It’s been a quiet week here at Simple Felicity, but I promise it isn’t because I’m not working on anything. If you missed the announcement earlier this month, I’m planning a series in February on “singleness and the Church.” I’ve never actually written a whole series before, and it’s taken some planning – but I’ve gotten some great responses to some of the questions I’ve been asking in preparation for the series, and I’m really looking forward to sharing some of the insights I’ve gained, as well as my own perspective. I’m also really excited about some of the guest posts that will be a part of the series as well! I think this series has the potential to spark some great conversation.
In the meantime, tho, I am really looking forward to writing about other things as well. January’s Syncroblog is (of course) about new beginnings, and tho I’ve already covered that a little bit this month, I’m still planning to participate. So stay tuned – there will actually be new content soon!
I don’t usually go in for taking online quizzes, but for some reason I ended up taking one yesterday, concerned with which city I should actually live in. I’m not sure which is more amusing: the questions it asks in order to arrive at its conclusion, or that it concluded I should live in Paris…
I’m not sure what it is that causes this, but for some reason, occasionally people will just start telling me their stories. This happened last night. One minute I’m just buying groceries and the next I’m hearing all about the cashier’s other job (working with autistic kids) and some of the stresses she deals with all day. She didn’t have to tell me; I didn’t ask any leading questions – she just randomly blurted it all out. But it was really fun getting to know her – and maybe she just needed someone to remind her that what she does is important. I think we all need that reminder sometimes, no matter what our jobs are.
Never underestimate the power of a kind word or deed. Yesterday, I walked into our local coffee shop and before I’d even had a chance to order my drink, the barista already had it made. There are great things about living in smaller towns – and being recognized by your baristas is definitely one of them.
I had a great talk with a friend this week about the concept of community within the church, and how you create it, and how to be sure people aren’t “slipping thru the cracks” when you’re trying to build it. He brought up a really interesting point. Community actually goes two ways. Yes, we need to be intentional about building and investing in relationships with people, and reaching out to them when we’re aware that they need a little extra TLC – but we also need to bear some responsibility for seeking community when we need it. It can be really hard to want to be proactive and ask for help when everything’s going wrong and we feel invisible to the people we thought were friends. It would be nice if someone noticed we were sinking and just helped us out. But if we want people to give us the grace we need when we mean to call someone and don’t, we need to give other people that same grace. We need to be vulnerable enough to say, “Hey, I’m really hurting right now, and I need help.” We can’t expect people to just know, or even to know what we need when we’re hurting. People deal with their pain in a lot of different ways. How much grief would we spare ourselves if we just voiced what we needed instead of hoping someone would notice?
It’s risky. I’ve been deeply hurt by people I’ve trusted when I’ve taken that risk and been that vulnerable. I’ve been completely misunderstood, and even been told, “but people don’t say those things!”
But oh! If only we did. Maybe if we all did – if we all risked together – that culture could change. Think of how much healing and hope that change could bring.
But here’s another thing about building community, especially in places like churches, where you tend to find a lot of hurting and broken people who are looking for God and hoping to see Him at work thru you. It can’t always be about the brokenness. It can’t always be about needing something, or helping someone.
Sometimes it just needs to be about fun.
Because a) everyone needs to just play sometimes. and b) when you’ve played together – when you’ve had coffee and seen movies and taken walks or road trips or gone to the playground or had dinner together, and learned to genuinely like and appreciate each other – then when it gets hard, you’re more likely to want to be there for each other. You’re more likely to ask for help and you’re more likely to get it – from people who genuinely care for you. Because you’re in each others’ lives – for better or for worse. The better times will always trump the worst ones, if you invest in them. And again – it goes two ways. Show up. Don’t just wait for someone to invite you in. Do the inviting. What do you have to lose?
What about you? How have you seen community work well, and where have you seen it fail?
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Simple Felicity is, at its heart, a blog based on the unshakeable belief that happiness really isn't all that complicated. Sometimes finding it can be - but happiness itself is pretty simple, and it's often found in the simplest of things: good food, good books, and good company. So those are the things I write about, along with a few other things that really matter to me, including faith and feminism.
A bit about me: My name is Happy. I have an amazing talent for misplacing my keys, a deep appreciation for whomever looked at the coffee bean and thought, "Hey, I wonder what would happen if I roasted this?", and road trips to Michigan are pretty much my favorite.
Contact me anytime at simplefelicity7 (at) gmail (dot) com! I'd love to hear from you.
What is it about new beginnings that we love so much? Whatever it is, "all things new" are words of hope, and we ne… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…
"A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for." —John A. Shedd via @momentumdash
"When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: you haven't." —Thomas Edison via @momentumdash
So there's that: "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." —Leonardo da Vinci via @momentumdash
"Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." —Helen Keller via @momentumdash
"Watch carefully the magic that occurs when you give a person just enough comfort to be themselves." —Atticus via @momentumdash
The statements made and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of my current and former employers.
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