Usually, I’m the new girl in town.
You think I would be quicker on the uptake with learning to build community, but I have been in this small town over 2 years now, and still wasn’t feeling like I had my “tribe”. I have friends, but I have learned that that is different from community.
Community wasn’t going to show up on my doorstep. Well, unless I invited them.
In a day of everyone felling stretched and pulled, it was going to take an investment on my part, and why shouldn’t I? Every day when I look at my beautiful Live Oak trees, I realize that nothing is more beautiful than when it is shared, but I wasn’t stewarding well. And my back porch, so inviting, with no one being invited.
Everyone wants friends. I believe we are actually a bit anorexic from brief friendly encounters that don’t have time to nourish the soul.
And so I am purposing to prioritize having people over for meals which lends itself to different blessings when there is an investment and a vulnerability by opening your home. Where budgets are not censoring if we should order appetizers or desserts. And where we don’t feel rushed to vacate a table or make sure the wait staff isn’t being provoked.
I am learning more wisdom to successfully pursue this. I am allowing others to contribute when they offer. Not to mention finding a good friend like Kate who loves to cook and is joyful in yoking together with you to prepare a delicious time of fellowship.
And so it came together with our hearts joyful, overlooking the snags because we knew we were gaining more than a flawless presentation. We were gaining bonds, through sacrifice and a greater pursuit. The generous food and flowers begat generous hearts. We shared stories and perspectives, allowing political statements to slip away, and instead, embracing souls – encouraging one another on to God and allowing time to linger for the sharing of a struggle. We had different pasts and different presents, but were encouraging one another on to a shared future.
We laughed, we lingered. We loved. And when we saw each other again in parking lots, our embrace was more true, our conversations more knowing. Our love, through Christ, more real.
(PS: Y’all. I know what you are thinking. This actually wasn’t hard. I took picnic blankets and threw garlands from the attic with Walmart flowers in copper mules and candle holders I already had. My friend Kate did the pork loin and potatoes, so I was simply left with throwing out the cheese and fruit, salad, and dessert. Easy Schmaezy.)