All of those statements are (or may not be) true. They are also: excuses. Excuses that have kept me from getting out of the house and connecting with new people. Sure….I’m good at connecting in the moment. IAM the chick that talks to everyone. In line at Target. To the mom with a crying kid. At my kid’s football games….But those are quick- surface level connections- that don’t … grow or really go anywhere. Know what I mean? It’s my extroverted side doing it’s thing.
I’m also pretty good at maintaining connections with people I know, even when time or distance is involved. (texting, facetime and Facebook are good for that. The phone is too.. but I may be sightly phone phobic. Just not a fan of talking on the phone. I think it’s the lack of facial expression… or something.)
I have a close circle of friends whom I love and care for and about.. but this week- I was challenged by the “Media” chapter in Jen Hatmaker’s book “Seven.” (I’m going through the bible study with my circle of friends.) We talked about giving up media/ social media (As a fast) for actual direct face time with people.
Honestly? As a SAHM who speaks and writes and does most of my Community Networking and Board of Directors work from home and on the computer…..I felt pretty convicted. Why? Because I had a hard time even coming up with names of people I’d like to develop deeper connections with. I can me pretty isolated here in my happy, busy, crazy little world. My neighbors work- they aren’t available during the day when I have time to connect.
Summer is a better time to get a chance to keep up with them- walks- talks etc. But winter-early spring? That means people drive in their garage and out through the garage- and we may talk at the mailbox for .13 seconds. Not much connecting there. Not even enough to get to the- “let’s have coffee” phase of friend dating.
So… I decided I needed to get out. Literally. Out of the house. Not for the purpose of shopping. Not for the purpose of working. (When I go to things .. I’m often in charge or speaking…. which is a different kind of connecting.) I need to do something where I’m not in charge and just there to be with people. Not teach. Not preach. Just… be.
I love 3 things- books, biking and knitting. Biking with a group is on my list for after I’m out of the neck brace…. (not much biking going on right now:P) I haven’t found a bookclub I’m interested in yet- but am open to that…so I decided that the open knit night at my local yarn shop would be a good place to start making some connections.
The truth is.. I’ve been thinking about going for years. But there’s just never time.
There never will be.
So, I made time.
Honestly? I felt a little nervous and nauseaus. “What if they don’t like me?” “What if I don’t like them?” “What if we have nothing to talk about?”
I went anyway.
Guess what? The house didn’t burn down. No one starved. My head didn’t pop off. (By the end of the day- I’m pretty sore. Somedays I think carrying my head in a cute bag would be better than holing it up with my messed up neck. )And? I actually had a good time. We talked knitting. Each one shared bits and pieces of their life. The group is pretty varied-by age, profession and style. I liked it. Knitting is our common ground— but it’s just a ground we stand on, to get to know each other.
I’m planning on going whenever I have coverage for my youngest.
So— you- at the other side of the screen….yes. YOU. When is the last time you got out for the purpose of spending time with others? You know.. with out a screen or job between you? No- Dr’s appt’s don’t count. Neither do grocery shops, bookstore visits or Starbuck’s stops unless you actually take time to get to know the “regulars.”
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
- Kind of hard to love one another— if you don’t make time to get to KNOW one another…..
- Dear Lord- I know you created me for community. I know that each person is a gift from you and I look forward to taking time to unwrap and get to know more of you by getting to know more of the amazing people you’ve created. Help me to overcome fear, exhaustion, pain and all the things I use as excuses from taking the time to step out of my little comfort zone….and get to know others… use me to bless others and teach me to be more open to the blessing of others in my life— I love you lord- amen.