I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that it is Mid-February. But that’s OK, I’m surely not complaining! And I’m very excited to announce it is time for Session 2 of inCourage communities to launch! You can read more about Session 1 here.
Julie and I are co-leading a group on Christian Singleness for women.
What exactly are (in)Courage Community sessions? (in)Courage is one of the ministries of DaySpring, and they rock! They help us hostess a series of 40 community group sessions on different ‘seasons’ of life, different journeys and places along the Christian road, and asking leaders to encourage others along the way. They paired me up with Julie. Julie and I…well, we’re single girls, and we have been for awhile. We’re different ages and stages in our own lives, and we live on opposite sides of the country. But we’re excited to be building a community of like-minded women who want to approach Christian single-ness, not on tiptoes around stigma, but by embracing it with a heart of compassion and purpose.
The second session runs February 12-April 28th and doesn’t require any commitment from you. That just means that Julie and I will be actively participating in our group, offering encouragement in our unique ways, and seeking to connect with you. This is all so exciting!
Because I’m pretty sure you’re going to want to be part of Dayspring’s Incourage In-Real-Life ((in)RL) meet-ups! I co-lead one of inCourage’s groups for single ladies (we are starting up again in February, be on the lookout for more information), and I just love what they do to encourage community among women. This is one of their initiatives…they like to think of it as a “free girls’ weekend that doesn’t require a plane ticket.”
Registration is FREE, and the weekend starts with a webcast on Friday, April 22nd, and moves on to small community-hosted groups all over the country on Saturday, April 23rd. This year’s theme is “Staying Rooted In Community Through Tough Times.” Doesn’t that sound like a fantastic time?
You can check it out and register HERE (and if you register today, you get a few extra perks!).
I also sent out a beautiful card for a co-worker whose husband is in poor health, and a few more moving announcements. Sending mail is one of my favorite little ways to encourage friends.
Even though I don’t live near them right now, I have SUCH good friends, and I am blessed that they like to send me mail, too! My best friend sent me this package with hot pink and leopard tissue paper. Better yet? The package was filled with ballet leotards and legwarmers so I can get back into ballet once I finally settle into my new routine. She knows me so well and it inspires me daily. being on the receiving end of packages makes me all the more anxious to send them out, because I know how exciting it is to receive real mail, filled with love and goodies.
Martha Stewart Living, a package from another friend (with pink/green/glitter polka dot tissue!) and Christmas present supplies! (sorry, had to block out my address with the heart, hehe)
So many good things amidst the bills and junk mail.
Next up? Sending out Christmas cards and Christmas presents.
Have you ever been on a plane that’s been put in a holding pattern? You’re ready to land, the plane has reached the destination, and all you want to do is hit the ground running in your destination city. Instead, you are still strapped into your uncomfortable seat on the airplane because someone “up there” in the control tower put you in a holding pattern. Why? Well, who knows: the airport might not be ready to accept your plane yet. There may be a bad storm beneath the clouds. You may need to use your gas before you can land (I never understood that one). So they have you fly in a circle over your destination.
That sounds like the most pointless thing in the world, right? To you, on the plane, ready to go, of course it does. But the airport controller has his reasons. He can see the other planes on approach, knows how busy the airport is, and knows what is safe on the ground. While the pilot may have actual control over where the plane goes, he trusts the controller and listens to the advice, which unfortunately means you get another round of stale peanuts on the airplane.
Sometimes it may feel like God puts us in a holding pattern, especially when it comes to love. We cry out thinking, “God! I’m here! I’m ready to love!” just like we are ready to get off the airplane and hit the ground running. But as ready as we may think we are, it may feel like we’re going in relationship circles. We may be put in a holding pattern for any number of reasons unknown to us at the time, including the fact that God may want us to remain single. But here’s a big one I was thinking of today: We may be ready, but our future significant other may not have lived out the part of his story that brings him to us yet. Much like waiting for the airport to be ready, or for the weather to clear on the ground, we may be waiting for God’s work in our future husband’s life. The best thing we can do in that case is to Pray for him. As we wait, God refines us constantly, takes care of us, brings us closer to where He wants us to be.
Rest and take heart in this fact: God has has the control tower’s view. He will let you land when it is safe, when it right, when all is well. And if that happens, you’ll never have been so happy in your life to run towards love.
PS. Just wanted to mention this is written specifically with the girls of our (in)Courage group in mind!
I talk a lot about community here. I talk a lot about digging into life and setting down roots and really embracing the fellowship of the family of God. But I don’t talk too terribly often about Christian single-ness. I don’t usually talk about being the one who sits alone in church, or who watches Netflix on Friday nights or how often I practice the art of buying myself flowers 😛
Christian Singleness. Even saying it makes you cringe right? There is so much stigma surrounding singleness in our culture: if you’re “secular” and single—it’s great and you are pretty much given a free pass (unless you happen to be Prince Harry. Ahem.) If you’re Christian and single, and “of marriageable age,” (whatever people seem to think that means these days) they are constantly asking you if you have a boyfriend/ring/wedding date yet.
This is where (in)Courage Community sessions step in. (in)Courage is one of the ministries of DaySpring, and they rock! They are starting a series of 40 community group sessions on different ‘seasons’ of life, different journeys and places along the Christian road, and asking leaders to encourage others along the way. They paired me up with Julie. Julie and I…well, we’re single girls, and we have been for awhile. We’re different ages and stages in our own lives, and we live on opposite sides of the country. But we’re hoping to build a community of like-minded women who want to approach Christian single-ness, not on tiptoes around stigma, but by embracing it with a heart of compassion and purpose.
We understand that this season–it isn’t just a season of waiting. Yes, we wait, but we are also preparing, growing, encouraging, and…working on contentment. We’re single. But that doesn’t mean we have to be lonely, hurt, jaded, bitter, unhappy, stagnant, waitingfor life to begin, or any of those things. God still works in single people’s lives, friends. God still gives us tasks to accomplish, people to love and nourish, lives to build into…he gives us tough lessons to learn and he gives us MANY, MANY blessings. We’re here to encourage each other in this time. Let’s make it a fruitful time, so that we aren’t wasting it wishing and waiting. We can waitpurposefullyand with intention.
The first session runs October 2nd-December 2nd and doesn’t require any commitment from you. That just means that Julie and I will be actively participating in our group, offering encouragement in our unique ways, and seeking to connect with you. This is all so exciting!