Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Chair

*** This post was recently published in the CHOIS Connection homeschool magazine's spring issue. My new column is entitled A Cup of Encouragement. You can check out the rest of the publication at

There’s a chair in my living room that everyone loves. Not because it’s beautiful, stylish or even incredibly comfortable. It’s certainly not a chair you would find in Southern Living. No, they love it because of what it represents. Friends will often call and say, “I need to come sit in your chair.” Oh, if that chair could talk, what stories it would tell. Stories of laughter shared, tears shed, encouragement given and prayers whispered.

If you drop by my house, I’ll offer you the chair. You’ll sit, feet pulled up under you and hands wrapped around a steaming mug.

That’s when the magic happens.

You may not even recognize it at first, but slowly you begin to relax, your blood pressure goes down and your heart begins to open up. The chair envelopes you like a warm hug…and you may have a hard time leaving.

The chair represents community.

Moms, we were created for community. Real face to face community. Not the on-line, Facebook connection, but the kind that allows you to look into someone’s eyes over a cup of coffee and hear what they’re not saying in a status update. Social media, while it has its place, has given us a false sense of connection. We think because we know what someone had for breakfast, or where they went on vacation that we’re connected with what’s going on in their lives. The problem is most people’s Tweets and status updates are more a reflection of the life they wish they had rather than their current reality.

Real connection takes time and sacrifice. It takes setting aside our agenda for the day and speaking into some’s life. Maybe you’re thinking, “Well that would be great, but you haven’t seen my to-do list.”  True. As homeschool moms we are Busy with a capital B. Building community takes a commitment to lay aside some of that to-do list, to decide that community is important enough to make sacrifices. Sure we can make it through life on our own. We can possibly even homeschool successfully without the support of other homeschool moms to come alongside us, but how much more rich and fulfilling it is to do life in REAL relationship with people we love.  

Who is in your “community”? Who have you spent time getting to know…real, up close and personal? Who has the Lord called you to encourage? Maybe it’s time to log off Facebook, look up from our to-do list and see who the Lord has placed in our lives for such a time as this. Gardens don’t grow without care and attention, children don’t raise themselves and community doesn’t happen by accident.

Be intentional.

Live life on purpose.

Cultivate community.

And if you’re ever in the neighborhood feel free to stop by. The chair is always available, the coffee’s always fresh and there’s always room for one more friend.

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