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    Friday, February 27, 2015

    We didn't even wait for the wake up call of the beautiful snow. We didn't have to.

    When the weatherman flashes a winter storm warning across the screen on the eve of a regular school night in east Tennessee, preparation begins before the first flake has fallen.

    While the women head to Kroger, the men venture out to the local hardware store to stock up on a fresh supply of sleds. Because, necessities people.

    Friends start calling friends and the invitation to come out and play is stronger than the urge to sit inside on the couch with a cup of coffee in hand.

    (Although that does sound inviting now that I think about it.)

    Just not on a day when there's a fresh six inches on the ground.

    So by the hour of nine am yesterday we were layered up and ready for round one. Let the games begin. 

    Friends come together on uncommon days to share joy.

    Real life happens on all of those ordinary days in between. You know the ones where you manage the household, run the errands, get the kids to school and back home again-and somewhere in between all those phone conversations and meet-up's you get to know the good, the bad and yes-even the ugly about those people investing time into your life.

    They cheer you on when you're overcoming, pick you up when you're in a slump, cry with you when your heart is broken, give you clarity when nothing makes sense and best of all a good friend will point you back to The One when your compass is off.

    So while I stood at the top of the hill yesterday watching the little children (and the big ones too) sled down and make their way back up again, I sort of felt what it must feel like to finally make  it to the top of a mountain after a long hike up.

    I felt like I belonged.

    Right here, right now,  in this town for whatever amount of time (or forever) we are right where God has planted us and called us to be. And it feels good.

    There's no pretense, no false image that we have to keep up, not that we'd be good at that anyway. By now, these people know us. They know our strengths and they know our weaknesses too. 

    They know where we struggle and what makes us cry.

    They know what we're good at and all of those weird little things that make us, well us.

    They know that Tim is a gym rat and a collector hoarder of sorts and that he would do anything for his kids.

    They know that I hardly ever make it to the gym, talk way too much and need to sit that ugly coffee mug of mine down and take a chill pill instead.

    They know that I struggle with things like a need to control and when I voiced some concerns out loud earlier this week, one of them literally hit me on the head and said, 

    "Girl God has got this! Why are you worrying so much?"

    That's a true friend right there.

    That's community. That's friendship. That is LOVE.

    For all of that time that Tim and I spent trying to seek God's will and figure out just where we were supposed to be and especially for every time that I wanted to assert my own way-

    ...well I stood at the top of a mountain yesterday and silently thanked the Lord for not answering that prayer in the way that I had wished.

    There have most certainly been times that I've missed His good and perfect will and barged forward with my own agenda. You could probably guess how those times have turned out.

    But this thing? This planting of one's life and putting down roots thing-well I'm sure that if we would have missed this we might have had a community, but it wouldn't have been one like this.

    It might not have been one that sharpened us (Psalm 27:17.) Heaven knows that I need that. In a big way.

    It might not have been one that loved us unconditionally either. I need a 1 John 4:18 kind of love that casts out fear in my life.

    Praise be to our God, that's what a real community gives you.

    I'm forever grateful.

    What kind of community does this season of your life find you in?

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