I've been avoiding this one.

Let me let you in on a little secret. As a Thrive Moms blogger, I get quite a bit of say in terms of what I write about. I love the ideals of this group, but over the last 6 months or so, I've felt myself avoiding writing about one of the four main thrusts of Thrive Moms - Genuine Community.

Intentional Motherhood? I can do that.

Refreshing Rest? I've had to get good at it.

Embracing Chaos? Every day I do.

Genuine Community? Uhhhhh...

Now, I'm an extroverted church planter's wife, MOPS attendee, local moms' group member, and I've got a pretty phenomenal network of friends. I grew up in church, I love the church, and when Duff and I moved to plant, I (we) gave my life to it in a new way. And church is where those of us who are Christian believers turn to get our best understanding of community.

I should have lots to say about community.

Here's what I'm NOT saying. I'm NOT saying I have nothing to say about community. I'm not saying I don't know anything about community. I'm not saying I haven't learned anything about community over the last three years.

I'm saying community is hard.

But it's also essential.

And I've yet to master it.

Isn't is kind of nice to be able to say that?

I asked Duff what he'd say about community. His list was more eloquently put than mine, but we both agreed that community requires appropriate relational intimacy and service/care.

I think the biggest thing I've learned about community in the last few years is that despite my personality (I'm one that tends to take charge, even though I can be soft-spoken), being in community means being open and vulnerable and accepting help. Accepting help requires both appropriate relational intimacy and care.

So again, as an extroverted church planter's wife, it's tempting for me to end up going, "No no, let ME help YOU. Yes, I'm scratching my eyeballs out by 4pm and I have no idea how I'm going to get dinner to these people who just had a baby LET ALONE FEED MY OWN CLAN and shoot, I'm not going to be able to get back to school in time to pick that kid up because the other one has a doctor's appointment and BOOOO I FORGOT TO BUY COFFEE but no seriously, let ME help YOU." When what I really need to is to let this friend drop those clothes we're borrowing by (instead of getting them myself), and show up to that friend's house for Girls' Night with nothing in my hands (instead of over-extending myself by making brownies), and receive (instead of resisting).

So I'm trying to ask for help when I need it and to receive it when it's offered, knowing that I'll hand out the same help next week, and the week after. We're all simultaneously needy, and capable of meeting needs.

And I have to tell you, I receive really good care from those who are in our church and those who aren't.

So what I have to say about genuine community isn't anything new, it's the same story over and over. It's hard. It's awkward. It's challenging. It requires vulnerability and sacrifice.

And it's best navigated through the lens of The Story we tell, over and over. Of love that makes the broken beautiful. Love that covers the ache of vulnerability. Of The Person who came to restore the most important relationship, thereby bringing redemption to all of the rest of our relationships.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. - Hebrews 10:24-25


Come connect with me at my blog and read about that time I was an extra in a movie and my zipper was broken.

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