Friday, March 14, 2014

Intentional community

One of the things, since becoming a mom that I really stink at is being intentional when it comes to community. It's so easy for me to spend the kids nap time blogging, reading, cleaning, cooking, watching television, surfing Facebook... so many things. Not that there is anything wrong with any of these things, however most of them I do alone. Also I should add the disclaimer that there is NOTHING wrong with needing alone, quiet time. Sometimes we fill our plates with so much that we neglect alone time and this can be just as much of a problem.

I've come to realize that God really desires for us to be in community with one another. Many amazing things happen through community. I made a list for myself of why I need community. Maybe this will encourage some of you to be more intention with making friendships.

1. I don't have to carry my burdens alone. When I am vulnerable with one others I lessen my burdens by sharing them with my dear friends who commit to praying for me.

2. I am able to see life's struggles through fresh eyes. Sometimes I tend to make things into a bigger deal than they actually are. When I can honestly share these things with a friend that person may see something that could be helpful that I may have overlooked or didn't think of.

3. We can inspire one another to love and good works. We all have that friend who inspires us to be a better person. With this type of person I usually walk away from my time with them wanting to do more.

4. They keep me humble. This one is the hardest for me. No one likes for other people to know that they aren't really the perfect person they portray themselves to be on their Facebook or Instagram. When I am in community, I open myself up to being vulnerable with my friends and allow myself to be seen for who I really am. Imperfect. This allows for me to receive support and feedback from those who desire for me to be the best person that I can be. It also allows for me to grow as a person and as someone who desires to be more like Jesus.

A verse I love that talks about community is Hebrews 10:24-25:

"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 all the more as we see the day drawing nearer." 


Con Sheets said...

Shelly, I really appreciate your input and outlook on Christian Community. At first I thought, what is she talking about. All that I know about community is the town I live in. But you are talking about much more!!

I really really need God's help with the desire for more community. For me, a "Pastor's Wife", it is so easy to tuck myself away, keep myself from pain, other ideas, good people, and sharing who I am, that I miss God's blessings!

How do you begin to embrace Community in your life, beside praying? Can you give some practical ways to start this?

Shell*Belle said...

Con - I think the most practical way that I know of.. is just allowing yourself to be vulnerable with people. Sometimes you may meet be vulnerable with someone and experience rejection, but more times than not it will be just the opposite. I think you'll notice that once you open up, other people will start to open up. You can only get as much out of community/friendship as what you put into it. :)

Diane Thompson said...

This is such a powerful concept. I love the way Shelly used the word "intentional community." One way I am trying to become more intentional is through social media. I am often hesitant to respond to posts or add comments to blogs (smile) ... because I am concerned about being misunderstood. I wonder how many times I have failed to encourage or minister because of fear?? Thank you for your challenge to more intentionally express God's love. May all who come behind us find us faithful ... not fearful!

Shell*Belle said...

I love the idea of being more intentional through Social Media! This is the way our world is going so I think that's such a huge thing! :)

Thanks for sharing (and commenting). ;)

Con Sheets said...

When will you be inspired to post again? I need more of your ideas to run through my "tiny little" mind. Haha!!

I love you,

Casey said...

i found your blog! so I will be spending the next 5 years catching up on reading. ha!