Finding Your Community
Do you have a community, a group, a posse? You know, people…do you have people?
As a writer (and a Mom or Dad, or a teacher or well, just a human being), it is so important that you have a group of folks (not just family) that you can interact with regularly, if not daily. Writing can be an isolating occupation, as are many others, and it is necessary for your creativity, let alone your sanity, to make sure you have friends, writers, and prayer partners that you can bounce ideas off of, interact with, or just drink coffee with on a cold, dreary day.
Last night I attended a function where the message was all about being intentional with our interactions. We were encouraged that those around us, in this case specifically women, are just as important as our family, and we need to be willing to uplift, encourage, and be intentional with our words, our actions, and our relationships. So many times, we walk in and out of church without ever saying anything to anyone. We attend a group (book club, mommy and me, etc.) without ever really sharing anything about our circumstances. We move in and out of the day without ever really saying more than hello or goodbye. It’s easy in this technological day and age to do our work and limit ourselves to short, sporadic, glossy interactions that are not very deep or revealing. It becomes even harder to touch base as we move into the holiday season, a season full of activity and merriment, but a season that is also suppose to be about giving and loving those around us.
This is how I often feel, especially as a new business owner and mompreneur. Aside from my husband and child, I interact with a few people regularly, but not daily. I attend church, but haven’t found a specific group to connect to yet. I move in and out of my day, saying hello to my daughter’s teachers, thank you to the cashier at the grocery store, and no to the telemarketer that somehow got my cell number. Some weeks I feel like a recluse because most of my work is done online. And, most of the time I don’t complain because I’m a bit of an introvert.
This week, however, was a tough one, and I had to make a point to reach out to a close friend (Thanks Brooke!), and not stay stuck in my own thoughts and activities. I had to make a point to not just contact, but make a plan, create the time, and go.
God didn’t make us to be alone, He created us to reach out, connect and fellowship together, and we can find it talked about many times throughout the Bible.
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another.” I Thessalonians 5:11
“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” Phillipians 2:1-2
“…When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has a tongue, has an interpretation Let all things be done for edification.” I Corinthians 14:26
On this Friday in October, I’d like to encourage us all to be brave, take the first (second and third) steps, and reach out…even if it’s only one person this weekend that you join with to play a game of Scrabble, go out to dinner with, or discuss a book/movie/current event with over the phone. Don’t just text them. Call them. Meet with them face to face. Find a spot in your schedule and fill it with community. Attend that once a month writing group and share your work. Visit a museum with another family and encourage each other as your kids see dinosaurs and paintings. Meet someone in their home and bring your favorite treat and beverage, and just chat. It will be rewarding for them and you. It will fill your tank and give you a boost. And, it will most importantly create a relationship that you can re-visit again and again.
I pray courage, strength, and a bit of extra time over each of you today and into the coming weeks, and I would love to hear how you create community with those around you. Feel free to comment below and share your ideas, thoughts and encouragement.
Have a great weekend!