As I wait patiently I want to shout out the amazing people that loved, encouraged and made me feel seen. From meals, to gifts, to childcare, to texts (they know not to call), to prayers…this is community! This is Jesus. This is love. This is the church as Christ designed it to be-His hands and feet.
I have several solid groups of girl friends. Girls connected in different ways. Moms of kids the same age, baseball moms, teacher friends, church friends, high school friends…women with things in common that get together and breathe.
My husband says this is harder to find in the man world. Maybe it is just him…who knows, but I am grateful. Grateful I can be vulnerable. Grateful we can vent or celebrate together. Just Grateful we can drink, dance, and let loose in our sweatpants and sweatshirts with hair pulled up and no make up.
If you are fortunate to find those friends then keep them and make time for them.
I stepped out of my comfort zone this summer and joined a Bible Study for women. Not only that, but I led a table group. I struggle being in a room with women that love Jesus because I feel like I fail in being a godly woman. I do not see myself worthy of being a pastor’s wife.
I listen to 90’s rap and like it. On bad days, I catch myself talking gangsta like in the lyrics.
I am good at doing the stanky leg.
I complain and am idle.
I do not like people in my home and buy goodies rather than bake them.
I do not craft…in fact I hate it.
I just do not feel like I represent a woman of the church. But I love Jesus and so do the women I got to “lead” this summer. I wanted to be at the table with my friends or the table with the people my age, but God had a better plan. I was at the table with a mix of ages and he sat me down so that I could be mentored and taught. I gained new friends and grew in my relationship with Christ.
This is Bible Study.
This is the church.
If you have not studied with Ruth Chou, then I encourage you to study Truthfilled. It takes you on a journey through Colossians to learn your identity in Christ. To rehearse His truths. So powerful in this age where we easily get our confidence from likes, views and followers. Truth is what we say to ourselves is everything…so speak truth!
I am putting it out to the universe a few goals I have for 2021 in hopes to hold myself accountable:
Goal 1: continue with Camp Gladiator to gain strength and good health. Of all the things in 2020 that make me proud, starting an exercise routine and sticking with it is at the top of my list. I pay more than I prefer, but I go and that is huge! I see results in my arms, abs and ass…also a positive. I feel more confident and my clothes fit. So the money is worth the confidence! I have paid gym memberships for years and never go so this works for me!
Goal 2: community. 2020 taught me to be vulnerable and be brave with people. I already joined a water group, Bible reading group and Camp Gladiator and hope to continue to step out with people. I have thought a lot about what people would say at my funeral and I hope they say “she was love”. My quote last year was “How do people feel about themselves in your presence?” I hope it is something positive!
Goal 3: get a foster care placement. This involves finishing the paperwork and application process so lots to do to reach this goal.
Goal 4: most important read the whole Bible this year. Growing closer to God and bearing more fruit that shows the light of Christ is always top priority but often my calendar and time does not show it, so accomplishing this will be huge for me.
Goal 5: continue to grow myself as a writer through this blog! Writing is my thing that I know God has gifted me to do and I pray to use this gift for His glory.
I am a big advocate of having a circle of women that you can connect with and grow old together. Seasons change in life so much that it is likely the friendships will change too. Hard reality, but truth. While we lived in one city, our friendships were very different vs another. While our son played on one team the parents we hung out with varied from the next time. Proximity is important.
I am thankful for my DC or Dinner Club girls. These ladies have been in my life for 15+ years. No season could separate us. We are lifers. We have literally raised families together. We make the time and that is key. Be grateful when you find a crew that knows it all and still love you. Hug them tight and do not let go.
I write all this to say, we were made for community. Isolation is lonely and dangerous. When you are down, you need someone to help you up. You need a partner to laugh with and love hard. I cringe at couples that say “we have each other”. Love the bond, but you need more. Fellow moms that get how hard it is, wives that feel the struggle to stay sexy, women that know the pressure, Christ followers that see how narrow the road really is and get when you do not always feel like you fit in. Spouses are great, but the girl time makes the spouse time better. I have had girlfriends that chose the boy. Only want to go out as couples. Cancel at last minute or never fit the date into their calendar. I get love, but I refuse to be the only one trying to make the friendship work. You choose to make time or you do not. Simple.
I am fortunate to have several groups. Church community, work community, city community and my lifelong friends. Make no mistake it is does not just happen…you make it happen. You create time, you say yes, you give your ear and be attentive, you stay loyal and guard your heart and mouth so other women want to invite you and be around you. You stay confident and secure so you can shine each others’ crowns instead of rip them off.
Women can be as tough on each other as much as we are tough on ourselves. But when the relationship vibes are right, no one understands women like we understand ourselves. The giggles are loud and the conversations get deep. Big tears can be shed and the dancing and singing can free the soul. Go on the get away and leave the kids …they will make new memories just like you. Embrace the girl time. Leave the man for a few hours…better yet, marry the man that selflessly supports it. It.will.be.worth.it!