Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Community - Sharing Life Together

I know that I have blogged on and on about how impactful real community is, but here I go again. Today I am struck by it on several levels because of experiences yesterday and today.

I have mentioned before that we have a special friend, who now has a blog, and her name is Bek. She is not only a friend of mine, but a friend of our family. She jokes that she hired us here at Central, and in some aspects she did. She was on our search committee and became a heart friend about 5 minutes after we met. Bek and her family have become our family. I do not mean that in the "cheesy" way that we sometimes say that about general people we go to church with. They have become our family. She is not old enough to be my Mom, but she acts like a grandparent to our kids, she guides and mentors us like a parent, sister and friend. Her home is like home for our kids. Yesterday we went over to have a coke together and visited for a while, she invited the kids to stay while I ran some errands. They of course didn't want to and I had to force them. HA! They jumped on that plan - staying with Bek is always first choice. However, she had already offered to keep them later that evening, so David and I could meet with someone. Well, of course, they landed up fanagling a way to stay with her through dinner and until 10:30 infact. When we picked them up, I hugged and thanked her and tried to express my appreciation. Her response was, "hey, I love to do it - I'm standing in the gap." I have tears running down my face as I type this, because of how much this relationship means to me. This is community.

One of the reasons for the kids being with Bek was so that we could go to Starbucks to visit with Dan and Amy. David has been away for 10 days and so he needed to get caught up on what was happening at the office and I really needed to visit with Dan about some things at church. He is our Senior Minister. David and him work very closely together in ministry and so this was work and play really. However, as we sat and talked about the work of ministry, the joys, the frustrations, the current challenges etc it was evident that we were authentically sharing our lives. This is community.

Today, my friend Missy leaves for 3 weeks. It is summer, Adam and Missy are in youth ministry - need I say more. I think they do Elevations, Youth Wave, and Trek back to back. That translates to them being physically gone from Amarillo for 3 weeks. The rest of the summer will also be frenetic at some points, but at least they'll be home. I am excited that they get to grow our students by sharing these life changing events with them, but I hate not seeing her for all that time. I know that this is nothing compared to her moving to Antarctica say, so I am not trying to be a drama queen. But we have talked about the fact that some days we will talk 5 times on the phone, and we can share whatever is on our hearts in detail. And frankly, just knowing that I don't get to do that while she is working for the next 3 weeks scares me. This is community. (or weird-stalker-like-bad-boundary-friendship you make think :-))

In other words, I am the best version of myself because of the love, support, and friendship of those around me. That is community.


Donna said...

Arlene, what a blessing to have that kind of community. If someone has never had it, they have no idea how wonderful it is. We are just getting to that point now where we are (3 1/2 yrs after our move). It's been a long time coming!
Blessings to you!

Amy said...

God knew what he was doing with the gift of community. I think it's so cool that you guys are in close community with Dan & Amy.

And your ministry team has an impact on your whole church, I'm sure.

don said...

It's Don, again, in Arkansas. When you mentioned Bek, I thought "I'll bet i know who that is" Tell Becky and Brice I said hello to them as well. We miss their family and kids, who were around our kids' ages. We have seen them a time or two here, as her brother Ross is a neighbor.

And your post today made me miss Central all over again.

Okay, I'll quit sending messages through your blog, now. Maybe I should just pick up the phone and give them all a call, huh?

I look forward to meeting you sometime when we're through that way. take care


Arlene Kasselman said...

send all the messages you like, I enjoy delivering them. The response is great - everyone here loves you and your family!!!!

Are you the person who wrote the song, I Am?