Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LifeChurch, LifeGroup, and Getting There (II)

Ugh. I'm tired, but in one of those moods where words are coming. Might as well type them as sit in bed, saying them to myself....


A few months ago I reviewed all of the local LifeGroups, looking for one that might be a good fit for us. We are in this weird in-between stage. We aren't "young married" and we don't have teenagers. We need a group where kids are included (or in some way provided for), and of course, the day/time the group meets counts for something.

I think I contacted the coordinators for 3 LifeGroups. I was excited at the thought of one for Foster and Adoptive families, but they never wrote me back. Maybe the group didn't make after all? Never heard from the 2nd group. I heard immediately from the 3rd group--this group of half a dozen couples, and their kids. Cool. As it turned out, the group takes the summer off and I inquired right before their last gathering. They'd be doing a few things during the summer, but not every week. Didn't make it to the last gathering. I think we missed a few others because Several days ago B wrote and asked if we wanted to come to a swimming party--just hang out with the families and have fun.

Okay, if you know me, you know I am so *NOT* a swimming party person. I don't know these people and I am not just going to go and flounce my fluffiness all over the place! Also, outisde? Yikes. Such a huge sweater, I am. I'm thinking, this is not the best way to meet new potential friends! BUT, how can we say no? We have nothing to do on Wednesday. We say we want to get involved. I decide we must go. I don't come across this way in person, but I really feel so shy. "Social," in any way shape or form (other than online) is not my thing. I can hear my mother's voice in my head saying, "Anita, go! You know you want to make friends at church. Just jump in and do your best." Okay mom.

Today arrives. Of course, it's a not very good day. There's this thing with a friend--hurt and drama. And the house is a mess. And I'm no good at bringing side-dishes for a summer gathering. Give me a winter gathering potluck any day over a summer pot luck. Will people judge me for bringing easy chips and dip and a fruit tray? Will they think I'm a horrible mother for feeding my children processed foods? [You know, all the things you can tell yourself.] We are running late. I still need to mail a package to someone (urgently), and get a new g-tube extension pack for Kendi before picking Eric up, going to the bank, and buying the "side dish." [K's extension set for medications is clogged, so we're using this ugly old tube intended for feedings.]

We walk out of the door 30 minutes late. I am sweating like a hog, so the make-up won't go on without immediately sliding off. I'm trying to get to the post office before it closes. [At this point, I have given up on getting the new extension sets for the gtube. Worried people will judge me for using the "wrong" tube--which I know is so stupid!] I get to the post office at the time I'm supposed to be picking up Eric, and there is a line like next week is Christmas. Doggone it. It's not happening. Mailing this package is important, but it's not going to happen. FAILURE! I walk out, toss the box in the back, and cry most of the way to picking up Eric.

Now...if you're a Christian you probably believe in spiritual warfare. If you're not, it probably sounds UBER stupid to think that satan would give a flip about whether or not we make it to LifeGroup! Personally, I think he gives a flip about pretty much anything that will cause us not to thrive. Even through my tears I'm thinking, "I am GOING to this gathering tonight! If the devil is trying to keep us away, there must be a good reason why!"

Thank you Lord, I was right about that. I pulled myself together on the way from the grocery store to the gathering. It was LOVELY. I'm so glad we went, even with all of the drama to get there. Yeah, we forgot to bring chairs, and one set of floaties, but it worked out. Our kids had a blast swimming. No adults swam (much to my delight--whew am I glad we didn't show up in our suits!). There was plenty of processed food (that tasted yummy) and plenty of other normal everyday families just like us. The kids were all good. Even Bright had an awesome time with no explosions until the end (when we had to leave)!

Sigh. The hard part is over. We've met our LifeGroup in real life. I'm looking forward to getting to know these folks much better over the coming months.



P.S. And if you were there tonight and reading this, no laughing at my pre-meeting jitters! ;-)


Betsy 11:30 AM  

Yay! We made it the blog! Love it! I completely agree that Satan tries anything he can when people decide to get involved in a lifegroup. I'm so glad you knew this and make it a point to *stick it to him*. We loved getting to know you-- no laughing at the pre-jitters... well, okay, maybe a couple giggles let out, but I completely understand them. With four kids and my own "fluffiness" I COMPLETELY understand them!

A. Gillispie 6:42 PM  

Okay Miss Besty, I guess you're allowed a few giggles. ;-) And girl, I don't think you get to claim fluffiness!

Betsy 10:18 PM  

Um... I have gained 40 lbs in the past YEAR-- ONE YEAR.... Nursing school, IUD, and Dr. Pepper are not a good combination. Trust me!

Deborah 6:58 AM  

YAYYY! Sounds like life around here, too, when Satan would love to stop us and keep us in fear and loneliness. Good for you! I am so happy that you went and have a group.

Author and HIV/AIDS Advocate–Suzan Stirling 1:05 PM  

LOL...enjoy you blog so much...A true testiment to family life!

Renee 9:54 PM  

Wonderful!!! So glad you persevered and went. I know you must be a tremendous blessing IRL. You are precious!

Mama D.'s Dozen 3:54 AM  

Loved this post. Can so relate.

We've been in a new church for 7 months and are having a really hard time getting connected. We were invited to a small group with several adoptive families. We really enjoyed several meetings we went to. Then ... the subject of RAD came up ... and I, honest that I am, shared a bit about our Little Miss. Oh my. You would have thought they all slammed the doors right in our face. It was the weirdest thing. They don't even look at us at church anymore. So sad.

We have found another small group that we are hoping to attend, but they don't meet in the summer. Sad. That is when we are most free to meet.

Loved your line, "I am not going to go flounce my fluffiness". Oh yea. Right there with you on that one. It takes a LOT for anyone to see me in a swimsuit.

So glad the evening went well for you.

Laurel :)

GrandmaB 7:13 AM  

And your mamma's proud of you, too!

MrNissanTitan 7:07 PM  

WOW! I have never been to a "blog" site before. Betsy said it was neat, and that I ought to check it out. . . and like most husbands; I didn't! Of course! I saw the signature on the bottom of your email, and thought I would check it out. We really enjoyed that you all came, and I wanted to add my 2 cents to the comments. 1st: Betsy and I have our BEST fights on the way to church or lifegroup. 2nd: We have pre-group jitters too, and we have been in lifegroups for 8 years. 3rd: The worst part is when those fears are substantiated, and people get hurt or hurt feelings. This will happen at some point, and when it does, just remember the 70 times 7 rule. People will hurt people at some point, and sometimes it is really hard to forgive (at least for me:-). But I forgive anyway. I enjoyed meeting the kiddos, and thanks again for coming over. Daniel. PS. You are one heck of a writer!