6 Steps to Cultivate Community

When our Bible Study group cracked Acts 2 last Tuesday, it didn’t take us long to dive deep into conversation about “community” – what is it? How do we cultivate it? What does it look like at this stage of life?

Acts 2:42-47 paints a beautiful picture of community that the early church modeled. They were devoted to one another; committed to learning and praying and breaking bread together. They “shared everything they had.”

It’s no secret that cultural and technological changes have drastically changed the way we interact with one another. Moreover, my husband and I live in a city where it takes around 30 minutes to get anywhere – double that with rush hour traffic. This alone makes it difficult to have commitments on weeknights, and when you add in work and travel schedules, it becomes clear that having good community is not a passive process.

Here are six simple ideas we try to embrace…

Continue reading at: http://blogsbychristianwomen.com/2015/06/6-steps-cultivate-community/

Finally…a D.C. update.

I came in at 7:30 this morning (work starts at 8:30) to try to start a blog about the crazy adventure my summer has already been. My laptop charger broke just before I came to D.C. and I am too cheap to buy a new one, so my computer has been dead for around a month now…typical.

Let me start from the beginning.

I moved up to Washington, D.C. on June 2nd. I drove up by myself and on my way in had lunch with good ol’ Colin in Falls Church, VA. We reminisced (we always reminisce) on our middle and high school days and the crazy reality that he’s about to get married and that we’re both living and working in the big city this summer. I remember our 9th grade conversations about going to Georgetown and Pepperdine, law school and the military, marriage and family – remembering those times makes it sweet and surreal to be where I am now. I am so thankful.

As you can imagine, it’s difficult for me to know where to start. I always feel like the best version of myself when I have the opportunity to dive into a new opportunity headfirst, and I’ve been so energized by all the new people, places, and things to explore. I have been going at about 100 mph since the day I got here. Here are some highlights!

The family I live with, the Hannigans, moved here from Chicago less than a year ago. They are wonderful, brave, generous people. They have a one year old daughter named Talitha who IS the HAPPIEST BABY God has created so far. I love playing with her and sometimes she cries when I leave, which makes me feel loved. Thanks baby! I am rarely home (if you know me, that is no surprise!) but I love spending time with them when I get the chance.

I have been spending most of my time in the Capitol Hill district. It’s right across the river from where I live, and there are a lot of good restaurants, parks, the National’s Stadium, a trapeze school (?????), and friends nearby. The first week here, my dear friend Laura invited me to an intern Bible study at Capitol Hill Baptist Church. I can honestly say that now, two weeks later, I am as excited about being a part of that church as I am about being a part of IJM. The community is amazing, the level of reverence for God and his word are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, and I am so challenged and encouraged by the people. The friends I’ve made in this study are my D.C. A-team…we have shared so many laughs and adventures already.

In 2 1/2 weeks, here’s what I/we’ve been able to accomplish:

– Sunrise at the Lincoln Memorial

– National Cathedral, Botanical Gardens, National Archives, National Gallery of Art, Arlington Cemetary, Union Station

– Lobbying for Anti-trafficking legislation on Capitol Hill

– Exploring Georgetown, paddleboarding on the riverfront, and riding bikes along the Potomac, jazz in the park, fancy fondu restaurant (thanks Bryant!)

– Monument tour after dark

– Nationals baseball game

In other news, my parents came to visit this week (Sunday-Thursday) and totaled their car on their way to meet me for lunch on Monday. They were unhurt and thankfully I had already planned to take a day off to explore with them, so I was able to pick them up from where they were towed. They are resilient people and didn’t let it ruin their week.  I loved having them here.

As far as things go with my internship, I am incredibly blessed. I think I’m going to write a separate blog on IJM, but here are the facts surrounding my time here:

I am one of 24 summer interns working at Headquarters and am enjoying getting to know my brilliant, competent, FUNNY coworkers. The atmosphere of the office is very unique in that it is professional – full business suit every day – and the work expectation is excellence, but everyone is so warm, kind, and inviting. I’ve heard the life and coming-to-faith stories of nearly all of the executive staff members and have had the opportunity to seek wisdom on everything from career to relationship advice in our workplace conversations. The only downside to this office is that I’m going to get spoiled by the intentionality and support of the people…everywhere else is going to look so uninviting compared to this place!! 🙂

I hope this suffices as a decent update for those of you who are wondering what I’m up to. Please pray for continued strength, focus, and surrender as I continue to grow accustomed to this place.