New Friends, (in)couragers, & Book Club

I did it.
I signed up for an (in)couragers group. I had no intention really – not specifically choosing not to participate, just that I wasn’t expecting to join.

Community groups are something I’m used to doing locally. It makes sense. It’s how it usually is, right?

But (in)courage is changing the restrictions of that notion. They are taking the glory of community and challenging the preconceived boarders – taking it from zip code boundaries and connecting women across states, cities, time zones…bringing fellowship through the screen, wrapping comfort-arms around lonely hearts, busy hearts, tired hearts, amazing hearts.

    I’ve become one of those: an attendee of parties I never thought of before. Twitter parties have caught be completely by surprise and I’m hooked. It’s more authentic connection than I thought it could be. It began with 5 Minute Friday and the writers that join its ranks. Every Thursday night, 11pm EST, we gather at #FMFparty and meet, share, laugh, dig deeper. We await Lisa-Jo’s reveal of Friday’s word – the prompt to get our fingers typing, our minds’ resist of over-thinking, to make clear the introspection. And guess what, it’s Thursday today. You’re invited to stop by one happening shin-dig. 🙂 We’d love to see you. Just tweet and include the #fmfparty hashtag, and you’ll see us. Enjoying ourselves and getting to know one another.

       Another twitter party stumbled across was the #incouragers soiree. It is here that I found where I was going to belong over these next few weeks. There are so many tremendous community groups happening. Hop on over and discover where you new friends are gathering!

 Mine? I’ve decided to join up with great women and read Unglued together. Lysa TerKeurst, author, ministry champion, head of Proverbs 31 ministries…she’s come out with another terrific, relatable voice to a struggle many of us face. Emotions can run rampant in a life. I know they have been a large part of what makes me, me. Sensitivity and feeling things in big ways, ever-changing…that is something I can certainly relate to. In Unglued, Lysa speaks on how we can make wise choices in the midst of raw emotions. Emotions aren’t the enemy, nor something we even need to ashamed of. However, I’m a big believer in the fact that the choices we make in our emotions are pivotal and something we are highly responsible for. Response, attitude, words, actions…these are choices we are faced with. Just because we’re feeling something strongly, does not us give license to run over others who happen to be in our path. I need to remind myself of this, because I’m not immune at all to choosing poorly when I’m in the height of emotions reigning. Not by a long shot.

I cannot go as far to declare that emotions aren’t good. They they should be censored to everyone at all times. I’ve tried that style of living, and let me tell you – it’s a recipe for disaster down the road. It accomplishes nothing, nor does it save you any heartache. Think of volcanoes and nervous breakdowns. Eerily similar.
 
    No, I firmly believe emotions are beautiful. Created by a generous Father who longs for us to feel and to do so fully, without abandon. It’s just that we need to know who we can trust with all our “everywhere”. He is capable of taking all and any we have to dish out. He wants to know us – every aspect of us. He knows us better than even we do, but he desires for our willingness to bare our corners, what we think we hide from everyone – He wants to see it all. He wants to polish and shine our roughness, so that we can gleam with the Light of Christ.

I don’t know if this book will address all of this. But it’s where my mind goes when I think on this topic.

So I could not be more excited to join with MANY other women of faith, stumbling through this life as best they can – just like me. I can’t wait to turn the pages of this book, and the study that goes with it. That we can learn biblical principles to resolve conflict, identify more of ourselves and how we can best communicate our emotions to others, understand our personal “buttons” and anything else Lysa guides us through in His wisdom.

Sound like something you’d enjoy? Maybe this topic isn’t interesting you, but have you clicked on that (in)courages link? Because there are SO many group exploring so many seasons – I know there is a home for you.

  • Depression
  • Chronic Illness
  • Special Needs Stories
  • Motherhood
  • Women in Ministry
  • Single Gals
  • Artists
The list goes on…
Give it a chance. You might be surprised to realize that deep community isn’t restricted to your neighborhood. It’s a glorious and wonderful thing, to have physical arms to hug and smiles across coffee tables to share. I still pray for it here almost every day, as I’m in a new state. But I don’t have to ignore other opportunities for community while I wait for local times. This is not “second best” that I’m entering into. No, these women, this wisdom – county lines cannot contain the joy of knowing them. Of getting into the Body for all it’s loveliness. 
I already thank my God, for brining me to new experiences. New people. New knowledge, every day, of realizing who He’s creating me to be – with every new dawn.

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