Girls Write Out
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
When my husband and I helped plant our church, years ago, the words our pastor used to define the church were "Truth. Authenticity. Community." Those are three attributes we all crave. We recently bought a house. We bought a fixer-upper. We knew that going in, but the surprises really get you, the little omissions of truth. Our last home, which we custom built, was perfect for us. Except the developer didn't disclose that the phone lines/cable lines/sewer system really ceased to exist. We were just charged for them. We found out we had no phone or cable the day we moved in -- and the costs to build around no electricity/water & a sewer were outrageous! A little truth would have been way better than learning them after we couldn't fix it or back out or not build. The developer said we might have looked for "cheaper alternatives" to cable television than satellite. I'm thinking he must mean puppet shows because what else is there?

Anyhoo, what I've found is most important of these three things is community. Because community is what we did not have in the country. And it's the reason our custom home won't sell and we still own its beautiful self. None of the houses in the area have sold because the developer never built the promised golf club. People don't want to be alone. They're afraid to be alone. I don't think they care about the Golf Club. They care about where they will gather for community. After Easter, I realized this is a HUGE issue in the church. We have to be community for people. We have to go out of our way to make people feel at home and they have a place where they are welcomed. That's why the golf clubs of the world and the bars meet needs we cannot!

I go to the laundromat on Mondays. Honestly, I have a little community there. The same people come, we all use the same tables and have our system. IT's a community. My church runs a coffee shop in the same town. All the same people are there everyday, using the wireless, drinking the same drinks. It's a community. Familiarity is so important to people!! I pray that you will be someone's soft place to fall today. Not just the Christian who does the right thing, but the Christian who extends a hand and lets someone feel they are the missing piece from God's puzzle. : ) We have the truth. We have the authenticity if we're living right. Now, let's get busy on the community and loving people -- not being a clique where they don't feel comfortable because they don't have the right clothes, etc.
posted at 12:04 AM  
  Comments (9)
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At 12:33 AM, Blogger Malia Spencer said...

This is so true and such a timely reminder. I recently switched churches and it's hard to find your way among all the cliques nd not feel overwhelmed and lost. This Sunday I'll try be proactive about meeting people instead of letting my introvert side take over. I'm sure there are other people feeling the same way I am. Thanks, Kristin!

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Katie Johnson said...

Beautifully said, especially about being someone's "Soft place to fall." I think that if you look at people, the saddest ones are those who have isoloated themselves over the years-the happiest are those who reach out to others with an open heart. You win all the way get to be joyful and they do too.

And I'm so in agreement with you on the point of living near community. We bought beautiful farm acreage and put in the well, phone, expensive. But we've decided it's way too far from us to want to live there now. So there it sits with no house on it while we live in an apt. in Seattle-happily surrounded by community!

At 11:00 AM, Blogger eileen said...

Our profession isolates us as well. That's why community IS so important. I hope the fixer-upper comes along quickly. Glad you're back in your element.

At 1:31 PM, Blogger Julie Carobini said...

Amen, Kristin. I can be pretty introverted, though, so I think one key is to not keep trying for "forced community" but just to be out there doing whatever it is you do and being kind while doing it. Like drinking coffee in the same place and thanking the cashier by name or doing laundry with the same people and sharing your space, or whatever. It's the let's-put-together-a-group-of-opposites-and-automatically-be-best-friends idea that I have issues with :) Building community takes time, and that's okay. Thanks much for the reminder.

At 1:37 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

You know, my husband had someone "forced" on him. They had nothing in common. My DH is about as goody-two-shoes as they come. This person is a former gang member who has seen some of the worst things possible. And my DH forced that relationship. It was not comfortable. And now, they're the best friends we have. And my DH got more from him because he lived this raucous lifestyle before and has this amazing ability to reach people and "FEEL" things that my engineer hubby can't. So I'm not averse to forced community I guess. LOL

At 2:10 PM, Blogger Rachel Hauck said...

Great post, Kristin. I love the idea of being a soft place for people to land. How much people need a soft place!


At 2:14 PM, Blogger Julie Carobini said...

Kristin--I bet that took a little time, though, didn't it? My point was the time issue, I think. Then again, I'm a slow learner on most things, lol.

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Unknown said... ROCK!!

No wonder you can write such great chick-lit!!

At 4:14 PM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Yep! Well said! Good post.

And being "community" with and for others requires both truth and authenticity. Yikes, that's hard sometimes!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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