Something that I have been thinking a ton about without knowing how to articulate it well is, “connection.” More specifically, the connections between people and what they mean in our lives.
We are overjoyed to be in a job we love, helping lead some amazing leaders in our new church. In fact, there are so many people interested in small groups that we are starting a young professionals group next week and 80, yes 80, people signed up in addition to the almost 250 people that are already in small groups. Bless God. This is craziness. How evident it is that we crave a connection in our physical, daily lives. In a world that tweets faster than we think (unfortunately), and logs on by the minute to check who is where and doing what, we all want to truly be known.
At this point in our transition, I feel blessed that we have a tight group of 3 or 4 couples that we spent a ton of time with this summer who know us. We have laughed, cried, sat on porches, prayed and shared stories. A rare gift. I also feel that there are many people who don’t know us very well yet. Which is normal, but I sometimes forget who I have shared our stories with. Did I tell them that Hannah is allergic to peanuts and that yes, I worked in finance and we used to want to be really rich? Have I shared that I love diet coke and going to see movies to eat popcorn and candy for dinner? Do they know the concert I would die to go to or the date of my birthday?
Some of my favorite people are on the other side of the state, the other side of the country and in different time zones. Between college, my working life, and my life as a new mom, I feel part of several communities and feel so lucky to say that. Lucky and torn, because I think we have to move forward while carrying those relationships along. It’s hard.
All of that said, we need relationship and connection to survive. Real, tangible, hold my hand and let’s go get a cup of tea connections. So as much it seems easier to spend our time on what we know, we have to continue to reach forward and reach out.
I continue to find that it is worth it. Worth it to take that first brave step and shake another hand to meet someone new. To show up with donuts and coffee and create community. Because you never know when or for how long God is bringing someone into your life. It may be for you, it may be for them, or if you are lucky, it will be for both of you.
Over the next month I will be traveling to a reunion with my college girlfriends and celebrating the joy of children for new friends and best friends. I’m so happy to be doing both and trying to just take it as it comes, remembering that being known takes time. What are you doing today to find connection in your life?
First of all, Happy Friday. From me and from this cutie who is next to me while I am writing:
I’m about to reveal a helpful tip for revamping your life….ready for it?!
Start where you are. Take baby steps. One day at a time.
Let me unpack it for you. I used to run almost every morning in my former life. Pre-baby, pre-move to Grand Rapids, back when I worked in an office. I mean RUN, like multiple miles before the rest of the world had even woken up for the day. Those are fond times in my mind where I am proud of my discipline and drive.
So as I laid in bed for multiple mornings this winter trying to get from where I am now to where I was then with my mornings, I felt a bit overhwhelmed. Then it hit me. There are seasons where I have been able to jump start workout routines, intense commitments and activities. Now is not one of them. What I did realize (here is that juicy bit of wisdom), is that I could take a small step from where I am at.
For the past 9 days I have set my alarm for earlier than I have been used to and gotten out for a walk with the dog. No, it isn’t miles logged or Riverbank training but it is something. A step in a positive direction. I feel really good about it because my expectations are to take a step in the direction I want to go. Not to run 5 miles, not to train for a marathon but to walk around the block.
I mentioned last week that I was reading through the book 7 by Jen Hatmaker. Well I finished that one and proceeded to send out a mass email to some girlfriends with an invitation to discuss it. Because I feel like I could take some steps in a new direction with some of the challenges she discussed in the book. It’s easy to read things that excite us (me) and challenge us (me) and then to move on because we (I) don’t know what to do with them. So I am treating this with the same wisdom. Starting a non-profit or completely overhauling my lifestyle overnight. Not likely. Getting a group of women together to discuss ideas about changing the world, one small step at a time, that I can do.
Change happens in small incriments, a steady progression towards a goal. When you know where you are going, you can begin to move in that direction. Simple yes, easy to do, no.
What about you? Where have you been wanting to grow lately? Have you been able to take small steps in that direction? I would love to hear about any wisdom you have learned along the way.Read More