I am cleaning today. I have a goal in mind: a housefull of guests this evening in my cozy, neat and tidy home. My goal keeps me going and helps keep me from getting distracted by things like Facebook or that novel I'm just getting into. Chris always says "Don't you want to keep your house tidy for yourself or for your family?" Of course I do, and I try to keep from falling too far behind in that, but it really is the urgency of having others in my home that pushes me to keep going when I'd really like to collapse on the couch and watch Ellen or The View.
I love having company in our home, and here that is especially sweet. Probably because for so many months we had no friends whom we could just invite over, for coffee or dessert or a games night or Bible study. In Fredericton we hosted a Home Group for six years. We led it and hosted, and to be honest, after six years we both became a little burned out on it. But I can't tell you how intensely I missed the people in that group after we moved here! In Fredericton we were surrounded by people who loved us. We always had someone to call if we needed a favour or an ear. We always had someone to sit with in church. We shared life with people we loved. I couldn't imagine how that could be duplicated. And honestly, it can't be duplicated. Those people are unique and wonderful and hold a special place in our hearts that can't be taken by anyone else. But a new group of people take their own place in our hearts, too, now. And tonight, they'll be gathering at our house.
Last fall God answered the cry of my heart. Few times in my life have I ever been so desperately in need of friends. So when our pastor asked people to sign up to be placed in a community group, our names were first on the list. We had nothing to do with where we would be placed, other than an email I sent describing our situation and stage of life. We were placed in a group meeting just a few minutes from here. I was nervous the first night, assuming I would be the only "new kid" in the group, but was surprised to find that none of the other couples knew each other before. Well, we know each other now. In fact, our group has a bit of a "super-group" reputation in our church. We have bonded. They guys have served the men of the church by putting on Men's Breakfasts a number of times. The girls regularly get together for coffee or movie nights. My trip to Cleveland last weekend was with a couple of the other girls in our group. We enjoy being together, we have great discussion, and we lift each other up in prayer. We appreciate each other. I appreciate them. And I am so thankful for them, just as I am for all our wonderful friends in New Brunswick.
Because of other commitments and babysitter issues, scheduling our group meetings this year has been a challenge. To make it a bit easier for us, ferrying Connor back and forth to basketball Monday nights, we have offered to host every second week at our house, starting tonight. So I have some work to do. Time to tear myself away from this addictive computer and get my house in tip top shape!!