Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In Need of Community

 This picture brings back a lot of memories for me.  When I was younger our family played a LOT of games.  As in all the time!  Now we play games, but sometimes it gets crazy just because of the amount of people.  It is something we love to do. 

So we pulled out The Farming Game- which is one I played a lot with my brothers growing up.  Especially on those snow days or when we went to visit my grandparents and the adults were talking for what seemed like way too many hours ;).
 The other day I needed something notarized and we stopped by our friends home who lives down the road.  They are fellow church members.  When we stopped by it was almost as if what we did was strange.  Not to them however because they loved seeing us.  It was so casual and easy going. 

It reminded me of when I was a child as well.  A time when we would just stop by our friends house and not call ahead.  Times when we would say hey, wanna go somewhere with me even at the last minute.  Times when we just didn't care so much about having to be so formal.  Times when we just popped over at the neighbors. 
 Who remembers the last time they popped in at someone's house?  Even a good friend's house?
 When is the last time you picked up the phone and called someone just because with no real reason? 
 You know what I believe.  That we as a society have a really big issue.  Well let's be honest we have plenty ;).  But when it comes to needs I believe there are several every family and or person has- spiritual, relational, mental, and physical. 

The relational aspect I think has been something we used to concentrate on however with social media, with cars that we drive everywhere, with moving a lot more often, long work hours, and many other factors- we are missing out!!!
 2 things brought this to my attention lately- one of our pastors spoke about it last Sunday, and there was an interesting FB discussion as well where a friend asked about how much we share about our family online and why?  The reason that it cut me to the core is realizing the reason I started this blog.....because we used to live 45 minutes from the nearest town.  Which pretty much guaranteed that we didn't have friends. 

Oh we had wonderful co workers (one that lived on site and was a true friend, but the rest lived all over and were only seasonal), we had plenty of people we "knew", and we had each other, but that was it! 
 So it reminds me of why we left the camp ministry and moved here.  WE NEED COMMUNITY!!!!! 

 What does that look like?  May be different for everyone because let's face it we are all very different than each other.  Some are more introverted and some like myself are as extroverted as they come!  I am sure you are shocked now. 
 If any of you have longed for the past- or wished you lived in simpler times you are probably already nodding your head.  Was any time period perfect- no!  People died of diseases that are eradicated are very rare now.  They had to actually break a sweat to do laundry (well some of us still do, but that is because of the sheer piles we have in our home he he he). 
 It's about the community that we see in the movies that they had!!!  That is what we crave!!!  That is what our heart wants! 
 My heart wants that- which is why the retreat I went to OASIS was amazing because we broke into small groups and shared our hearts!!!  It gave us community!!!  Others cared and shared.  We cried and laughed with each other about our crazy, hard wonderful stories. 

Do you have someone like that- I mean really at least one person?  Do you have a handful of people like that?  People you do life with.  You talk to, text message any time of the day, ones that get you for real.  All of you- your imperfections as well as what you put on facebook.
 I think the worst part about doing life is when you are in need of community!  I am just saying that for us we had to leave our job at the camp because of it.  It HURT. 
(Thankfully God has given us jobs that we absolutely love now, but at the time it stunk!!!)
 Now your time with your hubby or wife is great, but I am talking friends outside your family!!! 
 I am praying for all of you who do not have this!  It is on my heart.  I know too many people who can't share those secrets deep down with anyone.  They can't share their real hurts because they don't have a deep enough relationship with anyone.  How can that be?  How can that be in the Body of Christ? 
 I am thinking that we all have growing to do.  To be more open!  To be more hospitable to strangers and friends.  To share more deeply.  To trust more.  To allow God to move in ways that sometimes feel impossible. 
 Because if we have felt that way, and many many many others feel that way then we have a relational issue. 
 What is the solution?  PRAY!  Pray first and ask God to show you people.  All the people around you.  Teachers of your children, co- workers, maybe even family members that are around (but still may not be a "friend" in the real sense of the word), people you meet at church, or in Walmart.  Show me people Lord!  Help me to see who I can connect with. 
 Give me words to speak to them.  Words of life.  Words like- come over for dinner tomorrow night!  :)  Words like we would love to go to the park with your family this Saturday. 
 Now, don't just say you will- follow through!!!  Come on you have texting, FB, and the phone- you can do it!!! 
 Ask God to really dig deep into your heart and show you how to be a friend.  Someone who cares and loves!  This was posted by a "virtual friend", but I love what it says: 

I like messy people!  People who don't fit in a box or stay between the lines.  But whose integrity is greater than any rule book and whose loyalty is stronger than blood. 
 Do you have any of those people?  I believe that if God's desire is for us to minister to each other than He will send you people to minister to.  I believe God wants us to have our needs met and give us community.  Sometimes that means leaving a job.  Sometimes that may mean stepping out of our comfort zone. 
 It means risking sharing your life with people - and it will get messy! 
 It may even sometimes hurt because someone says or does something.  But remember a true friend also will be loyal and have integrity as well!  They don't leave you because you may be crazy.  Or in our case extremely crazy. 
 They love you no matter what! 
Thanking God that I have people like that in my life that I text, call, or drop by.  I am always challenged though who else could I be in need of?  I know there are others who I could need as much as they need me!

Oh and if you are around - I will give you our address anytime- stop by.  Don't be afraid!  Well maybe of the dirt and toy explosion, but I promise we have a laughter and sincerity and big hearts! 


  1. Oh Dawn, this has been on my heart to work on this year. It gets complicated with our large family, medical needs, letting others things take priority, but you are spot on, no community leaves a great big hole in the fabric of our lives. Thanks for putting the importance of community in the words I needed to spur me on!

    1. Jennifer- I totally understand! Our family size often stands in the way because who wants to invite us over with all of our kids. It becomes complicated because of all the extra doctors we go to. Our family scares many people off.

      And yet it is still so needed. :)