or kids running. This was a 2 1/2 hr opportunity for them to be in a new environment and just have fun.

The kids were amazing. The played and ran and did a Just Dance competition. I think that they all had a great time. There is something about spending time in a new surrounding that is fun!

I planned the party over the lunch hour on purpose. I figured it would give the parents a break and also use up a portion of their time here. I kept things simple here as well, but WAAAAY over planned on the amount of food I needed.

We had pizza and hot dogs, carrots, grapes, Cuties and juice boxes. I bought 2 5lb bags of Cuties and think the kids ate 2 Cuties total. 🙂 Then for dessert I had mini cupcakes and bought these heart shaped sugar cookies from the local store bakery and 2 kids of frosting and sprinkles so that they could decorate their own cookie.

After lunch we played Bingo and I think that was a hit for everyone! I hadn’t gotten prizes but we had some mini candy bars left over from the treat cups in the cupboard. If someone got a Bingo, they got a treat. At one point we had 4 or 5 Bingo’s – I totally recommend that because kids of all ages can play!

Finally towards the end of the party one of the kids spotted our Elf on the Shelf movie (of all things!) and asked if they could watch it. So for 22 minutes the house was quiet as everyone piled into the living room to watch a show!

I got balloons for everyone at our local Dollar Tree and used those to decorate the kitchen, and everyone got to take one home. I also made treat cups as well.

Valentine's Treat Cups

We don’t thrown big parties for the kids on their birthdays. Honestly they have so much stuff already, and the gifts they get from us and their grandparents…it is enough. At a birthday party everyone expects to bring a gift…this type of party was so much fun and it takes the pressure off of the parents having to scramble to find something for a gift that my kids don’t need anyway!

I would host this type of party again in a heartbeat!

Clean up was pretty fast because we had used paper plates and napkins and a plastic Valentine’s table cover. We just gathered everything up and threw it out! And my kids LOVED being able to have all their friends over….they are still talking about it.

Gabriel’s only complaint was that it wasn’t long enough!

I know that opening your home can be scary…especially with adults right!?! So why not start off with a kids party?! It is a great way to meet the kids your own children spend time with and an unexpected treat in the middle of a cold cold winter!

Have you ever hosted a neighborhood party?! I’d love to hear about it and get ideas for future events!

Neighboring Well

ArtOfNeighboring

It was clear that she was “new”. As a new dance mom myself and just a few months into the routine, I could tell that she was attending drop off for the first time. I raised 3 boys before we had a chance to welcome a girl into our family, so this dance mom thing is new territory for me.

And can I just say it is a bit intimidating.

Maybe it is just women in general, we can come off as illusive and unapproachable. I do the same, I make myself busy with my phone so that I don’t have to make conversation with a “stranger.”

As an introvert and shy to boot, it is work for me to join a conversation, to make friends.

It isn’t comfortable, it never is, but I am learning that sometimes God calls us to step out of our comfort zones and do something different.

____________________________________________________________

My friend Kristin Schell is doing that with her #theturquoisetable movement.  I love this idea and can’t wait to get a table this spring. Recently she told me about another book that captures this idea of neighboring well.

The Art of Neighboring arrived at my door yesterday and I started reading it as I was getting ready this morning. If I didn’t have to be at work, I would be on the couch reading this. I had flagged pages and underlined in the Foreword. Oh it is going to be good.

“I am convinced that living in close community with our neighbors is the best way to live. The command to love our neighbors lies at the core of God’s plan for our lives, and when we follow this mandate, it changes everything. The journey begins when we choose a lifestyle of conversation and community over a lifestyle of busyness and accumulation. It’s about making room for life and choosing to befriend those God has placed around us.” p11

So often we make assumptions about people. We wave and smile as we drive down our neighborhoods, but it doesn’t go beyond that. And when we haven’t taken the time to really get to know someone, we assume we know what happens in their homes. Good, bad or otherwise…we don’t really know.

“Perhaps we’d find that the people on our block are normal people just like us. They go to work, hang out with their kids, and put their pants on one leg at a time. At the end of the day, they long for a place to belong, a place to be accepted and cared for. They want to do something significant with their lives, something that really matters. What good things might happen if you truly got to know the people in your neighborhood and they got to know you?” p18

These words put a lump in my throat.

If there are people in my neighborhood that are looking for a place to belong, and I can do something about it – what is stopping me? As a believer in Jesus, isn’t this my calling?

Love your neighbor as yourself.

___________________________________________________________

I am telling you that this isn’t going to be easy for me. My heart beats fast at considering hitting publish to these words, knowing that my neighbors may read them…people in my church. I don’t want to be someone who talks the talk and is afraid to walk the scary road ahead of me.

But this idea of better community, or neighboring well is hitting me on all sides and I can’t ignore it or assume that someone else will do the hard work.

So once again, with knees knocking, I step forward willing to let God use me. (<====Click to Tweet)

As I headed back to the dance studio to pick up my girl, I saw the new mom waiting…phone in hand, scrolling, because it is what we do.

And I turned and said hello, asked if they were new to Marshall, or just new to dance? They had just moved here for a job, new community and new people. Another mom joined the conversation and she also has been here only 2 years “And I don’t know anyone.”

I want that to change! So in a few minutes we stopped and share “newbie” stories and next week maybe that conversation can continue.

We don’t have to do this alone, we shouldn’t do this alone.

It will likely be baby steps for me, but they will be steps forward, to learning the art of neighboring, and neighboring well.

Will you join me?

Photo Credit: From The Art of Neighboring

When Technology Connects

Map

I think I loved the idea of developing friendships, creating community even at a young age.

My parents would take us on travel adventures when I was little. Driving across the US in our van or VW bus, we filled our time with road games, latch-hook and Sesame Street song tapes.

When we would arrive at our destination, usually a campground, we would find the best spot and set up camp. Back in those days we camped in an actual tent, like on the ground. You know where bugs and bears can get you…ahh the good times! 😉 It was always fun and I have fond memories of those summers with my family.

Every once and awhile I would meet another girl my age who was out with her family. One year a girl from California parked next door. I say parked because her parents had a HUGE camper, and it even had a toilet inside. I was only slightly jealous.

She and I had fun exploring together and at the end of our stay we exchanged addresses and promised to write letters.  

The letters came frequently at first, but then as school got back in session, and life happened…well the letters stopped.

Today, because of the amazing technology we have, staying connected is so much easier.

I have marveled recently at how, through things like Voxer, women from all over the country have been able to develop friendships that will remain lifelong. A message, or a prayer can be shared in moments and suddenly they don’t feel so far away.

Some of my dearest friends are those that live the farthest from me.

A book launch originally connected us, and then emails, a sharing of life and laughter and even at times tears. We start our mornings with a greeting and prayer requests. These women have invested in me and I in them, in ways I could have never imagined even 10 years ago.

While technology can be, at times, a curse…today I see the blessings.

Because of technology, I now look at a map of the United States and realize that even though the States separate us, the gap doesn’t feel too big because with a touch of a button we can leave a vox, or send an email…and we stay connected.

How do you stay connected with technology? 

I’m sharing this story with this week’s community link-up at The High Calling. You can add your voice to the “Technology at Work” discussion here.

Photo Credit: Marxchivist

More than anything, I want them to see You

merry go roundI am less than a week from turning 40. The BIG 4-0. And I am surprisingly ok with it all.

I wasn’t really dreading 40, I feel better about who I am and where I am, than I probably ever have. 40 isn’t something to fear or dread. It is just another year right?! And I am surrounded by some of the best family and friends a girl can have, so I am really just overwhelmed with blessings.

I have spent more years than I can count, and really that I would like to admit, worrying about trying to be the perfect person.

As far back as I can remember, I wanted what I didn’t have. I wanted the Strawberry Shortcake dolls that the girl down the street had, or the cute red Esprit jeans with the white hearts on them. (Oh how I coveted those pants and don’t even get me started on the matching heart sweater!!) Maybe it was the name brand jeans or a place on the cheerleading squad…there was always something missing.

I found myself wanting, lacking, and it wasn’t a place that I wanted to be.

So I studied hard so I would be the smart one and do something amazing with my life. Then I went off to college and couldn’t hack the career that I was certain was for me. And once again I knew that when someone looked at me, they just saw someone who was lacking.

For a perfectionist like myself, this is a terrible place to be. Because when you looked at me I wanted you to see beauty and grace and maybe the least bit of fashion sense.

But I was certain that what you saw was the opposite.

Have you ever found yourself there, on the merry-go-round of striving to be something, someone better than you feel you are? (<====Click To Tweet)

And yet it seems that no matter how hard you try, you come up short.

The past few years have been growing ones for me.

Yes I may have added a few pounds towards my waistline, ahem 😉 that comes with the aging I am told but I am not talking about that today. No, even more than that I am discovering who I am. What I love and where my passions are. I have reconnected with my love of writing and that alone has brought me so many gifts.

This refinement process hasn’t always been easy either. Dominic and I are learning how to work well with one another in our business, as we also try to manage a reasonable balance between work and home life. We have big kids, and middle kids and little kids…and raising them isn’t always a cake walk.

I yell too much, and get frustrated about little messes. I often forget to take time to count my blessings.

But despite all of that, all of my shortcomings, I am filled with the overwhelming peace that God will use it all for His glory. (<====Click to Tweet)

I have seen Him do it in my life already. How He took all the messy and the ugly parts of me and healed them and then gave me a story to share. He gave me a heart for others, for loving them and sharing the hope that is found in Him.

I don’t head into the Big 4-0 wanting you to see me and how put together I am or what a wonderful wife and mother I am.

More than anything, I hope that when you look at me you see Him.

You see a woman who loves Jesus. A woman who is admittedly a hot mess most days, but even on the worst of them can see the potential for God to use it for good.

Yes Lord, it is my prayer for year 40 and beyond…as long as you have planned for me here, that when people see me, they see You in me. Fashion or no, good hair days and bad, muffin tops and veiny legs….none of it perfect Lord, but through You I have the faith that I will be perfected for Your glory.

And that is all that matters.

Photo Credit: Great Beyond

We All Need a Little of That!

Community

As many of you know just a little over a week ago I was surprised with a getaway birthday weekend to Houston. It was a weekend filled with love from my friends and family.

While Gindi and I shared a delicious BBQ chicken pizza from California Pizza Kitchen (which by the way was YUM!!), we talked about this idea of community. On FB the night I found out about my surprise I posted a picture of my letter and this comment “To say that I am floored and overwhelmed and crazy excited all at once is an understatement….not exactly sure where I am headed on Saturday but the “three birthday bandits” have completely surprised me!”

130 people liked that post and I had over 40 comments…

I don’t say that to brag, it is a reflection of how much something like this would mean to so many people.

“Best present ever!!”, “I want to get kidnapped”, So fun, can’t wait to hear about it”…and on and on.

People, women especially, long for this type of community.

Maybe we don’t say it or admit it…but it is true. We love to feel loved. (<====Click to Tweet)

I think it is in our nature, it is how we were made. I know so many women who love big and love well. But this experience for me was proof that we all have a secret wish that someone would love on us in a HUGE way like I was.

And I don’t want it to end with me.

I realize that many of us might not be able to plan such an elaborate surprise like I received…but as Gindi and I talked I was challenged to think of ways that I might be able to love on others well, here in my own front yard.

Because we all need a little more of that, don’t we?

Of community, friendship, lavish and unconditional love?

This may mean that we have to step out in faith…and what if it isn’t well received? What if we put a Turquoise Table in the front yard in April, invite our neighbors over, and no one comes?

It could happen.

It probably won’t, but there is that risk.

But you know, I have found that by being willing to take the risk, the crazy leaps of faith…that I have been given back so much in return.

If I hadn’t been willing to open my heart to the idea of online friendships…well last weekend would have never happened. And what a blessing that was in my life.

I hope you can understand that I face these challenges with the same fear that I expect many of you are facing. We are in this together!!

That is why I felt like it was so important to write about this today. I often make decisions based on fear, especially fear of the unknown.

But when we see a need – how can we NOT respond?! Maybe your response isn’t with a surprise trip, but instead a call to a friend for a lunch date. A card in the mail to a neighbor or introducing yourself to a “stranger” at church.

The act itself doesn’t have to be monumental, but I am seeing that the small things can become monumental if we are invested in and working at community. (<====Click to Tweet)

So I come here willing. Prayerfully considering how this looks in my own life and open to being pushed to where I may feel uncomfortable…because if I can be the hands and feet of Christ here…who knows what might happen!

Photo Credit: Niall Kennedy

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...