I love the days when you wake up feeling refreshed and almost giddy with excitement for no particular reason whatsoever. Today is one of those days. In fact, I have butterflies in my stomach and no reason for them! Well, except maybe that I am starting a book study of the book "Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches" by Rachel Jankovic with a couple of friends. I am excited not only to read this book but also to connect with friends across the miles through reading the book together.
Maybe that is what is hyping me up. (Well, that and the fact that I am currently gulping a cup of coffee on an empty stomach...probably not the best example to follow.) The prospect of connecting with other women, sharing my heart and hearing the heart of others--it does something great for my soul. I don't know about you but when I dive in deep with others I become a better version of myself. Its one of God's ways of reminding me that I am not alone, that I have things to offer and things to receive, and that we were made for community.
I love my alone time as much as the next introvert (well, that might be stretching it...I actually don't love it that much but I know that I need it and benefit from it so I am going to say that counts) but I L-O-V-E watching women light up when they get together and actually connect. I remember early on in my marriage I was talking with my husband and in the middle of our dialogue (read: my monologue) I stopped and asked, "Are you even listening to me?" He, baffled, replied: "Of course I am. I haven't interrupted, I am quietly listening to your story." I, in turn, replied: "Well that's the point, you haven't said anything at all!" No "Mmm-hmm" or "Oh totally know what you mean!" He was listening like a man but I was used to the feedback I usually got from my female friends! The moral of the story is this: I can't expect my husband to communicate with me the same way women do, because he is wired completely different than them. Also, as much as communicating with my husband is important to me, I need to have women in my life to communicate with because I need the feedback and interaction of that type of communication. (Okay, I guess that's two morals but you get the point).
I used to read in the Bible where it said that women had to go outside of the camp when it was "that time of the month" and I would be so offended for them. I would think "Well gosh, if somebody told me I had to leave my house just because my body is doing what it is supposed to do I would tell them where they should go...and it wouldn't be as nice as 'outside the camp'!" In retrospect, I think it was a brilliant plan. I mean, there these women are, possibly moody and irritable and needing not only a good cry but also companionship and empathy, and they get to escape the chores of day-to-day life and spend time with the other women in the community! Talk about therapeutic, sign me up! Whatever your take on this particular scenario, the point is that stereotype or no, we benefit from being relational with other human beings.
All that said...possibly ranted depending on your take...I am being intentional about making sure I am in connection with others. Sometimes it means I have to be brave and put myself out there. At times I might be rejected, but in the end I know that I will be a better mom, wife, and just a better me when I am intentional about connecting with others.