Sunday, July 20, 2008

What happen to Community

Lately I have had multiple conversations about the desire for a strong community but a lack of it. I can't help but wonder if we are longing for something that is not real or if we are just to lazy to make it happen?  I remember years ago a friend of mine writing about how our culture had been inundated with some many modern conveniences that are suppose to save us time - microwaves, cell phone, cars, and well you get the point.  But what have we done with the time we are saving?  
I know that in college I got to experience true community - a family.  But time and distance has separated many of those relationships and it seems harder and harder to build community where you are planted at this stage in life.  But man do I long for it!!!
Last night John and I had the best time with many of our "old family" from college.  We were celebrating the fact that we really are getting old :).  We talked about how easy it is just to stay in the 4 walls of your house than to get going and get out there.  I think so often I just want to be initiate  to rather than to do all the initiating.  The truth I think is that most every one feels that way so no one is initiating.  How sad!!!!
The other thing that is so hard - and for those of you that have moved recently you may have discovered this too - when you move to a new place everyone that is already there has a life.  They have their established relationships and routines.  I have also realized that for the most part they enjoy spending time together but they don't think to initiate which leaves it up to you.  This is why it is so tiring!!!So tiring.  
But today, I have spent lots of time thinking about how great last night was.  To sit down with friends that I really haven't seen in years and pick right up where we left off.  So easy!!!! So great!!!  And then I think that in order for this to be true of my life now I have to get my tail out there and initiate regardless of how much I had rather stay home.  I do feel grateful that God has placed a handful of couples in our life that John and I really want to spend more time with and so we just have to make people our priority again.  
I long to build a strong immediate family but I also want my family to know the world is bigger than our 4 walls and that there are people out there who need to be loved on by the Cook's.  So in the words of dear sweet April - I need to just get over myself and initiate to people and stop waiting for them to initiate to me.  (don't worry she wasn't fussing at me - actually she said "we")
So I decided today that I am not making excuses any longer (except the fact that we are leaving in 3 days for a week and half vacation).  But as soon as I get back I will be about the business of building me a community.  Anyone want to join me?  Oh and I may have to wait till I get Jake started in school :)  See this is how it happens - after this and after that.  Life is just crazy and I am through ranting!!!


Matt, Carrie and Lucy Allen said...

I'm in!we had a great time seeing ya'll the other night. And I definitely hope we get to do it again and get the kids to play!! soon... we'll try to plan when you get back from your vacation.

Danny and Jennifer White said...

Are you guys coming this way for vacation?i agree it's hard to start over and build new relationships.

Lindsey said...

amen! maybe we should all take over broken bow?! i hope you have a great vacation and we are looking forward to some community when you get back! thanks again for coming. we LOVED it!

Kristin said...

i'll build community with you... even if i live an hour and a half away!

by the way... your new pictures of jake and brady are sooooo good!

Momof3 said...

It's the kids!! We have talked many times about how I miss our Military Community, especially the ones in Italy which compared to your college days. Things were just a lot more simple then. Less house to care for, less people to care for, etc. I am not trying to make excuses, just remind us that there are circumstances that make it harder, which means that we just have to work a little harder to get it. You are so right, though, MANY people want it but just don't know how or want to work hard enough to achieve it.

Shelley said...

i agree. jill and i say all the time that we are tired of being the initiators in every area of our lives. we have to with our job and we just don't want to at church etc. selfish. the problem is we are tired and initating and planning takes energy. just start playgroup, one mom's night out...then let someone else plan. your friend is right too about kids. even our CO team is not nearly as close as it used to be because you can't just plan impromptu events and stay out late. we just have to readjust and yes it is a great need that is seriously lacking everywhere. thanks for the reminder that i need to work for it. the thing is too that you may have to have community with those you wouldn't normally be friends with. It's not like college where we had an abundance of believers. the pickens are lease in these parts...there seems to be a lot in the bham area.

Holly S. said...

I agree. How about I give you a call after your vacation. We've been trying to get together for weeks! At least I got to see you at the B'day dinner! Love, Holly

Donna said...

Amy- this issue is one of my soap boxes. I could go on and on about how we don't have communities- I don't know my neighboors, everyone works all over town- literally miles and miles apart- the people I'm "friends" with are not really in my community- they don't go to my grocery store, live on my street- you have to work so hard to make new friends. Nobody has "front" porches- we live in our backyards. There are no sidewalks. Anyway- I'd love to get together when you guys get back!