You get a group of girls together and anything can happen. Add in the fact that we are all part of a new church plant and most of us have had the most topsy-turvy year of our lives thus far; we are a perfect storm of faith, emotion and questionable sanity…and we are right where God wants us.
As a women’s community group, we have been going through 7 by Jen Hatmaker. Having read the book before, I knew potentially what I was throwing my friends into. I couldn’t wait. I think some of their husbands were a little scared. We’ll ignore the fact some of us tend to live in momentary extremes. Their fears are valid. I’ll discuss the differing personalities in a moment. There is a reason God assembles us in our differences. I had certain hopes and prayers going into this. God has exceeded every expectation.
To sum up the first three weeks…
Turns out that talking about reduction, simplicity and fasting goes a lot deeper than the stuff you are giving up. Go figure. This has brought up far more than I anticipated. I love that we can wrestle with what we needed to wrestle with together. This has stirred new dreams, fresh vision and a bold call to action that we can no longer just talk about. Have I mentioned tears? Those were NOT planned. Ah, community…Thank you Jesus…that is all.
We sit and laugh cause that is what we do. We sit and cry over what we used to pursue and how God is giving us fresh eyes.
One who tends to live in extremes mentions selling all her stuff and her house and living under a bridge. We don’t all fully believe she is joking and we thank God that she has us for stability sake.
In the middle of week 2, one girl ended up giving a drunk woman at a restaurant a ride. She turned out to be a stripper, a prostitute and a list of other things. Insert a shattered friends heart after dropping this young woman off at a bus station headed for San Antonio. You can read about that here. Lots of tears followed.
One has filled out a home loan application and bawled over World Vision kids support packets…and takes one named Goodluck. Read about that one here.
Different women, different responses.
This week we went over months 3 and 4. We survived Month 3 talking about possessions. Not without someone (who shall remain nameless) ready to clear out their apartment, every closet included. Month 4 is media month. I thought I was good. Then…a big fat THEN…I got to a portion where Jen talks about what she would go back and say to her 2004 self. I had read this part before. This time, I read it like a blubbering idiot. This time I was reading it out loud. I could read it again right now and would likely have the same reaction. Tears!
Each season of our lives plays a part. We learn, we grow, we change. God jacks us up, we live in the tension and He reveals. We act.
We are all starting to see how to start with where we are and with what is in front of us. There is no going back and we are ok with that 🙂
We have a Garage Sale For Orphans coming up at the end of the month (June 30th to be exact). I can’t imagine a better way to end out reading this book. So we are selling our stuff, our friends stuff, strangers stuff…give us your stuff and we’ll sell it. My kids know where toys and clothes are going. They also know why…and that if they leave that toy on the floor one more time.
So, to summarize…this book is great and much like life, it is best lived out in community. Let the good times roll. We are on this crazy train and we are not alone 🙂