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Cheers to Monday | March 21st

The Week in Review | March 15-21, 2016

If I had to describe the past week in one word, it would be community. Luke and I have been praying more intentionally that the Lord would create deep friendships in our lives and our marriage because we’re recognizing more and more how true it is that we’re created to be relational, and we don’t want to walk solo through the joys and valleys of life. We want to be a part of a tribe of iron-sharpens-iron believers that is passionate about building community as a means to represent and live out the Gospel together, the sort of community you can call in the middle of the night when your heart is overwhelmed, or the kind that brings over a meal because you’re going through a hard time and cooking is just added stress, or the ones who aren’t afraid to call you out on your stuff because they love you too much to let you stay the same. THAT is the kind of community we’d been craving and missing since we left our wonderful church in CT and moved down to FL.

But ever since we started attending Gulf Coast, we’ve experienced a growing sort of stirring in our spirits, like that excited-nervous-fluttery feeling you get in the pit of your stomach the night before a big event or right before a first kiss or when you’re about to walk hand-in-hand up the aisle as man and wife. We’ve been having all those feels. We’ve been sensing Jesus work in us to increase our desire to get deeply connected to our new church, and for me, that’s been an especially comforting feeling because I feel like Gulf Coast is a place that we can grow for years in, like we’re being given an invitation to roll up our sleeves and get dirty doing the hard work because we’re going to be putting down deep roots. And this week, especially, it felt like our tiny-but-growing roots pushed down a little bit deeper and took hold of some good, nourishing soil! Friendship was everywhere, and it was just what my heart needed! ♥

  • After almost three weeks of no face time, I finally got to see my sweet bestie, Kim, for an at-home girls night of catching up + garlic knots + cookie baking! YES. PLEASE. ?❤️?
  • We celebrated a second Monday Dinner with Ami and Jordan by busting out our taco skills 😉 You know how sometimes you meet someone and everything just clicks? You say the same sort of jokes, watch the same sort of shows, feel the same sort of way about Jesus and marriage and life in general? That’s how it’s been for us ever since we first met them at the start of our Foundations Class at church….one month in and we’ve made Monday Dinners a regular thing (tonight is week #3), we’ve had late-night snack-y hang outs, I’ve gotten my baby-fix watching their cutie, Noah, and we’ve demolished a total of 40 wings and six tiny cups of ranch between the four of us. But mostly, we’ve found two dear friends who we felt immediately connected to and who’s hearts beat for Jesus, with the same desire to push past the superficial so deep growth can take place. Plus, Mondays are way better now knowing that there’s good food and great people at the end 😉
  • We were a part of our very first Dinner for Six! Gulf Coasters take part in these every quarter and we signed up this winter in the spirit of community and we-don’t-many-people-yet 😉 Basically, everyone who signs up is divided into groups of about six people, and most of the people in each group get a chance to host a dinner in their home, potluck style, for the other group members. We ended up in a group with the Brunson clan, who checked in and asked if anyone minded if a few more people were added. Of course not! So, our dinner for “six” turned out to be more like a dinner for 20, and on Saturday night, we all drove out to their beautiful property, piled into their sprawling downstairs living room, and made friends over jambalaya and rice & spinach lasagna. I’ll be the first to say that I was a little nervous about the “big” crowd. While a lot of people think I’m an extrovert, I would counter that I’m really only that way in small groups where I feel like I can get to know a person or three at a time. In larger settings, though, I tend to be a little more introverted, dreading the “awkward silences” and wondering how I’ll be able to connect to so many. Turns out, all those nerves were for naught. Literally, every single person there was so incredibly friendly and welcoming, and not in the fake stuffy sort of ways, but in the really getting to know you and do life beside you kind of ways. We can’t wait for our next one! ??
  • We went to our very first Easter Cantata together and it was beautiful! Our neighbors to the right of us sing in their church’s choir and have been inviting us for weeks to come see their Cantata. On Sunday, we drove from Gulf Coast over to their church, and ended up even sitting with their family during the whole service. Even though we aren’t wildly close with any one of them, we were honored and excited to be able to have a chance to do a little bit of their life with them, joining in on something that mattered to them and hopefully showing them in a tangible way that we’re here for them! We don’t know what other opportunities Jesus might bring us to speak into their lives and love on them, but we want to be more community-minded even around our own little street 🙂

Standing at the start of a new week and looking back over the last one, I’m so excited and expectant for the ways Jesus is, like Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia, “on the move” in my life and in Luke’s, and in our marriage together! Even though there are tough things we’re wrestling with, those struggles are met with the promises of a faithful God who is answering prayers, building community, growing our hearts, and making all things new in His time! ❤️

And because lots of things are prettier with a picture, here is (I think) my favorite photo from our trip to the Keys last weekend!

This-Good-Life-Photo-Florida-Keys-March-2016

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