As I was pushing through those icky days of the first trimester (those who have been there understand!), attempting to homeschool my other two children, and feeling a bit discouraged, a beautiful friend gently asked if I’d be interested in joining a community of women reading a book by someone named Brene Brown.
My first thought was, “How in the world would I ever find time for that?” followed quickly by “What value could there be in that type of book?” Yet something in my heart yearned to say yes, and my friend graciously gave me time and space to consider joining. My introverted, analytical mind came up with every excuse to say no, but my heart whispered a quiet yes. I am so happy it did!
Now looking back over the past year, I realize how desperately I needed the community and wisdom our amazing group of women shares. I’m extremely thankful to have met such courageous women who are willing to dig in, talk about the hard stuff, laugh till it hurts, and selflessly speak truth and life to each other.
Previously, I had consistently been surrounded by strong role models, but it had been years since I felt the joy of doing life with a group of peers going through [parenting, marriage, health, faith] adventures similar to what I was experiencing. I was challenged by their insight as we read books that made me think about the world through an entirely different lens.
In our season of motherhood, uninterrupted time to pause and talk about what’s really going on and what really matters is extremely rare unless we intentionally seek it out. There’s also a special synergy birthed when a committed group gathers regularly with several different personalities, perspectives, and life experiences.
As I heard the stories of the powerful women around me, I identified with pieces of each of their journey. It was so easy to see the unique beauty in each of them, yet sometimes it can be hard to see beauty in ourselves. They helped me identify my unique design and encouraged me during a very special part of my own journey, welcoming my third child into this world.
Just as a group of female elephants come together to celebrate when a baby is born [you have to see this!], these beautiful ladies showered me and my new baby with love. They reminded me how important it is to slow down and celebrate life’s significant moments, and they’ve helped me appreciate creativity and curiosity in a season when I didn’t think I had time for those things.
Whether I’m birthing a baby, or birthing a plan to change the world, I know my “herd” will be there to support me. They have encouraged me to use my voice with confidence and recognize whose opinion matters. I now walk taller, with greater confidence in the gifts of imperfection that I carry. We are all fearfully and wonderfully made.
Have you found your community of elephants? What’s holding you back?