grace in community

things I've been pondering lately...

what does grace this look like in community?

it is encouraging people around me in times of stress, exhaustion, busyness, overwhelmed-ness, discouragement, uncertainty, suffering, happiness, rejoicing and .
it is stopping in my tracks and praying for them right where I am
it is telling them how much they mean to me
it is writing them a quick note with a promise from God to rest in
it is crying with them
it is processing with them
it is challenging them and being challenged by them
it is being their positive… when they just don't have it in them and vice versa
it is serving together
it is suffering together
it is investing in one another - even in times of discouragement
it is reacting the way Christ would react to situations (through the grace of the Holy Spirit)
it is relaxing with one another
it is genuinely trusting one another
it is being genuine - removing the 'face' we grew up learning to put on
it is keeping one another accountable
it is loving them well (tough love included)
it is confronting them as accepting confrontation from them
it is guarding their heart with them
it is quality time with them
it is correcting them and being corrected by them
it is living a life of worship together
it is taking risk for the sake of faith
it is carrying one another's burdens with them

What do you mean by community?

it is the local church
it is those around you within the local church
it is not defined by age
it is based on the same core beliefs
it is no defined by stage of life
it is intentionally living a life seeking to abide by the Word together
it is defined by investment
it is living out the gospel together
it takes time
it is a level of comfort - where trust has been fostered and therefore honesty is not only welcomed it is desired

… and so. much. more.

you can read more about my thoughts on church here or my thoughts on community here if you so desire

I'd certainly love to hear your thoughts.  What does grace in community look like to you?

6 years ago...

Internet, I'm sure you're probably sick of my annual anniversary post... Recounting one of my favorite days of my life thus far {February 2, 2008}. But just go along with it...

This year as I think back on this special occasion, I'm so thankful for the people who were involved… and the way the Lord continues to use them in my life to encourage my heart.  

For my girlfriends throwing me a personal shower with an amazingly decorated cake ;) , then throwing a bachelorette party... And takin dance lessons with us... And helping address envelopes, and helping me make the boutineers, and helping with the tear down after the reception, and standing next to me while I vow to love him with my whole heart for the rest of my life on earth and to serve The Lord with him. Oh how I'm thankful for these ladies. They are all still in my life... Distance, stage of life, busyness... It can all get in the way- but I'm thankful for each of these ladies.

{one of my favorite pictures of a couple of these special ladies}

We are equally as blessed by the guys that were involved with our special day. We are so blessed to have had a wedding party that both the bridesmaids and groomsmen all knew one another and pretty well in fact.    

{yes they were singing as they patiently waited for the girls to get ready for pics}

The guys also suffered through {secretly they enjoyed} dance lessons, and a couple of them wrote a song for our wedding and performed it on the big day.  We heard the song for the first time at the rehearsal 6 years ago today.   If you're interested in hearing it… just let me know next time you see me and I'd LOOOOVE to play it for you.  They recorded it for me as a gift after the wedding.

{Ben and Bryce signing and playing 'The Only One' on our wedding day}

The dress.  I felt like a million bucks on my wedding day.  My dress flattered me perfectly, was exactly what I wanted - SIMPLE … AND it only cost $250 off the rack and no alterations necessary.  That. never. happens.  {at least from what I see on TLC}  I bought the first dress I tried on.

{a person could have hid under there… I'm sure of it}

The first look.  I'm SO glad we ended up having our first look before the wedding.  I know it isn't for everyone.  But it was perfect for us.  Below reflects me walking into my groom… down the isle.  Just me, Scott and the photographers in the room.  It was so nice to get all of that stress/excitedness/anxiety of seeing each other over with early on.  

We took some pics of the 2 of us around the church before we loaded up on the Excursion Limo that took us downtown a little later.

{My favorite picture from the day}

{He is such a stud! I got to marry him!}

{I don't know why.. but I love that my dress took up most of our seat}

{Scott and I love skylines - so it made perfect sense to take pictures at Liberty Memorial downtown KC}

{I don't even know how this happened - the photographers had the fancy glasses, and one of our groomsmen or bridesmaids had the sparkling grape juice.  Loved this moment so much}

{We are pretty lucky to live in KC.  We have beautiful buildings here… like Union Station where we took this pic}

{Such a sweet moment with my brother right before I walked down! Love that they captured this moment for me.}

{Another sweet moment I'm so glad I have documented.  Prayer with my cousin, John who officiated the ceremony.  I'm so thankful for him}

During the ceremony the girls prayed over me before the vows… and the guys prayed over Scott.  I don't have a great picture - but below you can kind of see that my uncle Rick is singing in the background.  He is singing 'The Wedding Song' which is the same song he sang at my parent's wedding. 

{Thankful to have been showered with prayer moments before I became Scott's wife}

{We are blessed by our community then and now}

{First kiss as hubby and wifey}

{One of my favorite pics of us leaving the ceremony.  So thankful to have been married in my home church.  The place we serve together… the place we hold so dearly in our hearts.}

{The table decor - yes that is a cake on each table! The beautiful decor at the church and most at the reception were thanks to Scott's aunt, Cheryl.  She has a serious gift for this stuff!}

{Our first dance. … the one we took lessons for :) I love this picture… I'm so giddy!}

{We opened up the dance floor after this and danced the night way! Please let me keep my southern baptist card}

Ahhhh….. I love getting to walk down memory lane each year.  I am so thankful for the past 6 years.  The Lord has used Scott and our marriage to truly encourage, challenge, and grow me in all of the right ways.  I'm so thankful for a husband who desires for the gospel to be the center of our marriage and our home.  Looking forward to many more years to celebrate!

Haven't been around for my previous walks down wedding day memory lane… feel free to check these posts out: