My Community Couch

Hey friends,

Thank you for coming back for more! The very fact that so many of you haven’t grown tired of me yet makes me thank God himself for giving me the gift of words so that I haven’t run out of things to talk about!

This weekend my husband and I had a garage sale.. nothing super exciting about that except for the fact that we sold our oversized, over-loved sectional. If you had heard the amount of smack I’ve talked about that couch over the last few years you would think I was nuts for saying that once we lugged it out to the front lawn to be sold to the highest bidder I was a little emotional and kinda wanted to change my mind.

It’s not like any of the problems like the fact that it matched nothing, attracted dog hair in the worst way…or that it hasn’t properly fit in almost all of our most recent houses didn’t matter anymore but rather all the memories started to rush over me like an emotional river.

When we bought the couch 8 years ago second hand from a sweet friend we felt like KINGS! It was our first joint purchase and it was way fancier then what we could afford, but our friend was more than kind and cut us a huge deal. In the first few years it was where our friends crashed after a long night out dancing and where we lounged on lazy Sundays with friends and football.. it was even the place where I first sat and began to dig into scripture spending time with Jesus.

It made the move with us the first time to Georgia and then Colorado where that old couch did most of the heavy lifting when I began to dream about leading a Women’s bible study. I prayed to fill its cushions with women and before I knew it we were smooshed cheek to cheek and spilling onto the floor. Those lumpy cushions held my dearest friends in some of our darkest hours. Marriages were restored, miracles were witnessed, a sisterhood was formed. That poor couch was covered in tears, baby barf and more pizza crumbs than I care to admit. It’s where we did life.

That very couch was where I was sitting when I heard the Lord tell me that I was pregnant. You might think that sounds insane but if you listen, He talks. It was a still small voice and it simply said “The time is now” and just like that my spirit knew. That same couch is where I laid and wept unsure I could ever feel anything again after returning home from the hospital and hearing the Dr. tell me I would not be having a baby in 9 months.

The last 9 months that couch has been the place where my husband and I snuggled our pups and soaked up time together, time that we realized after 9 months apart during his last deployment is so very precious. So you can see why even though I desperately wanted to freshen up our living room I felt a little lump in my throat when a dad and his two small kids bounced on the cushions testing out its comfort level.

I wanted to say comfort level is decent.. ability to change your whole life? 5 stars, would highly recommend.

Now before you start thinking I have serious attachment issues I’ll explain.

Community…plain and simple that couch brought together what my aching soul longed for. I believe that at our core we all desire to belong, to feel apart of something, to have a place. I think it’s the very reason every time we pull away from a post heading to our new home my throat tightens up and my eyes get wet! Just like that busted old couch we cling to comfort even when we are called to new beginnings.

That was my heart cry when I lead the very first MBS workout. I. NEED. FRIENDS.

Every time we pack up and move my first thought is.. who will I be friends with? This thought has plagued me for most of my life. I can remember with absolute clarity my first month of 2nd grade. I moved from a private school where I went with my cousins (hello built in besties!) to a public school where everyone had already been in the same class together for a few years. I walked into the cafeteria for lunch and immediately after grabbing my tray turned to realize there was not one friendly face asking me to sit with them… I couldn’t even find an empty seat.

I sat down at an empty table and stared at my tray listening to all the laughter, just sure they were laughing at me. I stood up, tossed my food into the trash and hid in the bathroom until lunch was over. I did that for about a week until someone noticed and the principal caught me just before I tossed my lunch and asked me to sit with her..listen I knew nothing about street cred but even I knew being gal pals with the principal was a definite NO GO. Eventually the girls decided there was room for one more but I will never forget what it felt like to feel so unwelcome and alone.

Moving so frequently and being so far from my friends and family made one thing for certain, making friends is ABSOLUTE KEY to survival.. and making them quickly? Even better. That is why I chose to teach fitness in community, it’s just as much about physical health as it is about mental.

The bible says it like this in Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

Don’t worry I had to look up “spur” .. it’s defined as “a thing that prompts or encourages someone.” Of course I needed it to make even more sense to me so I went ahead and further broke down the definitions into something that would read a little like this:

” And let us think about how we may encourage one another toward love and good actions.”

This is a scripture I can get behind encouraging is something I do best! I know that if someone like me who most people see as so extraverted can feel lonely then ANYONE can. That is how I know with confidence that so many women are locked away in a prison of solitude.

Maybe you are a mom with a new baby who hasn’t felt the sun on her face in a while..

Maybe you are around people all day long between daycare drop off and work and you still feel invisible.

Maybe you are so guarded that even when people try to spur you on you walk away feeling less than encouraged.

Wherever you are in life I can say with certainty.. someone is waiting on you to go first.

One of my absolute favorite authors says it like this:

” Have you ever walked into a crowded room and desperately longed for someone to make you feel needed, wanted loved? I’ve found that when I walk into situations like this desperate and needy, I usually walk back out hurt and disappointed. Here’s the secret shift I’ve learned we must make: Do we walk into situations prepared with the fullness of God in us, free to look for ways to bless others? Or.. do we walk into situations empty and dependent on others to look for way to bless us? Being Full of God’s love settles, empowers and bring out the best of who we are, His love quiets us deep within so we can live from a full place, not from an empty desperation. And when we live from the abundant place that we are loved, we wont find ourselves begging others for scraps of love. We’ll be ready to walk into a room and share the love we already know is ours.”

Lysa TerKeurst

The simple truth is friends, life is done best in community with others. That is why I believe with everything I’ve got if you want to see change in your body sweat with friends because while you’re working on your booty your heart and mind are getting a fresh dose of “spur” … I mean encouragement!

I’ll close in saying my heart was a mess of encouragement this week! After sharing last Sunday about our financial need in order to say yes to IVF ..you, our community gave selflessly $1,690. I know that for me big numbers like 20,000 can be freaky but to put things into perspective… we have our 3rd appointment on Friday and the amount raised last week covers the cost of our first 3 appointments with money left over to move forward. We believe that God will continue to provide and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for spurring us on!

As for me and my current couch.. we hope to wear out the cushions loving on people living in community.

 

All my love,

Cara

 

 

 

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