The weekend before Thanksgiving, I went to Atlanta with three women from church. They're all moms of preschoolers and they'd put the trip together in a if-we-don't-do-it-now-we'll-never-do-it way and invited me to come along. So Friday night we hopped in the car and talked the entire three hour drive, spent the night at a hotel, then shopped and explored Atlanta all day Saturday.
I was excited about spending a few good hours lost in IKEA. I did my research before the trip, looking at prices online, measuring walls for shelves and heights for new lamps, etc. I wanted to be prepared since an IKEA trip is once in a blue moon for me and there were quite a few things I was interested in.
But as excited as I was about IKEA (and believe me, I was pumped), I would have gone on this trip no matter what the plans were, or how long the drive was. Because it wasn't the shopping that made the trip worthwhile, it was the company of three women who I respect, who I love getting to know, and who are just fun to be around.
my favorite room at IKEA- the wall color, the huge bookshelves; I love everything
inspiration: add canvased art into wall collages
Obviously, the community I have now is different from that of college. We have to drive to see each other, we don't borrow clothes-- we borrow recipes, and we all have our Mr. Rights (and they've got their little ones). Instead of helping one another through classwork and boyfriend troubles, we're helping one another invest in our families, love our husbands, and stay focused on Jesus.
a simple piece of art; I like the concept of it rather than the actual look, however
Melanie in the back of the car with all the IKEA treasures we barely squeezed in
I was in the car with one woman and her boys the other day, and her younger son asked her, "Mom, does it take courage to have kids?" She snorted and said "Yes!" With his curiosity fulfilled, she proceeded to tell me how, before she had kids, she watched other young families as they began parenthood. She and her husband eventually worked up the courage to have their own family, figuring that none of the other parents seemed to know what they were doing but they hadn't messed up their kids yet.
first time here; lunch was delicious!
Funny, and true. I'm doing the same thing she did--observing the moms as they figure out parenthood, asking questions and gathering information, asking myself, "Are Deric and I ready for kids?" Some days I think yes, some days I know there's no way.
reindeer in the middle of an outdoor mall
That's probably my favorite part of this new community of women of which I get to be a part: we're not all the same age, and we're not all in the same phase of life. Because of that, there's plenty of advice to give and to take, plenty of stories to share, plenty of insights on God, family, kids, church, etc.
Helen, Melanie, Janine & myself
I can't remember exactly how the conversations went during the car rides and shopping trips. But I will remember that feeling of belonging that is so crucial when you start life somewhere new, and I will remember the joy I felt in being involved in other womens' lives.
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of a friend
springs from their heartfelt advice.