Friday, April 28, 2006

Master of Ceremonies

Hey, Kajijis! Today was a beautiful day that just got more beautiful as the day went on, didn’t it? It’s always nice to throw the kids outside for a bit to get some solitude. Anyway, a small group of us met today at Erin’s house. Thank you, Erin for hosting today. The coffee and croissants were yummy! We had a wonderful discussion about homeschooling vs. public or private schooling –it was really neat to talk about since all of us were in different stages with our kids and their education.

C.S. Lewis wrote, “For a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no ‘chances’. A secret Master of Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you’ can say truly to every group of Christian friends, ‘You have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.’ The friendship is not a regard for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out… At this feast, it is He who has spread the board and it is He who has chosen the guests. It is He, we may dare to hope, who sometimes does (and always should) preside. Let us not reckon without our Host.”

“Whether you are blessed with soul mates who settle into the most comfortable
room inside you, or with those who walk with you just a little while, not one of
these people crosses your path by chance. Each is a messenger, sent by
God, to give you the wisdom, companionship, comfort, or challenge you need for a
particular leg of your spiritual journey.” Traci Mullins

One of the questions that I’d like us to think about in the coming week is: What is your support system like? Do you feel that you have enough of a support system around you? And what would your ideal support system look like for your life right now?

We’re in need of a host for next Friday so if anyone would like to offer, please let me know. Hosting is really simple as it requires nothing but your home (or yard if it’s nice out). Also a snack is usually provided for the group such as coffee with coffee cake, pastry, fruit, or whatever you have. Someone else can bring snacks for the kids. And don’t be scared off by the thought of having 20 women (and even more kids) in your house! Our group consistently averages about 4 women a week. As the weather gets warmer, I look forward to being able to meet at parks, playgrounds, beaches, etc.

I thank God for purposefully choosing each one of us for this group. Thank you for choosing to come along on this spiritual journey!


Friday, April 7, 2006

Time for Friends?

Good afternoon, my women friends! Today’s group hosted at Julie’s house (Thank you, Julie!) was small and very enjoyable though we missed others of you! Thank you to Shawna and Michelle for their great emails regarding the question of respecting our husbands. Since it was just Julie, Erin and me at today’s group, we decided to hold off on the respect question since it seems like it’s such a hot topic. I’m sure many of you have some great thoughts and questions to contribute to the matter so we’ll take it up again in the week(s) to come. Thanks for telling us about that website, Shawna – we’ll definitely have to check it out!

Julie had a couple of good “conversational” questions for today such as “Who in your life has been the most inspiring to you within the last year?” and “What has been your best spiritual experience recently?” We also happened to talk about the value of nutritional food in our lives and how it affects our behaviors, health, etc. It was interesting and such a great reminder to me to start taking better care of myself and my family’s health! We also read a couple of excerpts from a book called I Know Just What You Mean written by two lifelong women friends.
“Women have wider lives now. And busier lives. Friendship still
has to be squeezed into a schedule that puts family and work first, and in the
time crunch of modern life, friendship can be the first thing women lose.
In the movie, One Fine Day, Michelle Pfeiffer plays the very model of a
stressed-out single mom with a schedule so tightly wrapped that when George
Clooney asks her about friends, she snaps: “I don’t have time for
friends.” Time for friends? Women can’t help but see friendship as
the “treat” they can allow themselves only after the business of the day is done
– if it’s done. And yet…when we ask women the best part of the workday,
many say it is lunchtime, which gives them the excuse to “grab a bite” with a
friend at work, to sit down and talk. Young mothers set up play dates for
their infants and toddlers that are, in fact, mom dates. Women pencil each
other in around work and kids and men and doctor appointments and trips to the
supermarket. In spite of all the time pressure, women go to great lengths
to make new friends and keep old ones. The need for connection with other
women, to live lives in relationships, is so great and the pleasure of these
connections is so real, that women make remarkable efforts to counter the
centrifugal forces of our society.”

The big question for our next scheduled meeting is do we meet next week on Friday, April 14th? I know next week is Good Friday so I’m not sure if anyone has plans that would conflict with our meeting. Please email me a.s.a.p. and let me know your thoughts. Also we need a hostess for our next meeting – does anyone want to volunteer their home? It would be nice to know our group location set for a couple of weeks ahead of time just to make it easier on everyone as far as getting directions and knowing where we’re headed for the next week. So if you know that you could host next week or the week after, please email me. Also let me know your ideas on a name for our group, otherwise we’ll have to brainstorm at our next get-together!

We’re looking forward to seeing some new faces in the next couple of weeks and expanding our “community” of women friends. I know that God has special plans for us as a group, and I just know that each one of you will in some way inspire me in the coming year. May we continually “counter the centrifugal forces of our society” to make real connections with each other!! J


Monday, April 3, 2006

Seasons of Friendship

Hello, Ladies. What a gorgeous day we had last Friday for our gathering! Thank you once again, Marisa, for hosting it. It was so nice out we were able to hold our meeting outside while all the kids played – it was fabulous! Anyway, we started up our focused topic discussions where we had everyone write questions down, and we chose two to discuss. Friday’s questions were “How do we deal with public temper tantrums?” and “Have you ever experienced post-partum depression, and how did you cope with it?”. I love the variety of experiences that every one of us has to draw on and the differing answers for every woman. I’m so looking forward to more discussions with all of you!

We determined we would choose another question to discuss for next week so be thinking about this one over the course of this week. It is in regards to respecting our husbands – do we respect them? How do we respect them? Do they feel respected? I know some of us have the book Love & Respect. Maybe those of you who are in the process of reading it or have read it will have some tidbits of wisdom to share or even quotes from the book that might be relevant. It’s such a great question and an important issue in every marriage.

We also determined that we really must come up with a good name for our group rather than “that mom thingy”. So please come up with some good names and we’ll put them to a vote. It doesn’t need to be too fancy or take too much time or thought – let’s just name us something! Feel free to email me ideas if it’s easier…

Each week I’m going to be trying to insert some idea about “friendship” and the value of it in our lives. Though I share some of these in our groups, I understand not everyone will be present for it or remember it. So on that note I’d like to share an excerpt from a book I’m reading called “Seasons of Friendship”:

“If we have a primary relationship, too often time pressures cause us to ignore or compromise the very friendships that would provide a matrix of connections that would nourish a marriage or a specially-bonded relationship. Without friends, even our primary relationships lose their quality and resiliency because we fall into habits or patterns that might be challenged or changed by new friends. The friends who provide space for our individuality – and companionship for the loneliness created by that individuality – also provide a context for self-identity that is essential to being truly alive. Without friends, we lose touch with our humanity.
The trouble is that close friendships are hard to nurture and even harder to keep in our transient world. Most of us have learned more about losing friends by moving away than we know about finding new ones or about deepening the friendships we have. The emphasis on individualism and autonomy in our culture works against making sacrifices to maintain a valued friendship, but I believe God has planted a seed of longing to be known and understood that blooms into friendship if given half a chance.”

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