Claudine Phillips

How you can’t rush community. The magic of the process.

Last day of school called for some uninhibited wild play in the afternoon. A day at the farm was rest to the soul, for all of us.

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braid

No assignments, no read-alouds….just play. A sense of new was in the air. A new season of summer kissed our shoulders. New friendships dawned the edge of our hearts, and new lives were held preciously in our hands.

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My life was in His hands. This farm I love to frequent is hosted by a new dear friend of mine. Each time I drive under the arches of the bumpy road to rest, I know I am about to be loved. To be loved beyond I could ever imagine. My friend has a spirit to serve, love, embrace and empower. I am given so much at the end of our time together. Today was no different. I was welcomed with warm rich coffee, deep easy conversation, and laughter that tickled my soul. I was held this afternoon.

chiced

My community is deepening with the simple tool of time. You can’t rush community. It can’t be planned. It just happens. It requires your stepping up and showing up and it will organically unfold without effort. No need to come with a list of what to talk about, things to do together, or ideas of how our time ‘should’ go. It just releases itself in time.

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The little girls’ spirits blossomed outside in play as the big girls’ liveliness was nurtured inside. Swings were swung. Chickens were chased. Kitties were coddled. Imaginations abounded in the far-reaching fields of farmland. There was space for all of us. Such a spacious place.

kitty2

As the evening grew near, too quickly in my opinion, my cup runeth over. The give and take of encouragement, laughter, advice, and sharing that we experienced in just a few hours has strengthened me to the core. There was no competition among us, no comparison, no coveting, and no ‘not enoughness’ between us. We could just ‘be’ with each other, lean in, and love.

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Isn’t that how it is supposed to be? To lift each other up. Encourage. Spur on. Help. So simple, but obsolete among women. Our insecurities can divide us. Our hurts separate when meant to strengthen.

I know that if I have not allowed for rest, like today, it is hard for me to give. This summer, I will embrace rest, time well spent together, and seek ways to encourage, lift up, and spur on my community.

Will you join me? Will you create space to rest? Maybe spend time flipping through a magazine, read, take a walk or nap. Fill your cup with Him. Then, naturally, you can pour into others, like my friend has done with me. It is┬ácontagious and I’ve got the bug to love.

It is simple. Rest. Give. We all benefit.

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